Airbnb – A reflection on our experience

By Bridie

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Our listed private cabin on Airbnb

Airbnb is a global phenomenon exemplifying the power of technology and online branded platforms that allow everyday people to get a ‘slice of the pie’ that once was reserved for business owners or the very brave. Our digital age has seemingly made it possible for anyone to be a taxi driver albeit Uber or bed and breakfast owner – thanks to Airbnb!

Our detached cabin is the perfect nook for paying guests to step in and out of our community life as they please. For Lotus Feast we’ve found the benefits of Airbnb to be wide ranging, including:

Social good

  1. It is a way to share what we are doing with interested visitors.
  2. Enables the cabin to be available for house members for special needs. i.e: a guest or romantic partner, or just a personal retreat. Either between bookings or with advance notice.
  3. We can have the option of offering our cabin to nearby neighbours in need of space for visiting guests.
  4. It is also interesting to participate in the new sharing economy trend.

Our Lotus Feast home

  1. Brings in a fair bit of extra revenue so there is less need to raise rents, less need to seek full revenue from all rooms allowing for either less people or more work-exchangers. And more space created for shared community use. And we can put some of the revenue towards increasing the food budget.
  2. Great incentive to keep the house clean and organized.
  3. Nice to learn about and experience living with a diversity of people from various cultures and backgrounds. We can feel connected to the world. Instead of going travelling the travelers come to us.

Click ‘continue reading’ and scroll down to also see more images.

Photos of the cabin

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In the winter – staying cozy

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Airbnb – if we were to mind-map our experience, phrases that pop into mind are: bookings, abated breath waiting for reviews, joy, excitement to play host and…well…learning. Learning who to accept and what to expect.

Opening your home to complete strangers is something we are pretty used to at Lotus Feast. Being posted on the WorkAway site (a link to Bridie’s write-up about the work-excahnge program) and word-of-mouth has attracted people interested in learning from our lifestyle. However, we’ve noticed a difference when posting to Airbnb, you are opening up to people from all walks of life who may not necessarily have the same interests or values as you.

I would say there have been two learnings that have prompted us as a community to explore how much space and time we wanted to spend with airbnb guests. At one point we were thinking of keep it very seperate and have them not share the main houses community space. However, as part of our culture to share what we see to be a positive way of life to help others explore alternative ways of living, I think Sam our most recent Work exchanger sums up what we collectively come to agree;

“I love airbnb visitors! […] it is a wonderful way to share our way of life with interested people. I think they should be able to access all of our communal spaces so that they feel welcome and get a real perspective of our lifestyle. Sharing the kitchen with guests means we’re sharing vitality with them and sharing the meditation room means we’re sharing healing with them. I’m all for it!”

Photos of our shared spaces

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So, we continue to develop a system that makes Airbnb work for us.  We focus on attracting like-minded visitors (ideally with good reviews) and doing better background checks via good ole’ Google. We continue to learn and love the experience of the new economy that Airbnb has allowed us to participate in. We look forward to the next guest knocking on our door – perhaps it’ll be you?

Photos of inside the cabin

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