In what is a pretty well thought out and executed play, AirBnB has announced their latest venture. The upstart technology has made inroads in providing access to local rentals to their paying customers, often circumventing local by-laws on monthly rentals. But as The BBC reports they now have incentivized local knowledge by allowing locals to provide a kind of concierge service to those folks visiting AirBnB rentals.
As one of the founders Dan Chesky states“We decided to curate.” The process includes helping hosts design professional old-movie-style posters to advertise their experience, and to record nifty short trailer videos to share more information. Called “Trips” local hosts can then take those guests out on “experiences”.
AirBnB has been criticized for taking rentals out of the local housing markets and driving rents up. While taking out ads where AirBnB hosts extol the value of the service to paying their mortgage or rent, the company has also started to play nice in major cities with housing shortages.
“In San Francisco we removed all people that had multiple listings. Thousands of homes. We agreed to a registration process which caps people being able to rent their homes for 90 days. You would never evict somebody, as far as I can tell, to rent your home only 90 days a year. We’ve agreed to restrictions. We definitely want to be part of the solution.”
So far the solution does not include agreements to not infiltrate markets that have near zero vacancy rates.