Since the launch of Airbnb Plus in February, there’s been a flurry of interest in our new program. The Airbnb team has heard you and would like to answer some of the most common questions we’ve seen over the last few weeks.
Check them out, then let us know your thoughts.
Will Airbnb Plus take bookings away from listings not in the program?
We’ve been following the performance of Airbnb listings since launch on February 22nd. So far we haven’t seen any identifiable change to the total number of bookings non-Airbnb Plus listings have gotten. Homes in the program have seen significantly more pages views and nights booked when compared to similar, non-Airbnb Plus listings. In short, Airbnb Plus has been successful, but has not had an effect on other listings to date.
Airbnb Plus was inspired by hosts and created to highlight all the great work they’ve done. It’s also for guests looking for extra reassurance, and will hopefully encourage new guests to try Airbnb for the first time. This means more guests for everyone.
Why aren't all Airbnb Plus hosts Superhosts?
The reason some Airbnb Plus hosts may not be Superhosts yet is because you need to have ten completed stays to become a Superhost and only one to join Airbnb Plus. The biggest difference between Superhost and Airbnb Plus are the home requirements. Each Airbnb Plus home is verified in person for thoughtful design, comfort, extra cleanliness, and care.
I don’t have an impeccably designed home. Does that mean I can’t join Airbnb Plus?
While we do have a high bar for design, we’re also style-agnostic and welcoming of a range of different styles, as long as they’re thoughtfully done. We strive for every Airbnb Plus home to reflect the personality of its host, and we’ve worked hard to find amazing listings with a unique story. But we’re just getting started. If you’re a host that needs a little extra help, we can offer interior design advice and styling tips to help you meet the requirements.
Why is there a fee to apply for Airbnb Plus? Will I get my money back if my application is declined?
The one-time, non-refundable fee of $149 is to help cover the cost of your in-person home visit and personalized home report. If you meet our Airbnb Plus requirements, you’ll also get professional photography, editorial tips on how to best describe your listing, and access to premium customer support. The value of these services is much greater than $149, but we believe the investment in the host community is more than worth it.
Because the fee covers the home visit, it’s charged when you schedule. If we’ve asked you to schedule a home visit, we already feel you’re a good fit for Airbnb Plus. After the visit, you may be asked to complete some final updates or fixes to get your space ready for the program. In the rare instance that a home is declined, it's usually because the host misrepresented their home in some way, such as telling us they have a private bathroom when they actually don't.
Is Airbnb Plus a way to introduce more property managers or hotels and move away from traditional hosts?
The host community is what makes Airbnb possible and the Plus program was created with traditional Airbnb hosts in mind. We’re definitely not moving away from traditional hosts. In fact, in the areas where Airbnb Plus is available, the average number of listings each Airbnb Plus host manages currently mirrors those not in the program.
Why are Airbnb Plus listings only available in certain cities?
To make Airbnb Plus successful for everyone, we want to start small and work with hosts along the way. We’ll grow and evolve the program with feedback from our community. We have plans to make Airbnb Plus available in as many places as possible, including non-urban areas.
Why are Superhost listings not featured the same way as Airbnb Plus listings?
The Airbnb Plus home requirements mean that hosts invest significant time and effort into joining the program. They go through an 100+ point inspection as part of their home visit, which helps us capture more ways to showcase their home.
In addition to launching new Superhost benefits, we’re also testing how to best represent the variety of programs hosts can be a part of, such as Superhost, and collections like Family and Work. Through these new options, we’re hoping to encourage more guests to try Airbnb and make it easier to attract guests looking for a home like yours.
If I want to be Plus host, why do I have to have a private bathroom for each room?
Based on guest research, we’ve learned that a crucial element of a comfortable stay is privacy. That’s why private rooms on Airbnb Plus are required to have private bathrooms. Right now, Airbnb Plus is available for private rooms with private bathrooms and entire homes, but we’re looking to expand to more categories in the future.
Guests love my listing because I have something unique (a great view, high-quality bath products, etc.). Can I be a Plus host?
We’ve done extensive research around which elements make up a great stay. For years, hosts have shared what works for them, and guests have told us about the amenities and standards they feel are important. The requirements of Airbnb Plus include many of these best practices.
We love that you have something special that makes your listing stand out. But you do need to meet the eligibility requirements and go through the verification process to join the program. If you have an eligible listing and are in an Airbnb Plus market, you can request an invite. If not, there are a variety of other ways to help your home stand out on Airbnb, and even more to come.
What happens if an Airbnb Plus requirement is not possible in my country? For example, if the wifi speed is slow due to location.
As Airbnb Plus grows and evolves, we’d appreciate your input on issues like this. You’re the expert on what’s available and appropriate in your area. We've already updated our criteria based on host feedback, so please share your thoughts and we’ll consider it moving forward.
Thanks for reading! If you want to learn even more about Airbnb Plus, check out Airbnb CEO and Head of Community, Brian Chesky’s latest answers in the Global Host Q&A. And please keep sharing your questions and feedback.
Airbnb have just unveiled new programs for our community. Read more here!
Watch the replay of the Global Host Q&A with Brian Chesky NOW.
Looking to contact the Support Team, for details...take a look at the Community Help Guides.
Nice to read and to be informed. But i think Airbnb traditional hosts (and guests !) don't want Airbnb Plus . I saw postings on this community indicating the amount of Airbnb Plus locations going DOWN ! I fear mr. Chesky is floating away from the original Airbnb-concept with this PLUS feature. Just IMHO.
Thank you for your informative post @Lizzie
about the new Plus program.
We are delighted to have been chosen for this pilot program ! We have
received bookings from wonderful guests from all over the world that are brand new to Airbnb which has been very exciting for them and for us. We credit Plus for this. Our bookings have definitely increased due to being a Plus listing. And contrary to some opinion that Plus guests would be more difficult to please, we just haven’t found that to be the case at all. They are as lovely as all of our previous guests have been. They just appreciate very much knowing that their choice has been verified and it takes some of the unknown away from their first Airbnb stay. Your detailed post explains very well many of the questions and concerns about Plus and we appreciate it.
@Kittie & Chris -- good to hear that Plus has helped your bookings. Just curious, if you don't mind us asking... When you got Plus status, did you actually increase your nightly prices, or leave them the same as they were? Thanks!
Thanks for your time Lizzie....airbnb is getting so much more complicated. As a traveler as well as a host, it is much more time consuming. i really have to pay attention, to know what filters are on by default, or i won't even get to see all the listings....for instance, if the computer i am using has instant book on by default and i don't realize it, i don't see the listings that don't offer instant book......
Also, when i enter my search location, the listings come up, i get about a third of the way down the page, and now i am presented with the options of either Family, or Work.....well i am not traveling at that time, for Work, so i naturally hit Family, even though it's just my husband and I.....not realizing i won't see any of the listings that have not taken the time to select amenities that qualify them as a Family listing, which btw, are all about toddlers.....
As a host, i don't want things to get more and more complicated....i have been booked 98% of the time up until now, and all of a sudden i am not getting reservations......
So i finally realized unless i take the time, which i am now forced by Airbnb's new programs to do, i won't come up when people hit either Family Or Work.......Besides that....many families don't have kids under two years old.....so they would hit the Family option, and stilll not see a huge number of listings that would satisfy their needs.....only because the host doesn't have children's toys, outlet covers, a crib and other toddler friendly amenities......it seems this has really not been thought through before being presented, and has decreased my biz exponentiallly.......
Regarding the fact that the Free Infant offering Airbnb has forced on hosts, can go against City Code where i live, and exposes me to repeated offences without even realizing someone is going to show up with guests they have been told would be free of charge, and now puts me over the guest limit in my city.
I am sad that there are so many complications now. It seems the listings have become more and more generic, and by having a program like Plus this will increase to hotel like standards.......i know Airbnb is trying to stay competitive, but it seems they were such a great, fresh, simple way to book, and now it is so very complicated...i also know staff needs to justify their position by coming up with new ideas, but this is not necessarily a win win, for the traveler or the host....and as a host and traveler, who has only used Airbnb as my platform for the last 6 or 7 years, my loyalty is being sorely tested....i wish you could help, but once again, it feels like lip service and no true action.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Plus should pay the HOST to stay anonymously so they see the real listing and not one prepared for their arrival.
I am not in a pilot area and I'm pretty sure I meet all the requirements but I refuse to pay Airbnb to come and stay at my listing. That is not how it should work. I think you have it all backwards.
Airbnb is taking more and more from the host. I am a superhost and do not get priority support when I have a problem. I am still waiting for a Monday checkout problem, it's Friday...5 days later... still waiting!!!!!!
Good Q and A, but there is an inherent issue with the way you are qualifying people - you say that you dont even need to be a superhost to become an a Plus host, which is true in a perverse way. As described, one could truly have only hosted one guest and become a Plus host. And in reality, the fewer guests one has hosted, the easier it is to become a Plus host as evidenced by my situation. One of the qualifications is that you must have a 95% acceptance rate since day one. So the longer you have been a host, the more it becomes IMPOSSIBLE to EVER qualify for Plus status. Its just simple math. For instance, even though AirBnB says it is totally up to us to decide who can and cannot stay in your home, in realty AirBnB penalizes us for turning ANYONE down, even if we KNOW they are a bad fit or even just a troll. This just happened again to me...I got a request from someone new to the site, someone that obviously didnt have a clue what was going on, and I sent some questions back right away but NEVER heard back. What the hell am I supposed to do? So a few minutes before my 24 hours was about to expire, I had to accept him even though I know he is going to be a problem, or else I get dinged on my acceptance rate. So the longer you have been hosting, the harder it is to ever increase that percentage if it isnt already 95% or higher. For example, in my case, I have booked 70+ people and have an 87% acceptance rate. That means roughly 80 people have applied to stay at my place, and 10 have been denied for whatever reason (10/80 = 13%). I need to get that rate down to 5%. So assuming I keep the same amount of denials I have currently at 10, I would need to book another 130 people with NO DENIALS from this point forward in order to reach that 95% rate (10/200 = 5%). So in reality I cannot refuse ANYONE for ANY REASON for basically the next 2 years to be able to get my acceptance rate to 95%. I think you would all agree that this is just not realistic and thus I (and many other superhosts that are doing things pretty ideal) will never be able to reach the Plus level. In reality AirBnB is making it easier for newbies to become Plus members, and by default PENALIZING us tried and true veterans. How can this possibly sit well with the people in power. It is just simple math.
Great post @Lizzie, my house was chosen for the Plus inspection in February, any news when I will get the results from the inspection, or at least when I will get the new photos? I was really looking forward to the new photos from the inspectors because they gave alot of effort, they spent around 5 hours photographing the place, unlike the first photographer Airbnb sent which was finished in 15 minutes.
Another unthought out initiative.
Now you have PAY to get on top page.
Not only that Airbnb put all the bells and whistles to draw attention to plus pakcages labling big bodl text in purples wich a custom PLUS icon, but dotn even bother putting a super host badge over our listing thumbnail.
superhost is barely writen in TINY black text. NO CUSTONM ICON, NO CUSTON BOLD TEXT COLOR. NOTHING! NO TOP RANKING PLACEMENT.
All that super host work for NOTHING!
WHATS THE POINT when someone can just buy into, a top you in the listing ranking.
I already saw a massive drop in repsonses for my listing that was doign very well right after theis STUPID PLUS idea came about!
@Steve -- totally agree. Though, I did find out from AirBnb that the acceptance rate is based on a rolling 365-day basis, rather than all time the listing has been active. This still doesn't make it very easy to overcome or meet the 95%, especially when you get requests from people who don't really know what they're doing, but I thought I'd mention that to slightly clarify.
that is an intersting tidbit about the rolling basis policy - I have never seen nor heard that anywhere - where did you read that as no rep that I have talked to has mentioned it.
I am thinking it might make sense to simply cancel ones current listing and start fresh as a newbie, since the barriers to entry are much less for newbies vs us 'oldies', especially since one can qualify for Plus after only one guest. Even though one would lose a bunch of ratings, it sounds like the benefits of better visibility and benefits might outweigh any downside?
Can anyone comment what happens if one cancels ones listing? Do the booked reservations still get honored I assume? Or maybe it makes sense to keep ones listing and just have no availability?
Helpful post. Can you clarify the rule about "Private bedrooms have a private bathroom with a bathtub or shower"? Does that rule apply only to listings that are categorized as a private room rather than entire home? Is there any bathroom requirement for entire homes?
Awesome post. Answered a lot of my questions about plus. How long does it usually take to hear back about whether your listing has been accepted or not?
This is frustrating, as I wasn't expecting this initiative to overshadow my superhost, 5.0 star average, 80+ review history. Now I'm trying to get in the programme, but will have to wait months, according to the recent email, since there's been an influx of inquiries (probably because it's pretty clear that the Plus homes are getting far more views etc.)
There is a bug on the Plus page if you click to request an invite:
Your listing(s) aren’t currently eligible for Airbnb Plus
Yet it states I'm "In Review"? I'm hoping it is actually in review, and since I have met all the requirements.
How much longer would we need to wait, and can we check availability in our city?