Airbnb Business Booming in Twin Cities Ahead of Super Bowl

January 15, 2018 06:52 PM

While many Minnesotans hope the Vikings are at home in the Super Bowl, they don't necessarily plan to be at home themselves.

According to Airbnb, more than 3,300 Twin Cities homeowners have now registered as hosts on the vacation rental platform ahead of the big game on Feb. 4 - more than three times the 1,000 hosts Airbnb had in the Twin Cities at the same time last year.


RELATED: Airbnb Hosts Weigh Risks Before Super Bowl

"It's a great financial opportunity," said Josh Wanggaard, a Minneapolis homeowner looking to rent out more than a dozen rooms total – all about 10 blocks south of U.S. Bank Stadium.

But is it safe?

In a Monday interview, Airbnb's global head of trust and risk management said it is.

"We do a number of things to help keep them safe," said Nick Shapiro, a former deputy chief of staff in the Central Intelligence Agency.

Shapiro said, for starters, every reservation is scored ahead of time for risk.

"That means we use predictive analytics," he said. "Machine learning, behavior analysis and we instantly evaluate hundreds of different risk signals to stop a reservation before something bad happens."

All guests are also given background checks. And there is a $1 million dollar Airbnb guarantee in case something goes wrong.

"So if there's damage to your home, Airbnb is going to cover the host in Minneapolis for up to a million dollars," Shapiro said. "And we're going to have a specific Super Bowl SWAT team with customer service agents available 24-7, 365 just to get in touch with us if something were to go wrong."

RELATED: Airbnb Rental Turns Into Major Party in Plymouth

Wanggaard, who regularly rents out more than a dozen rooms through Airbnb, said he's always had great experiences.

Of course, who he's rooting for to make the big game is a different story altogether. He's originally from Wisconsin. And as a Packers fan, he has no love lost for the Vikings.

But still ...

"If it's a hometown team playing in the Super Bowl, we don't want to discourage anyone from considering 10 blocks away, a great space," he said with a laugh. "So you know, their money is good too."

Airbnb provides these safety tips via its website:

Interact Smartly

  • Always pay and communicate on Airbnb. Use Airbnb's messaging system to get to know your guests and share expectations about the trip or your space.

Fill out House Rules, Home Safety Card and House Manual

  • Completing your house rules and house manual helps guests know what to expect. Include anything you'd like people to know before they book—for example, whether (or where) smoking is allowed, whether certain areas are off-limits, your Wi-Fi password, or if guests should take off their shoes before coming inside.

Make Sure You're Insured

  • Airbnb's Host Protection Insurance program provides primary liability coverage for up to $1,000,000 per occurrence in the event of a third-party claim of bodily injury or property damage related to an Airbnb stay. 

Set Requirements for Listing

  • You can require guests to complete certain verifications before they book, such as Verified ID. Adding a security deposit to your listing can also help protect you in the event of an accident, like spilled wine on a rug.

Read Airbnb's Responsible Hosting Page

  • The company encourage hosts to think carefully about their responsibilities. Hosting offers rich experiences, but it requires commitment.



Josh Rosenthal

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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