Join Debi Hertert of HostingYourHome.com as she interviews three people at the 2016 Airbnb Open conference in Los Angeles. For each of the past three years, Airbnb has held an annual conference called “The Airbnb Open”. In 2014 it was in San Francisco, in 2015 it was in Paris, and this year it was in Los Angeles. Debi has attended all three of these incredible, gala events. Airbnb brings in big name performers, authors, designers, politicos, artists and speakers. It is very exciting to attend these events and meet people from all over the world. With all the bad press about Airbnb that we have to listen to, it is uplifting to participate in a giant communal experience of hosting and hear stories.
This year, Airbnb came up with the concept of “Brain Dates”, where people could offer their experience on any subject, Airbnb would post that in the pre-registration info, and participants could sign up to meet one-on-one. Debi offered to interview people about their hosting experiences. It was a great concept, but as with all new concepts at big events, there were hurdles. So we made the best of it and were able to get several short interviews recorded. There is a lot of background noise, but even that gives you a flavor of the overall vibe of the event. One really fun experience was having the Airbnb film crew take video of one of Deb’s interviews, which was a great interview but unfortunately our audio quality was poor so we can’t use it, and we also don’t have any access to the Airbnb video of the interview.
We decided to split the Open interviews into two episodes, to keep the time down. This episode includes Olga Eliseeva, from Russia, Justin Marks, from San Diego, and Arry Zhan, from China. We just ran the three short interviews one after another. Each of them is less than 8 minutes long. Olga lives in Moscow but has an Airbnb in Turkey and is in the US for the first time. Justin hosts in San Diego, and Ari hosts near Bejing in China, also on her first-ever trip to the US. The Open was filled with voices like theirs from all over the world and I hope you enjoy these as much as we did!
EPISODE TIMING AND SEQUENCE:
- Debi’s Intro: 0:00 – 04:30
- Olga (Russia): 4:30 – 12:20
- Dustin (San Diego): 12:20 – 16:00
- Arry (China): 16:00 – 23:00
- Debi’s wrap-up: 23:00 – 25:00
Olga lives in Moscow, Russia. She is an Airbnb host, but not in Moscow – she has an apartment in Turkey! She knew about Airbnb and thought she would try the experience with her apartment that can house four people. She began a few months ago and has had six sets of guests over the summer. She has a multi-lingual friend in Turkey who does the meet-and-greet with guests. Olga sometimes gets to meet them if she is in Turkey, and she makes little bracelets and tries to leave them for her guests when she can.
Justin hosts in downtown (North Park) San Diego, renting out an extra room and when he is out of town, renting his own room out as well. With this income, he was able to take over his mother’s house payments in Michigan when she became too ill to work. He hosts all the time, and all kinds of guests, from business travelers to younger couples from all over the world. Justin described a 70-year old guest who he connected with so closely that he felt it was like seeing himself 50 years in the future. He feels like there are homes all over the world he would be able to stay at through these connections.
Arry is a Chinese teacher on her first trip to the US. She tells Debi about her Airbnb near Bejing and her friend who is taking care of guests while Arry is traveling. Her guests are mostly young people. Debi and Arry have a fun conversation about phone apps and Arry shows her an app that is an Airbnb rival, with a funny little pig icon. This is actually a big competitor, the re-branded Ali Baba Trips app that literally means “Flying Pig” in Chinese. Ari plans on staying in the US for a couple of months to learn better English, and hopes to trade some instruction in Chinese for an Airbnb place to stay. At the Airbnb Open conference she met a number of hosts from Portland, and thinks she might come to Portland for a while!
Olga’s listing in Turkey. This is SO COOL to see these different languages! https://www.airbnb.ru/users/show/54340583
Arry’s listings and profile (it is really fun to read some of her reviews and replies): https://www.airbnb.com/users/show/73956901