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Airbnb Launches Media blitz...with Bird Houses...

Airbnb Launches Media blitz...with Bird Houses...

Dec 20th, 2013, 07:04 AM
Join Date: Oct 2013
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The plural of 'anecdote' is not 'data'.

Sassafrass, of course there are people who rent who are no problem and of course there are owners who vet their renters. Of course there are also some of both who are a problem.

Writing about a good host or a good visitor is meaingless unless we are supposed to believe they are all good. The problem is that this market is becoming so big that it is impacting more and more people every day. So even if only 10% of them were a problem, it becomes a big number.

Like anything else where there is a buck to be made, there will always be people who look to exploit that. The original idea of Airbnb unlike other sites like VRBO for example was simple. If you own an apartment in New York, will be away for 2 weeks on business, why not rent it to a couple from Minnesota who would like to visit the 'Big Apple' for a week. Hey, that's a good idea, both win.

That was the original concept wesleymarsh but that is NO LONGER what is happening. Airbnb cannot control it and I am sure the owners know it has gone beyond their initial 'good intentions'.

Now, the exploiters come along and everything changes. They buy or rent 10 units or 10 houses and rent them out by the week to anyone with the money to pay. They don't CARE.
All this talk about making sure you don't rent to a frat party etc. is so much nonsense to them. It's about MONEY.

You suggest wesley that you would not rent from an owner who rents to frat parties. They would be 'dead to you'. What is that supposed to suggest? That no one else will rent from that owner either and so the problem will not exist? Frat parties will rent from that owner every week. They will look for the reviews that say, 'what a party house' and book eagerly. Don't be naive in thinking negative reviews of that kind mean the owner will lose business.

I would suggest a simple test. A house in a residential neighbourhood being rented through Airbnb results in 20 neighbours on the block all signing a letter to Airbnb saying they do not want such rentals on their block. What do you think Airbnb's response would be? To refuse to list the property? I think not. If it were that simple, there wouldn't be an issue making the news all over the world.

Airbnb, could easily issue a statement that says, 'we will not list a property anywhere that we are advised is an illegal rental or that a majority of neighbours are opposed to'.

Instead, Airbnb is fighting New York and other locations to allow what clearly is not welcome and/or legal.

PalenQ, I don't have a problem with my condo. None have been allowed to stay more than 1 night. I wasn't complaining about it happening from my perspective but giving an example of how it could affect a person renting without determining if the owner could legally rent to them.

Sassafrass, somewhat off topic but re who is the customer, I spent all my working life involved in sales & marketing. Any good salesman knows s/he has only ONE customer. If you buy a new car battery from your local garage, you are the customer of the garage. The battery company's customer is the garage. Sure the battery company provides a warranty to you and they receive money from you through the garage but make no mistake about who it is the battery company sees as their customer. It isn't YOU. It doesn't matter if you pay the battery company and they give a percentage to the garage or if you pay the garage and they give a percentage to the battery company. There is only ONE customer for each of them.
dulciusexasperis is offline  
Dec 30th, 2013, 07:57 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
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We used airbnb twice this summer, once in Florence, Italy and one in Paris. Our experience in Florence was excellent, although I did wish that I had looked more closely at the map to see that "close to centro historico" was not the same thing as "close to the center of the centro historico," but that was definitely my failure to do my research.

Our experience in Paris was not so good, and we ended up giving up the place, losing our deposit and paying for a hotel instead. I won't go into details, but I felt that airbnb was definitely there to support the person who is renting out the unit, not the person who is staying in it.
cferrb is offline  
Dec 31st, 2013, 01:01 AM
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What's up with New York and AirBnb? The majority of renters in New York City will be upmarket, sophisticated Europeans who know to behave and just want to have a different experience and save some money on hotel bills.
MaisonPlague is offline  
Dec 31st, 2013, 07:47 AM
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What's up with asking what's up MaisonPlague?

Have you read the previous comments here? I think the downsides have been pretty clearly explained. Then there is the fact that New York has a law against rentals of less than 30 days. Is there a part of 'illegal' that you don't understand?

Even if the 'majority of renters in NYC will be upmarket, sophisticated Europeans who know how to behave', what do you suggest people who live next door to the place being rented to the minority who are not 'upmarket, sophisticated Europeans who know how to behave', do?

You got one thing right MaisonPlague when you wrote, 'save some money on hotel bills.' It's about money, with no regard for those who have to live next to these rentals. As it is about money, selfish is the word that comes into play. Concern for others goes out the window.
dulciusexasperis is offline  
Dec 31st, 2013, 11:48 AM
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No it's about a law in NY that many consider unfair and thus break it - no other community that I know of has that law - what is European cities had that law - no British B&Bs - at least classical ones where folks rent out spare rooms.
PalenQ is online now  
Dec 31st, 2013, 12:00 PM
Join Date: Apr 2013
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How come only New York has problems with Airbnb renters then? Seems there is a lot of paranoid people there about the folks next door. New York does have some funny old laws! Folks in Paris, London, Berlin etc seem to have no problems at all with the concept of Airbnb. Have you looked at Airbnb;s website at all? You will see that as a guest even one negative review from an apartment owner will mean that nobody else will ever rent to you again. As for saving money, well many people have better things to spend their cash on in New York than that city's shocking priced hotel rooms. You can still be poor and educated and well-behaved you know!!
MaisonPlague is offline  
Dec 31st, 2013, 12:37 PM
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I always thought the New York City law against short term rentals was simply because of pressure of the NYC hotels who want to limit alternatives to their outrageously priced accommodations. A straightforward business tactic of keeping the supply low and the price high; which works as long as you have City Hall in your pocket.

Of course the legendary NYC feeling of "entitlement" to low cost/rent controlled housing at the expense of the tax base and the rights of property owner' rights makes the apartment dwellers froth at the mouth when "outsiders" dare to intrude.
nukesafe is offline  
Dec 31st, 2013, 12:58 PM
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Nukesafe what I like about AirBnB is that it is pretty self-regulating - it you don't play the game and stick to the rules either as a apartment owner or a renter then you will be not be allowed to work or rent from Airbnb. It seems to work pretty well elsewhere in the world. It is a shame there are issues in New York.
MaisonPlague is offline  
Dec 31st, 2013, 01:05 PM
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Folks in Paris, London, Berlin etc seem to have no problems at all with the concept of Airbnb.

Actually Paris made an attempt at cracking down on short term (tourist) rentals because it is felt that it takes housing away from the long-term rental pool.
Michael is offline  
Dec 31st, 2013, 01:34 PM
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Then there is the fact that New York has a law against rentals of less than 30 days. Is there a part of 'illegal' that you don't understand?>

Have you ever crossed a deserted street in spite of it being 'illegal' (thinking it is in NYC as in most cities) - of course yes...enough said.
PalenQ is online now  
Dec 31st, 2013, 02:16 PM
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Look, some of you need to realize that there are not just 2 parties involved in this issue. Or if you realize it, stop trying to be obtuse and face up to it.

I have no problem with anyone trying to make or save a little money. As long as it is not done to the detriment of the innocent public.

Nor do I have a problem with someone renting a room in their home while they themselves are resident. That's called a B&B PalenQ, and NYC does allow that legally.

But when someone invests in a house or apartment in a residential town/building, with the sole intention of renting that property out by the day or week, without regard to how it might impact those living around that property, that's stepping over the line. That's why cities have zoning laws to regulate what kind of business can and cannot be opened in a given area.

Every comment in favour of Airbnb et al. comes from the point of view of an owner or a renter. They are NOT the only people affected. Now TRY to deny that or justify that with flip commments like 'walking across a street'. These lawbreakers are NOT walking across a DESERTED street.

If you own and LIVE in a house/apartment that is zoned residential, you have a RIGHT to expect certain things. One of those is not to have people renting out the property next door by the night.

If you could step out of your 'as an owner' shoes or 'as a renter' shoes, try thinking about it as if you were wearing 'a neighbours' shoes, you'd find it a very different perspective indeed.

All of this has already been said here MaisonPlague and I'll ask again if you have read the other comments and looked at some of the links provided. Clearly, this issue is not just about NYC. There are issues popping up all over the world, including Hawaii, Paris, Rome, Seattle, Los Angeles, etc. etc. etc.

The problem is that while the original idea of someone going to be away from home for a few weeks and renting out while they were away was fine when that is only going to happen once or twice a year, that idea has been rapidly overtaken by speculators.

One of the curses of the internet is that something can now explode in size, in a very short time. What's also one of the curses of the internet is that exploiters can jump on something hot very quickly and EXPLOIT what was perhaps originally a decent concept. Airbnb did NOT start out to advertise for landlords of permanently vacant properties for rent.

What Airbnb (and other websites) have done is provide a marketplace not only for reasonable people looking to make a few dollars or save a few dollars but for EXPLOITERS to find a way to sell their nightly rentals all year round. They are doing that to the detriment of those living around those properties and they are doing it KNOWINGLY.

Justify that.
dulciusexasperis is offline  
Dec 31st, 2013, 05:40 PM
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Pull out, digger. The dogs are pissing on your swag.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Dec 31st, 2013, 07:22 PM
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Hey - you're the Improviser!

Welcome back - we will talk soon!
Aramis is offline  
Jan 1st, 2014, 06:27 AM
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That's called a B&B PalenQ, and NYC does allow that legally.>

OK - that makes it a little better - I thought that was illegal as well in NYC and I can see your point in renting out units the owner does not live in or when they are away - but so so many cities around the world have found little problem with that -

WHY IS NYC SO SO DARN SPECIAL? What is the difference with New Yorkers from folks in so so many cities that do not seemingly have a problem with it.

I hope airbnb scrutinizes complaints and bans places where there are problems from being on their data base - ditto for renters and it seemingly does.

So do not throw the baby out with the bathwater - just clean up the bath water.
PalenQ is online now  
Jan 1st, 2014, 08:02 AM
Join Date: Oct 2013
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Well that would be fine if it were likely to happen PalenQ.

First, NYC is not 'special'. As already noted, the issue is coming up in more and more cities including Paris, Rome, Seattle, Los Angeles. It is however Airbnb's largest single market and in fact has 3 times as many bookings as their second largest which is Paris.

You have to consider as I tried to communicate, that this is growing exponentially. Airbnb alone now takes a booking every 2 SECONDS, 24/7.

You also have to consider that Airbnb is no longer under the sole command of the two guys that started it. They have multi-millions of dollars that have now been invested into their company and they have to answer to those investors.

Airbnb (and the others) are a business like any other. As I tried to explain to Sassafrass, their customer is the property owner. It made big news when they announced they were providing $1 million insurance for the owners after a story made headlines about someone's apartment being trashed by a renter.

So Airbnb covered their customer, the owner. They did not announce any insurance for the person renting. They did not announce any insurance for neighbours who ended up with someone disruptive next door.

They are quick to put a bad renter on their 'black list'. They are extremely slow to put an owner on such a list. They aren't even interested in hearing from a neighbour with a complaint.

No doubt, the majority of those who want to rent do not intend to bother anyone. No doubt, many owners are renting a room like a B&B or only occassionally when they themselves are away from their property. But there is a percentage that are in it only for the money and as full time businesses.

When you start booking every 2 seconds, that percentage however small starts to become a very large number. That is why there is an increasing number of complaints about this kind of rental.

It's not a case of throwing out the baby with the bath water. It's a case of the ogre has got in the bath with the baby.
dulciusexasperis is offline  
Jan 1st, 2014, 09:26 AM
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Well put!
PalenQ is online now  

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