When Airbnb Realize My Childhood’s Dream for Running a Hotel Business at the Age of 33

Hi lovely people this is Bima and thank you for visiting my blog! On this post I’m gonna share all of my dumb stories of being airbnb host since 2013. Here I’m gonna share my own experience about serving over than 600 guest from more than 20 countries worldwide, take care my guest and bring him to the hospital after got hit by un-responsible scooter driver and some other dumb-ass experience.

By the way my primary job is a destination wedding photographer, I begin in 2008 and still working on it right now. Simply visit my photography blog to see all beautiful moments that I captured through my lens….truly they are AMAZING!

I was starting hosting business by accident cause in 2013 my photography business has bankrupt and take me into the deepest situation of financial debt of US$15,000. Desperate and think that God isn’t fair? Surely I did it!!!

All I want to do is continue my life and just be the hardest worker in the room so I can put back my photography business on the line, but the most important thing is to take care my beautiful wife and my kids better!

One day I go to the pool for swimming and meet my friend named Andy, he is one the best guy that being my discussion partner about future business. By the way he developing his catering start up called Kulina and serve thousand of Jakarta people who get stuck to get their lunch and he recommend me to rent my useless room on Airbnb.

That was brilliant idea cause back in 2002 when my mom still alive I ever told her to convert our boarding house business into hotel but sadly that she passed away on 2011 so she never see her son running a hotel business at the age of 33.


My Belgium Guest is Coming

Julie, this is my 1st Airbnb guest who stay in my $12 room for 3 nights and make me grab my first $34 dollar (minus the fee) from Airbnb. I was so happy cause this $34 is goes around 500k Indonesian Rupiah and let me take care my family for 3 days.

On my house which called Boma House I serve hundred of guests and meet new people every day worldwide and give me a self confidence to serving worldwide market too in photography business.

Serving worldwide market bring me into a person who concern about global hospitality ‘taste’ that I never had before. Shortly this experience also impacted to my photography business than I had my first destination photo shoot in Maldives for Hong Kong couple that I dreaming for 2 years.

Shortly I still running both photography and hosting business than serve over than 600 guest and still counting!


Airbnb Team Came to My House…

One good day in 2017 I’ve been visited by Airbnb team from San Francisco where they asking me so many questions about hospitality experience that I ever had.

See this great company team directly on my face is blown me away, they were so humble and listen for every single suggestion that I said for running airbnb business in Indonesia which is one of them is go using bank transfer for Indonesian guest payment rather than credit card, but sadly Airbnb still act nothing for it!

We talk so many thing about what I did during serving my guest, here I talk about how I took my Japanese guest to the hospital cause I found him injured and suffering on the bed following got hit by scooter driver till where I serve food consultant person who work for 5 star hotel in Miami Florida for 3 nights in my $12 dumb-ass room.


Finally I Run My Hotel Business at the Age of 33

When I wrote this story I was 33 years old even I started it all when I was 28 and now I running a hotel business here in Yogyakarta Indonesia as the future investment from my wedding photography business, by the way this is what I dreaming for roughly 16 years!

What you gonna see below is my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Airbnb property that I spend for and learning about hospitality!

I’m gonna share you with some flashback about my airbnb hosting journey!


Boma House, my 1st property (2013 till now)

I still live in Boma House till I wrote this story and it’s been belong to my home for over than 25 years. By the way this used to be my grand ma’s house but cause my mom built it in 1997, she want to owned it so we have to pay for some price to the whole of family.

By the way my mom passed away before she finished all the payment so this is why I still struggling to pay for it, I know it’s seems to be complicated but I still put my best effort on it.

— I operate 2 rooms (AC and FAN) on this house!

Regol Ijo, my 2nd property (formerly known as Boma House Ngadiwinatan, 2014 to 2016)

hosting airbnbairbnb experience airbnb room

This is my aunt’s house located just 1 km from my home,

Back in 2014 I offering my aunt to rent her home on Airbnb cause following her retirement day she looks so hard to pay for the house expenses such as internet, electricity, water, and gas. What I did is operated all the renting activities on my hand and get 20% profit commission from her.

All I want to do is helping my aunt and let her earn more income source for living!

Lately I know that she only had about $120/month as the retirement fee from her office but she owned over than $200 from renting her home on Airbnb. Just for your information, receiving $120/month and live in Jakarta, the capitol city of Indonesia is so freakin’ HARD even for 63 years old lady!

I put the name Boma House again cause I dreaming for having a property chain following my first unit. Ngadiwinatan is a region’s name so I put it so my guest know that I have more than one property.

Now I gave back this house operation to my brother even I still visit it regularly when I miss my aunt so bad, she is a nice old lady who support me when I’m down but sadly she passed away few years ago cause of cancer!

— I operate 2 rooms with full of AC on this house!


The Chendela

chendela jogja the chendela yogyakartachendela airbnb

From all property that I operated during past 5 years I could say that only The Chendela which being built for special purposes, the hospitality business!

Back in 2016 I met my uncle when I was struggling to pay my house (the Boma House). He told me that he gonna built his parent’s house for hospitality business and ask me to operate it all, serving all the guest and did everything just what I had before in Boma House and Regol Ijo.

The Chendela is the only property that built in full power I mean my uncle spend his money perfectly to demolish the old house, re-built it, and put every single beautiful details on it!

He ask Cahyo who known as one of the most famous local architect here in Yogyakarta, hiring professional photographer to shoot this house properly, and lately he also let the local artist to paint all the traditional doors in various color with the shape of leaves and flowers…just look at the picture above!

— Now I operate 7 rooms here in this house, compliment with tons of facilities that will let you sleep like a baby!


My Words to Airbnb!

Thank you….thank you again for realize my dream and let me run my hotel business in the age of 33, this is what I dreaming for since 2002!

The sad thing about it is I can’t let my mom see what I had right now but I hope God will send this message to her in heaven!

What I dreaming for right now is attending the Airbnb Open, the festival of hosting! no matter where you held it, in Los Angeles or somewhere else I really want to be there together with my beautiful wife, Nina.

Touch down in the United States, meet all the great airbnb host worldwide, get more connection and surely eat some local cheap hot dog and american deep cheese pizza will be amazing for both of us!

My wife Nina is so important cause I know that I can’t run this business alone than I always ask her to standing next to me…..she helps me a lot and become of my protection in every business that I run and she definitely make me as the luckiest guy on earth!

Sometimes I saw her helps me cook an omelet where I still have to clean up the rooms even sometimes I saw her in front of the laptop and stuck in accounting task cause we have to make monthly report to a person who belong to my investor!

Overall just take me and my wife to that conference!


Last Words…

Later on if you want to support me and my wife to attending Airbnb Open and grow our knowledge than I will thankful so much for it! I wrote my personal story about being an Airbnb host and creating my true story in Airbnb Be A Host Ebook.

It costs as cheap as $6.50 but you also can send more to supporting my journey…..really appreciate for what you do for us!

Once you don’t want to buy my ebook than it’s truly fine and don’t let it as personal cause…..

Hell yeah” I’m still here! working on my photography business, be the hardest worker in the room, and become a host in the rest of my time, this is my hobby and this gonna be my passion too!

By the way I watch a National Geographic channel few months ago where they make a report for Necker Island and lately I know that Richard Branson stay there, in his private island, together with all his guest.

It truly inspired me to create one great resort (I don’t know where) but it should have scenic ocean view or other magnificent nature where I can meet my guest just like what Richard did!

To everyone who think that my story is inspiring just say hi to me and leave me a comment below, I would like to hear something from you and may we become a friend in the next future!

Thanks to all the guest worldwide who ever stay in my house, I use your money and save it to grew up this business, look guys it grows up!

and the last….

thank you Airbnb you bring me into the next level guy!


Professional wedding photographer and blogger since 2010 who put a concern to write a story about photography, traveling, culinary, and hospitality services

One thought on “When Airbnb Realize My Childhood’s Dream for Running a Hotel Business at the Age of 33

  • December 5, 2018 at 8:45 am

    It is really inspiring…
    I read a single phrase of it… and wonder who the professional photographer was… 😀
    Why your uncle had to hire a professional photographer while his nephew is one of the greatest ones?


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