For the first Host Q&A of 2019, we decided to take the show on the road. In April, Airbnb’s Laura Chambers and other team members set off on a whirlwind, around-the-world tour to meet hosts in their own hometowns, and find out what’s on their minds. Over the course of 12 days, they met with about 300 hosts in 5 cities: Tokyo, Sydney, Rome, London and Toronto.
Hosts shared stories during fireside chat sessions, brainstormed potential future products and features, and asked about important topics such as guest profile photos, location ratings, and hosting fees. (You can watch video clips and read recaps of the answers here.) And, of course, they made time for a bit of fun. “The highlight was definitely getting to spend so much time with hosts,” Laura said, a few days after she returned to Airbnb’s headquarters, in San Francisco. “I'm feeling somewhat exhausted right now—jet lag!—but completely energized to support our hosts and do amazing things for and with them. We have such an incredible community, and I’m so grateful to spend time with them.”
Check out a few photos of the adventure, below, and get ready to mark your calendars. Plans are already underway for the next Host Q&A events, later this summer, and we hope to see you there!
Magical journeys A translator (far left) helped make conversations possible between local hosts and Airbnb teammates, including Laura (second from left). A host told us she can’t travel now that she has young children, but hosting helps her experience the world and introduces her children to new cultures. Another host said she and her husband don’t have children, but because of Airbnb, they feel like they have sons and daughters all around the world. No matter what their current family situation was, the common thing we heard from all hosts is that they love building guest relationships.
Supporting Accessibility Airbnb’s accessibility program manager Srin (left) hosted accessibility workshops throughout Asia. He and Laura (right) co-hosted the event in Tokyo, and talked to hosts about the importance of capturing accessibility features, if they have them, in their listing photography.
Making connections Host Bron (left) shares a laugh with Laura at a cocktail reception. Airbnb’s Plus team also held an event in Sydney to talk about improving the program’s on-boarding process and address feedback from hosts.
Belong anywhere Hosts pose with the Bélo, Airbnb’s symbol of belonging, and Airbnb’s communities program manager Anna Wu (front, second from left). During the London event, many hosts expressed frustration with recent changes to Airbnb’s guest profile photo process and said they would like more information about their guests upfront. But several other hosts such as Dennis (far left) strongly supported the changes: “I’ve had many guests come to me and say, ‘The reason why I chose you [to be my host] is because I knew I would not be rejected because of who I am.’ And I think it’s really important Airbnb maintains its position on this.”
Building community (From left to right) Hosts Patricia, Penny, and Henriette chat before the event begins. Hosts often ask us to help them connect with other hosts. As host Jack put it: “Airbnb must not forget—in this society where we are so efficient in using technology, we cannot forget the human touch. This is what differentiates Airbnb from competitors. Community is made up of human beings. This cannot be lost.”
Checking in Superhost Antonella (center) hosted Laura (right) in her Plus listing. Italian Community Center manager, Francesca (left), joined them before they all headed to the Host Q&A event. There, a host proposed an idea to create a Superhost mentorship program, where Superhosts would stay with new hosts to welcome them to Airbnb and give them tips before hosting their first guests.
Memorable Experiences: The Airbnb team sits down to enjoy a meal they made during a pasta-making Experience with host Veronica (center). Experience hosts wondered if they could someday team with home hosts to offer package deals. These types of deals won’t be available on Airbnb immediately; in the meantime, Experience and home hosts were excited to learn they can link up through local hosting groups and in our Community Center.
Hospitality partners: Our Community Center’s Lizzie (left), Airbnb’s Nora (center), and Toronto hosts share ideas on how Airbnb can partner with and support hosts, especially when they want to contribute more to their local communities and to fellow hosts.
Celebrating hosts Thanks to our amazing hosts! They gathered in Toronto for the final stop of our April 2019 world listening tour. Host Barb said it would be wonderful to celebrate hosts for those smaller, but wonderful moments of hosting. We couldn’t agree more.
For more behind-the-scenes dispatches, check out the travel journal from the Community Center’s own Lizzie, who joined Laura and the rest of the Airbnb team for the entire world tour.
Thanks @Airbnb @Laura for the updates and improvements.
It's great to see some familiar faces & users of Community Centre attend these events.
May those who read this topic who may not frequent or know about Community Centre pop in more often & share their input to.
@Airbnb looking forward to seeing you when you come to New Zealand, hopefully later this year in Summer time.
All the Best
Central To All Home & location, New Zealand.
Aw thanks for your lovely comment here @Helen. As someone who joined Laura on the tour, it was so nice to meet all the hosts, in particular those from the CC who I've spoken with many many many times.
It felt like I was seeing some old friends for the first time in a while. Such a nice feeling. :)
I hope all is well with you.
This is all very lovely. It's a wonderful thing to go to major cities and have focus groups.
But I am frankly astonished that the subject of revenge reviews was not mentioned in May. As I recall, there were over 700 responses last month.
I came away with the impression that removing one revenge review a year was very much on the agenda. Now it has vanished.
700 responses is one very big global shout out. I very much was of the impression this was underway, otherwise, why go public with it?
By coincidence, after 2 Years of SH, over 100 trips, and a 4.9/5 average, a young man paying $19cad per night horrified the people in my home with his behaviour, including refusal to flush. He marked me one star across the board and commented WORST PLACE EVER.
Yet Air felt this review, from a second time guest, did not violate TOS. What about basic respect for the host and other guests?
My metrics went from all 5 star and one four in the last year to 4.6. And two yrs. of SH and over 100 trips.
Meanwhile, our Neanderthal guest is still on platform!
Guest's charged with damages or asked to leave are doing the same. And it is just not right.
We need your support. People like this should never have been allowed in our homes, especially when proven by Case Management to be destructive, violent, and/or disingenuous.
For crying out loud, support us.
Totally agree! Guests seem to do whatever they like and are not held accountable- As a host I now feel like asking guests to pay for damage is risky as they may leave a bad review- having to suck up expensive damage costs in fear is definitely not being supported.
After having received a "Death Threat" from Guests that was submitted on the AirBNB platform, we are extremely hesistant to write anything that might upset a guest. After all, they know where we live and how to access our home.
The ramifications for said guest? Nothing. Ramifications for us? We often live in fear.
I agree. Airbnb caters more to the guest and we the homeowner are assuming all the risk. A personal example I had a guest drive on my back lawn and tore up the yard. I asked the guests to pay for the damages she refused so I went to Airbnb for support and they wouldn't help me either. So I personally had to spend the time and the money to repair my backyard. It's frustrating. Airbnb needs to be more supportive of us the homeowners.
I've only just started and already have 5 bookings because I think I'm offering an Experience .I'm so happy to be part of airbnb and for the help they give us. My place may be one of the 'tiniest' but you make me feel like one of the Mightiest
Great to see the growth !
We have over 10 places and have hosted over 100 stays. We offer limousine and transportation services and a experience that ties local partners (vendors) with air guests. We love air bnb and want to bring community and guests together for a great stay and return visits. Please reach out to me to get a community of airbnb hosts together or give me direction on how that can be accomplished with your support here in Michigan thanks. Frank 4rentus.org