Airbnb 123: 3. What type of people use and what guests are like on

Wed 19 Feb 2014
With the arrival of the twenty tens we have watched the rise of the "social network traveler". Web sites like "Couch Surfing" (, Warm Showers and Global Freeloaders grew followings across countries or the world. Couch surfing being the most popular has over 7 million registered members at 2013. People uses these networks for free accommodation with the obligation of pay it forward.

Meanwhile the relative new comer, presents the current ascendant in "pay to stay" social network.

With, city apartments, homes, private rooms, boats, caravans, air beds and couches are now filling with a new generation of paid hospitality... But who's that knocking on the door to stay in this way?

Here is some genres of guests encountered:

The retired nomad
With a life history of travel, moving cities and a generally un-grounded life, the retired nomad is now armed with a portable computer or tablet. They will arrive with interesting stories of life and career. Contented in life, they are happy to meander the world at a relaxed pace. They are interested in site seeing but not so much tour taking.. They are probably more happy to stay in touch with the daughter's wedding plans or watch some TV. Ever pleasant, they are very easy to host.

The middle class career woman
Tucked away in the corridors of corporate or management, the 30-40 something woman is now enjoying a break from career work commitment and traveling the world. They are well organised and have good savings to rely upon as they reach out across the world. They are probably looking for a career change or a new direction. Social and adventurous, they might be trying sky diving or scuba for the first time. They are interested in trying new things.

The romantic couple
Don't expect to see too much of the romantic couple who might be having a holiday together after some time apart. Tucked away in the bedroom, you won't have to worry about them. You can expect that they will be courteous and respectful.

General traits of the Airbnb guest:

Trusting and trustworthy
Going into someone's home, sharing with others, taking over an apartment is not for everyone. Plenty of people feel that there is risk being accommodated in this way, but its unfounded. Airbnb has various verification and ID checks, a review and reference system, along with the profile photos - that make it ultra safe for guests that use the systems properly.

Reasonably financed or affluent
The Airbnb guest has paid for their stay in full before arriving. Airbnb is usually cheaper than other accommodation options, so its only logical that the guest is thinking that they are holidaying with some extra cash courtesy of saving via

Social to very social
To step into someone's home and have a private room or even a shared space means that the Airbnb guest is ready to meet people and interact. My personal experience is that the guests are always happy to be involved in group meals, including chipping in for the purchase of food and wine, and helping to prepare it. Some have even done the dishes! (The exception to this is the romantic couple that tend to do their own thing.)

Tech Savvy and Online?
Today's online world keeps us connected 24 x 7... Airbnb has an app for iphone and andriod as well as the web site. An inbound message from the network will turn up in your  email, prompting a response. In my experience guests are very much connected and be avid users of the Internet while they stay. Providing reliable fast Wifi is going to be seen as a distinct benefit to this type of guest and seriously aids their comfort.

Thus far with Airbnb, there is no question that guests are educated and worldly. Career people, university educated is the norm. The upside of the worldliness and education is an appreciation of any cultural differences there might be benefiting you and them.

As Airbnb is such a new and innovative accommodation option, there is little question that Airbnb guests are willing to try something new. That's not to say they will hike off to Base Camp any time soon, but they are definitely looking for new experiences and probably have some great stories to share.

Conclusion guests are generally educated adventurous financed savvy social trustworthy ... and typically the sort of people you would want in your home as friends. The great thing is they are willing to pay for the privilege.

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John Nayler

Digital Marketer. Sailor. Speaker

John Nayler

Brisbane, QLD

0407 15 13 11

John Nayler

In a world where it is critical to cut through the noise and stand out, John Nayler quietly delivers significant competitive advantage through an in-depth knowledge and intense fascination with content, information and the digital world. Describing his first contact with the internet in 1998 as ‘Love At First Sight’, John successfully created the laptop lifestyle before it was a buzzword, growing a highly regarded digital and media agency, inventing and commercialising products, and launching niche magazines, from aboard his boat in the Whitsunday Islands – one of the most sought after island locations in the world. Competitive advantage is a hard-contact, tactical game which can be won or lost in the digital space. John’s education and commitment to his field, and experience at the forefront of marketing and management in the IT space, delivers an innate understanding of how to position, communicate and leverage to deliver improved visibility, lead flow, and ultimately drive sales and profitability.