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.
I would love to see more discussion on hosts in smaller communities. Places NOT on people's vacation destination lists, but the necessity traveler: conference, family, graduation, work, etc.
We're a lone Super Host in a community of about 43,000 people, and neighbors and friends are completely surprised Airbnb travelers come to our city. Btwn our 2 guestrooms, we're booked almost every night.
Curious to know how other hosts, in small, post-industrial communities coping with perception and working with their local governments which are squeamish about STRs in general, and Airbnb scares them.
We've been SHs for nearly 3 years, welcomed over 400 guests from nearly a dozen countries and more that half the United States. We're quite the anomaly in our community.
"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 five days of the world tour"
Maybe you should check your facts before posting misinformation. (There's already more than enough of that flying round the CC as it is) Lizzie didn't just join the team for five days, she did the full 12 days of the tour.
@Susan17 you're totally right - she was absolutely there the entire time! I think the confusion is that this post referenced her travel journal (days 1-5). I've sent the correction to the team. Thanks for catching it!!!
Awesome initiatives by Airbnb! I like the idea of creating a Superhost mentorship program, where Superhosts could contribute to the community by welcoming new hosts to Airbnb and give them tips before hosting their first guests. I myself as a relatively new host (started hosting in Nov 2018) think this would be a great thing can happen to any new host!
Hello to all the family of Airbnb,
I am a new host that started a while ago to join the family of Airbnb. It really was brought to my attention how you are able to make use of a spare room by having people from al over the world coming in your house/property. This really got my attention, since I consider my Island (& myself), a very potencial for hosting people all around the world. There are probably many other countries that are far better then we in the hospitality business, it Aruba have something that is able to be in the top aswell. Concidering that we are a tourist island, with many mayor hotels such as; Hyatt,Radisson, Marriott,Ritz Carlton, Rui, Holiday Inn, and many more...... many people are using Airbnb, even that the government mentioned that we should stop building big hotels & focus on boutique hotels in order to keep the identity of the people and the Island. Airbnb can play a vital role in this, because our strength is not sun,beaches, facilities....... but our people!! Airbnb gives us a unique opportunity to combine guest & people in on of the best inviorment (sun,beach,nature,tradewinds, caves,natural pool & and many more.... But we are also a very humble race.. and many other countries are taking advantage of this(hotel chains, restaurant, concerns...) I think that Airbnb can make a huge difference for our Island to make us aware about the service of the local people. This is the strength of Aruba! Hopefully Airbnb can make this a priority to make aruba an Airbnb Island 👍🏽❤️ ❗️ But we need guidance,awareness and training to accomplish this. I know that we are a “dot” on the globe 🌎. But silently I wish that we could host one day a meeting with you guys here in Aruba.. to help us to overcome the fear of failure, awareness of how to be effective with your program.
If a can an help facilitate anything from my side, I am more than willing to do so... because I really believe that this is the future.
Thank you for you for taking the time to read this, please share this with your colleagues if posibel.
a humble host(trying to be) from Aruba
Richard de Lange
facebook page: Richaronsarubaprivatetours
Lovely to meet you, it is wonderful reading your message here and to hear how much you are enjoying being a host. I love the idea of making an Airbnb island, what a fantastic community that would be.
Out of interest do you know many other hosts on Aruba and do you meet with them to talk about hosting?
Thank you for sharing valuable info and views. I have just started hosting. Makes me feel I am not the only one sharing similar joys and some moments of concern. Look forward to know more and learn better. Happy to be a part of this Airbnb family larger than I imagined.
Welcome to the world of hosting @Rinku1 and to the Community Center. I hope you enjoy being a host and meeting new people. Have you spoken to many other hosts since you started?
I did not realise Airbnb was such a large community since I actually began hosting last month. Have not spoken to other hosts directly but I often come online and read the exchanges. It’s very helpful. Often when I am hesitant to share my concerns thinking ... maybe it’s my lack of experience as a new host ...I find someone else sharing similar issues ... actually feels good that I am not alone. It’s a great experience and a continuous learning curve. Thanks to so many of you out there for us to reach.