I spent part of the second week of August in an apartment in Brooklyn that my wife and I had rented with Airbnb. We were in town to celebrate her birthday, and we had a great time visiting the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the Brooklyn Museum, and some of the great restaurants Brooklyn and Manhattan have to offer. I enjoyed staying in someone’s home rather than a hotel room, and I think that’s one reason the visit was so relaxing.
Upon returning home I tweeted that I had been very impressed with my first Airbnb stay. A few days later, I got home and had a package from…Airbnb. It was a box of #airbnblove swag with a note saying (I paraphrase) “thanks for your tweet; glad you had a good time, here’s some stuff.” It included a t-shirt, a travel toothbrush, a little notepad, a luggage tag, and a $25 discount coupon.
Suffice it to say they have created a great brand impression. Some have claimed that Airbnb has an unfair advantage over hotels because they aren’t (but should be) subject to the same regulations. The next step in the evolution of the sharing economy, though, should be for governments to deregulate the hotel industry so as to put them on an equal footing with Airbnb.