Airbnb Plus what exactly?

Kate292
Level 3
Saint Margarets Bay, United Kingdom

Airbnb Plus what exactly?

Feeling discouraged as a host seeing media coverage on the "Plus" scheme lauched today.  Firstly, I think the airbnb hosts' who offer easy, affordable, clean and simple accommodation are great and will continue to have a prosperous market: most guests are not looking for "luxury".  My concern is for those hosts that do aspire to be on the higher end of the market, what it means to be excluded from "Plus" category?

 

We were shortlisted for this back in November 2017 and to date have found the whole process to be a shamble. We underwent airbnb's photoshoot, inspection and "design consultation" (nothing more than a professional estate agent photographer with a letting tenancy style checklist). His only response was very informally, he believed we'd met all the requirements but would be better off waiting for airbnb's offical feedback and in the meantime I should google my questions as he didn't actually know anything about the Select/ Plus pilot. 

 

Despite doing so and requesting feedback, our Select/Plus  status has been "under review" with no updates whatsoever. Luxury is of course subjective,  but how can we aspire to coninuous improvement without any feedback? It is even more frustrating and discouraging to see updates in the press.  Thanks Airbnb for keeping us in the loop! From a small business point of view,  the lack of service and consequential loss of marketing as a result of being exluded from the "luxury category", makes me question whether all the airbnbs fees are worth it. I may deactivate my profile. 

 

 

 

 

57 Replies 57
Kate292
Level 3
Saint Margarets Bay, United Kingdom

I hate to resurrect this thread and my original post however it seems to be the only way to get Airbnb to respond... I thank Airbnb for finally re-arranging a new photoshoot in April, (that is, after no explaination was provided for not sending (nor providing any update whatsoever on) the first set of photos dating back to Nov/Dec2017).

 

 

I haven't made up my mind whether being part of "Plus" is worth it for my holiday accommodation business or not. I guess I will decide that in due course. However I need to update my listing with new photos either way.  I don't want to waste further time waiting. This continues to be an extremely poor process from Airbnb. 

Rohan37
Level 2
Queensland, Australia

Did you get your new photos in the end?  I’ve been waiting many weeks just to hear back from them about approving some new photos to use in order to make the pictures representative of the property after renovations. The call Centre in Asia does not have access to the onboarding team who make the decision, so all they can do is advise me to keep waiting to hear something. I have no idea where I am in the queue to be answered. 

Diana25
Level 2
Los Angeles, CA

I personally don’t follow everything Airbnb’s doing. What I want to provide is AFFORDABLE, safe, CLEAN place for guests visiting downtown la. My bookings have gone down considerably since this “plus” program started. I’m a super host and enjoy doing it.  I’m not a person that checks on Airbnb’s site to make sure my listing is appearing. I did today and noticed it doesn’t even show up on the map view until the 3rd try. WTF? 

Why am I working so hard if you guys can’t even get your app to work right?

Rebecca181
Level 10
Florence, OR

@Fred13 I think  you nailed it when you wrote the following (above): 'My initial impression a month ago of Plus is that AirBnB (aka Brian and company), not the collective feedback and 'wisdom' from its millions upon millions of hosts & guests, were 'deciding' what they should do next; they then must have experienced an 'out of this world' stroke of genius one night that came from Outer Space and will surely prove to be an idea more 'brilliant' than what the feedback from millions of mere mortals could possibly have thought of.'

 

I worked with many 'Young Turk'-run start-ups in Silicon Valley back in the Golden Era (the late 1990's - I worked with Google when they had only 6 people, for example) and I have sat in many a meeting with the heads of these various start-ups (my job was to help staff these start-ups with hard-to-find S/W engineers and architects, CTOs, etc). I saw this sort of thing you describe over and over and over again as these fast-growing companies zoomed at record speeds toward their much-publicized IPOs. 'New' and 'Different' always aced 'Tried' and 'True'. And not always with good results (I saw more than one sizzling start-up crash and burn, in part because of this penchant for the supposedly never-before-thought-of, super-brilliant-vision' (concepts like 'Plus' and 'Infinite' and 'Beyond' would not have been out of place here, if you get my drift). I guess I'm getting old and cranky now, because it just makes me roll my eyes and guffaw our a sardonic chuckle or two, which is what kinda happened when I watched the 2/22 Plus, et al 'roll-out' live on Facebook.

 

I think those hosts who are what I call 'professional hosts' (good properties, 'premier' in some cases, like yours, who take marketing and caring for their properties and serving their guests seriously) will always find a way to thrive, with Airbnb, or without them (or maybe even in spite of them). Hosts that cannot re-envision themselves through this lens of professionalism will likely find themselves without many bookings from Airbnb down the road, given the direction the company appears to be headed in. 

 

So, onward and upward we go...

Rene-and-Zac0
Level 10
La Quinta, CA

@Rebecca181 Take a look at the job opportunities at Airbnb and you will see that there are zero jobs related to “hospitality”.

How in the world can so many positions be in tech and the website is in shambles?

It’s also clear that Brian is surrounded by “yes men” from the Q&A.

I forget the Asian girls name that he called up out of the audience but she was looking at Brian for approval on every topic. 

Seriously, WTF does “increased marketing exposure” mean as it relates to this website?

And everyone CANT have increased marketing because then it’s back to being a “push” and everyone is equal. 

Instead of “categories” just increase the ability to filter.

Add more filters instead of catalogs. Simple, you want a castle? Filter for it, it’s that basic.

In my area, I noticed the pages weren’t coming up with new listings when you advanced to the next page.

The listings were identical in all the search page results. So page 1 was the exact same listings as page 2, 3, 4 or 5. You could not see any other listings except the first 10. If you w in the first 10 listings, you would lose your spot if a new listing was published. 

I think that might be fixed now though. 

Anyway,

Rebecca181
Level 10
Florence, OR

@Rene-and-Zac0 Ah, so it is not just me! My ABB app stays on page one in the search results, even when it says you are on page 2, 3, 4, etc. I have uninstalled it and re-installed it multiple times. I did mention this to Lizzie here somewhere else - not sure if she saw it. If you use the filters, you will get different results on page 1, which was a small comfort, at least. This is happening to a few people, it seems, but not everyone (I had friends test it on their phones). 

 

Regarding that Q & A a few weeks back: I am waiting for it to be nominated for a Tony Award, as it was so obviously staged. Staged to the point where it felt a bit insulting, although I continued to watch in abject fascination - kind of like when watching a Leni Riefenstahl film.

Pete28
Level 10
Seattle, WA

It's worth noting Tujia (which is beating Airbnb in China) employs property managers who run the properties professionally on behalf of the company.

 

That may be the next step beyond plus....

Fred13
Level 10
Placencia, Belize

Needless to say I had to immediately lookup what would qualify in my general area to have the honor to be included with this 'special' lot of humans, and found this:  http://magazine.luxuryretreats.com/castaway-choice-incredible-cayo-espanto-resort-belize/  One 'barefoot chic' cabana is $2,000 per night and I would be nervous where to sit, not to get the ~white~ furniture dirty; now that is the height of 'relaxation'.

 

What is funny, its 9/10 rating won't qualify for Airbnb Superhost (minimum 4.8/5 or 9.6/10. 😄

 

P.S. Btw, Cayo Espanto is an area whose waters are usually murky due to wind and siltation; same as DiCaprio's island, which is nearby.

   

Jeff158
Level 10
Caernarfon, United Kingdom

@Fred13 just to add another dimension to the mix airbnb now own www.luxuryretreats.com .

Fred13
Level 10
Placencia, Belize

Very interesting posts people: Emily's was a treat to read and @Rebecca181 you do make exceptional sense with this particular passage:

"Super Hosts (those with both standard AND unique properties) were ripe to be noticed; were ready to receive some dedicated space on the Airbnb home / search page; had proven track records confirming happy guests; and with some promotion on Airbnb's part, could have gained traction even with non-Airbnb users - the type of traveler they hope to attract with 'Plus'.

 

My initial impression a month ago of Plus is that AirBnB (aka Brian and company), not the collective feedback and 'wisdom' from its millions upon millions of hosts & guests, were 'deciding' what they should do next; they thenmust have experienced an 'out of this world' stroke of genius one night that came from Outer Space and will surely prove to be an idea more 'brilliant' than what the feedback from millions of mere mortals could possibly have thought of.

 

I am still of the opinion that the use of a 'standard' (aka Superhost) is a good idea; if it follows requirements based on performance (customer satisfaction, 4.5 should suffice or 9/10) and consistency (long run delivery). A mere 10 'succesful' bookings to me to achieve Superhost doesn't qualify to meet the consistency criteria, I would make it 25, not 10. Then yes, give such hosts marked advantage by virtue of priority placement in guest searches. Any price level listing can qualify, since excellence and consistency is the litmus test. Isn't that what Airbnb should be after foremost? Let the customer choose what 'level' and 'type' of comforst they are willing to pay.

 

As to this Plus idea, I still find it foolish, for it it is confusively overlapping much of the spectrum of exisiting offerings, BUT with a clinical 'value' criteria that may not have come from the market itself, but from Airbnb's 'marketeers'. I will never forget sitting with a room of 'sales rep' which told me they didn't want to hear anything about the merits of the product whatsoever, rather then wanting to see ~only~ its attractive packaging!

 

A smooth progressive ladder of recognition of hosts based on performance and consistency would have been simpler and more understandable to implement (with a new Superhost Plus?) and make more sense than a new marketing campaign (aka Plus) now competing in parallel and given now given instant priority, just because it was the latest 'idea' thought of by the founding 'geniuses'.  These are the type of mistakes made by the young, whose enthusiam usually overrides 'common sense' gathered from experience.

Cor3
Level 10
Langerak, South Holland, Netherlands

Hi @Huma0,

 

They are just betting at all horses - at the moment.

And as time moves on, they just change the bet per horse.

  • They won't let the couch-surfers go.
  • They won't let the wannabee Plus accommodations go.
  • And they will not let the Branded stuff go either.

 Very clever guys!

They must be. Going from broke to $ 4 billion each in just 10 years

 

Oh, You're not naive!

Rebecca181
Level 10
Florence, OR

@Cor3 @Huma0 @Pete28 From a sheer marketing perspective I simply do not understand why Airbnb leap-frogged over Super Hosts to focus nearly exclusively on Airbnb Plus and Beyond in their promotional efforts. Super Hosts (those with both standard AND unique properties) were ripe to be noticed; were ready to receive some dedicated space on the Airbnb home / search page; had proven track records confirming happy guests; and with some promotion on Airbnb's part, could have gained traction even with non-Airbnb users - the type of traveler they hope to attract with 'Plus'.

 

Instead, all of this time, money, and effort was spent on creating 'Plus' properties this past year (or more). I could understand it if they had focused on Plus AND promoted Super Host properties. But what I will never understand is why they ignored Super Hosts all together. What traveler will use the Super Host filter when it is buried within so many other filters, and buried on the new 'Plus' billboard home page, not to mention the fact that the traveler has no idea what a Super Host even is? 

Cor3
Level 10
Langerak, South Holland, Netherlands

Hi @Rebecca181,

 

On the 22nd of Feb, Brian C revealed Airbnb's so-called infinite future plan. And it did start of with more benefits to Superhosts!

 

I must admit though, that I was not really much impressed with the additional effort to be put in for Superhosts 😞

 

Look at the whole presentation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBAc4Fo0b2g

And the Q&A, 1 week later: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfPDDEKabV4

 

Airbnb's Infinite Future PlanAirbnb's Infinite Future Plan

Rebecca181
Level 10
Florence, OR

@Cor3 I watched that presentation live on Facebook. And then I looked at the new ABB home / search page. What did I see? Super Host properties were the 7th category down, behind even 'Concerts'. I had to scroll downwards a long time to even find the Super Host  'line'. So, as I have said elsewhere, that told me all I needed to know about how highly Super Hosts are valued on Airbnb. Maybe that will change some day. But, at this point, I have little evidence to support this hypothetical future reality.

Pete28
Level 10
Seattle, WA

My belief is that Brian's drive is toward aesthetics (art school degree etc) and thus he might have been horrified by the Frankenstein of basement rooms, tents, trailers etc etc that Airbnb has become in,may places. How to get rid of all of this clutter that hurts the eye ?

 

Superhost alone would not be enough of a filter ! What is needed is a new order to cleanse out anything not suitability boutique like. Welcome, ladies and gentleman to... plus..

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Pete28

 

True, but didn't he start it with an airbed on his kitchen floor?

 

I understand that times have moved on, but maybe Brian needs to remember that Airbnb was supposed to be an alternative to hotels and corporate rentals...

Cor3
Level 10
Langerak, South Holland, Netherlands

Hi,

 

Both @Pete28 and @Huma0 are right!

Yes, they want to move up the ranks. I.e. no longer staying on a couch (although that was exactly what Brian and Joe were doing, only 10 years ago).

 

So the new idea is: No longer battle the hotels, but embrace them (Although it is actually a classic Roman embrace - with their own new brand: Plus) 🙂

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Cor3 @Pete28

 

Of course you are right, but Airbnb seems to be doing pretty well. Does it need to battle with hotels in the first place? I know in London at least, my Airbnb, and most others I have seen, are priced so far below hotels that for people on a budget, it's a pretty easy sell.

 

Look, I have no idea of the numbers (not my strong point), so maybe I'm missing a trick, but it does seem to me rather a cynical attempt to take over the hospitatlity industry - an almost insatiable desire for more, more, more... BUCKS.

 

What is the point in Airbnb if it is the same as a corporate rental/hotel?

 

Maybe I'm just too naive...

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

Oh, and by the way, that's fine if that's the way Brian wants to go, but then please drop all the nice 'touchy feely' speil about being a community, valuing hosts (especially Superhosts) and all of that. Even I'm not THAT naive.

Rebecca181
Level 10
Florence, OR

@Huma0 YES. Thank you. This is the point I was trying to make, including in regard to my response to @Cor3, below. I was SO incredibly excited when I watched Brian C's live Facebook 'performance'. I was so happy he started it off with acknowledging Super Hosts, and how valuable and important we were to the company. And that we would be acknowledged in ways that would make us happy and even more successful. And then I looked at the new website. (Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll...Past 'Plus' homes; past 'Unique Homes Around The World'; past 'Experiences' past 'Concerts'; etc, etc, etc....And then, finally, the 'Super Host' category). Let us just say I felt just a wee bit deflated, and, sadly, more than a bit disillusioned. If we were that appreciated and valued, we would have at least ranked above 'Concerts'. I mean, please, give me a break, I wasn't born yesterday.

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