Our neighborhood is quiet except for the time when a neighbor has a Super Bowl Party or has a graduation party and invites all the friends. Then it is hard to find a place to park. What if it’s hard to find a place to park more frequently? What’s going on? You may be experiencing check-in and check-out traffic thanks to a 2008 startup, Airbnb.
That startup Airbnb, short for Air Bed B&B, is now the granddaddy of what has come to be known as the “sharing economy.
The next time you visit any city in Virginia, don’t stay in a hotel, but in a treehouse. Maybe stay at someone’s home and pay a rate cheaper than a regular hotel. You can go to the Airbnb website, select the city and see what Airbnb members offer. I checked for the city of Virginia Beach. There were over 300 listings. Alongside the listings is a map of the area so that you can see the location of each listing.
The Guardian in September 2013 wrote, “At the start of 2012, one million people had used the site. By the end of 2012, it was 4 million.”
Airbnb takes a booking every two seconds. There are now 300,000 rooms, apartments, and houses listed on the site. That includes 300 castles, 200 treehouses, and 1,400 boats. Compared to a major hotel chain, Airbnb is approaching parity with a large chain at 50,000 to 60,000 bookings a night.
City Officials Are Fighting Back
Government officials across the country feel they are losing control over the lodging rules and regulations. They wonder whether or not Airbnb and their competitors, of which there are many, will have an adverse impact on local neighborhoods or the hotel industry as a whole.
City officials of Virginia Beach want to require annual registration of short-term rental units with the city, capping penalty fines at $500 per violation, and barring rentals from operating if its owners fail to register them.
Last August, city council created a $1,000 bond requirement for people who failed to register their short-term rental with the commissioner of revenue and agreed to tack on a $1,000 fine for those who “willfully” evaded registration.
There’s help, too, to spot those neighbors renting rooms. The LA Times writes that two Silicon Valley engineers have launched a service that “…helps homeowners find out if neighbors are renting rooms through the service Airbnb.”
With Cuba now open to American tourism, Airbnb has announced that U.S. travelers can now use its short-term rental service to book lodging in Cuba, marking what the Associated Press said is the “most significant U.S. business expansion on the island since the declaration of detente between the two countries late last year.”
More than 1,000 listings of short-term rentals in Cuba are now available for booking on Airbnb’s website.
I am Christian Dunlap and my company, ChristianBuysHouses.com, buys houses all across Hampton Roads, including Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake and Portsmouth.
Give me a call today at 757-705-8812, and I will do my best to provide you with the fastest and fairest home selling solution you need.