Interview Catherine Powell

in
Stuttgart, Germany
Host Advisory Board Member
663 Views

by Amy Bernstein on the Tech Conference Collision 2022 in Toronto.

Duration about 20 minutes. Might be interesting for you.

 

@Catherine-Powell  is Airbnb’s Global Head of Hosting.

 

Video: https://youtu.be/ocABkN2H2_Y?t=2013

[Unless stated otherwise, my comments are based on my personal Airbnb hosting and travelling experiences.]
14 Replies

Re: Interview Catherine Powell

in
Huskisson, Australia
Level 10

@Till-and-Jutta0 it was worth seeing the Y - tube with Catherine Powell, where she promoted and the outcome was the change in travel industry an Airbnb accommodation uptake with new Hosts supplimenting their income.

My question is what happens when we have a saturation of Airbnb accommodation in your local area such as hotels and motels joining Airbnb, people letting their holiday homes or properties being bought for investments? Does it become a cut throat industry where one accommodation is competing against another for the same dollars and the Airbnb industry starts to spiral downwards?

What has happened to the share accommodation industry that Brian Chesky and his friends began with the name of Airbnb?

In today's current down turn in economies, petol and gas prices are going up, food and interest rates rising and in Australia shortage of LTR  and the governments are looking at STR length of stays. Differnt states  are changing the number of days that they can be let. So, I think this will be a revival of share home accommodation again.

Re: Interview Catherine Powell

Administrator in
Malibu, CA
Administrator

Hi @Till-and-Jutta0,

It was so lovely speaking about how much Airbnb has adapted and evolved due to Covid-19 since I've joined.

Many thanks for sharing,
Catherine

Re: Interview Catherine Powell

in
Placencia, Belize
Level 10

@Laurelle3 "My question is what happens when we have a saturation of Airbnb accommodation in your local area such as hotels and motels joining Airbnb, people letting their holiday homes or properties being bought for investments? Does it become a cut throat industry where one accommodation is competing against another for the same dollars and the Airbnb industry starts to spiral downwards?"

 

In many ways that is already happening where the lodging industry is saturated and as a result it is making for the strangest of bedfellows. Either way, I am already under the assumption my 'lovable' competitors (with 10x the economic power I will ever have) would definitely want to cut my throat, but are finding it not so easy to do. Not a day goes by I try to make it harder for them to do so. 🙂

 

Airbnb is a booking agency and is simply getting together suppliers of hosting places & people looking for lodging at any given time. Airbnb will do well regardless, for no one can match their existing inventory, how facile it is to book with them (most of the time) and how many clients they do bring to their individual hosts.

Re: Interview Catherine Powell

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Fred13 wrote:

 

Airbnb will do well regardless, for no one can match their existing inventory, how facile it is to book with them (most of the time) and how many clients they do bring to their individual hosts.


Only it seems that it is not so easy to book anymore since the Summer Release (have you played with the search recently?), nor are they bringing so many clients to a lot of individual hosts (not bringing any to me anymore and lots of others are reporting the same), many of whom are jumping ship and going to VRBO and other sites.

 

I am not sure if these changes will be long term or not, but Airbnb are not yet showing any signs of reversing them.

Re: Interview Catherine Powell

in
Huskisson, Australia
Level 10

@Fred13 your response was thoughtful. Yes Airbnb is a booking agency as you stated and it delivers the goods for me. I must be delivering the same for my guests as my booking percentage is 83%(just checked). I am happy with this as I control when I want to be open to fit in with my life. You could say I am not a full-time business person

I had a peek at what you offer on Airbnb and yes your "Bird Island" offers a unique island holiday with water views surrounding it with privacy. The services offered by you would be helpful for guests staying. What a wonderful place to stay  I'd like to put it on the wish list for one day.

@Catherine-Powell did explain when Covid was about and people adopted to different work cultures and blending it with travel and longer stays keeping the industry viable for some. Cathryn also mentions that people took up short stays with their region or short travel distances which was evident in Australia because we were state bound with no border crossing. This did enable Airbnb hosts that wished to be viable. 

Now we have moved on with rules and travel but what I tried to point out was that I had visualised in my local area that we did have a boom with Airbnb places hitting the market.

It looks that it has now become saturated with Airbnbs and host joining up with other search stations

to continue with their viability

 Our local area is seasonal and school holidays but and we also have a down time in winter. 

 For the new hosts they haven't factored this in and there is a bit of price cutting.

I believe if you offer the goods that people want you will always get bookings.

Thanks again Fed for your thoughts on the topic.

 

 

 

Re: Interview Catherine Powell

in
Placencia, Belize
Level 10

@Laurelle3 Needless to say you are most welcomed.

   Funny, you mentioned you are 'at peace' with 83%, you know I do everything with a lot of pride also, but one thing I have upgraded in my thinking lately is that 85% is pretty darn good and now I no longer sweat whether get a booking or not nor less-than-perfect reviews. Wisdom, wasted on the old. LoL

Re: Interview Catherine Powell

in
Placencia, Belize
Level 10

Played with the Search function - a lot of posts from me on this lately.

 

My clients also are saying that they have a tough time with certain bookings, today one wanted to book June 23-30th, 2023 and couldn't. Another doozy is trying to change a reservation, for example the guest is bringing more people; the 'Save' hot link disappears the minute one scrolls down.

 

They are not stupid, but slow; they will get to the glitches, of course in their own 'manner'.   

 

I could list a few more of these.

Re: Interview Catherine Powell

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Fred13 

 

No I don't think they are stupid at all, even if a lot of these changes seem senseless, and perhaps some glitches will be fixed over time. However, this is more than a case of glitches. It's a complete change in marketing strategy.

Re: Interview Catherine Powell

in
Placencia, Belize
Level 10

It is.

Re: Interview Catherine Powell

in
Chicago, IL
Level 10

Do we think @Catherine-Powell answers her own community center messages? I have never seen her answer to anything of substance but she quickly jumped in when her video got posted. 

 

It is so heartless for her to pass all the cries for help if she checks them herself. It is just as heartless to have someone sort through those for her considering her position. Either way, same farce as the host board.

Re: Interview Catherine Powell

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Inna22 Actually @Catherine-Powell has started answering some critical posts. One close to my heart was when she was trying to help a host in Ukraine get paid as Customer Services were not helping this particular host. Sadly even Catherine was ineffective in sorting out the payment (which shows how dysfunctional Airbnb must be) and strangely the payment was only sorted when the press got involved (or was that coincidence?!?)

Re: Interview Catherine Powell

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Mike-And-Jane0 wrote:

Sadly even Catherine was ineffective in sorting out the payment (which shows how dysfunctional Airbnb must be) and strangely the payment was only sorted when the press got involved (or was that coincidence?!?)


That's disheartening to hear. I know that @Catherine-Powell is not in charge of CS, but if even she can't have some influence there, then I feel there is no hope... Kudos to her for at least trying though, if that's what happened (I missed that thread so don't really know the details).

Re: Interview Catherine Powell

in
Chicago, IL
Level 10

@Huma0 @Mike-And-Jane0 she has  become Airbnb’s PR person

i understand she os too busy to chat with us here all day but she also shouldn’t pretend that she has a handle that can be tagged

i was invited to her chats three times and all three the log in was not correct. I doubted she sat in an empty room every time. I am sure they decided to stick with hosts who brought only complements to the discussion. 

Re: Interview Catherine Powell

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Inna22 

 

I would also like to hear back from @Catherine-Powell RE the current situation following the Summer Release and tagged her on another post a few weeks ago asking for her view on all of this. 

 

In the interview posted here, she states emphatically that, at the start of the pandemic, Airbnb's first priority became supporting hosts (not sure about that, as it was not my experience) and that was why her role was created. Right now we sorely need some of that support, in my opinion almost as much as we did in 2020. 

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