New York City Cracking Down on Small Airbnbs

This article was originally published on QZ.com.

Shortly after Nan Doyle stepped out for brunch on Labor Day, three men with badges rang the bell to her apartment in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood.

Doyle’s Airbnb guest answered. He was staying with her in the three-story brownstone she bought with her husband in 1998. The badged men asked if they could speak with the owner and, when the guest said she was out, they asked whether he was renting the apartment. The man said yes, he and his family had booked it through Airbnb. The badged men then asked if they could enter to inspect the building’s sprinkler system, which they said might violate New York City’s building codes. When the Airbnb guest refused, they wrote out four civil summonses. Continue reading “New York City Cracking Down on Small Airbnbs”

How a Simple Excel Spreadsheet Saved us from Chaos!

How a Simple Excel Spreadsheet Saved us from Chaos!

When we first started hosting with Airbnb several years ago, things were simple.  We rented just one room and we only booked about 50% of any particular month.  And almost everyone stayed at least a week so our months were generally spent hosting 2-4 separate guests.  Then we decided to put our other guestroom on Air and things got a little busier, but still manageable.

As Airbnb became more popular, we got busier.  We raised our prices and the long 1-2 week stays morphed into 2-4 day stays.  It seems at higher prices, people can’t afford to stay as long!  Continue reading “How a Simple Excel Spreadsheet Saved us from Chaos!”

We Offered Our Garage… and then they expected us to…

parking violationWe live in a town just on the other side of the Hudson River from New York City – so 99% of our guests are people who are coming to visit New York but don’t want to pay $400 per night NYC hotel prices.  Can’t blame ’em!

Well, one of the problems being anywhere near any big city is parking.  New York is no exception, and we here just on the other side of Manhattan are no exception either.  Last year most of our guests were from overseas – Europe mostly.  But with the dollar so much stronger this year than last we’re getting more domestic guests than ever.  Because of that, we’re getting more and more people who are driving here.  Which is presenting a big of a problem for us and for them. Continue reading “We Offered Our Garage… and then they expected us to…”

We Just Lost Superhost Status – What a Relief!

We knew it was coming, because our top-level rating had dropped below 80% for the first time ever!  We’ve been Superhosts for nearly two years and considering the run-down block we live on, it’s just a testament to the love and care my wife puts into keeping everything sparkling clean and wonderful for our guests.

Airbnb Superhost

We saw the rating dip just below 80% about a week before Airbnb would perform their next Superhost review, so we knew this was coming.  But suddenly we had such a sense of relief!  No more will we have to be so impeccably clean and buttoned up out of fear of losing the status.  We’ve already lost it. And now that we’ve lost it, we’re not even sure of its value.  We’ve already gotten two new reservations for January – the slowest month of the year – and a third serious inquiry for January as well.

Continue reading “We Just Lost Superhost Status – What a Relief!”

This Airbnb Guest Got an Immediate Rejection

Here’s a message we received when we first woke up this morning from a prospective Airbnb Guest:

Hey! I am a traveling model and Ill be in NYC the 14th through the 19th. Im interested in booking your room for the time but the thing is I get in super late (like 1-2 AM) the evening between the 14th/15th, and I have two male safety escorts who would be with me as well. I was wondering if it was still possible to book the room.

erica-airbnbDo you see anything wrong with that?  I probably wouldn’t have either if I hadn’t read numerous stories online recently of Airbnb hosts getting the surprise of their lives when they discover one of their guests is prostituting right in their own home!  Continue reading “This Airbnb Guest Got an Immediate Rejection”