Fairbnb.coop is officially coming in September 2019
Changes in national regulations about short term rentals and delays in funding had a serious impact on our plans but we are still heading for delivery at the end of this summer.
So go ahead and keep on registering and sharing our vision. Fairbnb.coop is definitely coming and the more people that join us from your area the sooner we will be able to activate your destination.
We knew from the start that making a cooperative platform from scratch is not an easy task: to foster the development of an open, democratic, healthy and efficient living organism is required an enormous level of commitment, focus, resources and time but we met some roadblocks on our route to delivery.
Until now Fairbnb.coop has been self funded by its members with a first input of capital of €100.000 that kept the project going until now and much needed help from our crowdfunders from all around the world. According to our plans more vital, substantial resources should have arrived in May allowing us to deliver the first basic release of our platform in late June as previously announced. Unfortunately, these resources suffered an unexpected delay that stretched from weeks to months making them available only after Summer; we managed to keep our basic activities going, stretched our funds and held on to our dream. Nevertheless, this delay is forcing us to move the final date of the first release in the pilot cities where we are located (Venice, Bologna, Genoa, Barcelona, Amsterdam and Valencia) forward.
On top of this in Italy there’s been quite an interesting turn of events in the field of regulation of short term rentals. From the 1st of August a new law will come in full force that will oblige all tourist accommodations, including short term rentals, to apply to a public register in order to obtain an identification number that by law has to be displayed on all places, online and offline, where the accommodation is put on offer.
This code will be shared with the Tax Office and Local Administration making it nearly impossible for unlawful accommodations to sell their services; the website that will display an accommodation without clearly displaying the aforementioned code could be fined from €500 to €5.000 for each “forgetful” listing. This is a major step forward in making the all Short Term rental market in Italy almost fraud proof, but obviously requires that all online booking platforms, big or small, comply and adapt to this new context.
So while we are actually immensely pleased by the introduction of this new regulation and we hope it becomes an example worldwide, we still had to quickly adapt our platform in development to this new regulation.
But there is not only bad(dish) news, we have also been able in the meantime to streamline our payment system even more and make it even easier for us to process and account the booking + donation system that is our key feature.
More importantly while dealing with all these opportunities and challenges we have also been able to start our process of destination activation by kicking off Local Nodes in Genova, Helsinki and London. It has been a touching and energizing experience to meet so many people motivated to help us and that are getting active to prepare the launch of Fairbnb.coop in their hometowns.
And finally the good news we were all waiting for:
Notwithstanding all this we are still going to deliver within Summer 2019!
So, what’s the estimated date of release for the fairbnb.coop booking engine to be online and what will it look like?
Quick honest answer: Mid to Late September (this time for sure) and it is going to be quite basic.
Thanks to the hard work and overhead cuts during these last 3 months and to the planned funds finally arriving, from september we will release a platform with the basic functions, we will open a new head office and fill it up with a full motivated team dedicated to support everyone that wants to contribute to the initiative and activate new local nodes.
The initial months will be important to onboard people and users, improve the experience on the platform (don’t expect it to be perfect at the beginning!) and engage local actors all around the world.
Thanks to our new team members dedicated to fostering local communities from September onward periodical calls for all the people that want to contribute will be organised, and potential collaborators, partners and volunteers will be welcomed in efficient working groups where people will be able to contribute with their expertise and passion.
Starting from our coming release our effort will be to connect with thousands of people and organisations worldwide to reach our goal of 120 local nodes and destinations in the next 15 months!
This truly means that the journey is really about to begin!
NOTE FOR OUR PRE-REGISTERED USERS, HOSTS AND GUESTS.
As already explained the over 4.000 potential Hosts and Guests that have registered so far will have to wait until their destination is ready to be launched. To speed up the arrival of fairbnb.coop in a specific destination, our best advice is to step up and become an activator by getting in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org so you can start a Local Node in your place and put it on ASAP on the fairbnb.coop map. As you probably know Local Nodes are key in our growth process as we will expand mainly by connecting and empowering local actors and by fostering the growth of communities in order to make it possible for fairbnb.coop to operate effectively in a specific area.
Our first Hosts and Guests are going to be our best friends and bug hunters in this test period, using a platform that is going to be quite basic with no instant booking and channel management, but in exchange for their commitment at the beginning, it will slowly grow into a tool designed with their needs in mind, customized and adapted for a really meaningful and sustainable experience from both sides.
So that’s it. This is all the news that we have got regarding the stage we are at.
From now on during the next couple of months we are going to be constantly updating you and giving you detailed reports on all the aspects of our development and setup.
Looking forward to your comments and to soon showing you the beta release platform and from there, with your help, keep improving it day by day!
The Fairbnb.coop team