After revisiting Andrew Warner’s web interview with Airbnb founders, I signed up on Airbnb.com a few days ago to “admire” its renowned user experiences. I didn’t really plan to rent out my apartment in San Francisco, since I am a die hard “no roommate” kind of guy.
I did manage to write a paragraph about apartment, activated the listing along with a few old photos I took for the apartment. Within 10 hours, I got an inquiry from a guy, a few rounds of on site message back and forth, he paid $62 for the night he plan to stay through the site, less than 24 hours after I activated the apartment list, the guy showed up.
Guess who he is? A full time employee working for Airbnb.com, the twin brother of the ubiquitous girl in airbnb’s “how it works” video!
So, I asked if airbnb requires employee to strictly use the site for travel lodging services. The answer is no, but encouraged.
Then I asked if airbnb always assigns employee to visit and stay with new users as much as possible. The answer is also no, rather it worked out great for him since he was traveling from Chicago and need a place to stay for a night or two while he is in town, yes, he has been traveling for almost a year nonstop, working remotely for airbnb from exotic destinations alike.
If this is a 100% real “customer” or “inquiry”, I would be really surprised about the scale airbnb has reached: almost any given seconds, apparently, someone is scouting the site for a place to stay, that is a billion dollor business right there! Just do the math.
But I am not convinced.
Well, before he “checked out” the next morning, I got another inquiry from a guy visiting from Dubai, who wanted to stay for 6 nights! That is a handy $361 revenue for me without me doing much work. Why not? At this moment, I am no longer that “die hard” no rommie kind of guy.
Well, The dubai guy showed up 10 hours after the airbnb guy left. Still, less than 72 hours after I signed up, I made $421.
Dubai guy is an IBM consultant with interesting stories as well. He is still staying at my apt and he is very respectful.
Before Airbnb guy left, he even requested on Airbnb site to dispatch a professional photographer to photograph my apartment so it looks more professional and inviting, all for free!
At the mean time, A 26 year old Italian guy is currently inquiring a 3 weeks stay at my place in August.
All these above happened less than 3 days after I signed up with Airbnb.
If Andrew Warner told the world that Airbnb does things that don’t scale, and succeed with a big scale (have you heard of their $1billion valuation?), I, just one individual airbnb user, had a full taste of how they actually execute on that idea (don’t scale) and make the process look so easy.
Who said it: it’s all in the execution.
If you have a spare space, click banner below to try Airbnb out, you will have fun making some extra cash and meeting a few new people.