OMAHA(KPTM)-Juli-Ann Gasper needed help funding her art career, so she found a creative solution- she shares her home with strangers for a fee. It's a growing trend in the Omaha area and around the nation and for many there's money to be made.
It's often said that billionaire Warren Buffett has made his fortune by making sensible choices. Now he's encouraging Berkshire Hathaway shareholders to do the same, by forgoing overpriced hotels and looking into alternative accommodations.
Gasper joined Airbnb two and a half years ago, she says she averages one booking a month for her West Omaha home. "For two bedrooms and two bathrooms it's $68.00 a night. When there is high demand weekends like the Berkshire Hathaway weekend coming up, I usually raise the price to a hundred dollars a night," said Gasper who rents out the two rooms her sons lived in before they went off to college.
Through the online service, Gasper is able to check out potential guests by looking at their profiles. They can check her out as well. Most of the time it's a good match, she says adding that she's only had to turn down two potential guests. "It's kind of an interesting way to meet new people and I've met people from all over the world," said Gasper who offers a few perks that you might not find at a hotel, including use of her kitchen and a tour of her art studio, which is a good chance for her to show off her creations. "I have sold a number of pieces to people who wanted to take something from Omaha that was unique and original," said Gasper.
If you'd like more information on how to host your home through Airbnb, there's an event in Omaha on Saturday. It's from 11-5 at the Omar Building at 43rd and Nicholas.