At age 60, a workaholic and constantly re-inventing myself in the world of entrepreneurship and small business, I finally quit my last business in fashion retail, design and manufacturing which employed 18 people. I would probably still be there if it weren’t for the paper war that governments inflict upon us. We can’t get on with business unless we employ people to do their work. Working long hours to give your hard earned money to book keepers, accountants and auditors just doesn’t seem fair. Don’t get me started.
[Editors Note: This week we have a guest post from our friend Lynne, who is an enthusiastic airbnb host who has created a new career in retirement. We have greatly enjoyed staying at airbnb accommodation within Australia and overseas so we thought it might be fun to hear the other side. You can also read here about our experiences airbnb-ing it.]
In my second half century I opted for an easier form of income, choosing airbnb. I decided a couple of years ago to give airbnb a try and slowly worked into hosting from my Sydney apartment. I only had pleasant or great experiences, so added my Melbourne apartment and commuted between the two great Cities, working my social calendar in and around bookings, making money in 2 states.
Now, some of you might be thinking “this woman seriously needs therapy” but it can be very therapeutic and you have the confidence that your home is presented in a manner that you would like to see when you travel. The glowing reports you receive from guests contribute to future bookings. It’s a win-win. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea and of course you may just have to make a cup of tea for a guest here and there.
It requires little paperwork, no employees, a good income, zero stress, flexibility to accept or not accept business, and for the most part, feels like I’m not really working. It enables you to claim expenses and fund outside passions, or even take a holiday while you rent your house.
What’s not to like, unless you really hate housework, cleaning or making a bed or two, in which case there is the option to employ someone to do that bit. But think of the gym fees you are saving – I run up and down 3 flights of stairs all day long, garage to laundry to cellar to pool and bedrooms on 2 levels.
Add that the Airbnb system is safe, fair and equitable, enjoyable, and offers a great communication system between hosts and guests providing certainty and a managed platform to collect and transfer payments. There aren’t too many businesses offering such certainty and ease. No bad debts and our government should relish the formula, no cash changes hands, everything is documented at both ends, between you as the host and airbnb. Everyone pays their taxes. Guests also respect that they are staying in your home, which is comforting.
Airbnb is now valued at $30 billion and the fact that you still feel part of a family seems pretty extraordinary to me, which is, I guess, why so many companies are following the airbnb model. It’s a personal and trusting experience all round.
Airbnb recently hosted a cocktail party for a select group of hosts in Sydney. They provided a fun venue, drinks and nibbles, entertainment, and the opportunity to meet and greet like minded hosts. We all got to exchange ideas and stories. Not only did we leave feeling warm and fuzzy but every host received the latest Dyson vacuum cleaner valued at $700 AND someone to come to your home to install it. Why wouldn’t I love airbnb!
I’ve recently made a sea change to Palm Beach, NSW and purposely bought the house with airbnb in mind. I can rent out part of the house, one floor, the whole house, one room, two rooms or more. I still have plenty of days where I relax and enjoy my home or invite friends to come stay. I couldn’t be happier or more content.
I’ve just added doggy minding, a sort of airbnb for dogs. Again, I get to choose when I wish to take on a pup. I already have a dog, so why not walk a second one and make some additional pocket money and get more exercise. I go on vacation too and knowing my dog is in capable and safe hands allows me to enjoy my holiday even more.
I’m one happy camper, the thought of going back into another business just makes me cringe. I love meeting new people from all over the world no matter how brief the interaction, often staying in touch and every now and again making a new friend. It’s that warm, fuzzy feeling all over again.
Are you an airbnb host? How have you found it? Have you thought about hosting, or indeed doggy minding?