Will we ever stop talking about Airbnb? Probably not. But this time, we’re doing it differently. We’ve interviewed a few people to hear about their common concerns about using the service, what factors help them become more comfortable at an Airbnb investment property, and their general awareness of the advantages of using the home-sharing service.
What are some concerns you have about staying at an Airbnb investment property?
“I’m afraid my trip will be ruined if I don’t like the apartment.”
Ask yourself, why is it that you don’t like the property? Was it misrepresented on Airbnb’s website in terms of location, number of bedrooms, and availability of specific amenities? Is there an animal that wasn’t announced on the website? Or have you simply not done your research on the property?
If it’s anything but the latter, you can first reach out to your host, and if they are not responsive, to Airbnb. The service has a Guest Refund Policy that was specifically designed to prevent you trip from being ruined. Airbnb has thought of it all!
“And what if I don’t like my host and/or other guests at the apartment?”
One thing you can do to avoid this is reading the host’s Airbnb reviews beforehand. Also make sure to check out their profile. Contact them beforehand, test the waters.
When it comes to other guests, there’s really little you can do. Try to minimize or avoid contact, and keep to yourself. This is a common risk that you have to take when using a service like Airbnb or hostels.
“I am a clean freak, so a dirty property would be my biggest concern.”
We’ve heard this concern from every single interviewee. All Airbnb properties should be clean. Of course, your standards of clean may be different than those of the host and other guests at the property. If the property is unbearably dirty, and you’re host is not responsive of your needs, can be eligible to submit a Guest Refund Policy claim.
“I fear that the property will be in a bad area or an unsafe neighborhood. What would I do then?”
To avoid this in the first place, do your research on the property and neighborhood/area you’re staying in. Look up how close it is to city center, or wherever you’re planning on going once you’re in the city. You can avoid tens of problems if you’re a smart traveler.
“I’m not sure I’ll be able to get to the property. What if it’s far away?”
Again, this is something you can control. Look up the city before you get there. Find out where on the map the property is, and have your host’s number on your phone. Ask around the city. Download offline maps on your smart device if you have one. Seriously though, need we tell you how to travel?
“I think I would be concerned if things at the property are not working during my stay. You know, Wi-Fi, the coffeemaker, etc.”
Ideally, everything should work at the Airbnb investment property you’re staying at. If something’s broken, contact your host and see if it’s something they can fix. If it’s not, again you can claim a refund within 24 hours of check-in.
“It feels like I’m in someone else’s home, like I’m intruding. I don’t think I would feel that way if I were staying at hotel”
This concern makes perfect sense. But you should know that hosts who list their properties on Airbnb have as much interest as hotels in having people book them and maintaining high occupancy rates. After all, nobody forced them to list their Airbnb investment property. It is something they want to do. No need to worry here.
“I am not sure whether or not the property is legally listed.”
Be sure to check out Airbnb laws, and Google the city you’re staying at. In some cities like New York, a host cannot rent his/her property for a period shorter than 30 days without being present at the apartment. Different laws apply to different cities and states. So if you’re concerned about the legal aspects of using Airbnb, make sure you do your research beforehand, and check out Airbnb laws for the city you’re going to.
Related: 10 Questions of a New Airbnb User
What would you, an Airbnb user, need in order to feel comfortable at an Airbnb investment property?
If you’re an Airbnb host, take notes. This is what our interviewees believed makes them comfortable at an Airbnb investment property. Answers varied for this question, and many were in fact entertaining to listen to!
First and foremost, issues regarding privacy and feeling safe were referred to by almost everyone. Two interviewees said that if they were sharing the property with other guests, they’d want to have keys or locks for their private rooms to feel safer. One said she wouldn’t even consider sharing a flat with other guests due to privacy reasons. So if you’re a host, go out of your way to try and make your guests as safe and as protected as you an.
There was a unanimous opinion that an Airbnb investment property should feel cozy and friendly. One interviewee said she’d like to see small gestures like a bottle of wine or a box of chocolate left by the host. Another said she’d like to see every detail taken care of, from a first aid kit, to toiletries, to a stocked fridge, even to make-up remover! “I would love it if I could find everything I would find at my own home.” She said. Another interviewee said that while she’d like all amenities to be available at the Airbnb investment property, she would prefer if everything isn’t too fancy. “I’d like to feel comfortable, like I’m home. I wouldn’t want to break an expensive vase or fear using the nice towels.”
Do you realize the benefits of vacation rentals (Airbnb investment property) over hotels?
In general, our interviewees all agreed that they realize Airbnb is a cheaper option than hotels – whether it’s the rent itself, the expenses you cut on dinner, dry-cleaning services, etc. Additionally, a few said they believe Airbnb offers a more flexible, easier, and personalized service. One interviewee said “I think it’s amazing that I don’t have to worry about missing breakfast, and that I can prepare whatever I want at ‘home’!”
Another advantage realized is the ‘local feel’ as well as the enriching cultural experience travelers receive when using a service like Airbnb. After all, many Airbnbs are located in local neighborhoods and areas, which gives the traveler an authentic experience that they cannot get at your standard hotel.
In general, despite a few concerns here and there, people seem to realize that the advantages of using Airbnb outweigh the challenges. It’s also important to mention that most of the concerns listed above can be overcome with some research and preparation.
So what about you? Do you have an experience with an Airbnb investment property that’s worth sharing? Tell us down below!