Tag: Airbnb

Airbnb’s Select vetted homes may arrive next year

Back in June, reports came out that Airbnb has conjured up a project called "Select" that will offer vetted homes and rooms to the more discerning customers. According to a new report by The Information, Airbnb is planning a limited launch of that initiative sometime in 2018. It's unclear how many Select listings will be available during the limited launch, but the company is reportedly aiming to offer hundreds of thousands of Select homes in the future.

To help home owners ensure their properties pass muster, the Select program will apparently give them the option to ask Airbnb for funds in advance. The company expects them to use the cash to fund the home improvements they need to make, such as remodeling their bathrooms or repainting their houses. Airbnb still seems to be working out the details, though, because according to hosts the publication talked to, the company couldn't give them exact info on how the program will benefit them. In addition, dealing with inspectors and photographers in their homes has been eating up a lot of their time. One of them also voiced out being worried that the program will raise customers' expectations, leading them to leave mediocre reviews for homes they would've given five stars otherwise.

Select is an entirely different entity from Airbnb's initiative that focuses on luxury homes. When the news of the program first went around, a source told Engadget that the home rental company came up with the idea to better serve older guests who want more space and to stay in unique neighborhoods. Select will put a sharper focus on quality in order to cater to those customers.

Source: The Information


Airbnb plans five more complexes after its first Florida apartments

A new report from Financial Times confirms last month's rumors that Airbnb will launch a new apartment complex in Florida in partnership with a real estate firm. The rental company plans to pitch the location as prime opportunity for seasonal tenants who will be able to rent their units out for up to 180 days a year.

Real estate developer Newgard Development Group will construct the 300-unit building located in Kissimmee, Florida and open it next year. Located just south of Orlando, the complex will be poised to lure tourists and workers away from hotels, which is the ultimate goal of the venture. Newgard plans to build five more such Airbnb-partnered apartment complexes amounting to 2,000 total units in the next two years, its chief executive told Financial Times.

The Kissimmee location will have keyless doors and long-term storage for tenants to more easily rent out their units while away. Hosts will use a proprietary app to organize renters and coordinate cleaning services, which are mandatory. There will also be a "master host" on-site to, presumably, supervise the location.

As for revenue, Newburg will take a 25 percent cut from each rental, Airbnb will take its usual 3 percent and the tenant will get the rest. It'll be interesting to see if Airbnb exports this model to other real estate partners in the future as it continues to try prying more business away from hotels.

Source: Financial Times


Airbnb and WeWork team up to find desks for business travelers

There's one thing a hotel can offer that most Airbnbs can't: easy access to a conference room and various office amenities. In an effort to make up for that and to entice young professionals to book a rental rather than a hotel room, Airbnb has teamed up with WeWork. According to Bloomberg, corporate customers will be able to save a slot at the nearest WeWork office workspace when they rent a room on Airbnb's website. As the publication said, the partners will likely have a tough time luring wealthy execs away from their hotels. But the new feature sounds useful for those who simply want access to a desk, printer, WiFi and other common office facilities while traveling.

Airbnb has been trying to win professionals all year by launching new features that cater to their needs. Back in April, when it announced that over 250,000 companies around the world have signed up to use it for work, it launched the "Business Travel Ready" search tool that shows only properties suited for business travelers. In July, Airbnb listings also started popping up on Concur for companies that book rooms through the business travel portal.

Airbnb and WeWork confirmed their partnership to Bloomberg but declined to discuss details, including the new feature's launch date. The publication said, however, that the new tool will initially be available in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, London and Sydney before making its way to other locations.

Source: Bloomberg


Airbnb reportedly wants to offer apartment rentals in Florida

For a service that began as a simple house-sharing service, Airbnb has definitely expanded to include some interesting, if off-target, promotional initiatives. The company recently stepped into the restaurant reservation space, and has even offered up Sarah Jessica Parker as a shoe shopping partner. According to a new report at The Information, Airbnb is looking to take a step even further with company-branded apartments in Florida.

According to The Information, Airbnb is working with a real estate developer in southern Florida, Newgard Development Group, to design a new apartment building as a proof of concept near Orlando in Kissimmee, right next to all those theme parks. Airbnb won't own or even contribute to the development costs, said one person familiar with the matter. Another source said that this is only one of many experiments that Airbnb is using to expand its brand to more places.

The idea, say The Information 's sources, is to pull in younger renters who work part-time in Orlando, but want to make money by subletting rooms or apartments (via Airbnb) when they aren't in town. Airbnb, the developer and the main apartment tenants would split the revenue earned from such an arrangement. It sounds like this could bring Airbnb one step closer to becoming like a hotel chain, notes The Information. Marriott already works with developers in this way, not owning the buildings or land, but by providing a standard of hospitality and the use of its brand name.

We've reached out to Airbnb for comment on this matter and will update when we hear back.

Source: The Information


Airbnb offers Sarah Jessica Parker as your shoe shopping partner

Tomorrow morning, Sex and the City fans will have the opportunity to grab one of four Airbnb Experiences that will take them on a shopping trip with Sarah Jessica Parker. Airbnb is expanding its offerings of Experiences in New York City, which will include Parker's listing among a number of others. The proceeds of the Airbnb booking will go to the New York City Ballet. Parker, a NYC Ballet board member, told the Associated Press that the ballet is "one of the great cultural experiences anybody can have."

Other celebrity-hosted charity experiences include a golfing trip with Michael Strahan, which will raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and a Brooklyn wander with Ansel Elgort that will benefit Americares' hurricane relief efforts. Parker's listing, which includes a trip to Bloomingdale's, a pair of shoes from her line, frozen yogurt with her at Forty Carrots and tickets to the ballet, is priced at $400.

Airbnb launched Experiences last year as part of its efforts to expand beyond just renting rooms. At the time, Experiences were only available in 12 cities, but the company has been expanding what it offers and where. The service is now available in 40 cities and this week will see New York's small selection widened to 150 Experiences, reports the Associated Press.

If you're interested, you can try your hand at snagging one of Parker's four listings here on Tuesday. The Experience itself will take place on October 6th.

Via: Business Insider


Airbnb wants to help you book a restaurant reservation, too

Airbnb just added a new feature that allows users to book restaurant reservations directly through its app and website. It's powered by Resy and is currently available in 16 US cities.

Airbnb now has a dedicated restaurants tab that lets you search by cuisine, whether you want breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner as well as other options like prix fixe meals and prime seating. The latter lets you pay a little extra to snag a seat at a fully booked spot. You can also search for a place to eat using a map view in order to find a place in a particular location.

This is the latest addition from Airbnb, which has recently introduced the option to leave a review before your booked stay is complete, to find a place to stay near a US national park and began testing a payment-splitting feature. At launch, the new restaurant booking service is available in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Miami, Charleston, Austin, Seattle, Hamptons, Denver, Portland, the Raleigh/Durham area, Atlanta, New Orleans, Nashville and Napa. Around 650 restaurants are available for booking through Airbnb in those areas.

Airbnb says that in the future, it's aiming to include options for Airbnb-exclusive tables and the ability to make reservations and meet up with other Airbnb travelers. It's also looking to expand this feature internationally within the coming months.

Via: The Verge

Source: Airbnb


Airbnb helps hosts in San Francisco get city approval online

Airbnb has had a bumpy ride in San Francisco. After the city passed a law that required all short-term rental hosts to register with the city, only a small percentage did (thanks largely to the onerous process involved), and many of those who didn't were hit with fines totalling $1 million. Differences were set aside in January though, when the parties agreed on a way to automatically register all hosts in the city. That service rolls out today, with hosts now able to apply directly through the Airbnb site for their Short-Term Residential Rental Certificate and Business Registration Certificate, instead of schlepping down to City Hall. New hosts will only be able to list their properties once they're registered, while existing hosts will have to input their registration number to keep their listings active.

"The new registration system provides the City of San Francisco with the tools it needs to enforce its short-term rental laws, while providing our hosts an easy way to register," Airbnb officials said in a statement. "We look forward to working closely with city officials in the coming months to fully implement the registration system and to ensure it has time to work for our host community."

Via: SF Examiner

Source: Airbnb


Tech CEOs sign letter urging Trump to keep immigrant protections

Hundreds of CEOs have signed an open letter urging President Trump not to dissolve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Started in 2012 under the Obama administration, DACA allows undocumented immigrants who arrived to the US before they were 16 years old to obtain work permits and protection from deportation. Those with DACA permits have to renew them every two years and nearly 800,000 immigrants have benefited from the program.

"All DACA recipients grew up in America, registered with our government, submitted to extensive background checks, and are diligently giving back to our communities and paying income taxes," said the letter. "More than 97 percent are in school or in the workforce, 5 percent started their own business, 65 percent have purchased a vehicle, and 16 percent have purchased their first home. At least 72 percent of the top 25 Fortune 500 companies count DACA recipients among their employees."

Among those who have signed include tech bigwigs like Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Warren Buffett. CEOs, founders and representatives from Airbnb, Dropbox, eBay, Fitbit, Foursquare, GoFundMe, LinkedIn, Lyft, Netflix, Netgear, Pandora, Tesla, Tumblr and Uber have also signed.

Highlighting just how much DACA recipients contribute to the US economy, the letter stated, "Our economy would lose $460.3 billion from the national GDP and $24.6 billion in Social Security and Medicare tax contributions."

Trump was vocally against DACA during his campaign and is largely expected to cancel the program by September 5th -- a deadline Republican lawmakers set for the president to make a decision. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president hasn't yet made a final decision, but will announce one on the 5th.

Via: Variety

Source: FWD.us


Danny Glover is advising Airbnb’s diversity efforts

When he isn't busy raising awareness for pseudobulbar affect (PBA) and generally being too old for shit, actor Danny Glover will be advising Airbnb. It's part of the push the short-term rental company is making to promote staying in communities of color. He'll be joining the NAACP in Airbnb's work to educate, train and "take advantage of the economic opportunity of hosting" on the service, according to a statement.

While it might seem odd to pull a random celebrity in to help, Glover's history as a philanthropist and activist seem a good fit for what Airbnb is trying to achieve. The company has been aggressively working to rebuild its reputation since early 2016 when stories of hosts rejecting potential guests based on their race started cropping up. Airbnb went as far as taking out an ad during this year's Super Bowl that denounced discrimination and racism.

In early July, the company ordered a host to take an Asian American studios class, fined her $5,000 and banned her from the service wholesale because she canceled a reservation and made racist remarks to a guest.

Since then, Airbnb has announced a partnership with the NAACP that would work to improve its workforce diversity and return 20 percent of rental proceeds to the organization. That's in addition to actively helping people of color renting out their homes or spare rooms.

Source: TechCrunch


Danny Glover is advising Airbnb’s diversity efforts

When he isn't busy raising awareness for pseudobulbar affect (PBA) and generally being too old for shit, actor Danny Glover will be advising Airbnb. It's part of the push the short-term rental company is making to promote staying in communities of color. He'll be joining the NAACP in Airbnb's work to educate, train and "take advantage of the economic opportunity of hosting" on the service, according to a statement.

While it might seem odd to pull a random celebrity in to help, Glover's history as a philanthropist and activist seem a good fit for what Airbnb is trying to achieve. The company has been aggressively working to rebuild its reputation since early 2016 when stories of hosts rejecting potential guests based on their race started cropping up. Airbnb went as far as taking out an ad during this year's Super Bowl that denounced discrimination and racism.

In early July, the company ordered a host to take an Asian American studios class, fined her $5,000 and banned her from the service wholesale because she canceled a reservation and made racist remarks to a guest.

Since then, Airbnb has announced a partnership with the NAACP that would work to improve its workforce diversity and return 20 percent of rental proceeds to the organization. That's in addition to actively helping people of color renting out their homes or spare rooms.

Source: TechCrunch