They Grow Up So Fast!
The business of home rental is as old as the hills...and relatively young. In biblical times, the standard was to welcome travelers into your home. To not be willing to host strangers was a black mark against you. There were also innkeepers, like Rahab, who hosted travelers, but never on a large scale. This was all long before hotels were even dreamed of.
Then came hotels.
And now we are back to homes. In this new age, this style of hospitality is in its infancy...but it is growing up FAST. A few years ago people slapped up their extra rooms on an internet site and the people came. The dusty corners and lumpy beds were overlooked, cuz this new way of travel was so convenient. However, as the niche has expanded, the guest expectations has expanded as well. It is no longer viable to provide a less than stellar listing. Dusty corners and a dirty fridge? A host will get eaten for lunch and --gasp-- garner a less-than-five-star rating. Beautiful, sparkling clean accommodations, luxury bedding, stellar communications and some personal touches are the new standard.
Expectations have also grown regarding the guests. After some epic fails that have gotten vacation rentals banned in certain areas, hosts have had to adapt and learn how to weed out the troublemakers. Gadgets, like the one that gives a property owner a heads up if the guests are getting too rowdy, are becoming the norm. And...the host can rate the guests...gasp! Trust me, a guest with a bad rating or two may have to settle for a hotel.
My point is there have been growing pains, and this niche has risen to the challenge. Hosts are addressing the problems and challenges that have sprung up with growing professionalism and innovation. I can't wait to see where it grows from here!