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How to Protect Yourself on AirBNB

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF ON AirBNR AirBNB was created with one goal: to connect travelers with locals who had a spare room to rent. Recently, the service has seen explosive growth and has received signi- ficant publicity. Here are just some of the impressive statistics that Airbnb has accumulated since launching in 2008. Number of Nights Booked Venture Capital Raised 2,000,000 $ 11,000,000 Number of IPhone App Downloads New listings every day 1,000 160,000 Growth in 2010 880% Longest Reservation 200 nights As Airbnb grows it faces new safety and privacy concerns. Shortly following accusations of scammy marketing tactics, Airbnb made negative headlines again when renter EJ lived through a host's worst nightmare. Freelan- ce writer EJ rented her San Francisco apartment returned to find it ransacked and filthy, her perso- nal valuables and identity information stolen. Airbnb's response throughout the ensuing investi- gation raised questions about how the company for a week while she was in New York City. She TIMELINE OF RECENT EVENTS incidents. Recently, Airbnb announced new secu- rity measures and insurance for hosts against damaged property. would handle EJ's situation and prevent future MAY 2011 May 30th Techcrunch reports that Airbnb is raising a new round of funding. One day later, a blogger claims that Airbnb is using craigslist spam to grow their SPAM business. JUN June 29th EJ posts her story about her 2011 apartment being ransacked by an AirBNB customer. She connects with AirBNB customer support who files an investigation on her behalf. %24 July 24th AirBNB raises $112 million from leading venture JUL 2011 capitalists to grow their business. July 27th The story is picked up by Gawker News and mentioned on Techcrunch. Within hours, it is shared by news outlets all around the country. Co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky responds on Quora. TechCrunch July 28th Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky posts a response on TechCrunch saying that they have a suspect currently in police custody. July 29th EJ posts a follow-up story titled: Airbnb Nightmare: No End in Sight. Gawker news reports that Airbnb tried to keep EJ quiet July 31th Another Airbnb and take down her user who was victimized in blog posts. Michael Arrington of mid-April tells his story on TechCrunch. Techcrunch writes another post mentioning that Airbnb has contacted EJ multiple times with offers to help any way they can, but she still remains homeless a month after the incident. இதற்் AUG 2011 August 1st Airbnb offers an unconditional apology and a $50,000 Insurance Guarantee against future events like this. What can you do to prevent this happening to you? Obviously, one should use caution when renting to strangers. But when the potential for new friends and extra cash outweigh the risk of houseguests from hell, there are things you can do to make the whole process safer. Here are five ways to protect yourself when hosting on Airbnb. Google Do a Google Search When an interested guest contacts you, do a Google Search to find out if you're dealing with a real person. EJ's renter identified him or Check on the person on social networks Find the person on social networks herself as "Dj Pattrson," a likely pseudonym with sus- picious spelling. to verify identity and check that he or she is connected to a community. Airbnb offers the option to check for mutual friends on Facebook. 3 4 Look at criminal Conduct a Look through criminal records databases to make sure you records databases won't be harboring a fugitive or inviting a registered sex offen- der into your home. Just background check Conduct a background check. Just as if you were renting your space long term, you probably want to know certain informa- tion about your short term boarder. From publically availa- search for "criminal records" on Google to find some good ble records, you can find infor- opportunities. mation about a person's dri- ving history, previous employ- ment, bankruptcy, and more. New Safety Features on Airbnb On its website, Airbnb offers several new safety features, as well as tips for a suc- cessful stay once the reservation is made. For example, hosts can now set "customer trust parameters"-such as verified phone number and location-and only accept reservation attempts from guests who meet those requi- rements. In its safety tips section, Airbnb recommends hosts ask potential guests for the details of their visit, and in turn provide full details about the rental space. RBNB

How to Protect Yourself on AirBNB

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Rapidly growing as a presence in international hospitality, Airbnb boast a number of impressive statistics. However, safety is increasingly becoming a concern in light of recent events.


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