What is Airbnb?
Airbnb is a new way of lodging when you travel. People rent out their own homes/apartments to travelers. It’s an amazing idea and I truly love it, sometimes much cheaper and you truly get to live like a local. The problem with hotels is that you’re sometimes isolated from the city and local people. Airbnb takes your trip experience to the next level. Queen B stayed at an Airbnb the night after the Superbowl. First off, I love Airbnb and odds are I won’t stay at a hotel for a long time. Saying that, there is one thing that I don’t like about Airbnb…
Where I’ve Gone
I love to travel and have been trying my best to travel more recently. I’ve been wanting to do a post on Airbnb since I first used them to stay in Richmond, VA but I didn’t want to base an entire post off of only one experience. I wanted at least three examples I could pull from, and now I have it. I stayed in Richmond, VA; Charleston, SC; and NYC.
Stayed with Dane in Richmond, VA Rating 5/5 Stars
Stayed with Daniel in Charleston, SC Rating 5/5 Stars
Stayed with Gabriel in Queens, NY Rating 4.5/5 Stars
The Major Flaw
The appeal of Airbnb is totally understandable and I agree with it. It took me after the third visit to figure out what I didn’t really like about it. The flaw is.. having responsibility. When you’re traveling and on vacation the last thing you want is to have responsibility, you want to leave your worries behind. When I stay in hotels, I don’t have to worry about locking the front door on the way out, making my bed, taking out the trash, limiting my shower to 8 minutes, or even keeping the room at a certain temperature (I have done all of these listed at an Airbnb). In the grand scheme of things, is it really a big deal? To some it is and to some it isn’t but it’s a pretty big factor that you don’t realize until you’re on vacation. I don’t think there’s any way for Airbnb to “fix” this, the last thing they want to do is take away the rights of the “landlords.” There are definitely ways for their marketing teams to play it down. In the same sense, Hotel’s marketing teams have been trying to figure out how to battle the Airbnb craze and I definitely think this is it.
Dear Marketing Teams
To Hilton, Ritz-Carlton, Hyatt and all other major and local hotel- run with this flaw. There are some awesome campaigns you can do with this and trust me, I’ve thought of a lot of them already. I have the perfect commercial in mind. The main target for you are customers: before they try Airbnb, tried it and had a bad experience, or make Airbnb customers realize that amount of responsibility should be deal breaking for them. Airbnb rolled up and shook the market, first you have to realize you’re not fighting a new hotel chain… you’re fighting a new idea and you have to fight it smart.
To Airbnb, just keep with your current campaigns. Inspiring people to dive into the culture of the place they are visiting is your best line. I think Airbnb customers are loyal and in a sense it’s two different markets. There are a bunch of people on the fence but I think the hardest part is getting people to try it (yea, I just pointed out the obvious), cause after they try it the experience will either make it or break it for them forever. I would partner with travel cards like Capitol One Venture and other air mile cards, maybe Airlines? A Southwest Airlines and Airbnb partnership would be HUGE for both parties, and if you don’t see the potential there you aren’t dreaming big enough.
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