Airbnb started from humble beginnings but is now a multibillion-dollar business that is virtually a household name. Over the years, it has transitioned and grew exponentially, attracting various kinds of guests from all over. Naturally, due to the fast pace in which it bolstered the short-term rental market growth, some misconceptions cannot be avoided. Here’s a list of the most common Airbnb myths and in this article, we’ll debunk some of the most popular ones.
Myth #1: Airbnb = Parties
Airbnb users are required to have a profile before they can book a property. From here, you can get a sense of who they are since hosts are also allowed to rate their guests. Additionally, if an Airbnb is managed professionally, the guests will have to go through a vetting process before they can go ahead with their bookings. As of this writing, Airbnb has also released an anti-party policy that penalises guests in the event that they violate these protocols. This is very different from other booking platforms that allow guests to book homes without an account and provide limited to no tools for guest vetting.
Airbnb is also the only platform to offer a dedicated Host Guarantee against property damage by guests or other visitors. This is currently set to cover up to $1,000,000 USD and shows how serious they are about protecting their Hosts.
Myth #2: Hosting is easy
While there is definitely more room to increase revenue in the short-term rental market, it also takes a bit more effort to be a successful Airbnb host. While cleaning might be on top of the list as one of the most tedious tasks, especially with the new Airbnb enhanced clean protocol, it is not the only thing that aspiring hosts should be mindful of.
Managing an Airbnb is more than just impeccable cleaning and collecting rent, there’s also guest communications which can make or break the ratings the host receives. An Airbnb host needs to be on standby in case any issues arise within the property, may it be minor leaks, or clogged sinks. Other scenarios include guests locking themselves out of the property which also needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Creating and optimising the Airbnb listing, applying dynamic pricing to get the most out of bookings, and marketing are just among some of the other things that they will have to juggle in their day-to-day.
Myth #3: COVID-19 reduced Airbnb’s appeal
Airbnbs, especially professionally managed ones, have turned out to be the preferred option over hotels and resorts when guests are in need of flexible rentals. With busy places now posing more risks, people have started shifting to the alternative, more exclusive getaways. Homelike accommodations with private outdoor spaces still allow guests to enjoy their stay, without having to worry about increasing their exposure to more crowded public places.
Myth #4: Airbnb is for international backpackers
Backpackers prefer hostels and shared rooms as opposed to standalone apartments. Most of the listings on Airbnb nowadays are standalone apartments. In fact, 70% of our guests in 2019 came from Australia and New Zealand and their profiles vary greatly. At Hometime, we have guests ranging from extended stay business travellers, people who are seeking temporary residence due to home renovations, to those who want to check out the neighbourhood before moving into the same area permanently. There are also those who book Airbnbs to live and work from for a period of time, as remote work policies are now more common. All these use cases and those who just want to take a holiday and experience a change in scenery, make up the varying groups of people who are looking to stay at Airbnbs.
Myth #5: It’s all about the location
A property’s favourable location may lend some additional appeal but this is not the only thing that determines an Airbnb’s success. The way a property is set-up, marketed, and optimised on a daily basis can contribute to a 20-30% uplift in revenue. Photos, for example, directly affects how a property will perform. An Airbnb study found that professionally photographed listings earned 40% more revenue and got 24% more nightly bookings than those which are not.
Dynamic pricing is another factor that can maximize a property’s return. In fact, according to data from Beyond Pricing, listings with static pricing can stand to gain up to a 43% increase in revenue when converted to dynamic pricing. All these factors and more all play a role in how a property will perform and a good location is only a part of it.
Airbnb has provided many with the chance to travel the world a little more affordably and allows property owners, a way to make extra money. While there may be a lot of misconceptions surrounding it, debunking some of these long held incorrect beliefs may just be the way to make more people experience the opportunity that Airbnb clearly brings.