Airbnb Dives Into Luxury Market With Verified Properties

Image via one of Airbnb's newest  luxury verified properties  

Image via one of Airbnb's newest luxury verified properties 


It's been ten years since Airbnb co-founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia  opened their San Francisco home, inflated three airbeds and gave birth to the idea of the world's leading home-sharing platform. Since then, the company has had about 300 million overnight stays, offering 4.5 million places in 81,000 cities around the world. Yet, according to the founders, Airbnb is still far from being mainstream and offering something for everyone.

With Airbnb, every stay is different and no home is the same. Especially for the millennial traveler who is in search of authentic yet affordable accomodation. This individualized approach has its charms, but for others, it's been a drawback. Additionally, the idea of staying at somebody else’s home and sleeping in somebody else’s bed has not been appealing to everyone.  To combat this, in the course of the last years, Airbnb has not only slowly stocked up on unique and characterful places, but also on the level of luxury. Yet, with over 4.5 million places available, it seems almost impossible to find, verify and match the right place to the right traveler, all at the same time.

Airbnb’s next iteration is supposed to solve this issue: Airbnb Plus. “Some travelers want a little extra reassurance that the home has got things that they’re expecting and what they need,” says Amber Cartwright, global design lead for Airbnb Plus.

Airbnb Plus offers a new selection of high-quality accommodations, which are verified by Airbnb after passing a list of 100 different criteria. Or in Airbnb terms: Beautiful homes. Exceptional hosts. Verified for quality.

The criteria checklist is a result of feedback from hosts & travelers alike and ranges from specific bathroom amenities, providing coffee & tea and easy check-in to the comfiness of the mattress -- all personally tested by an Airbnb representative. But it is not just about the facts. The style and the host’s personality showing in the interior is what makes a listing unique and characterful.

Airbnb Plus was launched end of February in 13 different cities with about 2,000 verified listings. Additionally, the company has announced four new property types which have been added to the main site: boutique hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, vacation homes and unique accommodations (like tree houses and yurts). The further categorizations are part of the efforts to not only acquire a broader user base, but also keep the ageing millennial audience - making Airbnb for everyone.

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