Thursday, July 23, 2015

What is Airbnb?


Airbnb (Air, Bed & Breakfast) is a portal or online platform,  which connects owners of some property which they want to rent, and people who are looking place for stay. In other words, Airbnb connects people who are searching for accommodation and people who want to rent to these strangers  their spare living spaces for some amount of money.
Airbnb is not for hotels, hostels or other commercial companies, but for private apartments for short or longer stay or single rooms, houses, boats, yachts, the offer is so wide that goes from castle to the ordinary couch. This is a very efficient way to rent the apartments for a longer or shorter period, both in major cities and in smaller popular seasonal destinations. Rental period goes from one, two evenings, weekends or for several days, to a whole year.
Usually owners rent their flat when goes to trip, or if there is a surplus of rooms but lack of money, some even bought the apartment for renting on this service.


The idea comes from Brian Chesky and his two friends Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk from San Fnraciska, who sought a way to rent their apartments when they are absent. They came to idea to create, then a small website, - Airbnb. The beginnings were very modest, but the idea was brilliant. Today Airbnb exists in 35,000 cities in 192 countries and has 350,000 renters and they are now billionaires.


Registration on Airbnb-in is completely free and everybody can do that. Potential client should make profile that with personal information, as well as the photo, very similar to profile on Facebook.
Owners make their own profil that contains a textual description and image of apartment. in the ad is integrated location on Google Map and Google Street View. In addition there are added ratings and reviews of those who had previously stayed on that place. This is very important because the comment and rate are the best and most relevant information. There are pictures of the owner, his contact details and all information related to this flat.

The apartments can be searched by several parameters:

  • type of property - apartments, rooms, houses and so on.
  • housekeeper info
  • location
  • capacity of apartments, ie how many guests can be stayed
  • by date of check in and check out,
  • at the range of prices,
  • by equipment of object (furniture, internet, TV, etc.).
After these steps, client sends the request and when the owner confirms the reservation, desired space is booked after potential guest pay to Airbnb via the Internet, payment card or through PayPal. Airbnb keeps the money until the moment when the guest appears. In this way, owner is safe if the client cancels reservation, and customer is assured in case accommodation is not as described. If the customer does not appear, the money will still be removed from his account (or some percent), and the right of return is possible only if cancellation is made on time. Service of Airbnb is 10 percent of each transaction. You can book you apartment by yourself in direct contact with owner, but then you are at risk to lose security that Airbnb.


For owners:

  • Economic gains. This is good opportunity to earn some money. Instead you whirring empty apartment or house so you can publish them and add to your budget.
  • Chance to introduce other people and cultures. This is a good chance to meet people from all over the world, which you will never meet in everyday’s life. Some people like to socialize and offer their hospitality to people from distant and unknown countries just to introduce new experiences

For guests

  • Lower prices in most cases cheaper than in classic hotels and other facilities
  • Better location hotels are located in tourist areas, which are more distant from the places worth for visiting. To introduce some place sometimes is better to be placed somewhere closed to the locals, not tourists,
  • Friendships’ with the owners - this is priceless. The hosts are "ordinary people", they usually do not approach to visitors cold and professional, but are willing to share with their guests local places and experiences.
  • flexibility of booking - sometimes hotels are too bulky, with all these reservations, "bookings", and all hierarchy. If you make reservation via Airbnb's you will be spare of abusing and complications because everything can be done over internet.


  • Safety and Security. Inconveniences are certainly possible. Each owner and guest must have their own profile on Airbnb just for security reasons. Care is necessary on both sides, it is recommended to read comments and ratings. Some of the guests steala or damage belongings in apartment. Airbnb can not completely guarantee that this cannot happen.
  • Untrue description of property As with any ad, it does not take for granted.  
  • Competition. Hotels and other establishments are sensitive to Airbnb, and are actively lobbying to limit its operations.
  • Country - direct transactions between private individuals involves bypassing tourist taxes and the state does not like to be excluded from the market and to remain free of its cakes, so that in some states passed laws to restrict  Airbnb business.


In Serbia, there are plenty of individuals who have empty houses, flats and apartments that can be rented and brings some profit to owners. Most of them are in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Kopaonik, Zlatibor and other places. Airbnb is present but not on at such a level as in others countries. There are local portals that have been working for a long time, they have enviable reputation and they are very strong competition which can not be easily denied.