PandaBed is a peer-to-peer lodging service that enables homeowners to connect with guests that share their cultural or religious ideas.
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Finding someone to share your living space is never a simple task, as there is a whole gamut of potential problems that can be sparked from personality clashes. While Russia's Dreamroomer has already aimed to help landlords find tenants that match their interests, PandaBed is a peer-to-peer lodging service that enables homeowners to connect with guests that share their cultural or religious ideas.
Located in Singapore and operating across Asia, the service follows the model of Airbnb by enabling homeowners to open up their spare rooms for travelers and those seeking short-term accommodation. However, the Asian market is less receptive of the concept because the idea of letting a stranger into the home is an uncomfortable one for many. After speaking to many of its existing users, the company found that the prospect of lodgers being a cultural mismatch was a major part of the problem. To help allay fears, PandaBed has introduced the PeerMatch feature, which gives hosts the option to narrow their audience based on their own preferences. Users can limit their guests according to their religion, age, or even whether they drink alcohol. The idea is that non-religious guests won't get woken up by morning prayer rituals, while Muslim hosts won't get kept up by late night drinking sessions.
The concept could be a step in the right direction for bringing unsure hosts around to the idea of opening up their homes to strangers, although there are obviously concerns about whether the service constitutes racial or religious profiling. Are there other ways to ensure cultural mismatches don't cause problems for those taking part in the sharing economy?