Release date 05/03/2017
YONKERS, NY— A recent nationally representative survey by Consumer Reports, the independent not-for-profit consumer organization, found that 92 percent of Americans that have booked a home-sharing service like Airbnb or HomeAway, say they are likely or very likely to do it again.
The Consumer Reports’ National Survey Research Center asked more than 2,000 American adults about their experience when using home-sharing services. Overall satisfaction levels amongst respondents that have used a homestay service were very high with 37 percent indicating their experience was “good” and 53 percent saying it was “very good.” The survey found that some reasons why homestay fans use the alternative-to-hotel experience are to save money (70%), to have unique accommodations (58%), and for the availability of a kitchen (53%).
While home sharing services may offer consumers a chance to save money on a unique experience, services and consumer protections vary. Travelers should be aware of what they are getting into before opting for a vacation rental.
“While home sharing services may offer consumers a chance to save money on a unique experience, services and consumer protections vary,” said Lauren Lyons Cole, CFP and Consumer Reports money expert. “Travelers should be aware of what they are getting into before opting for a vacation rental.”
While CR’s survey found many of respondents who have tried a homestay have had no problems (65%), there is still some hesitation from many Americans. The survey revealed nearly 90 percent of Americans say they haven’t booked a homestay. Among the respondents that wouldn’t consider it (53%), some 57 percent say it’s because they don’t know what to expect, 55 percent have safety concerns, and 40 percent say they don’t want to interact with homeowners.
However, the allure of finding that unique cultural experience is enticing for many of Americans. Almost 75 percent of respondents that have never used a home-sharing service (but would consider it) told CR they would consider doing so to experience the local culture.
For more survey results on home sharing services or to get CR’s complete report on “Homes Away From Home” visit CR.org starting May 3rd.
When comparing the largest services: Airbnb, HomeAway, and TripAdvisor Rentals, Consumer Reports found that Airbnb offers the largest number of properties in the United States and across the globe. Company protections and policies vary, and so do the additional fees. Airbnb charges between 6 to 12 percent in service fees and HomeAway charges 5 to 12 percent. TripAdvisor Rental tends to charge a higher service fee ‒ between 8 and 14.5 percent.
For travelers looking to increase the odds of having a happy homestay experience and choosing to book with a home-sharing site instead of a traditional hotel, Consumer Reports offers the following advice:
Consumer Reports 2017 Survey Methodology
In February 2017, the Consumer Reports National Research Center conducted a nationally representative survey of 2,023 U.S. residents to assess the opinion of Americans regarding homestay services. Respondents reported on homestay experiences in the past 3 years. Respondents were selected by means of random-digit dialing and were interviewed via phone. The data was statistically weighted so that respondents in the survey are demographically and geographically representative of the U.S. population. The margin of error is +/- 2.2 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.