In this post: we delve into the possible challenges and solutions to creating a replica of Airbnb’s business model – and how Airbnb is solving big, day-to-day problems. We look at how you can differentiate and how to choose the desired tech platform. RentRoom.
What is Airbnb?
Some say that Airbnb is a travel company. Some say that they are a vacation rental company. In fact do you know what Airbnb defines itself as? They call themselves a customer service company. Which is bang on target
You see, Airbnb doesn’t own properties, it doesn’t create anything physical. What it does is serve two sets of communities. One, its long list of hosts (property owners) and two, people like us who want affordable, yet unique rentals for our vacation. And thus is the business model of Airbnb. It is a peer-to-peer platform which serves two sets of customers. Homeowners want travelers, and travelers want decent, unique, affordable rooms or homes.
We have written about Airbnb’s model in detail, looking at its statistics and revenue in – Create your own Airbnb with RentRoom – blog post. Do give it a read to gain a fundamental understanding of Airbnb.
Why is Airbnb different from boutique and large hotels
Now that we know what Airbnb is, let us at look at how different it is from hotels. You see, small to large hotel chains are very different to Airbnb, in the sense that hotels have to either lease or own the property (the hotel itself). Ownership is just the beginning. Hotels have to manage and maintain the premises to attract customers. So, they hire a lot of people and pay them salaries. When compared to Airbnb, hotels have a remarkably high capex (capital expenses). This is from a business perspective.
Looking at hotels from a consumer perspective, all rooms look extraordinarily similar. Barring some luxury suites and villas. This uniformity has become bland since the inception of Airbnb. Homes and properties listed on Airbnb are very different to one another. No two homes look the same or feel the same. Every Airbnb home offers a unique living experience to consumers.
There are boutique hotels which do offer such unique living accommodations, but they are few and far between. And they are no match for the sheer number of listings on Airbnb. News is that large hotel chains have started to create boutique experiences as well. Then again, they need to spend a lot of money to create such experiences.
How is Airbnb growing its service offerings
A direct line of communication between hosts and guests
Airbnb’s platform allows hosts – the home owners – and guests communicate directly with a built in chat option. This might be seen as a simplistic feature. However, when the service provider and receiver connect, many possible issues (future outcomes) are eliminated.
The best thing from a business point of view is that neither folk can gain access to either contact information. Meaning, the hosts cannot directly contact and receive a direct booking. Thereby skipping the 3% commission to be paid to Airbnb. To avoid such occurrences, the contacts of both parties are masked. All communications remain open for Airbnb to monitor and scrutinize.
Airbnb protects travelers with sudden cancellation by hosts
The worst thing a host (home owners) can do to drive away customers is cancelling booking at the worst possible time with no rhyme or reason. Guests have to spend more time researching the second best accommodation and it’s a bane.
To avoid this, Airbnb has created a host feature called ‘Superhost’. There are certain criteria which act as eligibility to allow a regular host on Airbnb become a Superhost. The gist is this – if you are to become a Superhost on Airbnb, you got to pick up all the bookings you get.
What’s the advantage? Being a Superhost comes with special treatment. Superhosts get priority customer support from Airbnb for disputes and issues. Properties hosted by Superhosts can be filtered to be showcased on the Airbnb site and mobile app. And to top it off, Airbnb offers a USD 100 coupon to Superhosts to be used on any Airbnb property when they travel.
Airbnb also conducts exclusive community activities where they showcase upcoming features and news about Airbnb business itself. And guess what, Superhosts get an invite to all these exclusive events for free.
Airbnb protects hosts from sudden cancellation by guests
The other scenario of cancellation is when the guests cancel the booking – this leaves little to no time for hosts to find another booking. Guest cancellation becomes a nightmare for hosts during peak travel season.
As guests find accommodation at a lower price they cancel the existing booking and move on to better alternatives – price elastic.
To tackle this, Airbnb has created a three tiered cancellation policy – Flexible, Moderate, and Strict. This acts as a guideline for guests to plan and execute cancellation, else they will incur penalties.
Airbnb provides a platform of trust and security to homeowners
Many people with additional, unused or underutilized properties have become successful entrepreneurs because of Airbnb. However, many times the home owner doesn’t live in or any where near their properties listed on Airbnb. As a result, home owners can’t engage with and keep an eye on guests at the property.
To protect properties from damages caused by guests, Airbnb offers a USD 1,000,000 insurance. This way, home owners can trust the platform and open up to travelers from anywhere, peacefully.
Airbnb has the numbers, why would property owners sign up with you (on your Airbnb clone)?
When there’s already an Airbnb, why would property owners choose to get listed on the clone you are willing to build?
This is a million dollar question.
The answer is in two parts. One, you need to differentiate your value offerings from a behemoth like Airbnb. Create or cater for a specific set(s) of accommodation varieties. You many choose to list on properties suiting business travel, or wildlife travel (properties close to forests, jungles, and national parks), or medical travel (properties close to hospitals and universities). Start small, build slow.
Two. A property wouldn’t mind listing his or her home on as many websites and platforms – purely to get more bookings. For a property owner, all that matter are bookings and revenue. They won’t mind distributing their inventory on multiple platforms.
Besides these two points – which are pretty straightforward, you also need to offer security, privacy, and transparency to property owners who get listed on your Airbnb clone. This is where you boost consumer confidence and eventually scale your business.
The best Airbnb clone script is ready for you
Now that you have decided to launch your platform, you need to find the ideal clone script.
- A clone script which is 100% customizable
- A clone script which has superior tech support
- A clone script which has all the features of Airbnb
- And that you receive FREE VERSION UPGRADES FOR LIFE
You don’t have to look any further than – RentRoom. RentRoom is a bespoke Airbnb clone script designed to be customized and comes with tremendous customer support and free software updates for life.