Yes, Airbnb is changing the paradigm!
Touted as a paragon of the sharing economy, Airbnb makes it easy for renters and homeowners to rent rooms for short-term stays. Less expensive than hotels and more personal than a Holiday Inn or Best Western, Airbnb is phenomenally successful. The plethora of listings around the world make it clear that many people are willing to share their dwellings.
Make Some Extra Income
My sister rents a room in her house in a popular seashore vacation spot. She’s booked all summer because her rates are easily sixty dollars less per day than the cheapest local motel. Like many others who rent through Airbnb, she finds the income essential. She also spends a huge amount of time doing laundry, changing the sheets, cleaning the bathroom, managing bookings, making sure shes home when a guest arrives, and being careful about noise. In other words, it’s a job.
Her guests come and go. They are so many and stay so few days that she makes no attempt to get to know them.
Different Than A Home-Share
So though I like that Airbnb is opening folks up to the idea of sharing, it’s a pale version of what is possible for a home-mate or home-mates. (for definition of home-mate watch the video here). A home-mate arrangement, where two or more make a home together, is a completely different experience from Airbnb. Read the post about how Tom and Karen share their home with another couple, or any of the posts in the category Real People Sharing Housing.
When you have a home-mate you share the work of house maintenance, whether its lawn care, taking out the trash, or vacuuming. You share the use of appliances from toasters to irons. You share rooms, furniture, and most likely hang out in common spaces. You may gather on an enclosed porch with laptops on your lap, or convene in a living room to watch television together. You will certainly share a kitchen and maybe meals and food. You have someone who is at home when you travel who can take care of pets and the home in your absence. Most importantly instead of having people come and go, you have the consistency of relationship.
Benefits of a Real Home-Mate
The financial benefits of using Airbnb are obvious. Less measurable are the benefits of living with others whom you like and respect and with whom you make a home. These are benefits of the heart: the giving and receiving of attention, of kindnesses, of telling stories about your life, and listening to others. Through daily informal, social connection you build a companionship that can be comfortable, comforting, and long-term.
IF you choose your home-mate well you can have this scenario. If you want to learn more about whats involved there is help on this site. Read blog postings, read the book, Sharing Housing, A Guidebook for Finding and Keeping Good Housemates, download the worksheets, take a class (coming soon!) , or contact me for personal coaching.