==> What has changed in five years on AirBnb?

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 7
1,055 Views

How has AirBnb distorted market expectations for guests?


Hello everyone, I'm a seven year old host from Belgrade. 

 

Even prior to AirBnb's debacle regarding Covid-19 where all our policies were flouted (once again), i was already considering closing Airbnb for the following reasons: 

- In the last 5 years there's been a huge shift in market expectations

- Back then guests were happy and thrilled to stay at someone's place instead of a hotel for the sake of the experience and hospitality

- I own a huge apartment in the city center which back then wasn't renovated but old communist style, relatively sober. I was
getting mostly 5 star reviews. 

- 5 years forward apartment has been renovated and lots of money invested. We even bought a bed from Sheraton (similar type).


Nowadays, the expectations are "5 star hotel for a hostel price" and AirBnb helped build that expectation along the years.

 

Now AirBnb is more billed as 'hotel, for a fraction of the price' (yet with the same or higher costs due to the lower number of rooms).


In that regard Booking.com is a lot more objective where you know you pretty much get what you pay for. 

 

You can leave a bad review but a refund is out of question once booked or per the host's (hotel) policy. 

 

Recently I've had plenty of 3, 4 and even 1 star reviews for things like guest not turning on water heater despite markings or finding one (one) hair, which was otherwise invisible, probably of cleaner, somewhere in the apartment. One guest left a one star review cause he forgot to check his mail about check-out time and wasn't happy when the cleaner appeared. 

 

Are the hosts victims of AirBnb's market grab against Booking, which is why they consistently push the prices and quality in opposite directions, all at the expense of the host? 

Currently - and that is without Covid-19 - prices in my area can fall as low as 15-20 Eur. per day in winter season (and recommended by AirBnb 'tips'). 


Yet guests require types and level of service - including location - that would cost a hundred Euros a night. And AirBnb encourages them to do so. Amongst other by being open to their complaints of whatever sort, however ridiculous they may be, playing some sort of Big Brother (obviously, not to the host). 


Is there a way out of that impasse? 

Could Covid-19 be a catalyzer for AirBnb to start paying more attention to interests of those that helped build this platform?

What are you impressions and how was hosting transformed in your area? 

Regards, Alain

4 Replies

Re: ==> What has changed in five years on AirBnb?

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 7

How about issuing a notice to guests about how to behave in private properties and what to expect? That AirBnb is all about 'experience and community' and that this is not a hotel with a concierge and laboratory cleaning standards?

Re: ==> What has changed in five years on AirBnb?

in
Berlin, Germany
Level 10

@Green-Area-Apartments0 

Could Covid-19 be a catalyzer for AirBnb to start paying more attention to interests of those that helped build this platform?

 

Sorry to be a wet blanket here, but you couldn't have picked a worse time to ask that question. Where we are now is that the travel industry has almost completely collapsed. The short-term effect of the pandemic is that Airbnb's largest markets have lost as much as 90% of their guests scaled against last year, while there are still hundreds of thousands of hosts standing by with empty calendars.

 

Now, you do the math:  the supply of available rooms is several times higher than the demand, and Airbnb is locked into cutthroat competition for the drastically reduced number of customers who will travel this year. Somebody is bound to get thrown under the bus; which of these two groups do you think is more expendable - guests (too few) or hosts (too many)? 

 

For what it's worth, any host who chooses to abandon brand loyalty and do whatever it takes to survive has my blessing. If you are fortunate enough to be in possession of property that you don't live in, you're going to get through this crisis alright. But if there's anything that's inevitable in a recession, it's a huge surge of financially desperate people competing for a slice of a much smaller pie. Fewer tourists means that every type of accommodation that survives after the lockdown period will be lowering prices, and the travelers who dare to venture far from home will be expecting more for their money than the ones you hosted last year.  

 

Do you really think that's the context in which you can expect your listing agency to start coddling you?

Re: ==> What has changed in five years on AirBnb?

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 7

It was a question. Not an affirmation.

Re: ==> What has changed in five years on AirBnb?

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 7

I am sorry if i hurt your feelings, i had no intention

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