If you are not down to the last decent price room like I was here in St Pete (Gulfport to be more precise), I would only commit over the internet for a week. That gives you peace of mind of a place to stay when you get there and plenty of time to look around and decide if you want to stay or move.
Andrew, FYI this was a comment on a video and the "Read More" link is gone again.
You didn't mention the fees that Air BnB charges are high--they charge 15percent on top of the rental charge (which is huge) and further, a so called "cleaning " fee is also charged--which can be the cost of a full night--so it ends up not being such a good deal. I find the fees they charge very high since all they are doing (aibnb) is to provide an internet forum--they do not really provide and additional protection--so why pay so much for the fee?
Further, the rental prices in markets where airbnb is strong have gone way up. I go regularly to Eastern Europe and have found this to be particularly the case there.
Finally, in a "private" home or apartment, you don't really have fellow travellers to meet.