‘I stood over him with such condescending grandeur’
One of the most humbling experiences in life is house hunting as this is when to your dismay and utter disbelief you discover with profound horror that you are miles far from making it. And it is while doing my house hunting that i discovered and gladly came across Airbnb
Airbnb is an online marketplace and hospitality service, enabling people to list or rent short-term lodging including vacation rentals, apartment rentals, home-stays, hostel beds, or hotel rooms. And just like the many others before, i discovered this revolutionary application a bit late 7 years after it launched. The money i missed out on!
So after sailing the murky waters of Kampala real estate, i managed to find a modest place to call home in the outcasts of the city then i began my rent trouble days. This is when it hit me, that i can make side money by hosting guests at my place through Airbnb(That app which at first i simply thought was some realtor’s website).
So i signed up with very little faith because i mean which muzungu is ready to stay in the deep annals of Kiwatule. But given my nature and mindset about things that belong to me being appealing no matter what, i went ahead and tried to beautify the place and made slight improvements. I gave the place the best of descriptions and my friend Adrian(Thanks AJ) helped me take some awesome high definition pictures. Also i had to plead with the mosquitoes, ants and other visitors not to show up. Actually i sprayed them.
On a #tgif Friday morning i got an alert and it was from my first client Nasir(not real name in order not to offend my guest any further as ), oooh the celebration before responding to the request was out of this world. I mean am possibly earning over $200 without barely any initial investment. This is the best deal a yut born without a silver spoon could get.
so after back and forth communication with Nasir and wondering which kind of person he would turn out to be(like people do on a blind date), he checked in for his first night and guess what…it was a disaster and also he was a short man from Canada. From mosquito bites (guys it was clearly a wrong day for games), no wifi to lack of privacy as i hadn’t figured out where to go after giving up the whole apartment. That night i drunkenly stumbled in on Nasir who had hosted his Ugandan lady friend.
So just like any man who had hoped to get laid but wasn’t(i can’t confirm this), Nasir woke up frustrated and decided to cancel the booking and give me a long lecture on hospitality(he worked in hotel in Canada) citing various issues but i knew deep down this was because of the interrupted coitus from last night. i accepted this and of the $200 i got $16 for one night of which i only received on my account $5 as my bank charges $11 for international transfers. Not worth it.
Good news is that later i got around this by setting a minimum balance on my account before a payout and i also chose Paypal as my payout method. At least i could use the money for online shopping other than being robbed by the institution.
After the Nasir incident, it hit me that i need to take this thing serious as hosting visitors is not a simple thing like i presumed. This side income was good as i could cover my rent from only hosting a guest for 10 days. I got down and changed most things from the wifi availability, breakfast, cleanliness, scrubbed tiles like my mum taught me on the holidays at home or like the school tutor made me do as i served a punishment.
This greatly improved my views and i got numerous inquiries and a booking every month at least so far. I have hosted numerous people from many countries and i have made good friends too and had many other experiences which i will share in the future when they stop being embarrassing. I have made dollars in hundreds and i began to take pride in the fact that am among the few Ugandans bringing the dollar into the economy. looking at this as an experimental phase am hoping for business to be rife so i can have at least more than one listing.
All in all i will always remember my first experience hosting on Airbnb.