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How do airbnb hosts handle their property's maintenance?

How do airbnb hosts handle their property's maintenance?

We do everything in house. We’ve taken on people full time to do the cleaning, the laundry, the maintenance.

I literally mean in house though as the nexus of all the activity is still my house (I live very close to the apartments I rent out on Airbnb).

So its a common site now at home to see bundles of laundry waiting to be washed, stacks of toilet paper stored or seeing our van being loaded up with cleaning supplies for the day.

Pro tip: If you’re going to do the laundry by yourself, invest in getting a gas (LPG) dryer. This will save you a lot in electricity bills. (I host in the Philippines where power costs more compared to other countries in the region.)

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What are the most painful maintenance/repairing/improvement problems for Airbnb hosts?

What are the most painful maintenance/repairing/improvement problems for Airbnb hosts?

I host in the Philippines where it’s hot a lot of the time. As such our AC units are always giving us problems, they either break down, leak inside the apartment or just aren’t cool enough.

Of course there’s no pleasing some guests who would like their room to be as cold as the Arctic even though they’re in the tropics.

Another common maintenance problems which is a pain to deal with is plumbing. Sometimes our apartments leak water on the apartment one floor below us or the apartment above us leaks water on us.

For these kinds of problems you need to seal the leak (usually it happens from the bathroom) and then repair the ceiling of the apartment which suffered water damage.

My favorite maintenance/repair problem involves guests who lock themselves out of the bathroom. Over the years we’ve had to rush over to the apartment to unlock the bathroom so now we’ve changed all of the bathroom locks to vanity locks (the locks you can unlock from the outside).

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What are some poorly designed features of Airbnb or Pinterest?

What are some poorly designed features of Airbnb or Pinterest?

For Airbnb, it’s really difficult with the current interface for one guest to book multiple listings from the same host.

This is a common enough situation, for instance:

  1. The guest is booking for a large group and wants to book multiple listings from the same host.
  2. The guest wants to stay a long time and he doesn’t mind moving between different listings from the same host.

I’ve griped about this before.

I’m not holding my breath though that a multiple booking feature will be implemented soon. Airbnb, for regulatory and PR purposes, likes to emphasize the image of its hosts as renting out a spare apartment or extra space in their house. Supporting professional hosts (ie. those with multiple listings) does not make for good press.

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Is there any other vacation site more suitable than Airbnb?

Is there any other vacation site more suitable than Airbnb?

I’ve booked with other sites (all of the stays were fine) but honestly it’s hard to beat Airbnb in terms of variety of listings.

This article has a good list of alternative Airbnb like sites. (Note that Homeaway and Travelmob have merged already.)

We also list our properties on Wimdu and Roomorama but the former never produced any bookings for us and the latter’s production of bookings has fallen drastically as of late.

Of those mentioned on the list, I think Kid&Coe has the best chance of being an alternative Airbnb with a clear concept to differentiate itself from the pack.

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What are some good books for a 9 year old to develop his interest in reading?

What are some good books for a 9 year old to develop his interest in reading?

I’ve always been fond (as a child and as an adult) of the Tintin series. The plots are entertaining and the characters really shine, vocabulary is quite good as well.

For books I’d recommend The Phantom Tollbooth (an advanced 7 year would probably have fun with this) or Watership Down.

Watership Down may be a tad advanced for a 9 year old but the challenge is worth it for the lovely story and resonant themes.

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Would Genghis Khan be viewed differently if he was white like Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar?

Would Genghis Khan be viewed differently if he was white like Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar?

If the question is implying would he be better remembered by history, I think his being white would have made little difference.

Caesar is remembered, glorified even, because of his association with the rise of the Roman Empire, a leading force for civilization and a state which promoted laws and culture. While many people suffered under the Pax Romana, the point is that Rome was an empire which brought order (yes, at the point of a sword).

Alexander is also associated with civilization, he identified as Greek (he was after all a Macedonian) and introduced this culture to the lands he conquered. He wasn’t content on the culture he grew up with but instead wanted to fuse the cultures of Greece and Persia to come up with a hybrid; the best of both worlds. Alexander had the far seeing ambition for an empire which would stand the test of time (to borrow a line from the Civilization series).

In contrast, while Genghis Khan conquered a lot of territory (like Caesar and Alexander), he never founded an empire which effectively administered those territories. Genghis is not associated with laws or cities, taxes or culture.

The words of Caesar apply to Genghis, I came, I saw, I conquered. And really, Genghis’s legacy ends at “I conquered”, Caesar’s and Alexander’s does not.

Genghis’s descendants also carried on the family business of conquering but not building anything. His son, Ogodei rampaged as far as Korea and Russia but drank himself to death in 1241. Tamerlane sacked Delhi, crushed the Ottoman Turks at Ankara and cut a swath through Central Asia before embarking to conquer China, he died en route.

Some of Genghis’s descendants did manage to form empires but these are not known for their administrative durability.

The Mongols under Kublai Khan did conquer China and establish the Yuan dynasty. At the start of the dynasty China was administered as just another part of the Mongol empire but this was reversed in 1307 where China became the center of the empire and the Mongol steppes as mere adjuncts of China. Chinese culture won out over the invaders.

Batu, Genghis Khan’s grandson, conquered Russia and established the Khanate of the Golden Hoard in 1236. While the Golden Hoard was influential in its time, it’s ambitions were more concerned with exacting tribute from its Russian vassals.

Sources:

Central Asia Timeline – Circa

North Asia Timeline – Circa

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Can I generate digital currency/bitcoins/ethreium using my personal laptop?

Can I generate digital currency/bitcoins/ethreium using my personal laptop?

You could but the amount you mine would be very, very small; making the whole exercise not worth it.

Edit: My answer above was when the question just asked about Bitcoin. You could also use your laptop to generate other cryptocurrencies (ETH/ETC, Litecoin, etc.) but it still wouldn’t be economical to do so.

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Is the constitution the same as the bill of rights? How are they related?

Is the constitution the same as the bill of rights? How are they related?

The bill of rights is part of the constitution. Calling the constitution the bill of rights is the same as calling chapter 3 of a book the book itself.

In the case of the US, the bill of rights are in the form of amendments. Basically after the constitution was written the founding fathers quickly realized that they had left out some basic stuff, such as the guarantees of the freedom of speech, freedom against unlawful searches and seizures, freedom to peaceably assemble, etc.

So they passed these freedoms as amendments (basically additions) to the constitution.

In other countries, who have had the example of the US constitution as a model, already incorporate the bill of rights into their constitutions (ie. the bill of rights are not amendments but are set forth from the get go.)

To be fair, the writers of the US constitution had a lot on their minds. They were heavily concerned with:

  1. Limiting executive power – They were afraid the President could become as powerful as a king (as they were rebelling against Britain, the idea of a royal sovereign was not popular)
  2. Figuring out how federalism works – Delineating state and federal power was a thorny issue and remained so for many years. (Some would argue that the issue still hasn’t been resolved up to now.)
  3. Trying to learn from mistakes – The current Constitution is the second attempt at spelling out American government. The first Constitution was the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union which ultimately proved to be unwieldy and unworkable.

The Constitution, without the Bill of Rights, was a product of the above concerns.

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What aspects of the hotel industry can Airbnb not compete with?

What aspects of the hotel industry can Airbnb not compete with?

Consistency of service: You might have an awesome host in Budapest and then a lousy one in Dublin. The internet might not be working in your flat in London while only cold water greets you for your shower in Prague.

Airbnb is by definition a collection of different hosts and your experience will vary wildly depending on your luck. (This is true even if you’re picky and only stay with 5 star hosts.)

In contrast, go to a Mandarin or Peninsula anywhere in the world and you can be assured of the same high degree of service as well as basic hotel amenities (pool and gym, internet and hot shower in the room).

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What country rivaled the Roman empire?

What country rivaled the Roman empire?

For a rival in terms of scope of territory and authority of the central government, China is the usual comparison to Rome.

Both founded empires which lasted centuries. Both aggressively conquered or made into vassal states neighboring territories. Both developed centralized authority and bureaucracy in order to administer the ever expanding empire. Both also succumbed to periodic invasions by outsiders (barbarians).

China though is a far older civilization. The first Chinese dynasty was founded around 1122 BCE, Rome (the city, it wouldn’t gain prominence as an empire for around another 750 years) was founded in 753 BCE.

Aside from being the older civilization, China also lasted longer as a dynastic power. The Western Roman Empire retained some vestige of power until 476 CE while the Eastern Roman Empire stood until 1453 CE. China’s last dynasty though came to power in around 1650 CE and continued (with its authority ever weakening from challenges from the West and Japan) until the early 20th century.

Sources: North Asia Timeline and Europe Timeline at Circa

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