Recently, I have been helping the Housing department of my office since it is a growing business and they need more employees to work within this important industry. Thanks to the work of universities and educational institutions, as well as the job of marketing this country as a must-to-see place, the number of foreigners, travelers and international students keep increasing in the main cities. These groups of visitors have something in common; they are always looking for a place to stay. Years ago, people just looked for hotels to spend the night or rent a one-bedroom apartment for a long stay. However, hotels are not the first choice anymore for foreigners. With the development of technology, massive use of social media and easy access to the internet the housing industry has changed drastically, especially in developed countries, like Spain.
When I traveled to Barcelona, my friend told me that to save money we could look for either a hostel or Airbnb. It was my first-time hearing that word and she explained to me that is basically renting a room from a person’s house. I found this very interesting and a great way to make money for a person that has an extra room in their house or apartment. For tourists, an excellent way to save money if you just need a place to sleep, but you don’t want to share a room like in most hostels. Also, to spend a night you don’t use all the facilities that hotels offer and personally most of us never take advantage of these because we just want to go out and explore the city, and not stay inside in a pool or gym for the day. If you don’t want to walk around unknown streets and are looking for a place to relax, then a resort is the best deal for you but those are not related to housing. So, with the invention of the Airbnb, agencies have benefited from this platform because it is less complicated to rent a room for a few days instead of a month plus services and other fees. At my office, they prefer to rent the rooms for a long period of time, because that generates a higher profit, but since this time of the year is hard to find people to rent a room for a month, they started to implement the use of Airbnb in their business. Another aspect of housing that I learned through my office is about shared floors for students. It is very common in Spain for students to look for a place to share, and not a studio for one person. Most of my coworkers, the other interns, live in apartments with other 5, 7 or even 9 students. Each student has his or her own room, but the bathroom, social area, kitchen and other areas are shared by everyone. In Colombia, it is part of our culture that most college students attend a university close to their home, so they still live with their parents and do not have to live by themselves. This is something that I do back in the US, and to save money because it is expensive to live on campus. I know that sharing an apartment has its pros and cons, but I think that it helps both the landowner and lender to make a good deal. Housing is a growing and changing industry, and it has many different perspectives and methods of doing it according to each city, country and continent.