Airbnb hosts are buzzing about a new service available from Airbnb called Airbnb Select. Right now, the program is not yet available across the entire platform and hosts are able to join it by invitation only. Although the pilot program appears to have been active for a little more than a year, more and more hosts have reported receiving invitations.
Here is a brief overview of this service and what it offers for hosts.
Airbnb Select offer rentals that are vetted and, in some cases, improved by Airbnb. In fact, this service is quite different from the other services offered by Airbnb because it focuses on creating a hotel experience. In addition, it is also the first time that the company is actually making direct investments into the properties owned by its hosts.
The main goal of Airbnb Select is to create standardized hotel experiences for guests. While the properties don’t have to be luxury properties to be accepted into the program, Airbnb is working to set minimum standards for hosts and properties invited to Airbnb Select.
With this program, Airbnb is actually trying to target those guests who won’t use Airbnb as it functions currently. Some guests who won’t use Airbnb actually prefer to stay in hotels. They also don’t like the idea of staying in single-family homes, which many hosts offer on Airbnb. To alleviate the misconceptions these guests have about using Airbnb, Airbnb is assisting hosts in upgrading their properties to bring them to hotel-like standards.
For now, it is by invitation only. Some Airbnb hosts in the Airbnb Community have already reported receiving invitations to Airbnb Select via email. When they are invited to the program, Airbnb asks them to agree to adhere to stated standards and set an appointment for a property review and professional photography.
Depending on the host’s needs, the program offers free interior design tips, advice, and photography. Once a property has been reviewed and approved for inclusion in the pilot program, the host receives access to premiere support, better listing placement, higher pricing, and other features. So far, hosts have reported that there have been no fees charged for their participation.
Airbnb Select also provides hosts the opportunity to obtain financing from Airbnb in order to make cosmetic improvements to their properties. These loans would be repaid through revenue made from future bookings. Thanks to Airbnb Select, Airbnb is moving into the home improvement space for the first time. This is a unique feature of this service that has never been offered by Airbnb before.
This announcement comes after Airbnb has been in talks with several finance companies. Earlier this month, Airbnb announced that Fannie Mae, Quicken Loans, Citizens Bank, and Better Mortgage will now consider home sharing income earned via Airbnb for refinancing mortgages on primary residences. So far no hosts have reported receiving financing from Airbnb Select. In fact, Airbnb might be waiting until the program officially launches to provide this feature.
Is there a guaranteed way to get an invitation? Right now, the short answer is no. The criteria for what makes a host definitely eligible for Airbnb Select is still unclear. When the service officially rolls out there will probably be a list of requirements that users must meet. However, all we have to go by now is what hosts are saying on various websites about Airbnb Select.
For example, one Airbnb host reported that after he was selected for review for Airbnb Select, Airbnb required that he have a list of amenities ready for the inspection of the property. These amenities included plush towels, nice linens, fast WiFi, a coffee machine, a clutter-free interior, and maintained grounds.
So the amenities that appeal to hotel guests the most would probably be the first things that you want to add to your property to increase your chances of being chosen to participate. Given the fact that Airbnb is trying to use the service to deliver a hotel experience for guests, it probably means that you would need to offer similar features that appeal to hotel guests.
Additionally, you may also need to have the same safety features that hotels are required to have and maintain. The evidence of this is the fact that another host was asked to purchase a carbon monoxide detector prior to their Airbnb Select review inspection.
Finally, hosts must also maintain high ratings and reviews in order to be part of Airbnb Select. Given that the program aims to deliver a higher level of service than the rest of the platform, ratings and reviews are definitely a determining factor. Hosts in this program are held to a higher standard as well when it comes to guests interactions and property quality. The majority of hosts who have been invited to participate so far are already Superhosts.
Airbnb has some exciting improvements on the way for 2018. If you want to be a part of these new opportunities, you’ll need to make sure that you’re delivering top quality guest experiences and maintaining your properties. Not only will this approach earn you more bookings and more profits but you just might also get invited to a cool new Airbnb test program.