Airbnb has become the most popular alternative to staying in a hotel for travellers worldwide. The accommodation is usually cheaper than a traditional hotel and offers a more social and authentic travel experience. Whether you’re looking for more space and amenities or you just want to know more about the local way of life – it’s worth considering the many options available on Airbnb. To find out more about what makes Airbnb accommodation such an enticing and attractive alternative, we interviewed Jay Lee an Airbnb host from Taiwan.
Why did you decide to put your house on Airbnb?
Actually we didn’t plan to put our place on Airbnb at the very beginning. The original intention was to build a garden to nurture endangered species of plants. After the garden was built, we invited our close friends to see our garden. They found that our place was much more than a garden and suggested to us that we should share the spirit and the beautiful place to friends all around the world. Then we did it.
Tell us about the inspirations behind your home design.
The home is designed by three stubborn people, Water Lee (Dad), Jay Lee (Son), Moon Lun (Daughter in law). Water loves Japanese and Chinese style; and Jay and Moon love the neat and simple IKEA style. It was hard to imagine how to combine all of these together, but after more than a hundred discussions (or fights ^_^), we found out the best way to solve this problem. It’s what we have now, Grandpa PoPo Home-stay.
How did you overcome the issue of trust to allow total strangers to stay at your property?
If you’ve read our room description on Airbnb, you will find that we must be one of the strictest hosts on Airbnb. We set clear rules for our guests: they must introduce themselves and be verified by the Airbnb system prior to making a reservation. If guests are not patient enough to go through these processes, they will give up right away. Normally, when people are really interested in booking your rooms, they respect the rules you set and follow your instructions step by step until the reservation is made. We trust Airbnb’s system and trust our own management.
What makes your home an ideal holiday stay?
It is tranquil and natural. Our home-stay is located in a suburb of Taipei City, and a well-known national park in Taiwan. It’s easy to get to the famous old street in Danshui (15mins ride), also 15mins to get to the starting point of the hiking route. Our home is perfect for your holiday escape.
Tell us something only local knows about your city or the surroundings of your home.
The most spectacular landscape of Yangmingshan National Park can’t be seen in Taipei. You can only see it from our side. I can’t tell you why, I can only prove it thru your eyes. ^_^
What advice can you share with homeowners thinking about sharing their home on Airbnb?
Be patient with all of your guests, even if they are rude or annoying. If you treat them with passion and patience, you’ll build a strong bond between the guests and you. Always keep your place clean and neat, no one likes staying in dirty rooms when they are on their holidays. Set clear rules and execute them, it’s the best way to protect your guests and you.
What has been the best experience being an Airbnb host so far?
Becoming really good friends with our guests. Since October 2014 till now, we’ve hosted more than 150 guests from all around the world. More than 20 guests became our close friends since then, it’s wonderful to meet all of these people and to have them in our lives.