I can name at least 5 people in my circle of friends that have used Airbnb as a source of accommodation in their travels. I can name no one that has hosted people in their home. One of course does have to exist to facilitate the other, but why aren’t more people choosing to rent out their places?
Until recently I was one of them. The individuals that loved using airbnb to stay in people’s homes but were hesitant to let strangers do the opposite. One day though, I summoned the courage and made a listing for my home. Took some pics, wrote a blurb, and freaked out a tiny bit. A couple months later and my first guests arrived. A family from New Zealand that after several conversations back and forth with, I decided were not going to ransack my apartment.
You have to have a certain sense of trust in people to rent out your home. Meeting my guests to pass off the keys was a great help. You can get to know people virtually, but it will never be the same than greeting them face to face. For me that was important before I felt comfortable allowing someone to eat in my kitchen, lay on my couch, and sleep in my bed.5 days gone and my first hosting experience out of the way, I returned home. My place was cleaner than I left it and there was a lovely note on my kitchen table. On it was what made the whole experience worth it. They had left the warmest thank you followed by what exactly they loved about my place and the city. I also followed up with them and heard the tales they had and experiences they laughed about. I got to be a part of someone’s adventure. My place and I will always be a part of their travel story and I love that.
If you are scared or thinking about hosting, I say just get over it and do it. It is so worthwhile and meeting people from all over the world, if even just to hand over some keys, is always rewarding. Be selective, talk to people before accepting them, and don’t always feel the pressure to say yes. You are insured and have comfort knowing that even if it were to go wrong you are protected by the website. It is easy, fun and a great way to make some extra cash, and be a part of a wonderful community of travellers.