A guide to understanding Airbnb

A guide to understanding Airbnb

One of the things that has taken the world by storm in recent years is Airbnb. Regardless of its undeniable prominence, some people still don’t fully understand what Airbnb is all about. Here we have provided a brief guide to understanding Airbnb.

What is Airbnb?

To start with, where does the name Airbnb come from and what does it mean. Airbnb is a term that comes from air mattress, bed and breakfast. In its simplest form, Airbnb is a real estate marketplace. Airbnb connects people looking to rent out their home with people seeking accommodation in those respective areas. This is possibly the largest real estate marketplace in the world with representation in over eighty thousand cities worldwide.

How it works

Airbnb provides a free online platform for registered users to either list or view available space for rent.

1. Hosts

On the Airbnb platform hosts are the people offering to rent out their properties or spare rooms to guests. Airbnb earns 3% commission on every booking from hosts.

2. Guests

Guests are people seeking lodgings from hosts. On average, Airbnb takes between 6% – 12% from guests.

Key considerations

  • One of the key considerations is that accommodation through Airbnb is often cheaper than conventional accommodation.
  • Another important consideration is the risk of accommodation not be up to standard or on par with conventional accommodation.
  • For hosts, there is always the risk of damage to their property.

The advantages of Airbnb

1. Diverse selection

Firstly, Airbnb offers one of the widest selections of relatively affordable accommodation. Hosts list everything from single rooms to entire homes.

2. Free listings

Hosts registered with Airbnb do not have to pay anything to list their available accommodation. In addition, hosts can include images, videos, as well as a detailed description with their listings.

3. Independent pricing

Another excellent feature of Airbnb is that hosts are at liberty to set their own independent pricing. Each host has the option to charge for lodgings on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

4. Customizable searches

The Airbnb online platform gives guests the option to customise their accommodation searches to meet their specific needs. Some of the search criteria include:

  • Price
  • Amenities
  • Hosts language
  • Type of accommodation

Disadvantages of Airbnb

1. Possible damage

Probably the biggest issue for hosts is the possibility of their homes being damaged. There have been instances and reports of entire homes being damaged. In addition, some hosts have returned to their homes to find valuable items missing.

2. False marketing

What you see on the Airbnb website may not necessarily be what you get in reality. One of the challenges for Airbnb is that hosts are responsible for uploading their own listings. Some hosts take this as a chance to over-market their rental space.

3. Safety and security

One of the biggest concerns that has constantly been brought up is the lack of guaranteed safety. Airbnb does not carry out any background checks, as such, they can not guarantee anyone safety. In conclusion, it is worth noting that since Airbnb does not carry out background checks on either hosts nor guests, it is highly recommended that you only acquire accommodation from hosts that have positive reviews from other guests.


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