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What It's Really Like to be an Airbnb Host

Seth Porges

I put up a story on Gizmodo today about how to be the perfect Airbnb host. My original working title for the story was “Dear Potential Airbnb Guests,” and I initially envisioned it as an open letter to anybody who was thinking about booking my room (or anybody else's) using the site.


However, while I was writing the story, another demographic came to mind as in need of an open letter: Journalists who want to speak to hosts about their experiences.

Don't get me wrong—I LOVE talking to other journalists about my experiences hosting on Airbnb. I've done it before and will do it again. But the misconceptions that many journalists have about the hosting experience coms through pretty clearly in the questions that I get asked virtually every time. Note: These misconceptions are not limited to journalists, but to the public at large, and most of these questions are also often asked of me by citizens who are curious about the experience. So, in the interest of making it easy on any journalist or person who is wondering what it's like to host on Airbnb, here are my most frequently asked questions. Note that most of these answers only apply to the experience of renting a room in a home that you also live in. If you're renting your entire apartment, I imagine things would be very different. View it as my Airbnb FAQ.


Has anything ever been stolen or broken?

Absolutely nothing. Zilch. Nada. I've had more than 100 guests, regularly keep valuables in the open, and have never seen a thing go missing. Of course, if you think about it, there are a lot easier ways to rob somebody that don't involve prepaying several hundred dollars and giving up your credit card information (Airbnb having that on file serves as a nice peace-of-mind-giver, IMO). As for things being broken... well, that depends if you count the Ikea dinner plate one guest accidentally dropped.


Have you made friends with any of your guests?

Many. And a few I consider to be very good friends. There are many who've come through my door who I'd definitely feel comfortable calling up if I ever found myself in their town.


Read the full article here