Inhabitat: How do you prevent vandalism or just plain old disrespect of property?
Joe Gebbia: Trust and safety is very important to us. We do our best to make the platform as transparent as possible, so people are empowered to make decisions they are comfortable with. Airbnb has established a $1 Million Dollar Host guarantee incase anything goes wrong, transaction based reviews, and a variety of additional features that facilitate transparency in the marketplace. We provide our users with the tools they need to flag users, message threads, and listings, and provide them with 24/7 access to our Customer Service team if they need support. We maintain a Trust & Safety section of our web site with more information, www.airbnb.com/trust.
Inhabitat: Have you seen a high demand for Airbnb in the NYC area? How is the supply?
Joe Gebbia: New York City is a destination for the world, and we can enable more travelers to visit. There are currently over 17,000 active Airbnb listings in NYC, a figure that has doubled in the last year. Over 2.6 million nights have been booked on Airbnb in New York City, making it Airbnb’s biggest and highest-demand market. Clearly there is demand for this type of travel in NYC, and we have guests staying in all five boroughs, bringing business to parts of the city that don’t typically get visitor traffic. Our local NYC hosts are recommending local NYC establishments to their guests – this is after all the experience guests want. The benefit for local businesses is getting a lift from customers that wouldn’t normally patron them.