The Good , the Bad and the Ugly of AirBnB Service
AirBnB originally started as an air bed in the founder’s apartment. From this original idea, it blossomed into a convenient service that helps travels all over the world. It has over 3 million locations already listed. In the spirit of UBER, this service lets the user inform tourists that they are renting out a room. No longer will tourists be forced to sleep inside shady hostels. They can rent out a room in a respectable home, instead of staying in an overpriced hotel. This company is hosted in Silicon Valley. This is designed to help tourists feel like locals. The service will also allow locals to share their input on their community, and the social life in that area. For example, any tourists company can offer a tour of a museum. AirBnB, can get you a guided tour from a person who was actually alive, and new the artists in person. The entire focus of the project is to provide the extra knowledge that can only come from a person who has lived in the community, who has lived in the culture of the area. Before being allowed to enter the AirBnB service applicants have to pass a rigorous application process. This will enhance the experience of the travelers, while keeping them safe. Each experience is highly tailored toward your needs. The service is designed to help costumers take control of their travel experience. Before a listing gets uploaded, the company reviews the host’s credentials. They also send people from the company to test out the experiences. If the service is particularly boring, or not too awe inspiring; it will not get added to the list. Each host will also be helped to make a professional looking poster to advertise their home. It will also come with a trailer with all the pertaining information. Before you visit the home, you will already have an idea of what you are getting into. Naturally, this process is a bit pricey and time consuming. Though, it is a lot safer than trusting the host to do everything. Still, it is necessary for ensuring the safety of the travelers. AirBnB has already tried this approach in the early days, and it has paid off. It even invested in helping the hosts take better picture of the amenities they offer. The bookings soon took off. Landlords from the entire world, have also started putting rented homes on AirBnB instead. This has contributed to the housing shortages, and has driven rents up. The issue is that it is not the individuals who are renting out homes. Rather, property owners are dedicating entire building complexes to AirBnB. In a sense, those buildings are becoming unofficial hotels and motels. They will find any excuse real or imaginary, to evict a person. They are hoping that the tenants do not have the legal knowledge or the resources to battle these illegal evictions. At other times, they just make it their business to bully their tenants out of their apartments or they will stop repair services. This problem is most pervasive in cities like New York. Legislators there are pressuring anti-AirBnB regulations. They have made it illegal to advertise temporary accommodations for less than 30 days, if you live in an apartment building. Those who repeat offenses can be fined $7,500. AirBnB is at the moment fighting this new law in court. This is not the only city that AirBnB has landed in hot water. In San Francisco, the AirBnB host will not be able to sell their space for more than 75 days out of the year. AirBnB has been campaigning against this proposition, but it is not going well so far. At the end of the stay, the guests and the hosts are rated. This rating system sounds cute, but it has racists’ allegations as well. Several studies have noted that black hosts have a harder time booking than whites. Chesky sent an email to its members bringing this issue into attention. Chesky does not want racist costumers. Still, this is an empty letter at best, seeing as though he cannot curb the behavior of his costumers. In the community commitment, he made people pledge to threat others with equality. Those who did not sign were not able to use the service. Chesky grudgingly admits that a lot of members chose not to sign this pledge. Chesky originally started this service with the belief that people were fundamentally good. Now, he is forced to face the grim reality. Even now, he is monitoring racism in his service. If a person denies bookings for people with great ratings, because they are Asian, the system will inform AirBnB. These instances of racism struck Chesky and his company like a ton of bricks. Like most people, he imagined that racism no longer existed. There is still racism in the US and abroad. AirBnB has just realized this sad fact. Aside with dealing with this problem, Chesky is doing lobbying to help spread this concept abroad. The company stands against racism and the eviction of people in the cities for the use of AirBnB. In San Francisco alone, the company was forced to remove thousands of listings. Home owners will lose the incentive to evict someone, if they are only allowed to rent the home for 90 days out of year. These new laws can cause other problems in the renting market, but AirBnb is trying its best to save its reputation. The company wants to be part of the solution.