January 30, 2014
By Joe McCarthy
Home-sharing companies led by Airbnb have raised pressing concerns for hotel brands that now have to contend with an ultra-specific, growing and disruptive trend.
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I work with a luxury ski chalet manager and can speak to Airbnb’s disruption from a completely different and perhaps more urgent perspective. The real disruption of Airbnb to us has been the complete lack of regulation over fraud on the site. Despite watermarking photos and monitoring listings, we find our homes fraudulently listed on Airbnb and VRBO through people who have no connection to these properties. Airbnb has been extremely difficult to work with in taking these fraudulent listings down, to the point of allowing known fraudulent renters to continue listing properties without any consequence. Thankfully, many people seeing these listings have searched for the properties online and found us to ask if the deal was too good to be true — it always is. I respect each of your points in the article, but the complete indifference toward fraud is what has made Airbnb the biggest headache to us as a professional property manager. I’m curious to know who has experienced similar problems with Airbnb.