"Are you crazy?!", "YOUR apartment?", "Aren't you worried?", These are the typical reactions I've had when I mention that I listed Ultraloft on the vacation rentals website AirBNB. Or to be more accurate, the study which has a generous sofabed, reclaimed neon signs and a digital shark. And to be fair, I was asking myself the same questions after I hit the 'list your space' button... But I'm pleased that I did.
The reason I listed Ultraloft on AirBNB was born somewhat out of my recent visit to the Grand Apartment Budapest; a living tribute to a pair of amazing jetset octogenarians, and part challenge to myself. AirBNB takes care of the damages threat, providing $1m of cover for all hosts, I'd only be offering up the spare room; mostly to single travellers; mostly when I'm in the country; and in the apartment, and quite frankly I have a lot of cool stuff that others might want to see [that, or they just need somewhere to stay for the night that has an ounce more character than a Travelodge]...
So far I've had two guests; one management consultant working with a bluechip corporate client near the area, and one smart business owner transiting through London for a wedding. Not a flip-flop or ironic beard in sight. No mess, no fuss, and a nice capital contribution to the ongoing renovation costs of Ultraloft. It's crowd-funded home refurbishment at it's finest.
Sure, there is always a risk of theft or damage, but if every gallery or museum with 2,000 year old Han Dynasty warrior heads refused to open to paying visitors because of the threat of a major art heist, the world would be a cultural salt flat, with little more then the tumbleweeds of generic hotels and IKEA art.
If the world's greatest institutions can place little more then a velvet rope between visitors and priceless exhibits, Ultraloft now proudly stands alongside them. The question is, which side of the rope do you chose to stand on? Admire or be admired? That is the