Were you aware that our neighborhood has seven Airbnb locations? The days of traditional “bed and breakfasts” seem to be over. With Airbnb, you can rent out a single room, a basement, or your entire home and have strangers stay overnight or for months — no breakfast required! Creating a listing on Airbnb is free. You have the option of greeting your guests in person with a key or just sending them a door code to open a keypad lock.
The company provides tips on what to charge, but it’s always up to the host. The properties in our neighborhood range from $25 for a queen-size air mattress on the floor in a small room in an occupied townhouse to $95/night for accommodations in a detached studio guesthouse that includes a kitchen, sauna, swim spa, a 50-inch flat screen TV with access to Netflix, and WiFi.
Elizabeth Zosso and her husband Jim Bible on Cavalier Drive decided to use their basement to earn a little extra money and took the plunge into Airbnb after converting their basement into a separate apartment in 2016, including adding an egress window for emergencies. It has its own entrance with a keypad lock and two twin beds. The new kitchenette has more appliances than my own, but County code allows no ovens in basements.
So far, they have hosted 30 people through Airbnb, most of them interns at the FDA or FBI who needed a space for several months but didn’t want to have a year-long apartment lease.
“Hosts are rated by the guests,” said Zosso, “but guests also are rated by hosts. If they aren’t good guests, no one will host them.
“You’re motivated to keep your house looking nice or you won’t attract guests,” she added. “It’s worked great for us.”
All guests pay though Airbnb’s online payment system. Airbnb charges a three-percent service fee from both guest and host.
Every guest must submit a profile photo and verify their phone and email; hosts can require a government ID, if they wish. If a property is damaged by a guest, Airbnb provides up to one million dollars in coverage for both property damage and liability coverage.
If it’s any consolation to those of you who think having Airbnb here isn’t such a good idea, all of the hosts in our neighborhood have five-star ratings! ■
© 2018 NFCCA [Source: https://nfcca.org/news/nn201812a.html]