Airbnb - a new tier of luxury rental homes
Since Airbnb launched back in 2008, the firm has become a key player in short-term rentals, providing accommodation for a variety of travellers, from budget backpackers to wealthy individuals seeking luxurious resorts.
Coinciding with its 10-year anniversary, Airbnb has unveiled brand new services which will specifically target wealthier travellers. As a new addition to the current booking system, Beyond by Airbnb will have its own section on the website dedicated to the luxury market and will include listings for the world’s most lavish homes.
Airbnb Plus is another service that has been announced and is set to list inspected accommodation which meet a 100-Point quality checklist. This means that rental homes listed under Airbnb Plus will be required to include a kitchen stocked with cooking equipment, a bedroom with a comfortable mattress, clean sheets, wardrobe and an ironing board, and a bathroom which contains plush towels and toiletries.
The process of becoming verified as Airbnb Plus seems relatively straightforward. Aspiring Airbnb hosts simply apply for their home to feature in Airbnb Plus and then a photographer visits the property to determine whether it meets the required standards. With all these additional facilities, there will certainly be a higher price tag involved but for those prioritising luxury rather than affordability, it is a great system to ensure that quality is always guaranteed.
Airbnb Plus will debut with a list of more than 2,000 homes in 13 different cities but the company’s chief executive, Mr Chesky, predicts that the list will grow to over 75,000 homes in more than 50 locations worldwide by the end of the year. He commented: “We have evolved, but we think we can go much further and offer something for everyone. Some travellers want predictability and certain comforts, and Airbnb Plus will give them these.”
It has been far from plain sailing for Airbnb with a number of stringent regulations being imposed on short-term lets in several countries recently. According to Host Compliance, a company which monitors holiday rentals in cities, Airbnb has experienced a loss of more than half of its listings in San Francisco in just under six months.
The data revealed that listings dropped from 8,740 in August to just 4,191 in January with 2,480 listings immediately becoming exempt from registration for renting out for more than 30 days at a time.
Airbnb hopes that diversifying its services and branching out to wealthier travellers will give the company a much-needed boost, reassuring potential investors that the core business of homeowners renting out their homes isn’t under threat. The company is in an advantageous position to crack the luxury market except for a few countries where it may be faced with local competition.
The ultimate goal is to increase the number of people using the platform and rolling out a new tier of high-end rental homes could certainly deliver this.