Times were that you either stayed with friends and family or you had to get bookings in expensive hotels, if you went to visit another city. There was of course the option to go with cheap hotels, but it had inherent dangers like finding yourself in bed with bed bugs. Airbnb changed all that. It revolutionized the whole industry. So, join us as we review Airbnb today, for we have some interesting bits of information.
Who They Are
Airbnb stands for Air Bread and Breakfast. It is a website where people can find lodgings in more than 190 countries around the world. Although, it started at a very small level, it is now the market leader in its niche. You will find all kinds of lodgings registered on Airbnb so it can actually cater to almost everyone. Whether you are a millionaire looking to rent a castle for your summer holiday or someone who is just looking for a simple cost effective solution, it has listings which will cater to both the people.
A Brief History
It was founded back in 2008 by Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia. The concept came to them when they could not afford the rent of their loft in San Francisco. There was an Industrial Designers Society of America Conference going on and they recognized an opportunity to provide the attendees an option of having a cost effective method of staying over. So, they turned their living room into temporary living quarters, which had Air mattresses in them. Incidentally, this is why they later chose to name the company as Airbnb.
They were very successful with this small venture and realized the overall potential of this arrangement. They moved on to establish the company and after successful rounds of financing, today they stand as the market leaders in the industry. Airbnb has more than 2 million listings on the website in 34K cities around the world. These accommodations include 1400+ castles. Over their 8 year history they have entertained more than 60 million guests.
Claim to Fame
Airbnb has many claims to fame, but we have selected the following for you.
- It is the market leader having entertained more than 60 million guests worldwide.
- Its lodgings include castles, actually more than 1400 of them.
- Its various competitions which can give you access to exclusive nights in a floating house, or more recently in a bedroom in a shark tank.
- A revolutionary concept where both the sides have control over how things turn out.
- Their efforts to help the displaced persons after Hurricane Sandy.
You can access all their services via the online portal, which is well-designed and easy to navigate. You can start without wasting any time, as the main search widget is placed directly on the home page. The website uses a beautiful contrasting dark and white theme. This is complemented by the real life photos of the properties listed from around the world and from different spheres of life. Moving down the home page, you will come across their introductory section on hosts, travellers, and their community. Company information, policies, customer service, and social media page links can be found at the bottom of the webpage.
The systems are well designed and make it easy for the lodger as well as the host to interact. The property listing is very detailed and has different sections, which include The Space, Amenities, Prices, Description, House Rules, Safety Features, Availability, Pictures, Reviews, and a Google map of the listing location. All of these are excellent features which make decision making easier.
Airbnb provides an excellent opportunity for home owners to earn something extra on the side. You are completely in control of when and for how long you want to rent out the place. You can even choose the people who you think will be suitable for your house. Airbnb promotes a culture of Bread and Breakfast, and it only works well if the host and the guest agree on the rules.
As a host who is interested to register with them, all you have to do is to go to their home page and click on become a host. You will start by creating a listing. It is very much like creating a profile page on LinkedIn or Facebook. There are a couple of basic things that you will have to define in the listing. It will contain a description of your place, some photos, and the price of the listing. It will help your potential guests get a better idea about your place.
Due to the nature of the business, they have their own verification system. It contains 3 security layers: your telephone number, photo of ID, and verification of a social media account from Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google +. It can seem a bit harsh at first, but it is to protect them from fake listings. If they find any of the information to be suspicious they will decline the listing.
Once the listing has been successfully placed, now you are ready to move to the second step. This one is where the guest will reach out to you. They can reach out via telephone or via messaging. Either way you will get to know them better. A check in will be arranged. You can either hand in the key or provide a door code, whichever suits you best.
This leads us to the third stage. You want the room/listed place to be spick and span on the guests arrival. Airbnb reviews are a major factor when new guests decide whether to use the listing or not. So, go the extra mile in having all the listed things working.
Last is the payment. You will not have to worry about the payments at all. Airbnb will handle all the things. The whole system is automated. The guest is charged the money before check in and the money is transferred to your account via your preferred method 24 hours after the check in.
Listing a place on Airbnb is absolutely free of charge. However, there is a small 3% host service fees on each reservation. On the other hand, you will decide what to charge the guest. You will get access to various tools to determine the optimum price according to the service that you will be providing. Overall, it is an excellent system which offers an easy way to earn some extra cash which can then finance the trip you have always wanted to take.
As a guest the procedure is very simple. Just go to the website and use the widget placed right in the middle of the home page. Here you will enter the name of the city, define your check in and check out dates, and the total number of people. Click Search and it will bring up all available listings.
Here you can choose the one that you like best and since all of them have per night prices displayed on the front it is very easy to decide. Another very useful feature is that all the listings can also be seen on the Google Map. It is especially useful if you like visiting places and want to be placed at a location which will suit your purpose. For example, you may want to be near the public transport system, etc.
Once you have selected the place, the detailed listing will appear. Let us go through the overall sections one by one. The Space is where you will find the actual size of the listing and whether it is a room or an apartment. It will also have the check in and check out information.
Next come the Amenities’. You will need to read through them very carefully. If you like to smoke and drink, then you do not want to end up in a place where smoking isn’t allowed. If you are travelling with a family, then it would be best to stay at a place which is family/kid friendly. Last, but not the least, if you are a pet owner who likes to travel with their pet, then check whether pets are allowed in advance.
Next comes the Prices Section. It contains different pricing options and any discounts on a longer stay, if available. Here, you may want to check on their cancellation policy. The Description is just that: a brief description of the property you are about to rent. It will also contain information about the different modes of transportation and the general neighborhood. This is followed by house rules. Once again, this section is very important. Most listings are by home owners and they do not like loud parties. If you have something along the lines, then please confirm beforehand.
This leads us to the reviews. This is the most important feature and it will help you in making the decision. Airbnb’s algorithm will automatically place highly rated properties first. But, you may still want to read through the reviews to find out what other people had to say about their stay. You may even learn some pointers about the place.
This is followed by a section on the host. It will have basic information about him and most importantly information on how to contact them. The Google map of the exact area is right underneath the host information. This is followed by Similar Listings, just in case you want to see whether you can get something better.
The last part is the check in widget, using which you can change the dates of your stay, number of guests, and get an instant price quote.
Airbnb for Business
This is a specific area which is for people who travel around a lot for businesses. If your company is registered on Airbnb you can directly charge the booking expenses to their account. The rest is pretty much similar to regular travellers. Additionally, the hotline is available 24/7 in case of any problems.
Just like the help that they provided during Hurricane Sandy, Airbnb has several programs to help the hosts who depend on the income from home sharing. You can find out more about them on the website.
The website uses a secure SSL connection for payments and accepts a range of different payment methods including Visa, MasterCard, and PayPal. You can book the relevant listing using their website or through their mobile App.
Customer Service, Social Media, and their Blog
In case of any difficulties or any additional questions you can reach their customer service via phone and email. They will answer your questions and help in resolving any issues. They also have a detailed help section which will help you in getting acquainted with the whole setup. A host guarantee of up to $1 million is available at no extra charges to all registered home owners in specific countries.
They maintain an active social media presence. You can catch up on news and updates via their social media accounts on Facebook, Google +, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram. They also have an active blog, which brings together stories from all around the world.
Airbnb was and is one of the most innovative services of our time, which has helped countless people out in saving and getting good service. It has also created a supplementary source of income for thousands of families. It has had its ups and downs, with downs usually being isolated events. But overall, the service has been top notch. So, we will rate it as one of the top innovative services of the last decade.
Coupons and their Benefits
Coupons are an age old method to reduce the overall prices or to get more favorable terms when using a service. They are issued by companies to increase their outreach. Nevertheless, they work equally well for old customers. If you are someone who would like to travel the world, then Rebateszone can help you by giving you access to April 2016 Airbnb.com coupon codes. Our April 2016 Airbnb.com promo codes have helped thousands of people get better rates. They can do the same for you.
How to Use Them:
- Go to their website and select the place where you would like to stay.
2. Go through the procedure of setting up an account.
3. On the checkout page for the reservation, you will find the Coupon Code near the Subtotal.
4. Copy the Code from Rebateszone and paste it into the box.
5. Click Apply. The prices will refresh to show the adjusted prices.
6. Follow their instructions to complete the transaction.
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