We received a press release last week from a UK-based company called Airsorted. They are promising to make it easier for you to let out – sorry, “share” – your apartment on Airbnb without ever having to actually meet the allegedly lovely people you are sharing it with.
They say they are “the world’s only true global management company for Airbnb” and claim they are “changing the way properties are being managed and hosted in Australia.”
This may come as a surprise to local Airbnb boosters MadeComfy who’ve been doing this very successfully for a while, now.
“After starting out in the UK, Airsorted is now in 18 cities across seven countries, including Australia,” it says here. “Airsorted was created to take away any issues for hosts renting out their home on Airbnb such as guest enquiries, cleaning and key exchanges.”
In other words, they are going to make the commercialisation of your residential apartment as efficient as possible and they’ve come all the way from England to show us how to do it properly.
“Airsorted take the hassle away from people trying to host their property on Airbnb, by literally doing everything for them,” they say. Does that include making amends to seriously pissed off neighbours who thought they were buying or renting a home? No? OK, just asking …
The rest of the press release is just more blah about how fantastic Airbnb is, how much money you can make from it and how easy these guys make it for you.
Of course, first you’ll have to turf out those grubby residential tenants (with the help of our antiquated “no cause” rental termination laws) and get serious about making money from your investment.
One of the services they offer – apart from tarting up your listing, cleaning your flat, making the beds and even fixing the lights and changing tap washers – is “24/7 Guest communications” which includes “screening of guests” and “24/7 guest support for check-in or any queries.”
Well, ain’t that grand. But, hang on, they don’t say if they offer the same 24/7 support to the strata schemes where they are placing these highly vetted travellers.
I mean, there’s a number ‘guests’ can call when they’ve lost their keys. But what about a number for neighbours to call when these fantastic people they have let into our building start leaving their garbage in the hallways, partying all night and throwing lit ciggies off the balcony.
Do they give them a copy of the by-laws and make them read them when they turn up? And do they throw them out when they start breaking the rules.
In fact, do they do us the simple courtesy of saying “by the way, we are now managing flat 13 and if there are any problems, night or day, just call us”?
Maybe they do, but I bet they bloody don’t.
Airsorted aren’t the first company to move in on the lucrative “sharing” economy – sharing our common property with their paying guests – and they won’t be the last.
Jon Faine the radio host in Melbourne once famously called Airbnb “parasites and predators”, which reminds me of that old rhyme (which I will probably misquote):
Big fleas have little fleas
Upon their backs to bite ’em
And little fleas have littler fleas
And so, ad infinitum