With Airbnb launching its “Airbnb for Business” in 2014, tremendous changes have been revealed through the years to improve the way travelers and travel managers experience the business trip process. New travel trends, online tools and features have set up the scene for a more engaging approach to the current modern workforce that seeks the easiest way to travel on business without losing the comfort of its home. To encompass this idea of offering the best hosting to the corporate travel segment, in 2018 Airbnb renamed this specific offering as “Airbnb for work”, a prime product that includes homes for either short business travel stays or lengthy relocations, creative workspaces and team-building experiences.
Why Companies love it
Does comfort come at a high cost? We wouldn’t say so. More than 700K companies signed up on “Airbnb for Work” program and is estimated that they save almost 49% a night when their employees book an Airbnb instead of a traditional hotel. Whether they are a small, medium or enterprise size companies it takes only a few minutes to enroll and enjoy the platform’s free travel management tool. Employees can get invited with a unique link, grouped in teams or departments (according to your organization’s structure) and review their itineraries or submit their spending. Did we mention centralized billing? One shared credit card for all and simplified reporting to help companies manage their expenses and savings.
The Business Guest
Now think of your personas and their usual behaviors when travelling on business. Do they possess any security risk to the host or the property they choose to stay at? Will they be ready to cover the cost of their accommodation? Last but not least, think of the amount they will spend to ask you questions and raise complaints. I guess we both end up to the very same conclusion: Business travellers are of low-maintenance and can maximize your profits, whilst simplifying and keeping your day-to-day operations hassle free.
Services & Amenities
We have probably got you convinced by now to join this lucrative category of hosting for business. Since we have helped hundreds of hosts around the destinations that we operate into, we have gathered for you all the needed services and amenities to set you up for attracting and serving business travellers in your house.
- Property type
First things first, not all property types qualify to be placed within the work collection. To be included, your listing needs to be an entire home, a private room with a private bath, or a private room with an ensuite bath. The reason behind this limitation that Airbnb established is due to the privacy and peace of mind business travellers seek while on a trip.
They may sound basic, but the list of amenities below is one of the must all interested hosts need to offer to their business segment of guests:
- Wifi (the higher speed possible please!)
- Essentials (shampoo, toilet paper, soap, towels, bed linens, and pillows)
- Hair dryer
- Laptop-friendly workspace
- Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors
- Check-in Process
We all acknowledge how busy business people are. Therefore, under Airbnb’s requirements is also to have hosts offering the option for self check-in. Whether you choose to place a smart-lock, a lockbox or assign this task to the building staff to grant access to your guests, this needs to be available 24/7 for them with no restrictions. When hosts add this feature on their listings, travellers will get instructions through the app three days prior to their self check-in.
- Responsiveness & Host’s Rating
Airbnb wants to guarantee to its business guests that a responsible host who cares for their needs will be available to reach out. Starting with the response rate, to qualify you will need to be quite on top of the communication with your guests. The requirement of this field is to reach the responses to the 90% of bookings requests within the first 24 hours over the previous year. To further assure the exceptional service, hosts must have more than five reviews and maintain on average a 4.8 overall listing rating and similarly a 4.8 check-in rating.
- Cancellation policy
Last but not least, business travellers are all about flexibility when it comes to their travel arrangements. To get included to Airbnb’s work collection, hosts need to offer a flexible or moderate cancellation policy to their guests and have a clear record of canceled reservations within a week of the stay in the past year.
Catering this Niche
With millennials being the primary force fueling Airbnb’s bookings, there is no hesitation that these personal travel patterns follow them also into their work lives and business trips. Happy travellers are more productive travellers and Airbnb’s strategy aims to raise satisfaction by providing them more ways to use it for a variety of needs. This is a great approach and should be considered by all hosts and property managers who look into maximizing their occupancy rate and earnings with low-maintenance guests. If you own or manage a listing, it might be a matter of making a few small changes to the current setup or hosting in order to get it included within the Work Collection. Eligible or not for the time being, participation in it is by far a surefire tactic that you need to consider and follow to start serving more and more the millennial workforce.