There are 3 kinds of listings on Airbnb.

The first is a shared room, which honestly I’ve never met anyone who has used. The second is a private room in a shared space, and the third is a full private space. 

A full private unit is pretty self-explanatory.

With a private room in a shared space, however, the specifics can get a little blurry. 

The assumption is that you will be sharing the space with the owners. And that’s what many people (myself included) are hoping for when they book this type of property.

Unfortunately, that’s not always what you end up getting. 

With the explosion of popularity of Airbnb and other sites like it, some people have taken to renting out each room individually of entire houses. So, rather than getting the opportunity to know the owners during your stay, you end up booking a room in a glorified hostel (often without even knowing it). 

This happened to me recently. The thing is, I’ve stayed in hostels before. They don’t bother me at all. But as I’ve often said, expectation management is key in this business. 

I booked a private room in a shared space, looking forward to getting some local tips from the owners while I was there. What I got instead was a stream of strangers coming in and out of the apartment the entire time I was there. 

It wasn’t terrible. But when it’s not what you’re expecting, it’s also not ideal. 

The thing that bugged me was not that the host had rented out all of the rooms in her apartment. It’s that she hadn’t mentioned anything about that on her listing. 

If you know there will be other people on the property while you have guests there (whether they’re other Airbnb guests or friends of yours), PLEASE let your guests know.

You’d want to know if someone else was staying in a hotel room you booked.

This is no different. It’s just common courtesy.