If it’s your first-time using Airbnb, fear not! Here are some of the most Airbnb frequently asked questions by first-time users of Airbnb before you make your first booking. You’ll become an expert in no time.
- What is Airbnb?
- What Does Airbnb Stand For?
- How Does Airbnb Work?
- Who Are Airbnb’s Competitors?
- How Does Airbnb Verify Users?
- How Do I Contact Airbnb Customer Support?
- Does Airbnb Do Background Checks?
- Will Airbnb Refund Service Fee?
- Can You See and/or Contest a bad Review By An Airbnb Host? How?
- Who Can See My Airbnb Profile?
- Airbnb Host Accusing Me of Causing Damage?
- Airbnb Host Not Responding After Booking?
- Should Airbnb Guests Clean Be Leaving?
- Should Airbnb Provide Toilet Paper and Towels
- How Does Airbnb Work To Get keys?
- Wrapping Up
Here are some of the most Airbnb frequently asked questions by first-time users of Airbnb.
What is Airbnb?
Airbnb is an online marketplace which lets people other wise known as hosts or Airbnb hosts to rent out their properties or spare rooms to guests. Guests are also known as Airbnb guests.
This is the main difference that it connects regular people, the hosts who have spare rooms or property to earn extra income in the form of short term rent.
Airbnb enables guests to book unique home stays from local hosts, saving them money and giving them a chance to interact with locals.
What Does Airbnb Stand For?
It stands for Air-bed and breakfast, or Airbnb (“Air-b-n-b”) for short.
How Does Airbnb Work?
Airbnb is a marketplace and works like other any other marketplace. There is 3 main steps, plus a further 2 steps.
- Listing: Airbnb host adds their property to the marketplace with photos, details, terms & conditions and availability.
- Booking: The Airbnb guest, if they like the listing. They contact the Airbnb host who can answer any any questions or requests. If the quest is happy, they can book the listings on Airbnb. And the host needs to approve this.
- Payment: The payment is handled by Airbnb. Airbnb charges flat 3% for the host on the final booking price and it charges form 0% – 20% transaction fees for the guest. Note: Payments must be handled by Airbnb, otherwise if not and something goes wrong with the accommodation. Airbnb does not have to help you.
Plus after your stay you are expected to leave a review. Remember the host can also leave a review on you the guest, which can affect how easy the next host will approve or disapprove you stay with them.
- Support: Airbnb offer support if there is a problem if the accommodation.
- Reviews: Hosts and guests can leave reviews on each other.
Who Are Airbnb’s Competitors?
Airbnb is not the first to be doing this but there are bigger companies that have adapted to be more like Airbnb as this industry continues to grows.
Some of the Airbnb competitors and alternatives.
- Tripping.com – The best single site for Airbnb Competitors in one place. Search millions of listings and/or list your own space for rent everywhere except on Airbnb!
- HomeAway.com – A newer Airbnb alternative platform in which travelers can browse and book vacation homes, and rental owners can manage bookings..
- Wimdu.com – A very similar service to Airbnb, primarily based in Europe but spreading quickly.
- OneFineStay.com – Offers upscale city accommodation for visitors while the homeowner is out of town, allowing homeowners to earn an extra income.
- VacationRentals.com – Part of the Home Away family of websites, this is another platform for homeowners to rent out their space when the’re not home.
- FlipKey.com – A vacation rental marketplace that enables users to find and book a place to stay through its web platform.
- CouchSurfing.com – Stay with hosts for free, usually in exchange for also hosting others on your “couch” for free.
How Does Airbnb Verify Users?
Here’s the Airbnb’s verification process.
- Take a photo and upload an image of your government-issued ID, such as your driver’s license or passport.
- Connect another online profile to your Airbnb account, such as a Facebook, Google, or LinkedIn account.
- Upload an Airbnb profile photo and provide a phone number and email address.
There is also the other safety feature that would be their review system. Simply, Airbnb hosts and guest leave reviews on each other. Receiving good reviews helps to be approved by future hosts.
How Do I Contact Airbnb Customer Support?
It can be difficult to directly speak Airbnb’s customer support.
Phone numbers are not always easily reachable / can be used only for emergencies. While emails are no better.
The quickest way to contact Airbnb and receive a quick response is via Twitter: simply write a message to twitter.com/AirbnbHelp and you will receive an answer within a few minutes.
Does Airbnb Do Background Checks?
The simply answer is No. All users of Airbnb identify themselves by uploading a verified ID (passport, driverlicence etc).
The users are also connect their Airbnb account to social network sites such as Google, Facebook or Linkedln.
Airbnb doesn’t collect any background information on it’s users. Users of Airbnb should pick hosts or guest with positive reviews.
Will Airbnb Refund Service Fee?
This depends, the service fee is refundable up to 3 times per year if you cancel within 48 hours of booking the reservation.
The service fee isn’t refundable if, at the time you cancel your reservation if it has been more than 48 hours since you booked the reservation.
Plus if you’ve already canceled 3 reservations within the last 12 months.
Can You See and/or Contest a bad Review By An Airbnb Host? How?
To see you’re reviews, they are on your personal page. You’ll know you’re on the right page when it says /user/show/ at the end of the Airbnb URL. When you have reviews, they’ll appear under your Wish Lists.
Airbnb review system lets a review to be pending for 2 weeks. This gives you the opportunity to write your version of the story. If replying to a bad review, explain your side of the story in a mature way, didn’t try and insult the host.
It also means that during 2 weeks you can receive other good reviews and once the negative review is published it already looked outdated.
Who Can See My Airbnb Profile?
Everyone can see your Airbnb profile. It’s public.
Airbnb Host Accusing Me of Causing Damage?
When a host finds damage in their listing, they must go to the guest to advise of the damage first.
If the guest denies knowledge of the damage, then the Airbnb host must go to Airbnb Resolution Centre to access the security deposit. And if Airbnb agrees that the information provided upholds. Then the host can claim for damages.
Note: All this must occur within 48 hours or before the next guest checks in.
One of the best ways to prevent this is when its time to leave, meet the host, let them look around and this should avoid any misunderstandings.
There is an Airbnb post here about this, that explains the process in more detail.
Airbnb Host Not Responding After Booking?
Most Airbnb hosts definitely care about the guests and their potential negative review. So most likely they do have a good reason why they are not responding. Be understanding.
Firstly, try to contact the host thought the Airbnb website so you have evidence of the effort. Also check the listing information the host may have sent you for any other contacts in event the host is unavailable.
Before contacting Airbnb support centre, try to contact the host via all possible means – Airbnb message / email / text and call just so if there is a potential dispute, you’d have the proof of you reaching out.
After that fails, then you need to contact the Airbnb support centre via the contact number in the country you are visiting.
The Airbnb centre will try to contact the host. If still no success they can contact the nominated next of kin. If that fails, Airbnb will try to resolve it by either helping to found another place to stay or a refund.
Should Airbnb Guests Clean Be Leaving?
Yes, you should tidy the rooms and clean the dishes before leaving. You not expected to clean the place but to leave it in a reasonable condition.
Been a good guest means getting a good review therefore making it easier to get future bookings.
Should Airbnb Provide Toilet Paper and Towels
Again the simply answer is Yes. There is an Airbnb post on this that can be viewed here. That covers what the hosts should provide.
And this includes essential amenities such as toilet paper, soap, linens/sheets, and at least one towel and pillow per booked guest.
How Does Airbnb Work To Get keys?
From my experience, the 3 most common have been.
- You meet the host or someone else near the Airbnb to receive the keys.
- Keys are locked in a key box which opens with a code. Code is provided to you ahead of time.
- Keys are hidden somewhere near the front door.
Finally, Airbnb offers a wide range of properties to rent in the short term. Knowing what to expect and what to do if something goes wrong, will help make your enjoy your upcoming trip.
And that’s it for now! I’d love if this post on Airbnb frequently asked questions for the first time guest users was helpful to you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know what you think if you have used Airbnb.