From one San Francisco apartment, Airbnb has expanded to more than 3 million listings in over 65,000 cities worldwide. At the same time, the impressive growth of this accommodation-sharing company has created new opportunities for hospitality entrepreneurs.
Here are 3 ways that hospitality entrepreneurs are seizing opportunities in the accommodation-sharing economy.
1.Pricing and Revenue Management Tools
While many hotels have a yield or revenue manager on board, the average Airbnb host is on their own when it comes to pricing. Airbnb gives hosts freedom over property pricing, but owners don’t always know how to set rates to their advantage. Many lack a clear understanding of pricing variables, such as occupancy rates, holidays and peak vacation periods.
However, enterprising entrepreneurs have launched products and services to fill this gap. Platforms like Beyond Pricing, Wheelhouse and Everbooked simplify the process for property owners by providing data analysis and intelligent pricing. Thanks to these services, Airbnb hosts can now benefit from revenue management tools commonly used in hotels.
2. Rental Property Service Providers
Did you know that nearly one-quarter of business travelers will have stayed in an Airbnb by 2017? As research by Morgan Stanley shows, the profile of the typical Airbnb guest is changing. And with those changes come new expectations.
Many business and luxury travelers booking through Airbnb want to enjoy the same hospitality services and amenities found in hotels. These demands have paved the way for hospitality experts to launch new companies. Startups like GuestReady, Pillow and Hostmaker now help hosts cater to high-spending guests by managing everything from housekeeping and property maintenance to guest check-in and support.
3.The Airbnb Trips Opportunity
Airbnb’s growth has not only been in terms of properties and users. The accommodation-sharing giant has also expanded its product offering to include experiences — not just a place to sleep. With Airbnb Trips, the company has made it easy for travelers to book experiences, and for hosts to earn extra money. Proactive hosts can take advantage of their local knowledge and insights to offer one-of-a-kind experiences to guests. Guided tours, community activities and foodie experiences are just some ways that hosts can help guests to discover local culture. For adventurous travelers, this opportunity to gain an insider perspective may also set Airbnb apart from its competitors.
This 5-part series explores the key trends that are shaping the hospitality industry and creating opportunities for entrepreneurs. For a fuller analysis of these trends, see Les Roches and Skift’s joint report: “The Future of Hospitality Entrepreneurship.”