* Setting Up Your Account – FREE TO SET UP
Creating an account through Airbnb is free of charge. There are several methods by which a host can set up an account. These are easy to use and customizable.
The prospective host will need to log in and create the account using either their email, Facebook, or Google Plus. Once the account is set up, it is ready to be used for posting property for rent or sale.
It is important if you decide to become a host on Airbnb that you meet the “responsibility” requirements. Airbnb has set forth “minimum quality standards.” These standards outline the requirements for cleanliness of your property, all safety concern, and accessibility to the property. False advertisement regarding the property is not allowed. Refer to the Airbnb website for any questions regarding how to post descriptions of the property. When advertising property on Airbnb, consult their website for all criteria that should in your post.
* Setting Up Your Account
As a guest on Airbnb, you will be required to provide a short list of information. You must supply all required information in before you make a reservation. The required registration ensures the hosts are familiar with the guest and receives contact information.
Airbnb’s mandatory information for guests:
phone number (confirmed)
Written intro message
Acknowledgement of the house rules
The host is not provided the guest’s actual email address, even after booking. Instead, the host will see an Airbnb email address that is temporary. This email will forward their messages to the guest.
Some hosts may also ask guests to provide ID before booking their space.
Airbnb provides a venue that allows both guests and hosts to post a review on the Airbnb site. The site allows for a 500 word written review and also allows a review response. These reviews and responses provide information to prospective hosts and guests for future use about leasing to that property.
Amenities Found in Airbnb
The Airbnb host decides which amenities to provide for the lodging. Some rentals may contain an elaborate array of amenities and other may only stock bear essential while others may require the guest to bring everything. The description of the rental details found in the online profile will describe what to expect and what to prepare.
Basic Amenity List
- Wifi – guests today may consider this necessary
- TV and Cable – can be provided in a common area or private room but is a great amenity that is typically highly valued
- Dishes & Flatware: May include any of the following, Plates, spoons/forks/knives, drinking/wine/juice glasses, bottle/can opener, cookware, corkscrew.
- Iron/basic laundry facility supplies
- Safety equipment – well-maintenance smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. In-date fire extinguisher. Check the various codes for your home and what equipment is required. Any safety equipment that is missing should be in place before guests move in. If the guest is not on the ground floor, they should have access to a ladder.
- First-Aid kits can be an added amenity supplied by the host. Often guests will determine their own needs but having a general range of supplies on hand can be a seen as a perk.
- Bathroom spa-like amenities can range from very basic hand soap and lotion to elaborator full spa supplies. These bathroom supplies are not required to be provided but are recommended to disclose on the rental profile. A few of these amenities can include soap, shampoo and conditioner, and lotion.
- Include a bedside lamp and clock with a mobile device charging adaptor.
- Consider including a hairdryer
- Extra supplies for the guest should be provided such as luggage stand, sheet sets, hangers, extra trash bags, dustpan, and broom.
Place in the Lodging Market
Homeowners who were about to lose their homes during the housing bust and the recession of 2010, started to sublet rooms of their homes in order to pay their mortgage. Homeowners have found Airbnb to be a better source for obtaining short-term rental referrals than other sources like Craigslist. With the ease of use and popularity of Airbnb, a great deal of upset has been placed on the hospitality industry, such as Bed and Breakfast and Inns. Much of this distress has come about because of the lack of a level playing field between Airbnb and other traditional types lodging.
Pricing of units available for rent on Airbnb can be confusing, depending on the location you are searching. Airbnb will not include its service charge, which is tacked on after booking. When a guest searches for a price range, all they see is the price per night for that rental.
Airbnb displays per-night prices that exclude its own per-night service charges, and the total price is not revealed until the customer selects an individual property. This is not evident during a simple search of rental units.
Some cities have come forward protesting Airbnb’s lax attitude toward the travel and hospitality industry. Airbnb's rental units do not collect rental hotel tax in many cases, and this has become a point of great contention between the hotel industry and Airbnb. Essentially, Airbnb is making money without collecting tax from the traveling public, but this does not apply to other segments of the hospitality industry. Additionally, landlords for Airbnb refuse to be liable for the actions of guests not tied to the property.
New York lawmakers are concerned that the Airbnb properties may not conform with all leasing laws, and add to the escalating costs of rental property, presenting additional concerns for some of the larger cities.
A few cities around the country have imposed transient occupancy taxes or minimum lengths of stay. There has been an attempt to start regulating this rapidly growing industry and leveling the playing field within the industry.
Association Response: AIHP
Association for Independent Hospitality Professionals (AIHP) has taken an active position with regards to Airbnb.
The position statement of AIHP is as follows:
[We consider Airbnb to be a viable platform for independent hospitality professionals to utilize to their advantage. The Airbnb website allows for guests to choose from a category of “bed and breakfasts” and gives hosts, ie. B&Bs and innkeepers, another option to offer their properties to millions of potential guests. It is clear to AIHP that Airbnb also recognizes the significance of “professionally” run hospitality properties that are registered with occupancy tax collecting municipalities. These properties are the backbone of our industry, and they are clearly an important part of Airbnb’s future.]
Airbnb does not conduct background checks on behalf of guests or hosts of the lodging. Both guest and host must determine this information on their own. Carefully review the profiles posted online, when accepting reservations or booking a rental through Airbnb. Rely on reviews and responses that others guests or hosts have posted. Airbnb has chosen to make the matching process real-life identities to help ensure the best possible match. While this creates a satisfying experience for host and guest, it allowed some safety concerns to emerge. Airbnb has provided an online FAQ that explains more about the companies verification process and reviews. Nightmare stories have rarely been reported of rented properties turned into brothels, meth houses, and animal party houses. Ultimately the consumer will have to determine whether or not the booking is well-suited to their needs. There are clues in the profile that can help one determine the best fit for either a tenant or landlord. If you have an uneasy feeling about a booking, the best thing to do is move along.
Is it for Real
Airbnb is a real entity and one that has captured a lot of attention within the hospitality industry and the traveling public. Rental units or rooms have not undergone rigorous reviews by inspection, and there are no assurances of quality at this point. Customers will need to do their own research into the individual rental, for quality and safety. Various Lodging and Hospitality Associations will continue to work to level the playing field with Airbnb, so guests receive equal and fair experiences regardless of where they choose to lodge.