Let me begin by stating for the record that I believe in Airbnb; I respect the founders; and I like the values of the company. Airbnb continues to save my home everyday and I’m grateful. For over four years, I was a loyal Airbnb host.
I am cheating on them. No, I’m not taking money from their pocket. Well, perhaps I am in a way. The boundaries are a bit blurry. I can say in my defense that the cheater always has a reason to cheat
Here is my story:
I knew other hosts who have been using other platforms, but I was a hard core Airbnb loyalist. Loyal, that is, until I didn’t have a booking for the 4th of July weekend. Yes, me. Yes, totally open for 4 days. Yes, 4th of July. Unreal and unacceptable.
Hosting is my main source of income, and mama’s got bills to pay. If my space, especially the 2 bedroom apartment, isn’t booked, it’s costing me money. The summer is also the high season and the time to save for those lean winter months. Seeing those empty room scared me, and I realized:
My loyalty was costing me money!
First, I was approached by Wimdu. They were tempting, as they did the hard work of creating the account, but – nothing happened. Now the seed was planted, and I searched out other sites, from VRBO to Booking.com. In the end, I decided to try Flip Key. I said to myself, I’ll only add the 2 bedroom to see if anything happens.
November and December, beyond the holidays, can be strange months for home sharing. They aren’t busy like the summer months, but they are not as quiet as January, February, and March. When a December inquiry came in, I didn’t hesitate. I am a trained host and did what any good host would do. I communicated immediately. Within 24 hours, I had a 6-night, 5 person booking. Yay for me!
Was it more work? Like everything in life, there was a learning curve – but Flip Key has a number of features that I like – such as:
- Easier photo layout and organizing
- Seasonal rates
- Host-Friendly calendar
What is the lesson here?
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
The amount of hosts on the Airbnb site doubles each year. That’s how fast this home sharing economy and Airbnb are growing and so, I cheat.
Now is your turn to admit your cheating ways. Tell me in the comments below. Are you a monogamous host? Are you cheating with multiple companies? Any preferences? Which one is giving you the most bookings?
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Remember, at the end of the day, YOU have to protect yourself, your business, and your pocket.
Have a great week! And as always, Happy Hosting!