AirBNB, Inc. is an American online vacation rental web market business based in San Francisco, California, United States of America. AirBNB offers and hosts a rental marketplace, available to users through an app or its website, to rent or purchase a home or other rental property. The company began as a site to share experiences and news about traveling. With the rise of smartphones and other mobile devices, more people are using their personal computers at work and at home, so it is logical that the company would also want to develop a rental marketplace.
AirBNB has made some mistakes in their growth thus far. They started out exclusively with hotels but later included hosts at many other properties. This could limit the range of properties they serve, especially considering how competitive most cities are. While they are still in relatively early stages, this is a good idea since it allows them to find out what markets they will actually serve and be able to build from there.
The way AirBNB has handled their reservation tools is another area where they need to make changes to increase their market penetration. They currently charge a one time fee for unlimited access to their database. While this may seem like a good idea for most people, if a large percentage of their guests are not serious bookings, they could be losing money because of it. The way hosts are paid varies by the property they choose, but some only pay when they have a guest. If a large percentage of their guests book without requiring a service fee, they lose money when the property does not sell. AirBNB has solved this problem by charging a flat fee for unlimited access to their database.
Another area where AirBNB has failed many of their hosts is in the area of support after a reservation has been made. They have an automated system that enables them to check on a potential guest’s status two days after they have booked. However, not all hosts are capable of setting up this functionality so if your business depends on constant contact with your guests, you will be highly disappointed by AirBNB’s lack of attention to detail in their customer support area.
Perhaps the biggest thing that airbnb has struggled with is the handling of refunds. When a person makes a reservation on an AirBNB property, the host is typically covered for any additional costs associated with the reservation. However, if a guest decides to cancel his or her stay during the timeframe allotted, AirBNB isn’t required to compensate the host for the cancellation. This has led many people who book through AirBNB to simply cancel their reservations and avoid using the site altogether. While it is possible that the refund won’t be large enough to offset the booking fees, it is important to understand that AirBNB doesn’t provide any type of money back guarantee when a booking has been made and a plan to cancel is implemented.
Despite these shortcomings, AirBNB remains to be the most popular online travel service available to travelers today. Hosts are continuously adding features to make the experience more convenient and effective. Newer properties also have the added benefit of providing increased flexibility through exclusive and personalized hosting. The only drawback to AirBNB is that due to its popularity, there are now dozens of websites that offer the same online travel services that AirBNB offers. As a result, when it comes to deciding between these numerous online options, most travelers find that AirBNB offers the best value for their money.