Yesterday was the first day of the conference. Mostly registration and stuff. But I love it! There are so many nice people, and it's great to meet other hosts and talk about things such as which is the best colour for towels. White (because you can bleach them)? Or dark colours (because it's harder to see stains)?
Here are some of the people I talked to:
A woman in her 60's. Social worker from Seattle. Started being an Airbnb host to get an extra income after retirement. And to keep young by meeting people. We talked about how having guests in your home makes you more open to other people. "I'm a little introvert, I wouldn't have been talking to you unless I had had this experience", she told me.
A couple, about 70 years, also from Seattle. They rent out five houses on an island where you can see orcas. It turned out the husband was also celebrating his birthday, so someone suggested we should start singing Happy Birthday and see how many would join. It didn't happen.
A man from California. When he heard I'm from Sweden he told me he had a Swedish couple as guests and showed me pictures of them. He had gone with them to the sea and told me he really liked hanging out with his guests and show them things. One guest was a teacher who was only going to stay three days, but decided to stay for a whole year. When we said goodbye he handed me a note with his phone number, "we are bunch that's gonna have breakfast tomorrow, just call me if you wanna join".
A man who saw my superhost badge (he had one too). "Congratulations on being a super host. My great, great grandfather was from Sweden. Jag talar inte svenska. Välkommen till Los Angeles."
In the line for the Thai food truck a Russian man asking me what pad thai is. He's the manager of 20 Airbnb apartments in Moscow. Was traveling to LA with his son.
A Norwegian couple from Bergen. They rented out a house there. Which is the best season in Bergen, I asked. The summer, they told me.
An woman from Buenos Aires who had been an Airbnb host for six years. She was very engaged in connecting hosts there and creating joint events for guests, such as asados. She also told me they sometimes buy sheets or other necessities together to get a better deal. She had one listing, but was super engaged in being a host and had been to all three Airbnb Open conferences. "Every year I take a photo with Brian Chesky. I need to do that tomorrow."
The Australian man living in Berlin who had 70 listings in Spain. Oh, wow, 70 listings! "Yes, I thought it was a lot, until I heard about someone who had 500." He had, like me, started having guests in his home, six years ago, but had now turned hosting into a business. "I miss that way of hosting a little bit."
The young guy from Beijing in a red hipster beanie, glasses and denim shirt who told me he had seven listings, among them a traditional Chinese house. "Have you been in Beijing? You must go!"
It's amazing to see such diversity among the hosts. Everyone have different stories, ages, nationalities and there is everything from hosts like me who rent out a room in their own home to people who have grown a business from this. I love it!