Airbnb helps travellers find unique accommodations. It is an app designed for people looking for short to long-term accommodation. The user can actually book a room in someone’s home. Users can either opt to stay in a home with the home’s occupant or look specifically for locations that are unoccupied (such as a home that is empty because its residents are out of town). The user can save money by booking through Airbnb rather than paying for commercial hotel room stays. Users can also list their available rooms or homes as available to other Airbnb users to earn cash. When a room is booked, the user’s payment is held for up to 24 hours after they arrive to make sure that nothing is wrong and that the accommodations are as advertised. After the stay, both the host and visitor can leave feedback for one another that can be seen by other Airbnb users. The feedback system helps users find fitting accommodations and avoid potential issues, especially when staying with other people.
Airbnb was founded in August of 2008 by Nathan Blecharczyk, Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky. The application was intended to provide users with a space rental marketplace. The company is currently based in San Francisco, California and includes CTO Blecharczyk, CEO Chesky, Chief Product Officer Gebbia, Lead Engineer Nick Grandy, Board member Greg McAdoo, Technical Project Manager Brian Armstrong, Marketing lead Christopher Lukezic and Events Manager Karishma Shah.
Airbnb provides travellers with another way to find fitting accommodations. It is especially appealing to anyone who dislikes staying in traditional hotel rooms or people who have a problem finding a place to rent for a longer period of tiem. The site is also helpful for anyone who would like to make extra cash by renting out their available home, apartment or room.
The Airbnb website welcomes users with a white background, hints of silver and green and color images of appealing living spaces. Newcomers can see featured locations which change out to show more possible locations. The bottom of the page presents the user with links to friend referrals, contests and the how it works video. Each listing includes large, color images, a contact me button, rental rates, booking tool, the owner’s other listings, amenities, house rules and location descriptions. Links at the bottom of the listing let the user access reviews, friends and other property reviews.
Users are not required to register to search for accommodations on Airbnb. On the other hand he/she is required to sign up to book a stay or post an available location. This can be done by clicking the small blue “Sign Up” link found near the top, center of the homepage. The registration form appears at the center of the following page. A blue and white “Connect with Facebook” button is positioned at the top as well. Users who prefer to create a new account can do so by providing a first and last name, email address and password.
Airbnb does not charge a subscription or other fee for creating an account. All users can register and maintain access at no cost. Those who decide to host can list their property for free, however Airbnb deducts 3% from each successful booking the user makes. The application also handles all transactions and offers customer support as a part of membership.
Airbnb.com is ideal for travellers who want to stay outside of standard hotels. It is ideal for people looking for a place to stay for any period of time(few days, weeks, months). It is also a valuable resource for anyone who would like to rent out a property, room, apartment or any other accommodations that they aren’t using to earn some extra cash.