With specialized collections like Plus and Family, I wish that Airbnb would create a new category for the unique, individually owned types of listings that started the whole thing. It appears that the majority of listings are now investors and people with multiple properties who have no real emotional connection to hosting. It seems more and more the personal appeal of staying in a unique, individual space is disappearing. The advent of Instabook, professional management hosts, and people buying or building places specifically to be vacation rentals, has changed the culture dramatically. My husband and I travel a lot, and we use Airbnbs for the experience and feeling of being a guest in someone's home, rather than the impersonality of a hotel. We usually like to stay in a place that is a whole house type listing, but it used to be that meant a little guest house on someone's property, a basement apartment, or possibly a little place that someone rents out because they got married and combined households. Now it's getting harder and harder to find places like that having to wade through listing after listing of professional rentals. I wish Airbnb had a category for listings that still reflected the sharing economy that started Airbnb. I'm not doing a very good job of explaining what I mean, but I'm pretty sure most of you know. Maybe someone will start a new homesharing platform that honors that smaller, personal feeling, and will strive to be more like Airbnb was in the beginning. If so I'll be the first in line.
I feel what you’re all saying but as an owner of Vacation Rental homes in a very, very small town that was absolutely starving for tourism, I wanted to offer another view.
Firstly, I don’t believe it’s true in all situations that a person with multiple rentals doesn’t offer a personal touch or is out of reach to their guests. All of my rentals are within a 15 minute drive of the others. All have welcome books with local attractions, I send all my own messages, personalized gifts for special occasions. We have an easy check in and allow guests privacy unless they request our presence. I do find that most guests prefer to be left alone. Most do not want to hang out with me during their stay though I have been offered a drink and meals quite a few times. I’m worried that such a category would unfairly disclude my listings though the stay might actually be exactly what they are looking for.
My homes all have varying decor styles and and Those styles are changing constantly. They are warm and cozy and though clean and functional, I do believe we have personalized touches and even though I don’t live in the home- it is MY home. My blood, sweat and tears. My savings. My heart and soul goes into creating creative spaces and unique decor choices. Again, a category such as this would unfairly disclude my listings.
Also- I 100% believe that my rentals have improved our small community. Having started my rentals from scratch and building on them year after year, hosting thousands of travelers from all over the world. Thousands, that prior to our investment, were not coming to OUR small town and OUR dying restaurants, bait and tackle stores, gas stations, and small retail stores, etc. I can’t imagine how much money we have helped to bring to this small community. We have had to employ multiple cleaners, repair persons, furniture makers, designers, managers, etc. We buy local art, repurposed furniture, fill our propane tanks, and all of that money stays here- in our community.
Is there a housing crisis in our area? Yes. Does that mean we stop there? No. We also renovated an apartment building last year to provide long term affordable- safe, clean housing. We maintain multiple long term rental homes as well. We try to provide for the complete needs of our community. We are not devil investors. Some of us are hard working and caring and try to do right all around.
I feel like the word investor gives guests the incorrect assumption that we are all running the show like we are a mega millionaire and don’t care about the guests. We LOVE our guests.
A person with strong personal convictions relating to what they believe an Airbnb Classic listing to be- likely will stay with hosts from this category only- Which may impact our small town that thrives on tourism so.
I think the Airbnb classic idea isn’t a bad one but the qualifications should be more than just whether or not you’re using your personal residence or whether you have multiple listings. The assumption that you’re not doing a service to your community in the process wouldn’t be accurate in all instances. We have amazing reviews and they just continue to pour in. I’d like to believe I’m doing a lot of things correctly.
thank you for your community spirit. i wish that we’re true everywhere.
your story could be very helpful tomany localities if any others like you stepped forward to show other communities how to create a “win-win” in theirs.
What do you propose as a compromise
Well said, Alicia, from another point of view--- that of the "working to make this increasingly bigger business of mine personal", not the Impersonal Corporate " I'm only in it for the money" viewpoint.
@Alicia427 I do understand that not all hosts with multiple listings are just faceless property managers who don't have some presence around their guests. But the category we're proposing has to do with hosts who share their homes or live on the same property - the original concept of Airbnb- that you stay with a host who is present on the property and have a fair amount of interaction with the guests- they're almost like short term roommates.
Having a category like that would allow guests to easily choose that type of accomodation if that's what they're looking for.
Having a category for that would in no way disavantage you or your listing. Hosts like me and the others weho would like that category are being overrun with entire house listings run by hosts who have multiple properties- we're just wanting a chance to stand out in a category or filter for the type of guests who fit the type of accomodation we offer.
Isn’t there already a filter for that? What are you looking for? An entire house? A room? An apartment? When I have traveled, I have had to sort by housing type. Sorting by that housing type should give you the same results, shouldn’t it?
i was just reading the messages and got the feeling that the idea was situated around more than just the housing type. Also our listings have specific answers regarding our interaction with a guest. My husband and I are usually the one maintaining the grounds, plowing the drive, dropping off extra towels or anything else a guest might request. We always explain we are only a call or text away. Most of our listings are actually only 1 Mile from our full time jobs and we can get up and leave them whenever we need to so they are completely aware that they may see us and they may interact as much or as little as possible.
Also the comment above regarding the category carrying a connotation of helping communities and freeing up housing. I’m just adding that it shouldn’t carry that connotation because it’s not actually a factual representation of hosts who rent rooms vs hosts who rent whole houses or have multiple properties. I believe we all offer something unique.
If you couldnt already sort by Home style/size- I would understand the need for the filter - not just for the host but also for guests to quickly locate the type of home their are looking for.
I think I can offer a similar experience as that of a person who rents a single room.
Alicia, you are missing the point!
I don't doubt you are a caring host who is always contactable....within the constraints of running 8 properties plus a business!
Almost every guest I have at some point in the stay will knock on the door and say...."Any chance of another couple of slices of bread for the toaster" or some other little thing, can they take the dog for a walk, use the barbeque, are there any barbeque utentils?.
No matter how good a host you are, living on site brings the opportunity to interact with the guest that is impossible for those who host remotely!
This is not a criticism Alicia....it's just a fact of life! I get to sit with guests in the garden and chat over nothing more than the fact that we can! Many nights are spent with guests in my wine cellar, I always get to give them a farewell hug.
As good as you are Alicia, I provide an experience that you cannot, and that is what the author of this thread @Leslie7 wanted to get across and what the rest of us support!
@Alicia427 You are missing the point. Just because someone can filter for a room as opposed to an entire home doesn't mean there is personal interaction with the host. There are plenty of listings which rent multiple rooms to different groups of guests where the host doesn't live. And rooms in small hotels as well.
Being available to come by if the guest needs something and mowing the lawn is quite different than having coffee and conversation with guests in the morning, inviting them along to a beach party with you and your friends, them enjoying bonding with your dog, walking around town with them pointing out various places of interest, sharing a meal and a bottle of wine and talking into the wee hours.
I read the original thread which made it sound a lot more like there’s no personalized experience if a person has multiple listings or whole home listings. If what you’re saying, is what the OP meant- sure I get that. It was after reading comments and reasons to support such a filter or feature that I got confused and maybe directed the wrong way. I am disagreeing with their supportive reasoning in an overall sense in regards to community/housing/and cookie cutter type experiences.
I like the idea that such a feature would allow a guest to choose that type of Bona-Fide Airbnb that offers a bed and breakfast experience and a meet/greet type atmosphere and don’t believe such a filter would have an affect on my listings since I don’t have many guests who appear to be interested in sharing a coffee with me.
With respect to your efforts and your view point, whether it’s a room in your own home or your own entire house that is being rented to guests the critical point here is that those of us who rent out rooms and/or our entire homes are inviting people into OUR homes! Regardless of the great personal touches you may provide, it is a totally different experience, for both host and guest, to be invited to stay in someone’s private home. The personal connection — and the personal vulnerability — is completely different than the experience of renting out properties that are NOT your home. Some guests will purposely choose the more impersonal situation, some will want that personal connection with the home owner — and some won't care, but to be fair to those who respect and seek the experiences of the original intent of Air BnB, there must be a clear designation and distinction between the various properties and I feel it is incumbent upon the hosts and the guests using the Air BnB platform to make sure the unique experiences of that personal connection are not lost to the corporations and multi-property hosts who have their own market in the guests who are actively seeking, or don’t care, about the “classic” Air BnB experience. Such a designation is unlikely to impact your situation since as the Air BnB clientele has grown, there are plenty of guests now who are happy with a less personal connection.
I'm with @Alicia! Being an entire home multiple listing host doesn't mean I am not able to "having coffee and conversation with guests in the morning, inviting them along to a beach party with you and your friends, them enjoying bonding with your dog, walking around town with them pointing out various places of interest, sharing a meal and a bottle of wine and talking into the wee hours."
In fact it happens many times, you could read it in many reviews I got from Ty Guests guests:
"he is on site ... meeting you IN PERSON (very important to me) and showing you all of the details of his wonderful house. We have had “good” experiences with off-site hosts, who provide easy check-in procedures. But there is nothing like meeting the owner who, in person, sincerely wants to meet his guests and is proud of his home."
"After driving us to and from the coast for a 2nd time and following a tour of the area, we sat with Olivier in the sun on the back verandah learning about Breton culture, history and just life. Moments to treasure as travellers from far away."
"Thanks again for lovely evening....thought it best not to mention in review, as then everyone will expect such an invitation :-) All the best to You"
It's not usual for me to be invited in my own home (yes even if I don't live in it, it's mine) by guests, or having them at home (where we live) for a dinner, or having a coffee in a downtown bar, etc. Perhaps that's why I'm fully booked most of the time.
My actual guest in Ty Kreiz is a jazz singer who offered me free entrances for her concert last saturday. I offered 2 to my other guests at Ty Guests (repeating russian ones who got engaged and married after a previous stay 2 years ago). After the concert we went all to a friend of mine house who was organizing a party for his birthday. They enjoyed it and even left the party after me.
As a guests I could verify being an onsite host renting a private bedroom doesn't necessary means you will have any personal interaction with the host.
With respect to your view point, whether it’s a room in your own home or your own entire house that is being rented to guests the critical point here is that those of us who rent out rooms and/or our entire homes are inviting people into OUR homes! Regardless of the great personal touches provided, it is a totally different experience, for both host and guest, to be invited to stay in someone’s private home. The personal connection — and the personal vulnerability — is completely different than the experience of renting out properties that are NOT your home. Some guests will purposely choose the more impersonal situation, some will want that personal connection with the home owner — and some won't care, but to be fair to those who respect and seek the experiences of the original intent of Air BnB, there must be a clear designation and distinction between the various properties and I feel it is incumbent upon the hosts and the guests using the Air BnB platform to make sure the unique experiences of that personal connection are not lost to the corporations and multi-property hosts who have their own market in the guests who are actively seeking, or don’t care, about the “classic” Air BnB experience. Such a designation is unlikely to impact the multi-property situation since as the Air BnB clientele has grown, there are plenty of guests now who prefer not being in someone’s home.