The San Francisco-based private rental property provider, Airbnb is the leading rental company with two million listings in 34,000 cities in one hundred and ninety-one countries. The online peer to peer marketplace was founded in August 2008 enables the property owners to list the property for a short period of stay and the guests can book a rental place with much cheaper rate than that of the hotels. For each booking made on the rental platform, the company collects the service fee from both the hosts and the guests.
Growth of the online marketplace
Initially, the company was offering a short time period for staying and breakfast for the business customers who had a hard time finding a room for a temporary stay. Later the online marketplace expanded from the air beds and started to share with a variety of properties like castles, manors, boats, tipis, private islands, apartments, rooms, an entire house, igloos, tree houses and other kinds of properties. The company experienced rapid growth throughout the whole year and it also acquired $7.2 million from Sequoia Capital and Greylock Partners in Series A funding. In November 2010 the company informed that out of seven hundred thousand booking at night, eighty percent of the bookings had happened within the six months that year.
The company has announced their one million booking in February 2011 since its inception from its launch and in January 2012 the company received five million bookings internationally and within five months the company doubled its night booking with ten million bookings in June 2012. Out this, seventy-five percent of the bookings were made from the markets outside the United States.
A report was released by the online rental portal in October 2013 in which the company has reported that they have served 9 million guests and by December 2013 they received 6 million new guests and about two hundred and fifty thousand properties were included in the marketplace.
With the emergence of the sharing economy, the private rental companies have gained more growth in the business. The biggest hotel operator, Marriott that has more acquisitions had strived hard for sixty years to establish its business in the international market, but the nine-year-old Airbnb has become the largest chain of hotels in value. The company had no loyalty program on its card, but there is significant evidence that the online rental provider will soon address to the loyalty program. The Virgin America recently joined hands with the online rental provider by enabling the guests to earn Elevate points for the stay they have booked through the e- program.
A small discussion among the experts on the comparison of the hotels with Airbnb, most of the experts said that the peer to peer rental platform was more convenient, safer, better value and promised good experience. Many business travelers and the tourists shared their positive experience and the benefits they received by using the rental platform. These rental platforms offer good value or experience that cannot be offered by the hotels or traditional accommodation providers, they even allow the guests to choose from the rental properties.
Cheaper than the traditional accommodation operators
When compared to the hotels in major cities in Europe and United States with Airbnb, it was found that about two hundred and twenty thousand Airbnb listings around the world were compared with the average hotel to the bigger hotels and found that the online marketplace offers better deals most of the cities. You can find Airbnb discount codes if you look for them online. In a close look at North America, there is a significant difference between the north and the south, where the rental website was cheaper across the cities that were surveyed in the north of San Francisco. However, from Nashville south to Austin the pattern is different because the hotels are cheaper than the Airbnb properties. But the overall analysis shows that the hotel rooms are costlier than the Airbnb listings.
Airbnb is the best option when planning to travel in some parts of the world, especially when going to the population centers. Touring to New Zealand is an ideal example because the hotels those have more reward points are less and the hotels are expensive and are hard to find in most popular tourist locations. Unless the guest is ready to spend more dollars for a single night, Airbnb is the best option. In many parts of the country, the Airbnb was the only accommodation option in the South Island during September.
Airbnb listing is best for families and large groups
Hotels are convenient for a single person or a couple to stay overnight because they offer elite status, guests can use points to pay for their stay, convenient and easy to organize, but when traveling with the group or family it is hard to organize and there are a lot of difficulties. Have to pay for several rooms, no common room is offered by the hotels for socializing, share time or for relaxation and it is expensive and not convenient.
A group of nine members planned for a trip to the LA and they booked an expensive hotel, but all the members were not able to fit into one suite and had to take separate rooms which are quite expensive. In this case the rental website, Airbnb was a perfect option because there were many estates, mansions and private apartments available in Hollywood with affordable costs.
The group was able to book a private estate that had a fantastic are for relaxing with a private pool and comfortable for all the members. And this kind of rental property sites offers many deals and discounts for families and large groups.
Expect the unexpected – Best option
The hotels are tied up with reward programs that offer free travel, gifts points, and miles or cheap flight trips, but not all the travel locations have hotels tied with such programs and during the public holidays, there are no rooms available in the hotels.
The rental property website offers a lot of options on public holidays like Labor days and Memorial days, when the owners can sellout at popular locations because the hosts leave the towns for vacation and thus the property becomes free.
Even in places where there are no hotels, there are Airbnb listings available that allow the guests to stay for a short period of time. The properties on the rental site are cheaper when compared to that of the hotels.
Great options for long vacations
Apart from the reduced cost, the online rental site offers the people with equipped property that has a functional kitchen. When the vacations are for quite a long time, then a simple home cooked dish will beat the outside food and is very cost effective. There are many features in the rental site for those who have extended vacations. Some of the properties allow the guests to appoint a personal cook for them for the temporary stay, order food online, transport and translators are available; can rent vehicles for a vacation and other options. These options are not available in many hotels and this is exclusively available only the online site.
With Virgin America, the hosts and the guests can get reward points.
Registering as the host: When a person registers themselves as the host on the rental site, they can earn twenty thousand elevate points when they complete the 5th-night hosting.
Registering as the guest: As a guest, on the Virgin America site, they earn one elevate point for each dollar spent on the rental property and the first timers getting one thousand five hundred bonus elevate points and twenty dollar Airbnb credit.
People can even use the Chase Sapphire Preferred card that allows them to earn twice the points on the travel expenditure and also earn valuable Ultimate rewards.
Anand Rajendran is the Co-founder & CEO of RUTAPP infosystems. He specializes in content marketing and social media marketing. He has written many articles related to e-commerce, marketing, design, development, strategy, emerging trends including omnichannel and cloud platforming. RUTAPP is a leading Andriod and IOS app development company that has launched Kwizy script which is an Airbnb Clone Script with Mobile apps.