Airbnb: new community, new economy
Dream of a romantic pied a terre in the middle of the city? Want a quirky place to stay in style? Like cooking for yourself? Can’t afford a hotel?
There are many reasons that someone might book a short term sublet apartment on AirBnb. Somewhere between couch surfing and staying at a bed and breakfast, AirBnb has managed to create a new real world resource out of existing city space - apartments and houses already owned and occupied, but temporarily vacant.
The impact of this site on local urban economies has been astronomical with over 25,000 listings at the moment in 192 countries around the world. Though the community of tenants and landlords connect online, the company is praised for creating a love for face to face relationships and mutual respect. Lodgers can expect their host to give them tips about their favourite places in the neighbourhood and how to get around, travellers ask questions of their hosts that encourage them to see the city through new eyes.
An online community has created a bridge for a new type of international community, that shares space and information about their cities with one another.
“As a company, we learned very early on that what makes collaborative consumption work, is trust. To meet people in person, get to know them. We opened those offices, not for marketing, not to grow the market that we already have in those cities - we actually opened them to better serve the existing hosts and travellers we have in those cities. The more trust we can build, the better our platform and the better our marketplace will work." - Lukesic