DARLINGHURST’S Matt Bognar has been renting out his house on Airbnb since October 2014.
Charging $120 a night he has had visitors from around the world stay in his Oxford St home which is blessed with panoramic views the length of the famous strip.
“I’m so glad we made the decision to rent out our place,” said Bognar (pictured above), “the extra cash has not only helped fund our travels, but provided us with a sense of security that someone is looking after our home while we’re away.”
He said becoming an Airbnb host was a simple process.
“My partner was hesitant at first; but after hearing positive reviews from other friends and finding more information online, we decided to go with it,” he said.
“Now he’s more into it than I am, and every now and again we put it on for a few weekends and if someone books it we’ll head off to the mountains for a quick getaway.”
When it comes to security, Airbnb enables hosts to make their own rules for guests — for example; some hosts may allow pets while others enforce a curfew.
In addition, the organisation covers hosts for up to $900,000 in damage although, Bognar explained, he hasn’t had any issues with guests.
Airbnb’s country manager for Australia, Sam McDonagh said more Australians than ever were using the website to list, discover and book unique accommodation around the world.
“We’ve grown to become the world’s leading community driven hospitality company,” he said.
“We’ve doubled in size over the last year by any measure and Sydney is now in the top 10 biggest Airbnb cities in the world with more than 10,000 local listings.
“Our hosts represent a diverse group that vary in age, occupation, household type and income.
“The majority rent their primary residence occasionally and earn a modest income from it and our research tells us this makes a real difference.”
Around 50 per cent of hosts’ Airbnb income, said McDonagh, went on essential living expenses such as mortgage repayments, electricity bills and groceries.
Bognar said he planned to make his spare room, and it’s prime Parade viewing space, available during the Mardi Gras festivities: “We’re not building a business but it just makes sense to utilise the space and have someone share our Mardi Gras experience.”