With over 4 million property listings, Airbnb is unquestionably one of the biggest, if not the biggest, accommodation supply platform available today. But how are they evolving to incorporate business based stays into their ever-growing list of properties.
One of the key benefits of the Airbnb model is the coverage and dispersion they are able to achieve. They can provide a wider, geographically, and more diverse portfolio of properties than hotels are currently able to offer.
Having realised that work related stays made up 15% of their bookings, they decided to launch Airbnb for work, a service tailored to those using Airbnb for work related trips. This essentially provides employees with the freedom of selecting their own accommodation from the Airbnb offerings, whilst also providing company travel managers the ability to monitor cost and control the expensing of accommodation, required by their employees.
Airbnb for work allows users to select properties that are deemed as Business Travel Ready. The idea of Business Travel Ready properties is to provide “Top-rated homes in neighbourhoods you love, with the work essentials you need”. Properties in this category must meet a strict set of criteria. Listings must be an entire home/apartment with WiFi, 24-hour check-in, a laptop-ready workspace, hairdryer, hangers, shampoo, iron and be fitted with a smoke and carbon monoxide detector.
Airbnb will also provide their premium 24hr support to business users. Hosts with Business Travel Ready listing must have a 90%+ response rate within 24 hours and are unable to cancel bookings under 7 days prior to the check-in date. To reduce the risk of any surprises, payment to hosts is withheld until 24 hours after check-in giving time for guest to raise any concerns before payment is released to the host.
Airbnb believe that users of this service can avoid the potentially sterile and lonely atmosphere of a hotel, whilst also having all the standard amenities and services you would expect in a hotel/apartment.
There are currently over 250,000 businesses using Airbnb for Work. Bookings through this service grew 4-fold between August 2016 and September 2017. Airbnb for Work is expected to make up around 30% of their overall bookings within the next couple of years.
Regulation, trust and safety are all areas that Airbnb continue to tirelessly on to ensure they maintain their corporate and social responsibilities. This will continue to be the case as rules and regulations evolve, adapting to the modern accommodation offerings, for both work and leisure alike.
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