Top5 Review

Airbnb Review

Airbnb’s mission is to create a world where people can belong through healthy travel that is local, authentic, diverse, inclusive and sustainable. Airbnb uniquely leverages technology to economically empower millions of people around the world to unlock and monetize their spaces, passions and talents to become hospitality entrepreneurs.

Airbnb’s accommodation marketplace provides access to 5+ million unique places to stay in more than 81,000 cities and 191 countries. Airbnb offers the best vacation home rentals if you are booking last minute or seeking a unique property. In their extensive collection of homes, there are over 2,200 treehouses and nearly 3,000 castles.

As a global leader in vacation home rentals, Airbnb is paving the path between non-hotel accommodations and local governments. At the present time regulations tax, monitor and outlaw personal residences being offered for short-term renting. Jurisdictions were quick to put those regulations in place on behalf of the hotel industry. Airbnb facilitates more than 250 home sharing advocacy groups. The mission of home sharing advocacy groups is to help communities better understand the benefits of social home sharing.

Celebrating 10 years in business also brought its 400 millionth guest checking in to an Airbnb. With over 2 million people sleeping in an Airbnb property every night it’s undeniably clear that the trust economy is booming. Travelers seeking more flexibility than the hotel industry offers have been flocking to Airbnb. While media outlets may have you believe Airbnb horror stories are common they are in fact an incredibly rare phenomenon. Every night success stories of home sharing go untold.

Pros

Largest vacation rental inventory
Most employees supporting customer service
24/7 customer service offered in 11 languages
Very traveler focused policies
Mobile app for booking homes or communicating with host

Cons

Guest fees can be up to 20% of subtotal
The largest number of non-professional hosts

Platform Stats

Founded: 2007
Founders: Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia
Countries in: 191
Properties: 5,000,000+
Headquarters: San Francisco, CA
Number of Employees: 3,100

Features

Search functionality on Airbnb allows you to filter for family-friendly, work collection, and Superhost properties. To become a premium family-friendly listing a home must meet minimum safety and review criteria. Work collection locations have appropriate amenities and more flexible cancelation policies for business travelers. Superhost properties have superior reviews and communication practices that identify them as a more professional level of host.

A global customer service team is standing by 24/7 in 11 different languages to help make things right with rebooking assistance, refunds, and customer service. Airbnb has a $1 million dollar Host Guarantee policy in place to protect both travelers and hosts in the event of unexpected disasters. Safety is a priority at Airbnb. Currently, the platform is giving away free smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to any hosts who request them.

Airbnb has taken a very proactive approach to eliminate discrimination on their platform. Non-owner occupied homes, for instance, must allow service animals. Searching for handicap accessible listings, on the whole, is easy. Airbnb does not reveal a guests profile photo until after a reservation is confirmed by the host thus eliminating racial discrimination. Their stated policy prohibits discrimination based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender, gender identity, disability, or serious diseases.

Customer Price

Costs determined by the host:
• Nightly price: Nightly rate decided by the host
• Cleaning fee: One-time fee charged by some hosts to cover the cost of cleaning their space
• Extra guest fees: One-time fee charged by some hosts to cover other costs related to using their space

Costs determined by Airbnb:
• Airbnb service fee: Guest service fee charged for all reservations to help Airbnb run smoothly and offer 24/7 customer support

Potential other costs:
• Currency exchange fee
• Value Added Tax (VAT): Tax charged to guests who live in the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, South Africa, and Japan (charged as JCT).
• Local taxes—Any taxes charged based on the location of the host’s listing
Your payment information is collected when you submit a reservation request. Once the host accepts your request, or if you book a reservation with Instant Book, your payment method will be charged for the entire amount at that time.

Host Income and Fees

Airbnb typically releases your payout about 24 hours after your guest’s scheduled check-in time. The time it takes for the funds to arrive in your account depends on your payout method.

In the event a guest is staying for 28 or more nights, payouts for that reservation are released monthly.

If you’re a new host, we may hold your payouts for 30 days after your first reservation is confirmed. If your first reservation is more than 30 days away, your payout will be released 24 hours after your guest’s scheduled check-in. This will apply to any payouts scheduled to be released during those 30 days.

The host service fee for homes is generally 3% but may be higher for hosts in Italy or hosts who have a Super Strict cancellation policy.

Final Verdict

Airbnb has the largest inventory of short-term rentals by more than double its closest competitor. With a large corporate staff and traveler friendly policies, you are can trust this platform with your booking. Getting 24/7 support in 11 languages requires a huge staff that only Airbnb is able to provide. The higher fees are helping to maintain an expansive network of staff, systems and service.

Last minute bookings are easiest on Airbnb. Hosts get immediate notification of your arrival through a phone app. Your chances of securing a last minute booking are additionally increased because you have more than 5 million properties to choose from. Being able to instant book over 2 million properties means not having to wait for a host to respond before heading over to your reserved home. Not only will you likely find a property even on short notice, but you can book a home shaped like a dog, covered in mirrors or themed to replicate a gingerbread house.

While you may pay higher fees and therefore more out of pocket than other platforms, the advantages you get outweigh the cost. Peace of mind and ease of use are essential components for reserving or offering accommodations. Airbnb is our choice for your vacation rental bookings.

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