During an interview with Travel Noire, she discusses more about her inspiration to become a host and what she attributes her success to:
Travel Noire: What inspired you initially to become an Airbnb host?
WEBB: I wanted to host for quite some time. I love to travel. So, I have always wanted to be able to recreate that experience. For me, Airbnb is a way to get to know people you otherwise wouldn’t know or have been able to cross paths. It’s a lovely way of just connecting with people.
We live in the mountains of Oakland. When I moved here from New York, I felt there was a lot of fear not only from family, but friends as to what kind of area I was moving into. There’s not a lot of awareness about the variety of things and experiences that exists in Oakland. I think that it’s often portrayed in the media in a less than positive way.
Being able to open up my home and invite people in to share with them the great, wonderful experiences that Oakland has to offer is what drives me to do this.
Travel Noire: What do you think contributes to your success as a Black Airbnb host?
WEBB: I think there are a couple of things, but the main thing is just giving people a sense of welcome from the very beginning and believing that we are all kind of connected in some way, shape, or form.
Whenever people arrive, it’s almost as if I think of them as kind of extended family members who I already know. This usually comes from the initial conversation. When we get a guest, we send them a welcome email immediately and tell them a little about the house, let them know what they can use— including the amenities— so it’s already set up when they come here.
When they arrive, we also give them a tour of the house. I just think it’s awful when you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t find something, or you’re afraid to disturb people. We want to give people a sense of being able to move throughout the house as if it’s their own.
Travel Noire: What advice would you give people trying to successfully break into the industry?
WEBB: Being successful in the business is about making the experience really personal. I think that some people think their house has to look a certain way or that things have to be arranged in a certain manner. I think it’s helpful but it’s really about creating a personal connection and making people feel welcome.
You want to give them knowledge about the area in which they’re in. You also have to be receptive and know that some people want to do their own thing in the city. Just add your personal touch.