The laws governing how Airbnb can operate vary country to country, state to state and even from differing local councils.
The laws governing how Airbnb can operate vary country to country, state to state and even from differing local councils. Photo Contributed

Airbnb is more than huge – it's staggering

MORE than 60 million people in more than 190 countries used Airbnb last year. Think about it - that's more than huge, it's staggering.

In June last year, Airbnb closed at a massive US$25.5 billion valuation.

Whether you're operating a hotel, or looking for affordable long-term rental, Airbnb is hurting as many people as much as it's helping.

But just like the other market sharing giant, Uber, Airbnb is here to stay.

While the laws governing how Airbnb can operate vary country to country, state to state and even from differing local councils, the Airbnb concept has captured more than market share - it has captured our imaginations.

Suddenly a spare room can be a profit centre, just as someone else's listing can be your new digs or your next holiday lodgings.

Airbnb is potentially making us all landlords.

But would you want to open your home to a stranger?

I know many of my friends have made the leap from home owner to commercial landlord with mixed results.

I've heard both good stories and of bad experiences. Obviously the money can be a real boon to someone with spare space in need of mortgage or rental assistance.

Some people I know even enjoy meeting new people this way. Some others I know have found this to be the main downside.

But what interests me is how the Airbnb effect has affected how they present their home. Suddenly, complete matching towels are a priority.

As is professional cleaning and depersonalising a space. Out with the framed family photos and in with the hotel-like corporate art.

Interestingly, from the people I spoke with, that seems to be the other major downside of renting out your home or a room - the effort required to meet an expected standard.

The hours required to thoroughly clean a home and the time taken to de-clutter the personal decor could add up to a serious number of hours.

It seems most of us lead semi-perfect, not hotel-like, lives when it comes to our homes. Interesting, isn't it?



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