When did you decide to open the doors of your house so that people from other countries can come, through Airbnb in your case? You rent a room, right?
I registered in the platform in 2014 but did not dare to rent because I didn’t know much about it and it wasn’t an extended option…
And I guess you were wary of who could come.
Yes, I was doubtful… And when I went to live alone in an apartment where I had more space, I had the story of some friends who had done it and I decided to do it, and this year I decided to open my house.
Look, that moment after the listing… you put up the listing, someone contacts you… it has to be pretty special that moment in which that bell sound we have just heard sounds and people come in. It has to be odd. How does that work?
The first people who came home were two super nice girls, and then from the moment we started chatting through the platform, there were super good vibes, and from the start they were telling “we are really looking forward to meeting you, to go to your place, we want to meet you”, I don’t know… We had become friends through the platform and it was great because the girls were very charming. The girls were Brazilian and they brought me a present, flip flops, the typical havaianas. And I go “but it’s me who has to give you a present so that you leave me a good review!”. We had a great rime. The truth is that the experience was super positive.
I assume that the moment you welcome someone into your house, it goes beyond a strictly guest-person opening their home relationship. There is some sort of friendship or at least getting along, right?
Yes, because it creates a bond. When I let someone into my place, I am looking for people with a profile… because in the end they are going to sleep in my bed and they will be around my things. I always look for… as the profiles always have references from other places where they have stayed, I always look for people with whom I can connect and there is a good feeling, because if I have to stay in my place with someone with whom I can’t connect… I’m not.
There must be this very cool thing that if the person who is staying in your house, it’s not that kind of tourism of “I am going to have a beer” and they go to the usual bars in Las Ramblas, but instead you can take them to your usual bars and they shop in the same shops you go, they live the city a bit…
Yes, because they even come looking for that. The last two girls who came, they came from the US but they were from Madrid, and they told me they wanted… that they had made a reservation in a hotel but that they preferred to experience living in a house with Airbnb. They were looking for that kind of experience. I always tell people who come to my house “go eat in that place”, “if you want to party, go to that other place”… there is also people with whom I’ve gone partying, and you always try to show them the less touristic and packaged city that hotels sell, so that they get a good experience.
Has it all been good experiences or have you had any bad ones?
None, really. The first one was… you know, you are afraid, but it was so good, that the next ones, even though you might be a bit cautious because you never know… well, everyone who has come home has been super quiet people. I wasn’t expecting to get along so well. Once came two Italians, a mother and daughter, who brought me a wine bottle and we were chatting all night with some cheese. The experiences have always been with amazing people.
I understand that you lost your job not long ago.
From this Tuesday on, I am unemployed.
This goes great for you, because you get some extra money.
Yes, it’s some extra money that now will be more needed than ever, and the truth is that I always had that thing of “you’re making money like that…” but I am not getting rich and it’s some help that goes great, to tell you the truth.
Why do you think it gets some bad reputation? Maybe people mix too many things at once…
Yeah, because there is people who rent whole houses, which is completely different to those who rent a room in their home, because you live together.
That would be a vacation rental? I mean, they are impersonal houses in which one day a family comes and the next another… The difference is you are always at home.
Yes, I mean, I get out of the shower and I am there at my place. That way it is totally different. There is some sort of control. People are afraid that anyone can come, going upstairs or downstairs, unknown people. And it’s pretty much the opposite, I mean, people come with a good attitude, always with respect. I have never had any complaint or anything bad has ever happened.
That’s great. What about hooking up?
Well, not in my case but it could be possible, yes.