I was pretty wary at first. I was worried about the safety of our family, theft, vandalism- normal things you might worry about when considering opening your home to strangers. What finally made me feel comfortable with it is the fact that Airbnb has several steps users have to go through to confirm their identity including creating a detailed profile. I figured that if you know someone's name, phone number, occupation, and have picture of them they are probably not going to do anything nefarious while staying with you. Ian also installed a new door lock with key-pad entry so that instead of handing out keys and facing the possibility of people losing them or not returning them we just program in a new code for each guest and then wipe it as soon as they leave. The best thing is that we can choose to accept or decline anyone's reservation request. If you seem creepy on your profile then I don't want you sleeping in my basement.
Since we started hosting in December we have had about about eight or nine bookings. The shortest being one night and the longest being nine nights. We have had a medical student, a man who was obviously going through a mid-life crisis, a philosopher, a few conference goers, and some people just passing through Salt Lake. I tend to be a pretty shy person, so it's been an interesting experience to welcome people into my home while acting like I'm outgoing. One of the most interesting things for me, which I didn't expect, is that I worry about the people who stay with us. For example, Mr. Mid-Life Crisis decided to come to Utah on a whim to try skiing for the first time in his life. When he didn't return when he said he would I seriously thought about calling Snowbird to see if there had been any major accidents on the mountain that day.
Overall the experience has been good so far (knock on wood). It's definitely been a nice way to make some extra money for our Europe trip. It's also been fun to meet people from all over the country and world. It has definitely expanded my world view in a few different ways. Here's to more great guests!