Ever thought of opening your home up to paying guests or renting a room out? Maybe you have a caravan or sleep-out that is no longer used?
If so, then Airbnb - a crowdsourced accommodation platform used by travellers around the world - might well be worth consideration.
Airbnb allows ordinary people to put up their places, spaces and spare rooms for others to stay in, and it’s a great way to make additional income and meet new people.
Listing your property on Airbnb is free and easy to do, involving little more than following a few easy steps that can be found on the website.
Basically the process is very straight forward, you set up your profile with a description and photos of your property, alongside information such as how many guests it can accommodate and what it will cost.
Once you have listed, potential guests can then view your property, email you with any questions they may have and make their booking through the Airbnb site.
So, why list with Airbnb and what are the benefits?
As Airbnb is founded on trust, profiles are set up to ensure that people are who they say they are, and a community review system is in place to eliminate any bad guests or hosts.
Airbnb has a secure payment system which means hosts never have to deal with money directly, guests pay Airbnb before arrival and hosts are paid directly after check in minus a small service fee.
Today, there are millions of hosts around the world and many thousands now listed throughout New Zealand (including a number in the Tararua District).
Gerry and Wendy Parker of Pahiatua joined Airbnb twelve months ago and have nothing but positive things to say about the whole experience.
"It’s fantastic, we’ve met so many interesting people and it’s more personal than going to a hotel or motel. We’ve had a film crew stay with us, a street artist and even a Bishop and his wife.
"We’ve had some wonderful people come and stay here," says Gerry.
Wendy agrees and says she and Gerry enjoy meeting people from so many different walks of life.
"The whole experience has been very good and very positive and I’d certainly recommend Airbnb to others."
While Airbnb’s popularity is certainly on the increase, potential hosts are reminded that Airbnb income is taxable, and although Airbnb offers a host guarantee to provide some protection in the event of damage, it’s advisable to seek advice if you have any questions over these issues before signing up.
PHOTO: Gerry and Wendy's listing, the Hedgelands Country Homestead.