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So Japan doesn't have youth hostels? 

 

We looked into hostels and they're really not that much more affordable than where we're staying but would have to share a common bathroom, sleep in a room with a bunch of other people, wouldn't have exclusive access to a kitchen, etc. What's the point of saving $15-$20/day if you wind up with a shitty product? We wanted somewhere that was a more secure home base than a hostel.

 

That and most hostels that we found in the price range we were willing to work with were unisex. My friend is female, I'm male. That's a bit of a problem. We need a place where we are in the same exact spot so we can coordinate.

 

Also, a ton of the hostels we did find had stay limits where we'd have to check out one or more times, leave for the day, then come back and check in. We have only 9 days, I don't want to be dealing with that crap when trying to make the most of every minute of my trip.

 

Airbnb offers a product that wasn't easily available before. It's as simple as that. Denying that is to deny reality. You can dislike it if you want, that's your right, but you can't truthfully claim it does nothing different than a hotel or hostel.

yeah, for sure. We just returned from two weeks in Seoul where we stayed at an Airbnb for $40/night - not luxury of course, but a very typical small Seoul apartment for a single person, with a mini kitchen, fridge, and wifi. And it was clean, and in the historical city center, Mapo region. Trying to find a hotel for as much would have landed me in a seedy dump, and even just decent hotels in that region go for many times more.

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Exactly. We COULD find hotels for the range we were looking, but instead of being close to a train station and just outside of central Tokyo we'd be on some far flung spur of a train in a place of questionable cleanliness that would result in half our trip being spent traveling to the city in order to see the attractions we want to see. It's my first time to Asia and I've been dreaming of going to Tokyo for ages and I'm not going to squander my time there on some cheap hotel far outside the city.

 

Instead I'm getting a nice little apartment with a full kitchen, a nice bathroom, a balcony that overlooks the city, a 5 minute walk to the Akasaka station or the Roppongiicchome station, on a nice street, owned by the same guy that owns the restaurant in the base of the building, comes with free wifi (which none of the business hotels in Tokyo come with which is going to be a necessity since we'll have limited temporary data plans on our phones), etc.

 

Our experience will be much better and saves us hundreds of dollars over a hotel in the same area.

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A private residence is vastly different than a hotel. Also, what is the contract between the host and the guest?  So I don't think you can make a blanket statement because some rentals are for rooms, while the host is on site. Correct?

 

In a hotel, the security locks and key cards show a persons steps location or where that persons keycard has been/been used.

 

The big reason AirBNB is so cheap is precisely because of the risk, IMO. You get what you pay for. With a hotel room, you get peace of mind - you know exactly what you're getting: you're guaranteed a clean room, you don't have to meet someone's schedule to get your keys, your belongings are safe, no one is going to snoop around your room, someone will clean your room daily, you won't wake up with a creep standing over your bed and have no recourse, no one will live broadcast your stay on the deep web, etc. 

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A private residence is vastly different than a hotel. Also, what is the contract between the host and the guest?  So I don't think you can make a blanket statement because some rentals are for rooms, while the host is on site. Correct?

 

In a hotel, the security locks and key cards show a persons steps location or where that persons keycard has been/been used.

 

The big reason AirBNB is so cheap is precisely because of the risk, IMO. You get what you pay for. With a hotel room, you get peace of mind - you know exactly what you're getting: you're guaranteed a clean room, you don't have to meet someone's schedule to get your keys, your belongings are safe, no one is going to snoop around your room, someone will clean your room daily, you won't wake up with a creep standing over your bed and have no recourse, no one will live broadcast your stay on the deep web, etc. 

 

I will bet you anything that all of those things happen at motels everywhere.

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They absolutely do. I've had someone very clearly go through my things while in a hotel and take a couple items, reported it, and they found that the cleaning lady had been in the room while I was away and my items, along with some other people's, were in her locker.

 

I also know someone who had the front desk at a hotel believe that some random guy should be given a card to her room (without any ID or any form of notice from the girl that this man was a guest) and he walked in on her sleeping and stood there until she screamed for help. Front desk man was fired on the spot.

 

These things happen anywhere. Yes, there may be recourse if it happens in a hotel, but a hotel will also have a way bigger legal team to fight against.

 

But all in all, worrying about any of these things is going to do nobody any good. I'm not a paranoid person so I just assume things will be great and if they're not I'll deal with the problems as they arise. But the number of serious Airbnb incidents that have been reported is negligible.

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There are multiple and competing issues at play here. On the one hand, these blanket anti-AirBnB laws were absolutely spurred by the hotel-owners lobby annoyed by the competition. On the other hand, if AirBnB specifically has created a situation where de-facto hotel operators are avoiding regulation and taxes on a significant scale then it is reasonable for legislators to pursue regulation. Ideally, local governments will take a surgical approach to solve these problems. Examine or modify the regulatory scheme for hotel operators overall, and consider factors such as: owner-occupied vs. investor units, frequency of rentals, clusters of available units, etc.

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The big reason AirBNB is so cheap is precisely because of the risk, IMO. You get what you pay for. With a hotel room, you get peace of mind - you know exactly what you're getting: you're guaranteed a clean room, you don't have to meet someone's schedule to get your keys, your belongings are safe, no one is going to snoop around your room, someone will clean your room daily, you won't wake up with a creep standing over your bed and have no recourse, no one will live broadcast your stay on the deep web, etc. 

 

People are ignoring the fact that airbnb and uber's prices are very low because each company is burning through round after round of investor cash. The booking fee paid to each (invisible to the guest or rider) is much lower than what is necessary for them to break even, let alone report a solid profit.  While some hotel chains (and perhaps traditional taxi companies) seek outside funding in exchange for shares of ownership, none are anywhere on the scale of what is happening with the various "disruptive" silicon valley start-ups.  This means that long-term, each will inevitably get significantly more expensive or simply go out of business. 

 

The more serious issue from the perspective of the risk to a host or guest is the legal gray area surrounding liability.  Like uber, airbnb appears to be throwing all of the liability, unwittingly, onto the host.  This lowers the cost to the end-user but raises the probably of a disastrous and unbelievably costly legal situation.  Airbnb does not require any specific or generic insurance to be carried by hosts (or guests), meaning that a guest who is injured from carbon monoxide poisoning, burned in a fire, slips on ice, or who suffers some other mishap, is free to sue the hell out of the property owner.  If the property owner doesn't have the property protected in an LLC, they risk being completely wiped out.  If a property owner is renting out units in a multifamily that they also live in, they're in big, big trouble, since their policy likely doesn't cover short-term rentals, and they're probably in violation of their mortgage terms as well.   

 

People can sit around and assume that these sorts of things won't happen to them, and they probably won't, but if they do, your entire life is turned upside-down for years.  We had a near-miss in our family due to a car wreck that sent three teenagers to the hospital and over $1 million in medical bills.  My dad's company nearly went out of business due to a piece of their equipment under the care of a customer compromising one of the levees during Hurricane Katrina.  Totally unpredictable Act of God event that required years and millions of dollars of legal activity to defend. 

 

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This is what crony capitalism looks like.  Every executive can come up with some pious sounding justification for why we need a law to shore up their business and destroy the competition.  And you should believe none of it...

 

Hotel CEO openly celebrates higher prices after anti-Airbnb law passes

 

A hotel executive said a recently-passed New York law cracking down on Airbnb hosts will enable the company to raise prices for New York City hotel rooms, according to the transcript of the executive's words on a call with shareholders last week.

 

The law, signed by New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday, slaps anyone who lists their apartment on a short-term rental site with a fine up to $7,500. It "should be a big boost in the arm for the business," Mike Barnello, chief executive of the hotel chain LaSalle Hotel Properties, said of the law last Thursday, "certainly in terms of the pricing.”

 

Barnello's comment adds fuel the argument, made repeatedly by Airbnb and its proponents, that a law that was passed in the name of affordable housing also allows established hotels to raises prices for consumers. It was included in a memo written by Airbnb's head of global policy, Chris Lehane, to the Internet Association, a tech trade group, reviewed by the Washington Post. LaSalle, a Bethesda, MD-based chain, owns hotels around the country, including New York City.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2016/10/26/hotel-executive-openly-celebrates-higher-prices-after-anti-airbnb-law-passes/

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^The public good is much better served by higher hotel rates than by higher apartment rates, for those people who, you know, actually live in New York City:

 

"A 2015 report by two New York affordable housing non-profits found that Airbnb hosts who rented out their entire apartments for at least three months of the year took roughly 10 percent of the city's available rental units off the market."

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What a weird way to phrase that. Those rentals aren't ONLY being rented by outsiders, a lot of the people renting short term are also people living in NYC. Saying, "omg they took 10% of the city's available units offline" (which is a great way to confuse people into thinking they mean 10% of the total units, not just 10% of the units not currently rented) implies that no NYC resident could be utilizing them which is BS. Tons of people use Airbnb for finding a primary residence.

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^ Also, Airbnb helps homeowners with otherwise limited incomes to remain in the place they live. I sympathize with many of the points jmeck is bringing up, but I have yet to hear of any solution which isn't ridiculously overbroad or overly intrusive. 

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Where do people with limited incomes go when they can't go home since there's AirBnB'ers there?

 

People I know rent out a single room in their house. 

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Where do people with limited incomes go when they can't go home since there's AirBnB'ers there?

 

Are people in public housing renting out their units and staying with a neighbor in their building, then splitting the difference?

 

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Where do people with limited incomes go when they can't go home since there's AirBnB'ers there?

 

Are people in public housing renting out their units and staying with a neighbor in their building, then splitting the difference?

 

 

Yes. Virtually all Airbnb customers are clamoring to stay at project housing lol.

 

As a non-sarcastic aside, my mom grew up in the Italian section of Wooster, Ohio. They, like everyone else in the hood had spare rooms that they would often rent out to borders who were "fresh off the boat" from Italy. I'd like to think they accomplished this without having to fear breaking some ordinance, or hire tax consultants, attorneys, or lobbyists to bribe politicians etc etc.

 

 

 

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Yeah my grandmother did the same thing.  They physically converted a 1-family farmhouse into a 2-family during the depression.  That's illegal now or requires a lengthy permitting process, but often for good reason. 

 

But taking in boarders is not at all the same thing as what airbnb does.  Your relative and my grandmother weren't renting their place out to fraternities on spring break and bachelorette parties. 

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Yeah my grandmother did the same thing.  They physically converted a 1-family farmhouse into a 2-family during the depression.  That's illegal now or requires a lengthy permitting process, but often for good reason. 

 

But taking in boarders is not at all the same thing as what airbnb does.  Your relative and my grandmother weren't renting their place out to fraternities on spring break and bachelorette parties. 

 

Actually it was my family that was likely causing a ruckus with crazy, all-day, outdoor parties and the like :-)

 

Again, if you live in a normal place, things like excess noise or late night stupidity can be properly addressed by nuisance laws that are already on the books. I do feel bad that some communities may be losing their identity to absentee landlords. But a blanket ban on Airbnb (which is being talked about in San Diego) is just a massive overreach.

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If you have a couple minutes, this may be worth listening to regarding AirBnB and the arguments for and against legal prohibitions.  It addresses a lot of the topics discussed on this thread.

 

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Great news! If you have a listing in Kentucky State, Airbnb will start remitting the following tax(es) for all reservations booked on or after October 01, 2017:

 

 

•State Sales Tax

•State Transient Room Tax

 

Guests will see a separate line item for the tax(es) when booking. Airbnb will collect and pay the tax(es) to the jurisdiction at the next filing due date.

 

 

 

Will my payouts be affected?

No. The tax(es) will be charged to guests.

 

How can I see the amount of tax collected on my behalf?

The amount is displayed in the Gross Earnings tab of your Transaction History.

 

Will you share my personal information when remitting tax?

No. We will be filing one tax return per jurisdiction with the total combined reservation revenue for all Airbnb bookings in the area. This means that all hosts will be represented by one payment amount, and we will not be providing your personal information on the return.

 

I’ve been collecting the above tax(es). What do I do now?

You’ll no longer need to collect this tax from guests who book their reservation on or after October 01, 2017.

 

Are there other taxes that I need to collect?

You are responsible for understanding and fulfilling all of your tax obligations. For a summary of the taxes collected by Airbnb for a listing, visit the Manage Listing page and click Local Laws. The process for collecting other applicable taxes from your guests is outlined here. As always, you must be upfront about any such taxes with guests before booking.

 

To learn more, please visit our Help Center or contact your tax collector for more details.

Thanks,

The Airbnb Team

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i've used a lot of airbnb lately and had good experiences with the stays and the owners, however, there is a catch that has been bugging me.

 

there are additional charges, likes taxes, that are the same as hotels, but in addition for airbnb you also get socked with a cleaning fee.

 

often that bumps the actual price you are paying up into the hotel costs range.

 

so be aware and don't think you will always be saving money, or much money.

 

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2 hours ago, GCrites80s said:

Lack of economies of scale smack the gig economy again.

 

Yeah if you own multiple properties and get aggressive with Airbnb then you're basically just a full-time maid more so than a "host".  

 

 

 

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25 minutes ago, jmecklenborg said:

 

Yeah if you own multiple properties and get aggressive with Airbnb then you're basically just a full-time maid more so than a "host".  

 

 

 

you hire someone to do the cleaning for you if you have a bunch of places. You can still make money if you have a place that's in a desirable location.

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1 hour ago, ryanlammi said:

you hire someone to do the cleaning for you if you have a bunch of places. You can still make money if you have a place that's in a desirable location.

 

...until they stop showing up, lying about problems to get overtime from you, start stealing stuff, etc.  You're going to have all of the same problems that any business owner has.

 

There are a lot of people out there in the gig economy who like to lie about how much money they make.  I saw it with Uber and I'm sure it happens with Airbnb.  It used to happen as well with anyone who had a side business, like wedding DJ's, wedding photographers, etc.  They'd announce their top line to all and sundry without acknowledging any expenses...no mention of taxes, depreciation, or how much they could have made delivering pizzas (which requires zero special equipment) instead of doing whatever supposedly lucrative thing they were doing.    

 

 

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We had 3 good people that helped with the cooking and cleaning at my grandmother's place over the years but we had to go through a lot of crappy ones the hard way to get those 3.

 

It's a very difficult position to hire as compared to the other types of employees we've had.

Edited by GCrites80s

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i went back to hotels for an upcoming portland trip.

 

airbnb bummed me out with the cleaning fees and inconvenient sites, which in the end put it on a par with hotels.

 

also, nothing there stood out vs a couple hotels i got us with pools + next to the streetcars.

 

of course there were a handful cool or perfect airbnb's, but they were booked up a year out.

 

airbnb is kind of like a compliment to hotels, it will get them to up their game, but hotels probably dont have to overly worry too much about it.

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^I forgot to add my story from last fall.  My dad got hip to Airbnb and rented a house for a wedding.  A bunch of us came in from different cities to a...locked house that would not unlock.  FFWD 4 hours and locksmith finally showed up to drill out the lock.  We never had a lockable exterior door for 2 days.  

 

The owner of the property didn't live in town.  The point man was a hairdresser who worked at a salon a few blocks away.  

 

Airbnb is a joke.  

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AirBNB is getting to the point where people are adding so many "cleaning fees" and other charges to their listings, it's often just as expensive as a hotel. Like, sometimes you'll see a listing that's $75/night but then there will be a $75 cleaning fee tacked on to your stay. So if you're only staying for 2 nights, it ends up being ~$250 when you add all the fees and taxes. At that point, it's not any cheaper than staying at a basic Courtyard Marriott or Hampton Inn style hotel, and the hotel is more convenient because there is a staffed front desk.

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I've seen cleaning fees a lot higher, well over $100.  And service fees also well over $100.  

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^ this is exactly what happened to us on a florida trip last summer.

 

i liked the stays, but the fees turned me off on it, although as i said i did take a look at airbnb for the next trip to portland.

 

i dk why they advertise the prices they do when its actually double or more.

 

in the end that kind of scammy tactic will kill your business.

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Cleaning costs are justified, and if you're staying in a house with multiple bathrooms/bedrooms, it's very conceivable that it would take a cleaning crew several hours to thoroughly clean and get the rental ready for the next occupant.  As for the issue in not including the cleaning fee within the daily rate on Airbnb, I'm in full agreement that it would nice to see if listed in actual daily rate, but this is how almost all vacation rental sites work in displaying their price. You either need to get all of them on board to do it, or no one is going to do it.

 

When you factor in cleaning fees, administrative fees, etc., hotels are often more attractive for short term stays (i.e., a night or two).  But when all of the extra "fees" are constant (whether you stay 1 night or 10 nights), they're easier to absorb when you balance it out over more than just a night or two.

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On 3/6/2020 at 2:27 PM, jmecklenborg said:

^I forgot to add my story from last fall.  My dad got hip to Airbnb and rented a house for a wedding.  A bunch of us came in from different cities to a...locked house that would not unlock.  FFWD 4 hours and locksmith finally showed up to drill out the lock.  We never had a lockable exterior door for 2 days.  

 

The owner of the property didn't live in town.  The point man was a hairdresser who worked at a salon a few blocks away.  

 

Airbnb is a joke.  

 

Airbnb isn't a joke if you rent from a reputable person with with many positive reviews on the site.  As the renter, if you go with a site with very few (or zero) reviews for the listing, then you are taking a huge gamble on how the place will turn out.  I've rented numerous vacation rentals through VRBO/Airbnb over the years and if you stick to only considering rentals with lots of good reviews, the chances of running into issues with your stay are greatly minimized. 

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My biggest issue with Airbnb: if I'm searching for a place to stay with a specific set of dates and number of people, all of the prices should show the total with all fees and taxes included. I don't care what the nightly rate is without all of those details. On ticketing sites there is often an option to see prices with fees. Airbnb could do it if they wanted to.

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32 minutes ago, Wally said:

 

Airbnb isn't a joke if you rent from a reputable person with with many positive reviews on the site.  As the renter, if you go with a site with very few (or zero) reviews for the listing, then you are taking a huge gamble on how the place will turn out.  I've rented numerous vacation rentals through VRBO/Airbnb over the years and if you stick to only considering rentals with lots of good reviews, the chances of running into issues with your stay are greatly minimized. 

 

This person did have high ratings.  Which illustrates the central flaw in the system - the lack of on-site, full-time management.  

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Wally said:

Cleaning costs are justified, and if you're staying in a house with multiple bathrooms/bedrooms, it's very conceivable that it would take a cleaning crew several hours to thoroughly clean and get the rental ready for the next occupant.  As for the issue in not including the cleaning fee within the daily rate on Airbnb, I'm in full agreement that it would nice to see if listed in actual daily rate, but this is how almost all vacation rental sites work in displaying their price. You either need to get all of them on board to do it, or no one is going to do it.

 

When you factor in cleaning fees, administrative fees, etc., hotels are often more attractive for short term stays (i.e., a night or two).  But when all of the extra "fees" are constant (whether you stay 1 night or 10 nights), they're easier to absorb when you balance it out over more than just a night or two.

 

 

the cleaning factor is no different than a hotel though.

 

maybe they should vary their fees a bit based on length of stay.

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https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/10/technology/airbnb-hosts-coronavirus.html?action=click&module=Spotlight&pgtype=Homepage

 

Quote

“I’ve got to keep paying my mortgage somehow,” said Ms. Northcott, who employs three full-time and five part-time cleaners and administrators and has started dipping into her retirement savings to pay the bills.  Ms. Northcott, who has been an Airbnb host for eight years, said she had been trying to find other work for her cleaners, who are paid by the job. Her business, Tokyo Family Stays, lost around $2,000 worth of bookings in January, $10,000 in February, $25,000 so far in March and $40,000 for April, which is normally the biggest month of the year.

 

 

Turning your not-paid-for house or condo into an Airbnb is a really bad idea.  

 

 

 

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What airbnb did do is show hotel companies that there is demand for hoteling outside of CBDs, convention centers and outerbelts. Now they propose hotels all over town.

Edited by GCrites80s

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So...I'm reading online chatter regarding Airbnb's contemplated demise.  Set aside the company's current cash crunch - it's turning out that neither the customer nor the hosts are loyal to Airbnb.  People are flooding rental markets with their tarted-up houses and apartments to generate some cash.  They're going to end up eating their furnishing costs since permanent tenants are going to tear up their dainty decorations. Meanwhile, everyone who has used Airbnb 5+ times has run into a problem (see my previous locksmith story) and people are sick of the unreliability.  

 

In two years it's either going to be a damaged on-its-way-out thing like Yelp or it's going to be ancient history like Myspace.  

Edited by jmecklenborg

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Individuals and their sub-optimal situations need to realize that they just can't compete with dedicated businesspeople and and their fully-optimized situations, especially with the internet taking a huge cut for simply being the internet. What all these tech startups (while making everyone lose a ton of money in the process) do is teach big business some aspect of the trade that they were missing out on so that they can follow suit with a profitable system that's only slightly different than what they were doing before the "disruption".

 

In this case, as noted above, it was merely showing the hotel industry that there is demand for rooms that aren't clustered next to the convention center or sitting all alone except for a BW3 on an interstate.

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Yeah there's really nothing stopping a hotel chain from renting 100+ apartments and homes around a city, branding them something different than their established hotel brands, and then have the things managed and cleaned by their existing staff.  

 

As-is, some of the management of these Airbnb units is being performed by personal assistants and executive assistants in fashion, film, advertising, music, etc.  These sad characters are being terribly underpaid to manage/clean these places because they're trying to "break-in" to "the business".  These same people who are on all-fours scrubbing airbnb's look down on people who work in real hotels.       

 

 

Edited by jmecklenborg

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Kind of in the similar vein of this conversation is electric cars though Elon Musk has probably done the best out of the gig tech in regards to making a tangible product.

 

But, you start to find out how massively high tech vehicles are already, and how deep and laid out the supply chains are to make those vehicles. You can't just more or less start that stuff from scratch and not think it won't get over run by the big companies once they figure out how to do it.

 

Unless it is something completely new, it will eventually get over ran.

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