Published: Fri, February 23, 2018
Research | By Clarence Powell

Airbnb rolls out luxury rentals and new benefits for users

Airbnb rolls out luxury rentals and new benefits for users

Properties that fail can still be part of Airbnb's regular listings; the company will also offer advice on improvements to qualify.

Airbnb estimates to support 1.3 million jobs globally in 2017. Experiences is growing more quickly than the initial home-sharing platform did, with more than 10 times the number of bookings as homes had at this stage in its growth, according to Airbnb.

In fact, you'll often find these kinds of kinds of home setups already in place when you're searching for places to stay overseas.

"Airbnb (is) figuring out how do we grow at the same levels that investors are expecting us to grow, given some of the regulatory headwinds", said Christopher Anderson, a professor at Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration.

Additionally, the company is expanding its Superhost program with new and updated benefits, including more exposure, custom URLs for their listings and exclusive pricing on smart home devices, starting with a partnership with Nest to offer Superhosts discounted products.

If you are at all uneasy about the proposition of staying in a stranger's house, Airbnb Plus should help quell some of those concerns.

"I made a decision to go, where we all go, for the pursuit of infinite wisdom - I went to Twitter". In the spring, the company will also launch a luxury tier called Beyond by Airbnb, offering extravagant homes with the option to book a butler or personal chef.

Details on what the benefits are weren't specified, but the feature will launch initially to 10,000 guests as a trial this summer before being rolled out to the rest of the community before the end of the year.

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As with the current Airbnb offerings, there'll be the choice of whole homes or single rooms under the Airbnb Plus umbrella.

To address this, Airbnb will be launching 4 new property types - Vacation Home, Unique Space, B&B, and Boutique. Hosts are going to have an opportunity to have a more granular way of classifying their homes.

Chesky said that in addition to those categories, Airbnb will be adding "thousands" of search categories, so that guests will be able to search for categories and amenities as varied and specific as Rustic, Balcony, Family Friendly, Near Zoo, Crib, etc.

"We are building one of the world's largest home databases", shared Chesky.
Four more categories rolling out later this year, namely, Collections for Social stays, Weddings, Honeymoons, Group getaways and Dinner parties.

And as part of a broader new focus at the company to clean up the lower-quality homes offered on the platform, the company is also launching what it calls Airbnb Plus, a tier of properties that the company says it will have inspected and verified as top-of-the-line.

Human inspectors will review properties based on a 100-point checklist covering everything from the speed of the Wi-Fi to the comfort of the bedding.

Guests can therefore have a peace of mind that these listings are guaranteed to be of excellent quality. Following the acquisition of Luxury Retreats a year ago, Beyond by Airbnb will offer custom-designed trips that include "the world's finest homes, custom experiences and world-class hospitality", said Airbnb.

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