How do platforms like Airbnb work?

Many owners are jumping on the train of Airbnb and similar platforms in recent years. The home and room rental website has completely revolutionized the travel industry and warned hotels that they need to keep up with their competition. But while Airbnb and the like can be wonderful, they can also be confusing for newbies. There are people who are not sure how to start renting their house or apartment, the taxes they must pay or the payment guarantees. Likewise, the users of the platform have doubts regarding payment in advance, guarantees of owners who do not know anything, etc. It sounds simple, but here are some things you need to know before getting started.

You may be breaking the law

Cities like Barcelona or Madrid have taken measures to control the rental of tourist apartments. Make sure to check local laws and consult the measures that the law of your city imposes on the building before renting your home.

You are protected

The hosts who rent are protected with an Airbnb guarantee. You can get information about the details here, but it essentially means that you are protected against major property damage when a guest stays in your home.

Couple in their vacation rental apartment

Things that are not protected

Airbnb is very clear on its website where it clarifies that «certain types of property, such as jewelry, collectibles, and works of art have more limited protections. Hosts may want to insure or remove such valuables when renting their venue, and may consider separate insurance to cover such items. «

You must have homeowners or renters insurance

There are many situations in which your own insurance will provide you with insurance coverage that Airbnb cannot.

Put many photos

The more photos you have (particularly those verified by Airbnb), the more inquiries your property will get. Make sure the images are clear and well lit, and show the distinctive personality of your home. Information is the key for both hosts and guests. Give potential guests as much visual information as possible From the beginning.

Compare prices

Most people don’t have much of an idea about what price to ask for their home. Do your research and see what other people are asking for in your city or neighborhood so don’t be afraid to put a competitive price on it. Once you set the price, let it be a process of try and go wrong. You can always raise or lower it according to demand.

Group of travelers and hosts

Give your guests some advantages

You are not a hotel, but you are a host. If someone is staying at your property, you can leave a map of the area or a list of recommendations on your city and favorite places. You can also leave a metro card for the local transport system. A little help is much appreciated when someone travels, and that will be shown in the comments after the stay, evaluating your home on the platform.

For guests

Not all hosts are real humans

Airbnb does a great job of eliminating scams and brokers from phishing, but they still exist. Make sure to read the hosts’ reviews carefully before booking. Many times, if a property seems too good to be true, it is. But in others they are scams that only wait for you to enter the money and then never give signals again.

Read star ratings, not just words

Many guests don’t want to be rude to a host. The words they use in their reviews they will be kind and soft, but they will be rated low in stars. Check both the ratings and the reviews, and draw your own conclusion.

Woman searching the internet

Do your own neighborhood research

Don’t always rely on a host to accurately describe a neighborhood or the distance to popular sights and attractions you want to visit. Research it yourself or ask your friends about it. Check it out on social media too. Arm yourself with all the knowledge you can before you go, so that you are not 30 minutes from the city center with hardly any urban transport to move around.

Ask all your questions

This is a platform created to allow guests and hosts to get to know each other before making a transaction. Seize it. Ask all your questions to a host and don’t be afraid to ask about the essentials of your stay. How are the neighbors? Are there noise restrictions? Clean bedding? Can you use the washing machine?

Choose an experienced host for your first stay

There is nothing worse than two rookies fighting together in the process. Pick someone who has hosted multiple times so they can slowly show you the key issues of being a guest.

Never leave the Airbnb or similar platform for which you are renting

Never leave the Airbnb or other platform process and make the deal directly, negotiating by phone or WhatsApp. When you make a transaction through Airbnb and other pages and apps of the same style, you are charged fees. But these rates protect you from scams. If a host asks you to complete a cash transaction or email payment information, immediately leave and inform Airbnb or the platform in question. The platform exists for a reason, and you are much more protected if you stay on it.

Travelers arriving at their destination

Alternatives to Airbnb

Booking has long been the standard for booking hotels online, and now you can book apartments and vacation rentals with the same easy-to-use, easy-to-book interface. However, that also means that you won’t have a lot of interaction with the host, so what you will get is an apartment with the hotel booking and registration process.

When looking for places to stay, its filtering system proves to be one of the best on the market, which means that your search results can be refined to show exactly the type of place you want. Also, because they have such a high inventory of properties, the competition is huge, which means you get better homes at better prices.


HomeAway He is Airbnb’s more refined older brother. You’ll find more polished listings for vacation homes, which are geared toward a larger audience. Hosts tend to be professionals who are listed for a living, so if you are looking for a higher rent standard and are willing to pay it, HomeAway is an attractive option. Unlike other websites like Airbnb, HomeAway has properties that are perfect for older couples, families, and larger groups looking to enjoy the comforts of a whole home.

Tricks to make more effective searches on the internet


FlipKey offers a host of vacation home rentals around the world, and since its parent company is TripAdvisor, it integrates seamlessly with its archive of actual user reviews. With such a comprehensive set of data on every property in your database, you can filter your results by the type of service you are looking for.

Although there are many options available on the site for individual travelers, FlipKey excels at group bookings in popular tourist destinations. The vast majority of their properties are vacation rentals and vacation homes that fit four, five, six, or more people. You may not have that intimate feeling, and you may not get information and recommendations from a local host, but if you are traveling in a larger group these things are not always very important.