It was the year 2014; amidst political protests shaking Brazil, the World Cup would finally begin.
Although I am an ardent football fan, I never thought this event would have any impact on my life apart from some cool games and parties in my city.
Porto Alegre is a quiet city in the south of Brazil; although it has 1.5 million inhabitants, it can be considered quiet because of the countryside feel and the tranquillity that persists in many neighbourhoods. It is not a place where you see many foreigners and, therefore, this was an event that brought many expectations.
I was a simple law student and trainee in a legal firm at that time, I was still living with my parents, when I thought: "how can I make some money from all this?” The idea of hosting tourists was the first to come to mind.
Without ever having heard of any service of this kind - I always stayed in hostels when I travelled - I typed into Google something like "how to host people in your home". The site at the very top looked interesting - AIRBNB.
To the horror of my friends and relatives, I decided it would be a good idea to let strangers into my house and to sleep in the next room - and even in my own bed. And my parents, to my own surprise, agreed with the idea.
Then came a group of two Uruguayan couples, travelling from Montevideo to Porto Alegre in an old Ford Ka, and then came Brazilians and Peruvians.
To my friends' amazement, none of the terrible predictions that my house would be ransacked, destroyed or that I would be stabbed at night came true. So why not continue hosting after the World Cup?
This was the wisest decision of my life; before long, I was watching my mother animatedly chatting to a Colombian about movies, to an Australian girl crying with a broken heart or to a family from Wales celebrating their eldest daughter's wedding - in the living room of my own home - become common and expected situations.
After 6 years and more than 400 bookings, there are dozens of good stories to tell and not a single problem to report. The truth is that bad news sells more, but most people are good and honest.
Airbnb's slogan is "belong anywhere". The most obvious idea is to think that it is about the guest belonging anywhere when they travel and are warmly welcomed by an unknown host. Obviously this is true, but I have no questions, every host feels belonging to the place from which that guest comes from.
In the following years I quit law, started advertising other properties of mine, became co-host for several people, became an Expert and now I am the Portuguese-language representative of Airbnb hosts on the Host Advisory Board. I think and live the Airbnb world from the moment I wake up until I go to sleep. It was the best thing that ever happened in my life and, believe it or not, it happened almost by chance.
I want all hosts to be able to get to know me and feel free to contact me whenever needed. I am no one special, but a simple host who is still living the normal day to day life of our trade, with all the problems and joys that it brings.
I'm a huge supporter of the Airbnb brand - I understand and respect hosts who work with other platforms, but that's not my case - and I believe the company should be a partner and supporter of all hosts. Our business depends on the platform and theirs depends on there being hosts willing and happy to open their properties, but safe in the knowledge that they will have all the support they need.
The year 2020 was the most difficult year of our lives and, it seems, 2021 will not be easy either, but I am sure we will come out stronger than ever.
A hug to all the hosts, from this colleague who hopes to represent them well!
Vinicius De Franceschi
- Airbnb Superhost in Porto Alegre, Brazil
- Airbnb Expert
- Airbnb Host Advisory Board Member
@Vinícius0 Nice post, thanks for introducing yourself.
I do wonder, though, how the host advisory board members will represent hosts around the world, when there has been no process put in place for hosts to submit information to you as to what issues we would like to see addressed.
Hi @Sarah977 !
Me and all other members of the Board are hosts ourselves - so, we face the same problems you do.
Besides that, we are always in touch with local clubs and communities. At last, feel free to send a direct message to me!
Bom dia Viniciopor nos representar precisamos muito de ajuda sempre!
ainda que as locações está muito baixo
no momento zero.
mais confiante e firmes no Airbnb
Um grande abraço !
SFC .SC .
Hat off! Your cheerful mood lifts the Airbnb spirit.
I’m so pleased to see you accomplishing great thing, I really admire your perseverance.
“ I believe the company should be a partner and supporter of all hosts. Our business depends on the platform and theirs....... “ 👏👏👏
Best wishes to yours future successes! Way to go...👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻
I find it completely irrational to position yourself to be adverse to using other platforms.
I hope there is a balance on the host advisory board members panel, it's not healthy to have solely a panel of fanboys, someone is needed with parrhesia.
I respect your point, but from my perspective is to avoid putting down the other person's ideas and beliefs.
Has you hear the tale of ” Sour Grapes” ?
One upon a times, A hungry fox noticed a bunch of juicy grapes hanging on the vines in the garden. She wanted to eat, but could not enter the garden.
The fox tried several times across the garden fence, but failed to pick grapes. In the end the fox gave up, but she insisted that she didn't want these grapes at all, because they were probably sour.
Nowadays, when someone “can’t eat grapes, say grape sour”, it means that they think something is not important just because they can’t own it.