The Dangers of Airbnb
When traveling is part of your job, it’s only natural to want to find the most comfortable, efficient, and reliable places to stay. Busy professionals seeking short-term housing in Houston and other large metropolitan areas need to be wary of deals and offers that may seem too good to be true; anyone who has traveled for a living long enough can tell you just how wrong it can go when you trust the wrong person or company with your property, privacy, and well-being.
Community-based housing company Airbnb and others of its kind provide a seemingly appealing option, allowing business travelers and vacationers alike to avoid the one-size-fits-all hotel experience and enjoy a more personal, comfortable stay during their trips. Unfortunately, like so many seemingly great ideas, saying at an Airbnb is often a less than ideal and sometimes outright dangerous decision.
Here, we’ll discuss a few ways that booking your corporate housing stay through a reputable company can provide all the benefits of an Airbnb without the risk, inconsistency, and potential for dangerous situations.
One of the biggest issues with companies like Airbnb is security. At first glance, it would seem that there must be some sort of screening process or hands-on moderation of just who is allowed to host paying guests on behalf of Airbnb, but that simply isn’t the case.
It takes less than fifteen minutes for anyone to go from the sign-up page to listing active properties as a host on Airbnb. In many cases, no government identification of any sort is required to sign up, meaning that the company has no reliable way to screen potential hosts unless those hosts choose to provide their legal names and dates of birth. This is problematic for a number of reasons:
- Criminal history. Few people would willingly leave their belongings with a thief or stay in the home of someone with a history of domestic violence or substance abuse. It’s just common sense. With Airbnb, you have absolutely no way of truly knowing who it is you’re renting from or whether they’re someone you could reasonably trust.
- Incentive for lax regulations. As a global mega business, Airbnb directly profits from having a greater number of listings on its site, whether or not they are legitimate or within the community guidelines. As such, they have a direct incentive to place as few restrictions and gatekeeping filters on the host signup process as possible.
- Lack of accountability. When things do go wrong with an Airbnb stay, the waters are murky when it comes to responsibility and reparation. Since Airbnb as a company places the responsibility on the host, and the host has no real impetus to provide accurate or legally up-to-date information, fighting for your rights as a tenant can become fantastically complicated.
If you want to guarantee that the place you’re staying isn’t run by a disreputable person, and that the company behind it will have your back if things go wrong, you’d be best advised to avoid Airbnb altogether and invest in a Corporate Apartment Package instead.
Inconsistency and the Stress of Not Knowing
While staying in hotels for extended periods of time can quickly become arduous, there is a certain appeal to the cut-and-dried consistency of the good ones. In a well-run hotel, you at least know exactly what you’re going to get with every housekeeping service and meal order. It may not be anything like the comforts of home, but at least you can count on it to be the same day in and day out.
When you choose to find short-term housing through a company like Airbnb, you’re rolling the dice in more ways than one. First and foremost, there’s a decent chance that the listing you’re interested in doesn’t exist; since there’s no property verification or checking done on the part of the company, there’s nothing stopping unscrupulous hosts from listing bait-and-switch or just plain nonexistent properties on the site in order to manipulate traffic.
If there’s one thing you don’t want to do after a long flight into an unfamiliar city, it’s to find out that the place you had lined up to sleep isn’t really a place in any way, shape, or form.
Then, even if you do manage to find a listing that seems amenable and suited to your needs, there’s absolutely no guarantee that things will be just as good the next day. The companies that run hotels, apartment complexes, and short-term housing in Houston are required to notify their tenants of any upcoming maintenance, utility cutoffs, policy changes, or unexpected alterations to the contract. Furthermore, it’s in their best interests to do so; companies who rent legitimately must do everything in their power to avoid bad reviews and word of mouth.
Not true with Airbnb hosts, who may provide a tranquil environment one day and elect to start remodeling the kitchen the next. Even if atrociously bad hosts are penalized or their listings are deleted by the company, there’s literally nothing stopping them from re-listing with a different photo and a made-up name.
This brings us back full circle to the aforementioned part about security: You, the renter, have little to no agency with which to combat maltreatment at the hands of an Airbnb host, and Airbnb is seemingly immune to any real responsibility or comeuppance, thanks to its ability to legally pass the buck and keep the machine going.
The Proof is in the Reviews
When it comes down to it, nothing about Airbnb is so appealing as to make it worth the risk. Even beyond the headline-grabbing horror stories, the day-to-day reviews of Airbnb short-term housing are chock-full of uncomfortable interactions, mismatched personalities, awkward conversations and forced politeness, and utter incredulity at the lack of companywide standards for hosts. Your stay doesn’t need to be a complete and total nightmare in order for it to be less than ideal and a situation you’d rather not put yourself in twice.
Unlike the low-stakes leisure of a vacation, it’s extra important for corporate travel and housing to be all-inclusive, intuitive, relaxing, and up to standard. That’s why the smart move for anyone booking corporate retreats, conferences, out of town meetings, or travel trips for the office or just for themselves is to avoid Airbnb and stick with the people who know what they’re doing.
You’ve Got Choices—Choose Wisely
When you want a consistently peaceful and reliable corporate housing experience, without the low quality and impersonal treatment of a standard motel or hotel stay, trust Corporate Retreats International. Our Corporate Apartment packages are designed to include everything you need to settle in and have a productive stay, without the stress and guesswork of Airbnb.
When it comes to short-term housing in Houston, there’s nothing like our corporate apartments. We not only cover the basics like having a washer and dryer in each unit and making sure the kitchen is fully stocked with cookware and dishes so you can make yourself at home, we go the extra mile to furnish our apartments with beautiful, modern appointments so that you can experience true serenity amid the flurry of your business trip.
There’s no reason to settle for the humdrum banality of a hotel or to potentially derail your entire trip with an ill-advised Airbnb fiasco. Book your next stay in Houston with Corporate Retreats International and treat yourself and your employees to the kind of quality and attention to detail that you just can’t get anywhere else. Don’t sell yourself short when you could be settling in for the long haul.