While it goes without saying that Airbnb has completely revolutionized the world of modern business; there are always those who try to dispute its usefulness or even its cost-efficiency. Sure, Airbnb is merely a broker, a middleman and as such, has no lodgings of its own. Therefore, the most commonly heard argument against booking on Airbnb lies in the fact that it might be cheaper to look for a lodging independently.
Still, finding the right short-term lodging in the nick of time is an arduous task; which also puts you up against a lot of uncertainty. Furthermore, it is something that requires a lot of work; which is yet another thing that is nearly impossible to quantify. On the other hand, the monetary savings you make this way may not even be worth all the hassle. In any case, here are a few pros and cons of booking on Airbnb; that will help you decide whether or not using Airbnb is the right choice in your particular situation.
What You need to know while booking on Airbnb – the Pros & Cons
1. The way it works
Probably the first pro of Airbnb is that it’s incredibly simple to use. The registration is only several steps long and completely free of charge. Moreover, there is an application for iOS and Android which you can use from your mobile device. In order to narrow down your search a bit, Airbnb may require you to fill in some filters. For example, the type of accommodation you are looking for, the dates, the location, as well as the price range that you find acceptable.
However, before booking on Airbnb, you will need to provide some of your personal information; such as your name, email address, telephone number and, in some cases, even scan your government-issued ID. Needless to say, this tends to be one of the greatest cons; because checking in and out tends to require so much work. On the other hand, if you are an introvert, this gives you a chance to solve the entire ordeal surrounding your logging in without a lot of human interaction. If you look at it this way, for some, it can also be considered a pro.
An additional problem that often happens is the fact that Airbnb may seem a bit intimidating to the first-timers, while it does get much easier each subsequent time you use it. This doesn’t just go for the technical side of the platform, but the overall knowledge of what you should look for. Luckily, with a bit of online research, you can easily learn what is it that you should pay special attention to.
2.Being the guest vs. being the host
As for the fee that the Airbnb charges, you need to keep in mind that it affects both parties. Since the arrangement made through this platform benefits both the host and the guest, both of them are required to pay a certain fee. For the host, the fee is about 3 to 5 percent, while for a guest it can go as high as 6 to 12 percent. Finally, when it comes to local experiences such as organized tours and excursions, the commission can go as high as 20 percent.
In other words, whether or not this fee is worth paying depends mostly on the length of your stay. On the other hand, if you are a potential host; Airbnb can drive a lot of traffic your way and thus make it worth your while. Nonetheless, the success you face here greatly depends on your ability to organize and present your home to the Airbnb audience.
Furthermore, there are other ways in which hosts can improve their prospects of being noticed; and one of them is to go with the property management platform. Here, there are two things that you should always keep in mind. The first one is the services you want to include in your Airbnb management; and the second one is the primary hub from which you operate. Therefore, hosts from NSW might want to look for Airbnb property management services in Sydney.
3.Airbnb vs. a hotel service
Finally, the most frequently asked question here is how well does Airbnb fare against a standard hotel service. And the answer is – it depends on what you are looking for. If you intend to go with something luxurious, something that includes room service and receptions, and your intended stay is a short one – you should probably go to a hotel. On the other hand, for something a bit cheaper; more convenient for a medium-term stay and something that will allow you to experience the place as a local, Airbnb is a better choice.
At the end of the day, even with a standard Airbnb fee; it is usually more than worth it to look for a host/guest in this way. Of course, there are always some alternatives like travel forums and social media groups.
But the safety mechanisms that Airbnb offers (references, reviews, insurance and secure payments) are usually on their own worth the above-discussed fee. At the end of the day, however, it all depends on your budget and your goals for the trip.