AirBnB Alternatives for Hosting
November 2, 2019 8:01 PM   Subscribe

Say that a person was convinced to switch away from AirBnB. What alternatives are there for people with a room to rent out?

In our house where we live, we have a separate-entrance "in law suite" that is literally that, as it exists so that grandparents have a place to stay when visiting BabyEsse. So, long-term rentals are Right Out. We live in a reasonably-desirable location with just one hotel in town (and no hotels that wouldn't generously be described as "colorful" closer than an hour from us), so there's a market for a place to stay. What service could we use to list it that's a little further from the hellscape end of No Ethical Consumption Under Capitalism?
posted by DebetEsse to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I do not use Air BnB and have found success with VRBO.
posted by seesom at 8:24 PM on November 2, 2019 [6 favorites]

I've rented through VRBO and found it to be fine.
posted by Toddles at 8:26 PM on November 2, 2019 [4 favorites]

VRBO and HomeAway are the standard. I know someone who lists vacation property by putting a flyer up in various places in his office and says that there are enough people at his X0,000 person employer that it's rented enough for his taste. There's Craigslist and Zillow, but those are usually longer term. In some places there are property management companies that could list and advertise vacation rentals.
posted by slidell at 8:39 PM on November 2, 2019

You can find property managers that specialize in furnished "corporate" rentals, but you will have to pay a lease up fee even if you do all the management yourself, typically 10%. Alternatively you could start advertising to realtors in your area who will have clients who need temporary furnished housing after selling a home.
posted by zdravo at 9:28 PM on November 2, 2019

I've been using VRBO for years with no issues. It seems fairly professional, in a way AirBnB isn't.

If I wanted medium term rentals I'd look into travelling nurses. If it works for them they'll refer you to other nurses
posted by fshgrl at 10:06 PM on November 2, 2019 [5 favorites]

Facebook groups are a good alternative. There should be at least one housing related FB group for your area. For travel nurses (usually 3 month contracts), Gypsy Soul Travel Nurse Housing Options is a good group that I've found tenants on. is also an option, though you pay $100 a year to list your units. They prescreen tenants, and lots of nurses use it, but my best leads have been through FB groups.
posted by ananci at 10:30 PM on November 2, 2019

The thing is that it depends on your target audience and geography. Couldn't find a link but I've been thinking about listing a place so I've been reading forums, and you'll find conversations where people say "we're listed on all the services, but 90 percent of our business comes from ___," and that ___ varies. Urban business travel and cabin-in-the-woods vacation travel are different, just for example.

In trying unsuccessfully to find a citation, I came across this article, which lists some other options not yet mentioned.

You can even list on multiple services and use some sort of app to sync up your calendar availability, so that if you get booked via one, the calendar on the other shows that you are not available.
posted by slidell at 12:05 AM on November 3, 2019 does offer options beyond hotels. There are dormitories and condos that are rented out, and I'm noticing more and more of them when I use the site. You could try that.
posted by AppleTurnover at 1:21 AM on November 3, 2019

The question didn't explicitly talk about money being exchanged, so suggesting in case this hadn't been considered - are you specifically wanting to advertise the rooms for money, or is it more of a desire to "make use of" the space? Have you considered making it available for your neighbors and/or friends' families, even friends-of-friends, or church/community group, for barter/homeswap/goodwill purposes? Because we live in a highly desirable area and are renters whose lease forbids airbnb, we have found ourselves with an available apartment on key holiday weeks if we ourselves are traveling. We frequently put out a call to our network and find that many people were interested in staying here, with no money exchanged. This has led to really cool house swaps, wonderful good will, neighborhood connections and sometimes surprising gifts like great wine and/or professional help. It's also felt nice because it is actually mutual, and we don't have to worry about untrusted people in our apartment (after reading so many AirBnB horror stories). We aren't homeowners yet but when we got to that stage, I would definitely consider staying with this approach, for the intangible benefits it has brought us.
posted by rogerroger at 7:39 AM on November 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

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