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San Fran hates Airbnb


#1

I know we all make income from Airbnb, but I’m sure many of us can see the downsides to it, particularly in cities where apartments are already scarce. Some people cry ‘it’s capitalism! Deal with it!’, if only tourists can afford to stay in the city from now on, then that means the workers will have to travel however many hours each day to work because ‘capitalism!’. Or you can do like San Francisco, and vote against Airbnb’s in the city.

Airbnb hasn’t made a great impression on San Francisco with failed campaigns that only solidified their reputation as a bunch of arrogant little so and so’s. It is true that it’s hard to know what Airbnb is thinking sometimes. Perhaps Those young people running the company need a little more life experience.

Obviously it wouldn’t help the rest of us if this happened elsewhere, so we should hope this vote isn’t a precedent for other cities to follow suit. It would help if Airbnb put some of all its billions into something that helped people (rather than telling others to!).

Why is it that we have yet to have received a questionnaire about our experiences using Airbnb, and ideas on what could be improved (anonymous of course)? I have been hosting for over 3 years, and my ideas and feelings feel like they don’t matter one bit. It is the reason I have been coming here to share. Wouldn’t you think that if Airbnb wanted to improve and keep its hosts, it would once in a while ask hosts how they are coping, and what is working for them and what is not working for them? I find it unbelievable.


#2

I follow media response to Air BnB closely. Not long ago, the Air BnB success stories were everywhere. Then I noticed articles about Hotel and Motel chains beginning to complain. Soon a lot of negative, very negative stories about Air BnB began to flood media, both print and broadcast, along with internet complaints as well. This is organized, public relations firms are expert at running negative campaigns to attack unwanted competition, in our supposed free market capitalism America.
Let me tell you, the hospitality industry does not like us small people making money by renting out rooms and flats out. They like their business model to run free from capitalism. I suspect that several high power PR firms are running this negative campaign against Air BnB.
Every paper and TV now leads with horror stories of Air BnB. Well, I recently sat down and read reviews for London hotels! I read several hundred reviews, and let me tell you, you want horror! People tell tales of hotels with every sort of horror you can imagine. Of course if you pay for the top of the line, you get the best. How many of you have priced a high quality London Hotel? Air BnB is only as good as it’s hosts. What angers me are the greedy and incompetent hosts who do cause horror stories for us all.
But be aware, there is a media campaign to smear us all. Don’t given them any ammunition.
I am starting to build a group of return guests, seeking to come back more than once a year, or yearly. This is the ideal, to build a book of trusted guests who know you, like what you deliver, and come back. That is my goal and aim, to get repeat guests.


#3

That is an interesting article.

Interesting on this day in particular, as we have just asked a long-term tenant to move out so we can use her bedroom for airbnb, and then we can reclaim our playroom/office, which has served as a second guest room for airbnb groups larger than 3.

So we are, in a way, the face of this problem - we are letting a long-term tenant go so we can make more money with airbnb. (Although honestly she was never a good fit for our family, and it’s not so much the money as we love doing it) She will, most likely, need to pay more for rent elsewhere. (However the prices aren’t like San Francisco!!)


#4

James, regarding the return guests… Do you offer to book them off Air? I do… If they have proven themselves worthy, I skip the deposit. We are both saved booking fees if they pay in cash. I know Air doesn’t like this but… Once they have been my customer and I have their personal info, why the heck not?


#5

Kona,

I also book trusted return guests off site - i tell them to just check the calendar for availability and then email me. All cash, no deposit. I do it mostly as a favor to the guests because I feel our host fees are generally so low that it’s not really in my favor to go off-site in case there’s an issue.


#6

No not yet. But I will keep that in mind. If someone proves reliable and wants return visits, I will consider doing cash. That also saves on the hefty tax bill.


#7

To all who will allow repeat guests to pay cash. Be careful. I got burned once with this and was luckily able to re-rent my Labor Day weekend that was blocked off for nine months from a guest who had stayed twice already. He cancelled three weeks beforehand. When someone has no money down there is nothing for them to lose. Sometimes repeats become comfortable. So I would suggest only allowing people to pay cash if it is during dates that otherwise would likely not rent.

Another idea is to allow them to mail you a check. Of course all lodging taxes for your state need to be included if there is a paper trail, but if they can avoid the booking fee then that would be ideal.


#8

BTW - I encourage all guests from Airbnb, Flipkey, Booking.com to book with me directly as it is cheaper for both of us. But I will never again allow cash payment upon arrival to hold dates.


#9

Cabin… for sure… I have only done this twice, and both guests paid in full at the time of inquiry! No deposit and no taxes (shhh)

I guess I don’t get that many repeat customers.

If you do agree to rent with cash, I would either ask them to pay all upfront or half. Seems reasonable…

This reminds me of a story from a guest who contacted me months after staying.

Acting as though he was a happy customer, he was very interested in interviewing me for some app he was developing for Air. Because I thought he might book again, this time directly, I spoke to him for about an hour. Then I looked up his review and discovered a bit of a slap in it!

Why would a guy who found something not to like about my place call me months later for “opinions?” (It was regarding developing a seasonal pricing app based on local events that were happening, etc.)

And why did I waste an hour of time I can’t get back talking to him!??


#10

So I’m sure you all have heard this didn’t pass!

Now maybe air can spend some of that money getting us all hooked up property for sales and occupancy taxes!!


#11

I do think, however, that it seems wrong for anonymous commercial investors to buy up large blocks of properties and rent them out on Air. It does take away from the supply of available long-term housing?

It seems like Air should be OK for people like most of us, who want to rent out parts of our personal homes to visitors… as long as we pay the taxes and are legal.

It’s a slippery slope. Air can change the character of neighborhoods, especially in resort areas like here in Hawaii. Our own neighborhood by a beach has A TON of vacation rentals now. At least I DO live here… but the question comes up and has to be asked …(rhetorical question of course)

Why would anyone rent their place to a long-term tenant for $750 a month… when they can get an average of $1800 a month??? Without all the impact and hassle of a long-term tenant??

The answer is… of course…you would not, including me.


#12

Absolutely! That is just what Air BnB is not meant to be! I hate these big money jerks who cruise for the fast buck, and ruin small business. I think an Air BnB host should have one house and maybe on flat or cabin they are allowed to list, after that, forget it!


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