In 2014 we saw a huge splurge in people cancelling their hotel reservations, and checking in to someone's personal, yet charming Airbnb rental. Since Airbnb was launched in 2007, over 11 million guests have enjoyed stays around the world in the comfort of someone else's home. With all of the success Airbnb had in 2014, what will the company bring for their loyal users in the coming new year?
Airbnb will take on a bit of a brand transformation this coming year, to keep up with the increasingly higher standards of their guests. While in the past Airbnb has improved their professional reputation by providing professional photography and more safety features, this year Airbnb will focus on etiquette. Etiquette when it comes to customer service, being good neighbors, and contributing to the sharing economy.
This has more to do with the people themselves, than the actual service. Especially now that this service is similarly priced to many hotels in a lot of situations, it's important for hosts to treat their renters as customers and in a professional manner. With the addition of a new million dollar insurance policy it's more important ever that both sides remain professional and treat the service as the business it essentially is. Although many people will still continue to look to Airbnb as a cheaper option, the hosts will put a bigger emphasis on running a professional emphasis.
As Airbnb continues to grow bigger and bigger 2015 calls for more services to continue to help Airbnb hosts do their job with ease and with added professionalism. There are many different services we expect to pop up to aid Airbnb users in the future. Everything from marketing assistance, helping people get more bookings, to travel agencies dedicated to providing Airbnb services, or even insurance companies offering specific packages to Airbnb hosts.
Partnering up is going to become more essential in 2015 with an even greater increase of users expected for the coming year. In order for hosts to keep up with their large demand, it will become ever more convenient to make use of partner services such as the Y Cominbator accelerated Guesty, a management service for Airbnb users. As Airbnb hosts get busier and busier in the years to come, users will be looking more toward outside services to help them with the nitty jobs hosts are faced with.
Experiences outside of the Apartment
One of the things people love most about using Airbnb is leaving the apartment, not as a tourist but getting the feeling that you're living as a native would in the place you're travelling. 2015 will bring more 'lifestyle' experiences to the Airbnb user. One of Airbnb's key missions in their mission statement is to provide not only a comfortable place to stay but an experience that creates valuable memories in a particular place.
We will see that not only will hosts be focusing more on professional etiquette, but they'll also put in that little extra effort to show their guests what they love about their city. Whether it's greeting them with a bottle of local wine, or pointing out the best spot on the street where the 'locals' all hang out the experience will not end with the walls of the apartment. With upcoming tools like Localyoo in the spirit of Airbnb, travellers can meet up with 'experts' in the city they're traveling in to meet new people and be shown an authentic experience.
Regulations and Tourist Taxes
Beginning in Europe just a few weeks ago, Airbnb is beginning to make agreements with large cities to promote responsible home sharing within the sharing economy. In February 2015 Airbnb will begin collecting tourist taxes from hosts and giving back to the city. This model was replicated by San Francisco and Portland earlier this year, the first 2 cities to implement hotel taxes fro Airbnb properties. The agreement, currently taking place in Amsterdam will help to improve relations amongst the city and the Airbnb hosts ensuring hosts are always up to date with new rules affecting their rental apartments.
If these new agreements are placed throughout Europe, which is likely to happen in 2015 with France soon following in Amsterdam's lead, we will see closer relationships between Airbnb and city policy makers making for stronger economies supporting the cities we travel in. Airbnb's reputation will be further lifted into a positive light getting rid of any of the talk saying that they don't abide to regulations and any other double standards.
2015 will be a big year in the Airbnb arena. We should expect to see a whole lot more users, as people are really beginning to warm up to the idea. With more users and more demand comes added responsibility and the hosts will really step up their game this year to provide quality and priceless experiences. What do you think will Airbnb continue to lead the vacation rental game in 2015? What other big trends will Airbnb face this coming year?