Last night I received a Facebook message from a New York Times reporter asking if she could give me a call to chat about my use of the site Airbnb. Not one to turn down a bit of exposure I accepted and my comments should be in the paper in a few weeks – Fabulous!
For those of you that don’t already know, Airbnb is a pretty awesome site that allows you to post up your whole home, or simply a room in your home, for someone to rent out whenever it takes your fancy. Very soon after I posted our flat, towards the end of last year, I was offered the option of having a professional photographer come and take pictures for free…Yes FREE! I jumped at the chance, had a lovely morning cup of tea and a gossip about the site with Alex Oates the photographer and the results were fabulous. I’m certain they have helped us grab a bit more attention and I have to say both the website and the iPhone app are very user-friendly and look pretty slick to boot.
Our Pics By Alex Oates – Airbnb – Our listing here: http://www.airbnb.com/rooms/53255
We’ve only had the time to rent our place out twice this year but both times have been pretty successful with a couple coming from as far as Australia. Having only a one bedroom flat means we can’t host whilst e are here – Which I’m almost certain would not be not my thing anyway (I’m a bit of a loner who likes to sit in my pyjamas when I’m home). We simply leave the property with someone if it fits in with our diaries and tally ho, we set off for a change of scenery. Generally we use this time to take a trip ourselves using the money we make to fund our own travels. As a budget-conscious person this is an ideal way for me to follow my passion for travel without actually paying much out of my own pocket.
I’ll admit I was a little nervous for our first rental. We’ve only ever done house swaps in the past and you know that when you are swapping people they are trusting you in their own home, so its likely they take more care and I just somehow felt a bit more at ease about that whole scenario. My nerves were put at ease on our return though when everything was left pretty much spick and span.
There is no turning back for us now. If we can’t swap, we’ll be stuffing all our important bits into the garage, having a spring clean and listing the dates on Airbnb – A much better option than a hotel for longer periods of time. I’ve even found myself looking at flights and seeing if I can find a good place for us to rent out on the site before even thinking of booking!