AirBnB sinks further into P.C.

InclusionC

WE OCCASIONALLY rent our Downtown Casita to vacationers via AirBnB. I say “occasionally” but “almost never” is more accurate these days.

We purchased the place in 2010 with an inheritance I received after my mother died in 2009. We had no plans to rent it. It just seemed like a good idea at the time, an investment, and it has increased in value. Also in my mind was that my child bride might move there after my demise because the Hacienda is a handful for a single inhabitant.

Initially, we planned to overnight there on occasion for the fun of it — it’s walking distance from the main plaza — and we did for a while, and then we didn’t. We never do anymore. That’s when AirBnB came to mind. That mega-business was just gaining traction all over the world. We began to rent fairly often via AirBnB.

There were about 30 AirBnB properties in our city of about 80,000 residents when we started , and now there are over 180. That’s a whale of a lot of rentals in a relatively small tourist town, and it’s affected our business a lot. We don’t get many bites anymore.

AirBnB is based in San Francisco, California. It was launched in 2008, and the current name debuted in 2009, so you see we signed on fairly early.

Being a San Francisco company, AirBnB is firmly committed to every silly detail of politically correct nonsense, and just recently they debuted a new policy: When someone requests a reservation, AirBnB hides the profile photo from the property owner.

That’s right. Even though customers fill out a profile that includes a photo, AirBnB won’t let hosts see it until the reservation is approved. This is to avoid “discrimination” on the part of property owners. You might not want to rent to a Mexican, a gay couple, or two young women with purple bangs, nose rings and an attitude.

And they’re right about that, but if you’re a property owner, you should have the right to cull. That’s my opinion. We do cull by age, but that’s legal in Mexico. It’s not old people we don’t want. It’s young people. We embrace old people.

The way I see it is, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” You can tell a lot about looking at someone’s photo. It’s very helpful in deciding yea or nay, and I’m rather picky. We’ve had 18 rentals, ranging from two weeks (our minimum) to three months (our max) and every one has given us five stars in all categories. I’ve returned the favor.

We’ve had good people. Buena gente.

AirBnB has a written policy, and it reads like a SJW Manifesto. Diversity, inclusion, multiculturalism, respect. All that leftist hullabaloo. And now you cannot even see what potential guests look like, a very bad idea. This so-called fairness move is 100 percent in favor of guests and 100 percent against property owners.

I’ll likely be looking into other rental options, ones that favor the property owners over the tenants, ones that stick to capitalism, not Social Justice.

But we’ll stay put on AirBnB, at least till they boot me for being a Trump fan.

32 thoughts on “AirBnB sinks further into P.C.

  1. One of our children just returned from a Maui vacay for a week in a VRBO condo. While it was definitely cheaper than the hotel options for a two-bedroom accommodation in a beachy/hotely location on the island, the condo was in need of an update with fresh paint. They said it smelled like used cooking oil. But, oh well, you’re not supposed to hang out inside with all that lush outside, outside. I have no doubt that Felipe’s owner-owned rental is way above expectations in terms of looking and feeling brand new. Disappointment possibly awaits elsewhere.

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  2. The Casita is beautiful, and we loved Patzcuaro! Not sure we’ll ever RV your way again, but flying in could happen. Will keep this in the back of my mind. I certainly qualify on the geezer requirement since I have you beat by a few years.

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    1. Gerard: Greenbacks know no politics, so yes. I don’t talk politics with our tenants, so I’m not sure where they stand, nor do I care.

      Given that the majority of Gringos who visit Mexico, I believe, are leftists and that the overwhelming majority of Gringos and Canucks who actually move to Mexico are definitely leftists, I imagine most of my tenants are politically confused too. But the topic never comes up. I treat them all like royalty.

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      1. Well, I was thinking about Mexicans when I wrote that, but still happy to hear you don’t discriminate against foreigners.

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        1. Gerard: How does “socialist-commie-Trump-hating-leftists” relate to Mexicans? Perhaps you were thinking of Mexico’s teacher unions.

          But since you mention Mexicans, here’s a funny thing. We’ve never had a Mexican tenant. We’ve had quite a few requests from Mexicans, but they invariably, in spite of what it clearly says on our AirBnB page that there is a two-week minimum, want to stay one or two nights. They always ask, “Can you make an exception?” And the answer is always no, of course. We’re not running a hotel.

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          1. Yes, short stays are probably the norm for many paisanos. A weekend getaway from CDMX or another big city. Two weeks in your town would leave me starving. I don’t believe we have ever found a place so devoid of decent restaurants. And when on vacation we are not looking to prepare meals.

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          2. Why not make your policy a payment of at least two weeks of rent, and then let them leave when they want to? I’m assuming your aversion to short stays is the ratio of clean up expense/hassle to the rental rate.

            Saludos,

            Kim G
            Boston, MA
            Which has all kinds of crazy laws regarding the rental of residential property.

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        2. Gerard, P.S.: We do discriminate against young people. Actually, discrimination, due to political correctness, has gotten a bad rap in recent decades. Discrimination can be either good or bad, depending on the situation. Remember when one could have discriminating taste? I am a fan of discrimination, do it quite often.

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  3. We’ve rented homes and condos from Vrbo both internationally and in the U.S. Although I don’t have rental property, maybe it’s worth for you to look at them again.

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    1. Thirsty: Thanks for the tip, but I tried to sign up with them about six months ago. It was so freaking complicated, I gave up on it after a few days. AirBnB, by comparison, is a piece of cake, which is why it’s so massively successful. It’s the Google/Facebook/Twitter now of vacation rentals.

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  4. Happy belated birthday, Felipe!!!!!! What date does your birthday fall on? My hubby’s is on the 19th and on the 18th we celebrated our 38th anniversary.
    Still hoping to make it to Pátzcuaro someday.

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    1. Teresa: Well, thanks, Teresa. There is only one problem. I have not had a birthday recently, and it’s not polite to ask a lady her age. Okay, I’m no lady, but I believe in equal rights. Congrats on your anniversary, however. And many happy returns.

      And how did we get off on birthdays anyway?

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  5. Felipe,

    As a two-time visitor to your casita, I can wholeheartedly endorse your fine accommodations. Don’t think I would rent my place to anyone sight unseen. You’re asking for trouble there. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

    Regards,
    Troy

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    1. Troy: Feel free to come again. And yes, AirBnB’s intentionally hiding photos of people who want reservations is beyond ridiculous. Appearances do matter, and discrimination can be a very good thing.

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  6. Señor Zapata, what a coincidence this was published the very day I signed onto renting a casita in Arizona for a month. I gained three days of knowledge sifting through houses, single rooms, casitas and even a castle room through these two online services you’ve written about. Although I had a choice of going with one or the other, I found I appreciated AirBnB much more than VRBO. I found more information with Air than I did V, but it’s noteworthy to say what I didn’t get, was more information on the rentees until after I had booked the casita. I did have the opportunity to ask some questions from the owner. Once satisfied, he seemed legitimate and willing to work with me (he allowed me to bring my dog, opposed to the beginning when the rules said no pets). It was a fairly easy process with a good guarantee offered by Air. I wonder how much bio he was getting of me from what info I had filled out. And I agree with you. Property owners should be able to say yea or nay to who’s sitting on their sofa prior to booking. Big-name hotels don’t care because the name of their game is turnover each night. Damage, etc., can be repaired by simply increasing overall hotel costs to cover these expenses or flipping the mattress. Small-time property owners don’t have that luxury most times. I agree, discrimination can be a good thing.

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    1. Leisa: Where you been hiding yourself? Happy to see you. Yes, AirBnB is a great service, which is why it’s mushroomed over the last decade to gargantuan proportions. It’s even being clamped down on in some places, and hotels sure don’t like it. Well, anyway, enjoy your month at the casita in Arizona. I like Arizona.

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  7. My son stayed at an AirBnB in Toronto in the fall and discovered a webcam in a clock in his bedroom. He went nuts, and called the cops. The story hit the national news in Canada. He is suing the owner back to the Stone Age.

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    1. Señor Wallenberg: Well, that’s a weird one. I guess I should remove the webcams in our casita. Just joking!

      Sometimes you read strange stuff regarding AirBnB properties, but there are so many of them, odd stuff is bound to happen now and then.

      Don’t know why your comment went to moderation. Wasn’t me. Sometimes WordPress has a mind of its own. Or maybe you changed email address. That’ll do it.

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  8. Just curious, when you were able to view photos of prospective tenants, did you ever have somebody submit photos of someone else? When they show up, it is somebody you have never seen before, maybe with many facial tattoos. What could you do in that case? Ask airBnB for a refund? What do I have to do to get the senior discount? Show my Medicare card? Phil (Phxxer) in Phoenix.

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    1. Phil: We have been uniformly fortunate with tenants. Never had a bad one and never had someone show up who was not the person(s) in the profile mugshot. If I did have someone show up who had falsified info, I don’t know what AirBnB’s policy is on that. Hope I never have to find out. Since reservations are markedly declining, I likely won’t. I’m not aware of any senior discount on AirBnB. Perhaps individual hosts offer that. Not us. Well, I’d give you a good deal. Come on down.

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      1. If I were 20 years younger I would give it serious consideration. I have heard on some dating websites, they’ll show a picture of a beautiful gal, but the picture was from 25 years ago. The same thing that happens on the obituary page.

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        1. Phil: I figured you’d pass on the Casita offer for the reason stated, but I was serious. As we say down here, mi casa es tu casa.

          As for photos on dating sites, etc., yeah, people fib. Human nature, I guess.

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