(All images in this post are from this Historic Sandstone on Airbnb Plus. Scroll to the bottom of the article for more info on this beautiful home.)
Symon and James together recently published Airbnb for Dummies (1st Edition), and they're here to share what I think is the most interesting section of the book from a design perspective to help demystify the elusive Airbnb Plus Program for my readers.
The Airbnb PLUS program, launched in 2018 to only 13 cities, is now widely available in most cities in an attempt by the platform to attract higher income and low price sensitivity travelers with a more premium experience offering.
As an Airbnb host, you may be wondering what it’s all about. Would it help your listing earn more booking revenue? What does it take to earn the PLUS designation for your listing? This feature isn’t right for everyone, but if your listing provides guests with a special stay, then it may be right for you.
The program is still fairly new, so few statistics or hard data are available, and what is available comes from a relatively biased party because Airbnb wants people to sign up for the program. Nevertheless, Airbnb anticipates that Airbnb PLUS hosts will experience some of these benefits:
The benefits of Airbnb PLUS will vary from host to host. Given the newness of the program, established statistics aren’t known. In the near future, after the PLUS program has been around long enough and in more cities, third party research companies like AirDNA can conduct proper analyses and release objective, third-party statistics to show the differences in performance between regular hosts and hosts who are listed on Airbnb PLUS.
Because PLUS is still in its infancy, hosts who qualify for the program are still trying to figure it out. We've spoken to a dozen hosts who went from regular to Airbnb PLUS status and while no one saw any negative impact to performance, only about a third said they saw immediate and noticeable jump in revenue.
From what is known, here are a couple potential drawback to being a PLUS host:
Although the basic requirements for Airbnb PLUS look awfully similar to the requirements for becoming a Superhost, there are a number of reasons why a property owner may not qualify for Airbnb PLUS despite being a Superhost. Being a Superhost is entirely up to you as a host and how you perform. On the other hand, Airbnb PLUS also depends on your specific listing, which is why shared spaces like a pullout couch in the living room can’t be listed as part of Airbnb PLUS.
Here are some other important differences:
In order to be an Airbnb PLUS host, you first must figure out if you meet the requirements. Airbnb looks at a variety of factors for PLUS eligibility. The application process has some subjective aspects while also requiring specific features and amenities.
The bottom line: Airbnb wants to ensure that all PLUS listings unify and standardize the Airbnb experience.
But before you apply to be a PLUS host, you need to meet certain requirements because Airbnb has created this platform for consistency. Here are the important basic requirements:
In addition, Airbnb says your space must be “well-designed in a way that shows the host’s unique style and personality” and “fully equipped with amenities like Wi-Fi, coffee, and quality linens” as well as “spotlessly maintained, extra clean, and clutter-free. For a more comprehensive (and lengthy) list for eligibility requirements directly from Airbnb, go here.
Make sure that Airbnb PLUS is available in your location. In mid 2019, PLUS was only available in approximately 400 cities worldwide. If you’re interested, conduct the research up front and see if you meet the criteria. If you are eligible, you can apply and pay the $149 application fee.
Airbnb PLUS began as an invite-only program but eventually started to allow hosts with eligible listings to "request to invite" directly from their listing management page. The option is not available for hosts without at least one eligible listing.
All of the images from this post are from a well designed Airbnb Plus Property in Fairlight Australia, owned and decorated by Superhost JayJay and her husband.
This property is immediately captivating, not only because of the show stopping architectural features like the wood and glass spiral staircase and original sandstone walls, but also it is quite clearly a labor of love, layered with collected original artwork and vintage objects full of soul. This home, originally a workers' cottage built in the 1860's, is infused with character and has been officially added to my Short Term Rental Bucket List.
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