Airbnb had it's biggest announcement today in years. In an Apple-like keynote style presentation the CEO, Brian Chesky, went over all of the new features and platform changes. In this post I will try to highlight the key updates.
Airbnb's biggest announcement in years..
The updates can be summarized into 5 major categories.
- New Categories & Collections
- Airbnb Plus
- Beyond by Airbnb
The superhost designation is not new in of itself but they are bringing new features and benefits to the ranking. Some of the updates are perks for us as hosts, but the ones I found most compelling are the ones that really help empower us as business owners and entrepreneurs. The key one's worth mentioning are custom URL's for your listing, access to Airbnb's marketing partners, and loyalty discounts for your best guests. These features will become available over the course of this year and you can find the details in the screenshot below.
This feature is brand new but is a natural extension of the superhost program. As the name implies this will reward travelers for their loyalty to the platform and for respecting guests home's and racking up a great reputation as an Airbnb guest. Currently Airbnb is seeking the suggestions from the community of the specifics of what perks we would like to have.
New Categories & Collections
Airbnb has historically had two categories of homes: Family and Work. They are now expanding the categories to provided a tailored experience depending on the nature of your stay. Here are the categories and offering planned.
- Social Stays
- Dinner Party
- Group Getaway
By offering and marketing your place to the type of guest you are trying to attract you will find a much better match and therefor better review and more profit. For example I rent a private bedroom in my personal home. While we do allow guests to bring over friends and we do allow use of the kitchen, my home would not be the best place to book for having a dinner party. You get my point. These offering may not seem like a big deal at first, but I think there is tremendous value in tailoring your experience to meet the guests needs.
Personally I'd feel much more comfortable booking a place that was curated for honeymoons when My fiance and I travel to Bali next year for our Honeymoon. Perhaps I'd even be willing to pay more for the personal touches the host is offering to make our trip unforgettable.
Airbnb plus is a new designation available to make your listing stand out to future potential guests. It is something you have to apply and be approved for and it does have a $150 application fee. Someone from Airbnb will personally come to your home and verify your home meets a certain level of quality and standards. This ranking will be very difficult to get in comparison to superhost which is relatively easy to get and doesn't guarantee the quality of the home. The categories you will be graded on are as follows:
Does your home have all the essentials to ensure the guest has a comfortable stay? Can you feel the springs in the bed because the mattress is very cheap? These are certain criteria that will need to be met to ensure the guest is comfortable when traveling.
Imagine, you just got done baking a lasagna and you end up overcooking it because you can't find an oven mitt. Things like filtered or bottled water, cooking oil, salt and pepper and other essentials are things they will be looking for to make sure the guest feels like they are staying at home.
Your home must be fully functioning. You may get used to the fact that the door must be jiggled a certain way to lock but your guests certainly won't. Things like the water heater, climate controls, and oven should all be in perfect working order with no compromises. This should go without saying, but some hosts may not take all of these things seriously. Those hosts won't be on Airbnb Plus.
Having a well designed home has always been important and shows up first thing in your listing photos. Now Airbnb will take this human element into consideration when selecting homes to be Airbnb Plus certified.
Airbnb Plus Summary
I am super excited about the Airbnb Plus program. I for one know that I need some work done on my listing, particularly on the design category before I invest the money to become Airbnb plus certified. That's why I plan on investing in professional design services from 1 Chic Retreat. (Not a paid endorsement) These new standards will hopefully challenge others to improve their listings and raise the quality of Airbnb as a whole which is good for the entire community of guests and hosts.
Homes are just the beginning
Think of the best of the best homes with full service, resort-like, hospitality. This entirely new section of listings is the result of the luxury listing company Airbnb acquired a while back. You won't be able to apply or work your way up to this, you either have the home and services for it or not. I'm very excited to see what offerings come from this new service starting in Spring 2018. However, it will probably be from afar as I'm sure these all-inclusive home experiences are ultra expensive.
I am very pleased with the announcements. I've been hosting on Airbnb for about 1.5 years now and this is by far the biggest changes they have made to the platform. If you are a host you will already start seeing some changes in the host dashboard today. I can't wait to see where this goes. As I mentioned I will be re-vamping my 2 bedroom condo listing in hopes of achieving the Airbnb Plus ranking. Get subscribed to follow the updates on my progress. I hope you all enjoyed reading my take on the updates and are excited about the future as I am.
Not a host yet? Now is a better time than ever to get started. When I first started I thought it was too late to get into the game, but look at where I am now. If you are considering it: Just Do It. Here are 3 things you can do to get started.
- Signup to Host on Airbnb using my referral link
- Join the Short Term Rental University Facebook Group
- Check out some free design tips at 1 Chic Retreat