According to Airbnb, older adults are both the highest rated and fasted growing demographic on their global room and apartment rental platform. There are over 200,000 senior citizens actively renting out spare bedrooms, apartments, and houses to a variety of guests on the website.
In an NBC News interview with Carolyn Winter, an older Airbnb host who once worked in the fashion industry, she discusses why she chose to rent out the two spare rooms in her home to Airbnb guests. She talks about how the platform has helped her financially and that the additional income provided has allowed her to stay in her home.
Carolyn has had more than 300 guests in the two years since becoming an Airbnb host, netting her an extra $28,000 in income. She is now opening up additional apartments, and not just her home, to Airbnb guests. The company says that Carolyn’s experiences, and the experiences of others like her, are a part of what they call the Silver Economy. They see this as an opportunity for empty nesters to use vacant rooms in their homes to cash in on the growing room rental market.
She considers each guest before accepting them on the platform and into her home. Airbnb leaves the final decision to accept or reject a guest up to the host. There is also a public feedback system that allows both guests and hosts to leave their thoughts about positive or negative experiences. In addition, Airbnb offers insurance to cover any excessive damages done by guests while they are visiting.
Carolyn's guests have come from nearly every nation, and she has enjoyed the experience. For many, it can provide a social opportunity to meet people from everywhere without having to leave the house.
That said, there are still security concerns when it comes to bringing virtual strangers into your home. Enhanced security features and precautions are advised.
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