TIPS on how to rent a great place through WWW.AIRBNB.COM
I got a lot of questions after posting about a chalet we rented in Sainte-Agathe-Des-Monts. We rented it through a website called www.airbnb.com
We were first introduced to the website when my husband and his study group buddies rented an entire house for a couple of nights to go take an exam in a town close by. What I liked most about the idea is you get to rent a house/apartment for a short period of time and be able to cook, bbq and have enough space to hang out. The only concern of mine and I’m sure that thought crossed your mind is cleanliness. The first time I used airbnb was when my husband had a weeklong conference in Toronto summer 2016, and well, it wasn’t the cleanest apartment. From that experience, I was able to differentiate between a good choice and a bad one.
Here are a few tips to find a great place on airbnb:
1) Reviews are a great way to know if a place is good or not. However, if you have 77 reviews, that means there were at least 77 people staying in that place before you. So think quality, not quantity. A few great reviews are better than a lot of good ones.
2) Pictures are also a great way to see if the place is clean and new. Look at how they present the pictures. If there are a lot of pictures of the outside of the house then there’s something they are hiding. If you see pictures of every corner of the inside of the house and like what you see then that’s a good sign. Also, read the reviews and look for sentences like “just like the pictures” or “even better in person” These are also good signs.
3) Usually airbnb does not disclose the address of the place, just the area. But if you think you’re looking at a resort or an apartment building, try to match pictures of the place to photos on google maps (or just ask for the neighborhood address). That way you can know the area, and also read reviews on google maps to see if it’s a good fit for you.
We almost booked a gorgeous apartment once, but when I did a little bit of digging, I found the building through google maps and the place was a nightmare. (photos below) When we contacted the host and asked about the neighborhood, they gave us a pretty honest answer. They assured us that the flat is clean (which shows), but the neighborhood is known to have a lot of homeless people around. So don't hold back on questions. They are obliged to tell the truth.
4) Communicate with the host. Messaging the host tells you so much. If they reply within the hour, that’s a good sign. Also ask questions about the place and rooms and be specific. If the host replies in a professional manner and explains in details what you were asking then you’re on the right track. There’s no such thing as so many questions, you don’t want surprises, especially if you’re staying in the place for a while and paying before you arrive.
5) Look for listings with the label “new home”. Usually these places are clean. If you like what you see and that listing is not available, click on the host and see if he has other similar listings in the same area.
6) Double-check certain amenities. If you absolutely need parking and the host has listed parking ask about it. We once were about to book a place and I had a feeling to ask about parking and it turns out it wasn’t in the building and not guaranteed. That’s a red flag right there.
7) Lastly, if you’re looking for a great home, make sure you are a great guest! Every host will leave booklets with rules and guidelines (as well as tips and recommendations about the home & area around it) make sure you follow them especially during checkout.
I hope you found my post useful! Below are pictures of other homes we rented through airbnb: