How Airbnb Plus Works
Airbnb Plus reflects the company’s dedication to providing superior travel and accommodation experiences. In order to qualify for the Airbnb Plus Program, properties are verified for quality and comfort. Airbnb Plus is also a way to accommodate guests who are looking for a specific experience – whether that’s a honeymoon, family vacation, or business trip.
Airbnb Plus is Airbnb’s response to customer concerns about quality control. Guests don’t like surprises – they like consistency and quality, and that’s what they expect when they travel. Airbnb Plus is a win-win for hosts and guests because it pairs up properties with guests who have specific preferences. This is one of the reasons why Airbnb acquired upscale vacation rentals service Luxury Retreats for $224.1 million in cash and stock in 2017.
The Airbnb Plus program started out in select cosmopolitan destinations like Los Angeles, Shanghai, and Milan. At this time, it’s expanding into 75,000 properties in 50 different cities around the globe. Wherever a traveler might want to go, Airbnb wants to make sure a property is there that matches their needs and expectations.
What are the Airbnb Plus Requirements?
To get into the Airbnb Plus program, you’ve simply got to have excellence in terms of the property and its management.
Airbnb Plus is an invitation-only venue. An Airbnb Plus home needs an average rating of 4.8 or higher, and the host needs to accept 95% of the bookings – with a whopping total of 0 last-minute cancellations in the past year.
An Airbnb Plus home is thoughtfully designed. That means well-selected and arranged furniture, and a cohesive and apparent style, one that might even speak to the host’s personality.
It needs a reliable WiFi network, modern appliances, and safety features (like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors). It needs to be well-kept, clean, and clutter-free. Guests want to have a functional and convenient kitchen, not to mention comfortable bathrooms.
Think of the way a hotel is presented — well designed, convenient, and safe. In fact, Airbnb Plus was created in large part to capture a market share of travelers who still prefer hotels, because they appreciate their dependable experience.
How can I check my property for eligibility?
There is no way to get your property listed other than meeting the Airbnb Plus requirements. But there are a few ways to give your property a better chance of getting there.
Make some rules. Guests need to know where they can park, what time they need to tone down the noise, and where to put their garbage. Unless you’re renting out a property for events, make it a party-free zone.
Get an interior designer. You don’t have to break the bank to do this. Even stores like IKEA offer design services. If you have some artistic sensibilities yourself, that’s even better. Give the decor of every room — even if it’s a private room like a bedroom or bathroom — a cohesive theme to guide the color palette, textures, and decor.
Make sure your home is safe. Does it have a pool, barbecue, balcony, or anything else that could present some safety concerns? Establish some rules and make sure your home conforms to the safety standards of Airbnb and its location.
Create a positive and seamless guest experience. Make sure there is a way for guests to get in easily, whether that’s a lockbox or an actual person on-site. Create a contract that covers all the ins and outs and spells out any fees, before they become a surprise.
Present your home properly. Get a good photographer to showcase all the hard work you’ve put into your home. Encourage guests to leave detailed comments about their experience. Think about marketing your property in the best possible light.
In short, you want to think of what a hotel has done and try to do that as much as possible. If you need help brainstorming the specific details of how to transform your property into something more hotel-like, consult with someone who knows the hospitality industry or a competent property manager.
What are the benefits and costs of Airbnb Plus for hosts?
Airbnb Plus positions your property as the creme of the crop, which means you’ll get more bookings. Because your Airbnb Plus home has been verified for quality and comfort, guests will already trust you more, which facilitates a smoother experience for both you and them.
Whereas formerly you might have had to charge less than you like in order to compete with other properties, with less competition on Airbnb Plus, you can charge what you’d like – especially if you offer a unique experience. Airbnb Plus homes are averaging at least $250 each night.
While Airbnb Plus is an invitation-only level of excellence that won’t necessarily cost you extra other than the one-time $149 application fee – there are some responsibilities you’ll have as a host. You’ll definitely have to maintain the minimum standards in terms of quality and user experience. You’ll have to take every reservation that comes in. With these responsibilities, you’ll definitely want to have a competent property manager.
For investment property owners who are serious about running a quality business, Airbnb Plus provides many benefits. In the wake of Airbnb’s explosive popularity, it’s a chance to beat out sub-par properties that aren’t truly what they appear to be online, and get the type of guests you deserve. There isn’t much you need to do differently, because if you’re already doing what you’re supposed to, it’s likely you’ll see an invitation to join Airbnb Plus as the program expands.