If you haven’t had time to learn about all of the recent Airbnb news and updates that is understandable! The folks at Airbnb have been very busy recently so in this episode Jasper covers some of the biggest news regarding Airbnb.
For the first time ever, Airbnb is working with cities to restrict the number of days hosts can rent out their pad and although this will impact just two markets, Jasper believes this model could be coming soon to many of the biggest Airbnb markets around the world.
Jasper also discusses the new ‘Airbnb Experiences’ service which allows people to design and offer experiences to people visiting their city. You don’t have to be a housing host to offer an experience! Experiences are currently available in only 12 markets but if you live in a major city you may be able to create an experience right now. Listen for details!
Some of the topics covered:
Connect with Jasper
Email: [email protected]
This episode is sponsored by Hostfully.com where you can create a custom digital guidebook for your guests!
Complete Transcript for Get Paid for Your Pad Episode 111:
Welcome to “Get Paid for Your Pad,” the definitive show on Airbnb hosting. Featuring the best advice on how to maximize profits from your Airbnb listing as well as real life experiences from Airbnb hosts from all over the world. Welcome, we are you hosts Huzefa Kapadia and Jasper Rivers.
[Music] [Get Paid for Your Pad]
This episode is b rought to you by Hostfully the company that helps you make beautiful guidebooks for your listing. Make your own at hostfully.com/pad and as a special for Get Paid for Your Pad listeners, you get a free guidebook consultation after you make your first guidebook.
Episode number 111.
Welcome everybody; today I am going to talk about two subjects. First of all I am going to talk about some major new that just came out a few days ago and later in this episode I am going to talk about the new Airbnb experiences. So, first of all on Thursday, December 1st, I woke up to a major news headline in the Airbnb, that’s kind of shocked the Airbnb world a little bit. Because for the first time, Airbnb has restricted the number of nights that Airbnb hosts can rent out their spaces in two major cities, in two big markets, London and Amsterdam. The way that this is going to work is, in Amsterdam you’re only allowed to rent out 60 days a week. That is for full apartments or houses, entire homes, not for spare rooms but it’s for entire spaces. Airbnb is going to block you from renting out your place if you’ve already rented out for 60 nights in a particular year. And for London it’s 90 days. So this is the first time that Airbnb has agreed to work with the local authorities to actually restrict people from using Airbnb, and so that’s kind of a major thing because up until now, you know they’ve always kind of said that they would cooperate with local governments and local authorities but they’ve kind of refused to enforce those regulations on the platform. And so, this is the first time that they are actually doing this.
So, just to clarify, how is this going to go into effect? Well, I’ve heard two things. The fist thing I’ve heard was that it’s going to go into effect on January 1st, in London and in Amsterdam, but I also got an email from Airbnb where they mention that it’s going to go into effect in the spring. So Amsterdam, they say it’s going to go into effect in the spring. And so, let me just read the message that I got from the Airbnb team as a host in Amsterdam, so you can hear what they are communicating.
So the email I got:
Airbnb hosts in Amsterdam make a positive contribution to the city by welcoming guests into their homes and showing them the very best of what Amsterdamer’s love about their city. We want to help ensure that home sharing grows responsibly and sustainably and makes Amsterdam’s community stronger. We are introducing a change to our platform that will create new and automated limits to help ensure that entire home listings in Amsterdam are not shared for more than 60 days unless hosts confirm that they have the required permission to share their space more frequently.
Hosts will also soon see a new day counter on their dashboard to help better track and limit home sharing activity. The new tools will be introduced from the spring of 2017 onwards, we are taking this step to ensure that the Airbnb community continues to thrive in Amsterdam and that our platform is promoting responsible home sharing.
The Airbnb Team.
So, if you rent out a spare room in Amsterdam or London, you will still be able to do that for the full year. This only applies to entire homes and since Amsterdam and London are the first cities where Airbnb has agreed to do this, I think this will set an example for other cities. So, that’s why I wanted to talk about it because if you’re hosting some where else you might think, “well, that doesn’t really apply to me,” but I think there’s a good chance that this model will be implemented in other major markets where the cities are not very happy with the current ways that people rent out their homes. I’m talking about New York, I’m talking about San Francisco, Paris, you know, Berlin, these are all big markets where there’s a little friction between the city and Airbnb.
And so, if you are in one of those cities, then you know you could be seeing a similar type of regulation or similar type of limits that will be put into place in your town as well, so you can kind of prepare for it. And I’ve been preparing for it, I’ve talked about it on the Podcast before, I kind of saw this coming. I knew that you know renting out an entire home, full-time, was eventually going to get restricted somehow. And so, I’ve already started you know sort of planning my next move. I’ve talked about it before, I’m thinking about either selling my house and moving my Airbnb business else where but there is a second option that I’m now considering. And I can’t remember if I’ve talked about this before but so, I have a two-bedroom apartment, and since your still allowed to rent out a spare room, I figured that I you know could rent my apartment to somebody and have that person rent out the spare room or I could rent out the spare room and just agree with the person that I rent the apartment to that that person is going to live with Airbnb guests basically. And I’ve actually found somebody, a good friend of mine, I went to high school with him and I just had a chat with him actually and you know he’s open to this particular rental agreement so to speak. Because, it’s kind of a win-win situation, because for me, I still keep the advantage that I can stay in my own home whenever I’m in Amsterdam, because I can still block the calendar. And still make a better return on my house than if I were to rent it out long-term and also the third advantage is since I’m you know making this agreement with someone I trust, with a good friend, we would agree to a two-month notice period to end the agreement from either my side or his side. And so, you know I’m guaranteed that I’m going to be stuck with a renter in my house forever, because if you—the problem that I have with long-term rentals—you know somebody asked me actually in the Airbnb hosting group in Amsterdam, somebody that I was talking to on the Facebook group, she sent me a link to an internet website where you can find people who want to rent your place on the long-term. The reason I don’t want to do that, is because the laws are so in the favor of the renter, that you know, if I rent out my house long-term, there is just no way for me to ever first of all, stay in my own place if I want to but secondly even if I want to sell the house, it’s extremely difficult to get that person—get the renter out of your house. So this is just a risk that I don’t want to take, because you know what happens if, let’s say a year from now, I want to move to a certain country, and I want to buy a house, I want to settle down, and now I can’t sell my house in Amsterdam.
And so, this is the reason actually I think that a lot of people in Amsterdam who own homes, prefer not to rent on the long-term, especially the Dutch people who are aware of the laws and who know that they don’t have to leave, even if the landlord wants them to. So, it’s just not really an option for me. And so, these are the two options that I’m considering. Now I have to go through the calculations to see if this is going to be a you know a good option for me, like I have to see like how many nights do I expect to rent out the spare room, because I’ve never rented out a spare room before, I’ve always rented out my entire apartment. So it’s kind of new for me and I have to figure out and discuss with my friend, you know how much rent is he willing to pay? Because you know for him it’s also a good situation, because renting places in Amsterdam is pretty expensive, right? You’re looking at at least 1500 to 2000 Euros a month, to rent an apartment for yourself, and he’s not really willing to pay that. And so his options are basically to live in a small room or live outside in the suburbs, you know or work out something with me. So in this scenario, he would be paying a much less rent, he’d probably be paying 50% or even less that what he would normally pay to rent a space in the center of Amsterdam. And then on the flipside for him, you know he would have to do the check-ins and he would sort of lose his privacy by having to share the apartment with the Airbnb guests.
And so, I’ll probably make a decision on this in the next few weeks. And I’ll definitely record a Podcast talking about what I decided to do and how I’m going to do it. But these are the options so maybe some other people who are now in Amsterdam or in London are facing the same problem that I’m facing and they might be choosing from these options as well.
Hosts, I can’t emphasis how important it is to share recommendations or things to do or eat near your listing beforehand. Your guests won’t have to go through TripAdvisor, Foursquare or Yelp, they won’t have to scratch their head and think about possible places right in the moment. I’ve been using Hostfully to create an online printable guidebook to show my guests my favorite coffee places in Amsterdam. They use my recommendations and I am getting fewer questions from my guests as a result. I’ve also included screen shots of my guidebook on my Airbnb listing as a way to differentiate my listing from others. It looks very, very professional. So make your own guidebook at hostfully.com/pad.
The next thing I want to talk about is the Airbnb experiences. Because you know at the Airbnb open in Los Angeles a few weeks ago, Airbnb launched this new sort of platform, well it’s still integrated in the Airbnb app, but it’s different from the traditional home rental platform. Now you can actually, you can create experiences for tourists or for visitors. And you know I really think there is a huge opportunity here, because you don’t have to be an Airbnb host to create an experience. Anyone can create an experience, so you can create an Airbnb account and you can create an experience and start making money by selling that experience to tourists. And you know here’s—first of all let me talk about why I think it’s such a big opportunity. Well, when people go on trips, there’s always a significant difference in the experience that people have and that’s based on whether they know a local or whether they don’t know a local. If you ask somebody like, “hey, how was your trip to Bangkok,” for example. If you don’t know anyone then you’re just going to do the major tourists attractions, right? Let’s say you go to Paris, you go to the Eiffel Tower, you go to the Louvre, there’s all these things that everybody wants to see. And I’m not saying that it’s not cool to do those things, I think it’s definitely cool to stand on top of the Eiffel Tower and to see all the paintings in the Louvre, but the thing is, if you know a local then you just get to see the city in a different way. You know when you ask people about their holidays it’s always they know somebody or when they’ve met somebody, those are always the things that will get mentioned. It’s like, “oh I met this person in this coffee shop and he ended up showing me around and we went to this awesome little café and you know I had this traditional French dish and you know this was an awesome little restaurant and no other tourists were there,” and you know it feels special when you get to do something with a local, and it just makes the experience so much more memorable then if you were just to visit the tourists highlights.
And so, I really think that people want to have these experiences. Now, there are a number of platforms where you can already market these experiences. There’s this platform called Peak and this platform called Viable. And I’ve been following these platforms because I’ve always thought it was a good idea and I’ve always been interested in creating some experience myself, if I were to stay in one place for a longer period. But here’s the thing, these platforms are pretty new and there’s you know I don’t think there’s a lot of demand on those platforms. And so, it would be very difficult to sort of get some traction because of small demands. But what’s really interesting about this move by Airbnb, is that Airbnb there’s already a lot of people on the Airbnb platform. There’s millions of people that use Airbnb already and now when you plan a trip, you can implement experiences within your itinerary. So you book a place on Airbnb and now Airbnb will say, “oh now how about—here’s some experiences in the city where you just booked a place, how about you implement some of these experiences into your itinerary.” So there’s already a lot of potential demand for these experiences on the platform already and that’s why I think if you jump on that bandwagon now, because the way it works with platforms it’s always the same. Any online market place, the people who jump on the market place first, the people who create the first supply, those are always the people that end up doing really well. Because there’s just not a lot of competition. And this is especially the case with Airbnb experiences because there is already so much demand. So it’s literally the first people who jump on it, are almost guaranteed to do really well. So, I’m thinking about creating some experiences but it’s kind of difficult for me because I’m always all over the place, but if you’re interested in doing one of these experiences, well it’s not available in all markets yet.
So, Airbnb said that it’s available in 12 markets, and if you go into your Airbnb app, you can see those markets. But, I’ve noticed that if you go into—when I go into my Airbnb listing, now Amsterdam is not one of the places that they say they’ve launched the experiences, but if I go into my Airbnb listing, I actually see under host, if you go all the way down to the bottom, there’s a new tab, experience hosting. And when you click on it, you will be able to create an experience not just in the 12 cities where Airbnb said they had launched but there’s actually way more cities. I’m looking at it right now and I see a list of maybe up to like 50-60 cities or so. I see Amsterdam, Athens, Bangkok, Barcelona, Beirut, Berlin, Boston, Buenos Aires, so I’m not sure what happens if you create an experience in these cities, but it looks to me at least you can create one and even though they don’t advertise them maybe yet on the app you’ll probably go into some sort of [beetah] [?] launch I guess where you know Airbnb just finds people that want to take part in your experience, to test it or something. I don’t know exactly how it works but I do encourage you to take a look at these Airbnb experiences tab and see if your city is listed. And if it is, I would think about creating some experiences. And now to get some inspiration, because the big question of course is you know what kind of experience are you going to host?
Now, I think, where I would start is to think about what are you most passionate about? Because at the end of the day, what makes an experience really good? Well, it’s the passion, the passion that the organizer has for whatever you’re doing, right? I don’t know if you remember “The Crocodile Hunter,” he was tragically killed by a stingray a few years ago, but his name was Steve Irwin. And he was one of my favorite people ever, I used to love watching him on Animal Planet or National Geographic, because he had such passion for animals, right? And you know I would watch every single episode, not that I really cared about this rare type of lizard that he found somewhere in the middle of nowhere in the Australian desert, I didn’t really care so much about the lizard, but I just loved how enthusiastic, how passionate he was about finding this lizard. You know, and that’s what people want, people want to do things with other people that are passionate about something. That passion—you know we are very empathetic as human beings and so when somebody is very passionate and has a very positive vibe, that vibe transfers to you and you start feeling good as well. I think that’s why people are generally excited about people who are very passionate about something.
And so, I would think about you know, what do you like doing? What’s your passion? Is it art? Is it sports? Is it, you know, different types of beer, different types of wine? Is it hiking? Is it cycling? Whatever it may be, I would start with that. What do you enjoy doing? Because think about this, imagine—I was just talking to some of my friends in Los Angeles, which is one of the cities where it’s officially launched, and you know, these guys—they go cliff jumping every week. They just drive up to this little cliff, they live in Santa Monica, you know and then they just jump off the cliff a couple times and then there is this little restaurant near by where they have lunch. And I was talking to them about it, you know that would be an amazing experience. Like think about it, say you’re visiting Santa Monica, like what is there to do? Yeah, there’s lots of cool restaurants, there’s the beach, etc. but if you’re into cliff jumping, how cool would it be to go with two locals—two local guys who will take you to this cliff, who will jump off the cliff with you and then take you to this restaurant where you would have an awesome lunch? It’s such a cool day out. It’s so much more fun that just to walk on the boulevard and sit on the beach and stuff. And from the perspective of the organizers, so my buddies, so they could actually make some money. So, they’re doing something that they love anyway, that they’re going to do anyway and all the need to do is to create this experience and you know when people book it they just take them with them. So you’re doing something that you love and you’re making money with it and you’re meeting people from all around the world. So I really think it is a win, win, win situation, I don’t know how many wins there are but there’s a lot of wins in these equations.
So I think, I think really, it’s going to take off, I think it might be really, really big. And another thing you can do to get some inspiration for what kind of experiences you could create is to just go into the app, on your phone, go into the Airbnb app and look at some of the experiences that other people have created. So for example, if I—let’s look at the app right now, “Entertainment Experiences,” I see “DJ” and “Clubbing,” “Murder Mystery” and “hiking,” “Casting Call,” “Grand Master Go,” “Games and Puzzles.” That sounds pretty fun, I love games myself, so I’m just looking at the details. So, there’s somebody who will take you to all these different places where you can play games. Like there’s a welcome dinner, there’s an introduction to the games, oh this is about a particular game called “Go.” “Learn the game of Go and Play, go to Go Bar,” apparently there’s a special bar where you can play “Go.” So you know, this is something really specific, this is someone who loves the game of “Go,” and has created an experience about it. It’s very cool. Let’s look at some other categories. There’s “Sports,” there’s “Cycling and Neighborhood” experience, there’s “Martial Arts” and “Fitness” experience, “Mountain Biking,” and there’s “Bar-b-que and Surfing” experience, “Coaching in Sports,” “Surfing in Ocean,” you know. There are so many different things that you could do, especially if you start thinking out of the box a little bit. I see somebody here who organizes “Picnic and Good Vibes” experience, I want to see what this is about. So, this is in Los Angeles, and let’s look at the details, what we’ll do: “Unplug and explore yourself on a mindfulness journey, slow down your mind and reconnect with your body and breathe in a serene beach setting, interacting with like-minded travelers. Melanie will guide you through a variety of mediation exercises as you share travel stories and local recommendations with appetizers. Globally inspired small plates from local artisans.”
Okay, so this is somebody who lives in Santa Monica, and this person is going to take you to the beach. And you know, you’re going to meditate and have some drinks and have some appetizers and meet some other travelers. So, this is something that’s very simple, you know, you don’t need to be like an expert at something, you don’t need to have a degree or some sort of certificate to provide these types of experiences. This is something very simple. And it just shows that—because I’m sure a lot of people listening, they might think, well I don’t know what kind of experience I can create, I’m not really good at something, you know I don’t have the expertise or whatever. I think you really don’t need to, I think just connecting with a local person is already something special for a visitor.
So let’s just go through a few more of these experiences, I see “Horseback Riding,” I see a lot of “Hiking,” and here’s another interesting one, “Honey and Bees” experience, let’s check that out. So this is in London and let’s read about what we’ll do. “We’ll discover hidden green spaces where bees are living amid tower blocks and concrete. We’ll visit beehives tucked away from the gaze of city dwellers where we will learn about honeybees and many other bees that have made London their home. We’ll have a chance to help the bees by planting “bee-friendly” flower seeds and we will taste delicious honey’s from a variety of hives across the capitol.” Wow, I mean, that’s awesome. It’s funny to see what kind of experience people have created, because you know there are a lot of things that you wouldn’t necessarily think about.
Anyway, so you know go ahead and check these things for yourself, in the Airbnb app, and let me know if you happen to create an experience. Send me an email at [email protected] and I would love to interview some people who have already created and who have already sold their experience and had some guests take their experience. I would love to hear what their faults are and talk about it so if you are planning to create an experience or if you have already created one, please reach out, I would love to hear from you.
And so, that is pretty much all I have for today. If you have an instagram account, go ahead and follow me on instagram, I’ve gotten very active on instagram, I’m having a lot of fun with it, posting lots of pictures for my listing and I kind of show you like how I’m doing and how much revenue I’m making and different tips as well, some video’s sometimes. Lots of people—I’ve already gotten like 2300 followers and lots of people are interacting with me on the instagram, sending messages and commenting on things, so it’s really fun. So, if you do have instagram go ahead and follow @getpaidforyourpad, and of course you can also go to getpaidforyourpad.com for more information. I’m working on a big article by the way about Airbnb tools, because there are so many tools these days that it’s hard to keep track of what’s going in the Airbnb eco system. And so, I’ve decided to create a [huge] [?] post about all the different start-ups and how they work, how much they cost and what the benefits are. So this will probably be [life] [?] in a week or two so keep an eye out for that and next week on Monday of course I will be back with another episode of “Get Paid for Your Pad.” I’ve decided to be very consistent with this, this has been a little bit difficult in the past for me sometimes, but now—I’ve now put in a system where I am able to always pre-record these episodes so that I will always have one live on Monday morning, Pacific Time, about 6am I will be releasing every single episode. So, now you know that the—now at that time you can always go to either iTunes or you can go to [Stitcher] [?] or you can go to getpaidforyourpad.com/podcast and you can actually—well you can see the show notes but you can also listen to the Podcast on the website. So you don’t have to go to either iTunes or [Stitcher] [?] you can listen to the Podcast on the website, there is a player, embedded player on the page where I put the show notes. So, that’s it for today, thanks everybody for listening and we will see you next week on Monday. By bye.
[Music] [Get Paid for Your Pad]