I've read with interest the various posts and comments regarding Airbnb Plus and feel like putting some thoughts in writing.
We've been hosting with Airbnb for 2 years now and have been 99% happy with the experience. We really didn't know how (or if) it would work out for us. We didn't spend a lot of money before starting (new mattress, new linen & towels...) but as we got bookings, we spent a little more on a kitchen update (which our place needed anyway). So, basically, there wasn't a huge start-up cost. We love our flat, and the area, and our city, so we thought there were bound to be other people who'd feel the same way. Guests have the best bedroom and bathroom while we make do with the servants' quarters ;)
Regarding Airbnb Plus, I can totally understand why hosts in the places where it's been brought in, are feeling … miffed, belittled, pushed out, worried about their livelihoods. It hasn't been brought in in our area so I don't know exactly how I'd react. However, there's something that keeps niggling at me: why do we all (I fall into this trap myself, as well) assume that more luxury, more amenities, equals “better”? How much luxury, how many amenities, do we really need in our lives?! How much effort/money do we want to spend to “keep up with the Jones's”? Do guests really want all of this stuff?! I assume that the majority of our guests are visiting to see the city, attend an event, get together with their kids who are attending uni, for work... I mean, they're not going to be spending much time in our home* other than sleeping, eating, showering...
*There have been exceptions – it always surprises me (pleasantly) when guests just want to spend time in the flat, or sleep!
Of course, there's a huge variety of guests who want different things from a home; hopefully Airbnb can cater for many different requirements, without sidelining/belittling some of us. Oh, but I LOVED the initial spirit of Airbnb, the sharing of our homes (call me an old hippie) and would be very sad if that spirit were lost!
Vive la difference!
PS The title of this post is from a review (actually a very nice one) which initially made us think: “oh, what is she implying?” (...it's a British thing!) Then, we decided, yeah, we aint luxurious and that's absolutely fine :)
PPS We're also a bit Green, so, you know, trying to help the planet :)
I am laughing out loud...who on earth paying so little for accomodations would expect ‘luxurious’?
5 star on a budget means clean cotton sheets, light, towels, location and friendly hosts. Your place seem to offer all of that.
The plus category is designed for private apartments or houses. If you look at some of the listings in the cities where this has been rolled out there are show stoppers which I will never be....and very run of the mill rentals which do not seem very enticing....adequate but nothing to write home about.
As hosts rush to join, the designation will have as little meaning aa superhost.
@Amy I know! Should I perhaps change the name of our listing to: “It's not luxurious but it's CHEAP!”
I agree with your description of 5 star on a budget; that is all we ever intended to offer to guests. (I'd like to think we “make up the difference” on a personal level, when appropriate, but who knows ;) )
Good thinking. Less can be more.
It goes without saying, we hosts are the executive decision makers of our fiefdom.
There are so many external winds swaying us that we must be very careful of decisions we make.
As a more budget oriented host, I continually must say "No"
No big oven, no big capitalizations, no fresh baked goods, no private bathroom, No Airbnb Plus.
Saying "No" is a big service to my guests. It allows them to travel comfortably in an expensive city.
I've always maintained that Airbnb's strength is its diversity.
Oh I agree with you so much Patricia! What on earth happened to the old Airbnb spirit of just opening your doors to a traveller and sharing your home. All this "high end" luxury, hosts that you never see, hosts that have 27 properties managed by some faceless company, was NOT what I wanted to be a part of. I just do things my way - my space is comfortable, warm and welcoming and I hope that I am too!
@Rachel likewise! I always said I wasn't aiming to be a 'professional-type' host and I'm pretty **bleep** sure that many, many guests want what we're offering, so I just hope that we don't get “disappeared”!
(BTW I'm a little scared of London but your place makes me feel like visiting!)
@Patricia Don't be scared of London, it's wonderful once you get the hang of it! You would be very welcome and our little bit of London here is quiet and peaceful.
I agree with @Robin as well. I have never had a real problem with Airbnb and I have never given them a problem either apart from one awful couple last year who got dealt with and they probably won't use Airbnb again. I've never been busier, got bookings as far ahead as October and am dealing with enquiries for December. I am now much more careful though and manage my calendar to make sure that if possible I get a bit of space between bookings, and have stopped offering one night stays. I've also kept my prices the same since 2015 and although not the cheapest, guests are still getting excellent value. It makes me smile when I get messages from Airbnb telling me that I would get more bookings if I lowered my prices. I look at the comparisons they send me with my local "competitors" and see that they are charging £5 less per night but I have 147% more bookings! For me, "luxury" is a comfy bed, a good supply of hot water with a reliable shower and a decent breakfast before heading out to take in the sights. As for "baked goods" which someone mentioned - if I have made cake I offer it and if I haven't then I offer the biscuit tin which always has Hob Nobs in it as I am addicted to them and at a quid a packet don't get classed as luxurious. Simples.
@Rachel I agree with you and @Robin in so many ways - though am not quite in your league ;) Maybe it's because I've "roughed it" in the past that I appreciate the simpler things in life, I don't know. Me too, no problems with Airbnb and have had good customer service. Yeah, I've just stopped offering 1-night stays as well (reluctantly, and I may change my mind). As for cakes, if I'm in a cake-baking mood, help yourselves!
PS Great to see how well you're doing - you deserve it.
Me estoy iniciando como anfitrión y lo que me enamoró de Airbnb fue la apertura de posibilidades y oportunidades de espacios que se puede ofrecer a los huéspedes. Al mirar los alojamientos que se ofrecen en algún momento sentí que el mío no era adecuado, pero igual estoy en la aventura con la ilusión y firmeza de hacer de mi espacio un lugar agradable para otros y otras y al igual que Rachel espero serlo también como anfitrión.