Airbnb: save money with fun
It took 6 years for Airbnb to become strong business with £6 billion price. I would like to invite you in my small investigation of such madness profit.
So let’s start from the beginning. Actually I have heard about Airbnb few months ago, when my friend took a trip to Sweden. Later I tried to understand the advantages and disadvantages of this service, more and more plunging into statistics. First of all I present you some history of Airbnb.
It all began in 2008 when three guys from San Francisco started to rent their inflatable mattress in small room to somehow make ends meet. Six years later, this idea has become a multi-billion dollar business that bypassed in annual profits such business «monsters» as Snapchat, Zoopla, Trainline and even Dropbox.
Beginning in 2008, the site has committed about 15 million transactions for rental housing around the world, whereas now the service offers about eight hundred thousand proposals, ranging from inflatable mattresses and ending with ancient castles in England and villas on the coast of Italy.
Want to note that the company did not stop there and has invested $ 280 million in its further expansion. Not surprisingly, the major hotel chains fear further expansion of the service, as it will be directly related to their subsequent bankruptcy. According to experts, the company is seeking to expand its focus in Africa and Asia, as these places have not yet been affected by Airbnb due to ignorance of its existence. Invested money without a doubt will correct this state of affairs.
What is Airbnb?
How Does Airbnb Work?
The main website page presents the hottest offers from wide variety of countries around the world. If you can’t find anything suitable, just enter the city where you are going. The system will give you the exhaustive number of proposals for the particular locality and the location of the proposed housing on the map. The service also can help with huge amount of available, which can potentially speed up the search of housing at your request.
When choosing accommodation, you will get a sufficient amount of information in the form of photos, descriptions and numerous reviews which incidentally are checked by the administration for authenticity. As a rule, the right webpage corner contains the price for the apartment rent per day. There you can choose the number of days and the cost of all services provided by the Airbnb.
Travel Tips: Airbnb Guide
Why does it appeal?
Airbnb service can help those who want to spend their holidays in an expensive city without adequate funds. As a rule, such places presented with the largest and most popular cities in Europe and the United States, or some places where you can visit the festival or just to go to a conference for work. For example, a festival in Edinburgh, where it is impossible to find places to stay even before two weeks from the festival beginning or you just will be offered to pay a three-fold increased price. While the service offer for two in the midst of the holiday will be presented in amount of 100 euros.
One bedroom apartment in Rome with all the amenities in the city center will be available for only $ 170, while the closest cheap hotel will ask for such services at least $ 400 per room. Such examples can be resulted in tens, which immediately suggests that the profit from such transactions on the website is small, but in view of its number and the parallel use of advertising, Airbnb seems get a worthy competitor of Microsoft.
Which countries have the service Airbnb operates
The Airbnb Company’s success growth is just incredible. As far as I know, now online, you can select proposals for housing rental in 190 countries. For example, want to go to Kabul? There is a great room with all the amenities for 24 euros. And believe me, it is the cheapest one, you will not find anything better. I think you won’t broke if, instead of 10 cents for the renting service you will overpay 50 cents in the case of rental housing in Paris. It just so happened that now Paris occupies the first place in the list of the most visited cities on the Airbnb version, so the company is trying to get out its own benefits. While in England, fees for renting will be reduced due to the fact that the country government repealed a law banning short-term rental housing.
Who uses the service Airbnb?
Statistics show that Airbnb users are unlikely to be classified according to any particular social groups or stereotypes. For example, large families will be looking for cottages or villas, while the young couples will approach a small room in the backyard. One Australian said that he uses the service by 15-20 times a year, which is associated with his work. During this time he had to live in an old castle and a small apartment in downtown Washington, managed to sleep in a hammock in one of the home gardens in Memphis and even spend the night in a stone house in France. So, I hope you that there are many proposals and each one have its own potential customer.
But can you trust it?
The company learns from its own mistakes, so now the service has become much safer than at the beginning of its existence, when all were just hoping for integrity on the other hand. After the famous scandal when one of the travelers completely crushed apartment in San Francisco, Airbnb started to offer insurance to every owner in the amount of $ 1,000,000.
In addition, all there is built on the system of Airbnb reviews, which are written about housing and about the lodgers, so if you leave the apartment in a poor state, the host immediately will write about it in your profile, and then you will not be able to use the service again. It also works in reverse: if the accommodation has not met your expectations, please write about it, do not hesitate, and then the owners will have to try to fix it if they want to see the other guests in the future.
Service recommends avoiding the so-called «scam» — agencies that are registered under the guise of ordinary hosts and really develop the renting business. Usually it is easy to recognize them — looking through different ads, you will find different housing options with the same host and similar description of the apartments. In principle, you can rent a house through such services too, but then you will get the usual choice of hotel, without the personal approach. In addition, if there are any problems or you need help, it will be much more complicated to contact with the agency with the owner living in the next room.
I can tell you that every user goes through serious documents verification, which is why there is no frauds at all. If you want to register your housing in the system it is required to provide all the necessary documents proving not only your personality, but also the right to tenure the housing. Only after the service administration approval the user will be marked with a special icon that gives him the right to pursue the further action. The same situation is with photos of the proposed housing. When considering one, pay attention to the «verified photo» inscription, which means that the photos were made by the professional photographer from the agency and correspond to reality.
Are there rivals?
Let’s go back to talking about the Company progress to the east. Given the rabid investments Airbnb tries to win the local market, however, they do not take into account the local service competition from Tujia.com.
Service Tujia.com orients to the domestic market and offers the users to rent accommodation for holidays or business trips. More recently the Tujia.com service as similar to the American Airbnb attracted $ 100 million investment. The transaction involved funds that have already invested in a startup — Lightspeed China Partners, GGV Capital, Qiming Venture Partners and others. New investor was only represented by fund China Renaissance Capital. The startup evaluation on the round results was not disclosed.
Tujia.com offers users the possibility of short-term rental housing, either directly from the owners of apartments or houses, as well as from specialized agencies. Basically, the service caters to the Chinese market, and its users are the residents of large cities.
The funds received for Tujia development will be spent on marketing and sales increase. In addition, the service plans to increase the number of proposals for lease in its database.
At this point the Tujia database includes 80 thousand proposals, as mostly of housing places located in China. The rental apartment abroad for service users is possible thanks to the cooperation with American HomeAway.com. This resource also offers services for rental housing and also is the potential startup Airbnb competitor in the United States.
Health and safety problems
Somebody Mr. Weston has shown concern for the lack of specific regulation applied directly to the housing owners with respect to fire safety, food hygiene and security, in particular in relation to inspections. By the way, the Tujia.com service from the first day of creation had in its arsenal a special room inspector’s team, which checked the state of rental housing with possible fines and exclusion from the service.
According to information provided by Airbnb, the company hopes to honesty of property owners, because the project was created solely on trust. Although we all know that soon the service will be even more subjected to criticism on the issue, which should lead it to creation of its own system of housing safety checks. Experts predict that this fact will be directly reflected on the transactions price increase.
Are there any legal issues?
The service faces numerous legal problems in countries where the company aims to carry out its activities. For example, after a scandal with the government of New York, now it is began to appear more and more new people in the city who do not draw up documents for housing, and therefore is not concluded in the taxpayers list. The Court of New York ordered the service on a monthly basis to give anonymous data on their clients for further investigation of the situation.
Renting housing in many cities around the world is taxed on the economic activity, and therefore should be specified in the declaration. It is not known whether such operation is engaged in the monitoring by Airbnb, but I can assume that if the service plans to become more and more popular, it should provide the decisions for further problems with the law.
Airbnb is also responsible for the rise in house prices in major markets and in big cities like New York, San Francisco, Berlin, etc.
Finally, house renting for just anyone can be dangerous. It is known the weight of case when such renting ended badly. However, the Airbnb service doesn’t inspect any guests or hosts (with the exception, which requires them to prove that they are they in the legal sense), every year, millions of people use the service and, in general, the vast majority of them experience only positive moments. But that does not guarantee you getting into a small percentage of losers, of course.