My initial post (Mind Games: leave the wrong story) was all about quitting to believe all the stories my mind is telling me. But easier said than done. So two weeks ago I had lunch with my colleagues and they were discussing AirBnB. Or more the fact that their landlords did not allow them to go on AirBnB. I was just listening, not really participating until one of my colleagues, Lisette, asked me directly why I wasn’t on AirBnB yet. And I was like, ‘ uh, are you talking to me?’ and my first and honest reply was ‘I never thought about it’.
And that is actually true. I know AirBnB or Über for that manner exists, but I consider it for youth or ‘other people’. Just don’t see myself doing something with it. Might consider renting a home via AirBnB occasionally, but allowing strangers into my own home; big NO. So, than Lisette persisted and said, you really have to try it, you can earn big bugs with it. And my defensive reply was: ‘Well, I have cats and I don’t want to bring them back and forth’. My colleague was looking at me and just replied calmly ‘if you mention, you have cats, people who love cats will react and they even will take care of them so you don’t have to visit your home twice a day to feed them (for new readers: every other week I live with my daughters in my own home. When they go to their father for a week (co-parenting thing) I move in with my partner and my house is empty). So it actually is a good idea, and I could feel some curiosity popping up, but still BIG doubts.
Fossil or curiosity, fossil or curiosity, fossil or..?
At the end of the day on my way home, sitting in my car I was reflecting on our conversation. I realised I placed myself out of an entire new economy, because I considered myself a fossil, so of course it didn’t come to mind. Fossils or dinosaurs for that matter just don’t participate actively in new economies. And I immediately knew this was one of the stories I want to leave, but the fear and doubts hadn’t vanished yet. So at dinner I dropped the idea of Lisette to put my house on AirBnB and Matthias applauded the suggestion. At that moment my childish curiosity exploded and the moneymaker in me awakened. I was going to put my home on AirBnB.
The world of AirBnB (or at least the first week)
And so I did. Last week I made a profile with pictures and before I went to bed I launched my advertisement on AirBnB. My phone is always on flight mode at night, so when I woke up I activated my mobile again. There was a lot a bleeping happening; all enquiries and even direct bookings via AirBnB. It was complete madness; reservations for same dates, AirBnB pushing me to react within 24 hours or I would be penalised, questions, answers, more questions, creditcard failures, blocking etc. The world of AirBnB. It was both madness and fun at the same time, and I actually ended up with four bookings in my calendar.
One booking gave me a panic attack. Not knowing AirBnB that well yet, I had allowed direct bookings, that means everyone can book your property immediately, without your upfront consent. And I had a booking in what I think is Russian. With all media coverage in mind that Russians are unpopular tourists, I almost hyperventilated and I had to call Matthias. One day later I sent the lady who booked my house a welcoming message with some inquiries and I got a really nice respons. And I calmed down a bit.
No time to think
But suddenly a new AirBnB-challenge occurred. Last Saturday night I received an inquiry for a full week booking that upcoming Monday and my home wasn’t ready yet. Luckily, direct booking being my saviour this time, someone else did a booking that same night from Thursday to Sunday. So, I had to disappoint the full week-party, but I did have some extra time to prepare. So, last Sunday I spent two hours at Ikea buying: mattress toppers, bed linen, sheets, towels, pillows and more stuff. I got help in setting everything up and cleaning my home. I look now at my own home with different eyes and notice all small stuff that needs fixing, painting and/or cleaning. Hmmm, not good…
From paranoia to ratings & reviews
In two weeks time an idea turned me into a real host on AirBnB. So last night the first party of 6 students arrived. I had in mind to welcome them in person, give them a welcome package (just to create a guilt trip). But you guess, nothing went as planned. Their flight was delayed, I had to go to the office and I just left the house key in a pot in the garden. So much for personal contact. Matthias proposed to walk past my house after dinner, but I refused. I decided to trust my gut feeling (or intuition) and silence my mind.
I actually slept good last night with my mobile phone again on flight mode. This morning I woke up and while activating my phone, I was anxious if I missed some calls or messages from my guests. Once that was not the case, I hoped they got a good night’s sleep as well, because I worried I might get a bad review on AirBnB. So in this last 2 weeks I went from indifference towards becoming a host and from ‘they might wreck my home’ to ‘hopefully I get a good review’. How odd?!
During my run this morning I had time to reflect on the past two weeks and it made me laugh about everything, especially all the mind games happening. I look at it as yet another great example of vortexes we get sucked in on daily basis and we can’t prevent it from happening. Things just happen….