Airbnb is the Uber for accommodation. It’s a platform that allows a private citizen to rent out their homes, apartments, or even a single room. You can easily book your desired rental from the Airbnb website airbnb.com. However, while you book your Airbnb, I’m sure you would find a small missing thing. The property address. Unlike a hotel reservation, Airbnb does not reveal the exact property address until you book. You get an estimated location within a small radius before you book. To find out the exact reasons, I’ve spoken to numerous Airbnb hosts and enlisted all the reasons why Airbnb’s address is hidden before booking in this article.
Reason 1: Privacy and Security.
The number one reason for hiding addresses online is the privacy and security of the hosts. A hotel reveals its address because of how it is operated. A hotel is always on a commercial property, has 24/7 staff. On the contrary, most of the time, Airbnb is an empty apartment or a house.
If Airbnb reveals the property address, it could become a prime target for thieves, and robbers if the address is published. Then thugs know precisely where and whom to target. They would know which Airbnb property is empty and what is inside of the property. If entire homes or apartments were listed with their full address, it would be too straightforward for criminals to find places to rob, simply by checking the calendar for when it isn’t reserved.
Moreover, its a major security concern for the guests. Robbers would know that the people living in the property are tourists. Thieves would scout properties they know are rentals, then stake the place out waiting for the newly arrived guests to go out for dinner or to the beach, then break-in. They know tourists are likely to have money, devices, jewelry, and other valuables.
So, it’s best not to reveal an Airbnb address before the booking is made. It would prevent all these potential problems. Nobody gets to see the host’s exact location until they have booked and paid, so there is a record of them with their verifications. It is to prevent fraud and theft.
Reason 2: Prevent Unwanted Guest.
If the Airbnb address is revealed before booking confirmation, a guest could turn up at the rental property without any reservation, creating unnecessary headaches for the host.
Reason 3: Protect From Landlord Backlash.
An Airbnb host can also rent out a room in their apartment. Many times the apartment is rented from a landlord. The host is merely sharing a room with a stranger for a few nights for extra income. If the Airbnb address is public, then the renter would face severe backlash from the landlord. Hiding address protects the Airbnb host from landlord backlash.
Reason 4: Prevent Unwanted Law enforcement Attention.
Many places, Airbnb, is not legal yet. The address would only attract possible legal action against the property owner from government officials.
Reason 5: Protect From HOA Backlash.
In some places, HOA does not allow Airbnb rentals in their community. Exact address will alert the HOA to take unwanted backlash against the property owner.
Reason 6: Prevent Guest From Booking Outside of Platform.
Not showing the exact address is another way to ensure that hosts and guests do not communicate outside of Airbnb. Airbnb wants that all the transactions are done through their platform. Potential guests could contact the host to book, cutting out Airbnb and their service fee if the address is revealed. This would become a disaster for Airbnb business in the long run. This would eliminate any profit going to Airbnb.
Concern From Guests:
I’ve talked to numerous guests. Many guests insist that hiding address on Airbnb is a bad idea, and Airbnb should reverse this policy. Few guests suggested that Airbnb should give options to hosts to reveal or hide the property address.
A few critical reasoning from the guests is discussed below.
Guest Concern 1:
Many guests want to see the buildings and surrounding area before booking. Because to be able to check the surroundings and the external appearance of the building is part of the experience of knowing in advance, the place where you are going to stay. In many cities, a few blocks make a whole lot of difference in the environment. You could be booking a lovely apartment, but the building could be unsafe for tourists and visitors.
Guest Concern 2:
There are places in the world where no zoning rules exist, for example, Mexico. You could end up next to a bar or a turkey farm.
Guest Concern 3:
According to Airbnb guests, the Airbnb location map isn’t always accurate. Sometimes, the location shows on the map isn’t the location for the rental property.
Guest Concern 4:
Guests also want to know the exact location to determine the distances between the rental property and necessary amenities, such as restaurant, bus or train stops, deli grocery, etc.
Guest Concern 5:
A few blocks can make all the difference for those who are elderly, suffering from a severe illness or otherwise lacking in personal mobility. That’s why guests want to know the exact location.
Guest Concern 6:
Some Airbnb guests had terrible experiences where the property doesn’t reflect the pictures. For example, the photos had been taken years before.