How does Airbnb work?

Airbnb was founded in 2008 and ever since it has been revolutionizing short-term rental worldwide. In the last 10 years millions of property owners and vacationers have opened an account in order to advertise or find the right accommodation. In a nutshell, the system operates on the basis of security on the part of both the tenants and the lessors.

The Internet has facilitated the era of sharing economy: an economic structure in which owned resources are utilised, same way as goods and services are purchased. It is now possible to sell a vacant seat in our car for a ride or an empty, unoccupied room in our home. The most popular and most successful example to this property sharing model is Airbnb. The two parties are owners with a spare room or apartment to rent out on one side, and vacationers looking for the perfect accommodation on the other. Airbnb is the bridge between the two parties by providing a secure platform for short-term rentals. Currently there are 10,393 places offered by 5,734 owners in Budapest only.

In order to use Airbnb, owners and guests both need to have an active account. To use the service, you have to provide some personal information and a photo to identify yourself. A hotel reservation normally does not entail accepting the house rules but Airbnb allows for such regulations. Owners can set up a list of guidelines for proper behavior while in the apartment, and they can even reject a guest based on the available information on the inquirer’s profile. Airbnb’s privacy policy enables for the parties to communicate without sharing their private contact information. The system generates a temporary email address through which owners and guests can message each other and forwards these emails to their private accounts. 

Payments in cash are not possible on Airbnb, only credit card, debit card, PayPal and other online payment methods are acceptable. This further serves security. Money transfer is retraceable, the amounts are refundable, for example in case the owner has to cancel a reservation. Guests are protected by the regulation that owners do not receive the full amount of the rental fees until the guests have checked in and found everything in order.

Airbnb does not only offer a service platform for accommodations but for experiences too. This option is limited to certain places, where locals provide a few hours or a whole day activity of various sorts. Even owners can organise guided tours in the city or offer an afternoon workshop. 

The question might arise how Airbnb can be safer than private leasing. The answer is that Airbnb is a verified framework for vacation rentals where both the owners and the guests are securely identified. Thanks to feedback from previous guests, information about the accommodation, the neighborhood and the hosts is shared. This might be difficult to acquire through a regular hotel reservation. After booking at an Airbnb apartment, hosts are available via chat or phone, therefore they can be contacted in case of any problems or updates. As a host, you can control who stays at your place as a guest and can reject unwanted people. 

Airbnb’s excellent customer service is ready to help both parties whenever it is deemed necessary.

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