Airbnb has taken off throughout the lodging industry in the past several years. Airbnb represents a shift in the travel industry and disrupting typical hotel stays. This is a topic that warrants some investigation.
Years ago, temporary lodging was simple. All lodging was handled by professional agents with years of expertise in the industry as well as knowledge of the area. Renting our your personal residence was virtually unheard of and quite frankly a little scary. Think Craigslist. Everyone had a place and a role. Things were simple. Hotels provided nightly stays and vacation type rentals and everything over a 30 day stay was a completely different category....Corporate Housing. A cost effective alternative to a longer stay in a particular location. Life was good.
Now, with the popularity of Airbnb rising, the confusion sets in. Airbnb made it possible to rent out an extra room in someone’s house or rent their whole house when they were not there. They operate in urban, and rural areas and are moving beyond the short nightly stays to renting out monthly. Airbnb is blurring the lines and making things confusing. Lets try to sort some of this out.
Service - Professional vs Private:
This is first because it is by far the most important. Airbnbs service is provided by the private individual. The benefit of this is that you could get a personal experience and learn insight from a locals perspective . The idea of Airbnb is that you can live like a local. However, a private individual may not be trained or capable of providing a quality hospitality experience. This means that you will get a very personalized experience, but there may be hiccups or slower response time during your stay. What if the individual is sick or leaves town? What if their standards are not the same are yours? While it might be quaint and personal, situations like A/C repairs or a firmer mattress request might not be able to happen or at least happen fast!.
Corporate housing is focused on providing service like a hotel. Consistency, a well trained staff, 24 hour maintenance, professionalism, and a seamless move in and move out, The corporate housing providers work with vetted management companies geared to service clients with high expectations and quick results. Corporate housing properties also come with an array of amenities. Everything from state of the art exercise facilities, resort style pools, dog parks, cafe's, and business center/meeting rooms.
Corporate housing is utterly professional. These are not people’s home or sublets. They are apartments that are owned or rented by a company that is furnishing them and renting them out full time as a business.
Regarding liability, There is little to base Airbnb liability on. Does it fall on the homeowner? Is there enough coverage? This raises many insurance questions. If there is an issue in an Airbnb, who is liable for the issue? Insurance companies sometimes have exceptions from coverage for home sharing - so will insurance cover an issue? Airbnb provides some insurance product, but there are many questions being raised about what that product actually protects.
Corporate housing is an established business model with clear insurance coverage. Any issues that arise have a plan in place. Corporate housing companies carry insurance specific to the industry. Renters insurance is always a good idea if you will be bringing any valuable items wherever you rent. .
Airbnb is usually priced nightly with a discount for a monthly stay. Corporate housing is often priced the same way but geared for stays 30 days or longer. This also waives the hotel tax in many states. Depending on the city where you are renting they are often similar in price. Corporate housing may be a little cheaper in many of the larger cities and offers perks like direct billing your company or charging your credit card. Additional items and services are a set price and always the same. Items in the apartments are owned, purchased in bulk and warehoused to keep costs down for the renter. This also makes it nice when you need a tea kettle and 7 extra blankets! I hope this gives you insight when making the choice of which option is best for you.
For more information please review our Complete Guide to Corporate Housing