With Airbnb gaining more and more popularity, the company has now launched a whole new dynamic to apartment renting – the Airbnb Plus.
This new service was launched on February 22 to commemorate Airbnb’s 10th anniversary.
Airbnb’s CEO Brian Chesky announced the news about Airbnb Plus at a news conference at the Masonic, an auditorium in San Francisco, California.
“We have evolved, but we think we can go much further and offer something for everyone,” he said in an interview with The New York Times. “Some travelers want predictability and certain comforts, and Airbnb Plus will give them these.”
“Every Airbnb Plus home is one-of-a-kind, thoughtfully designed, and equipped with a standard set of amenities — whether you’re in a private room or have the entire place to yourself,” reads the company’s website for Airbnb Plus. “All Airbnb Plus homes are visited in person to ensure comfort, consistency, and design. They are checked for 100-plus things that guests told us they love, from must-have amenities to the art on the walls.” Airbnb says hosts of the properties must have a 4.8 out of 5-star rating or higher.
The service went live with more than 2,000 listings across Austin, Barcelona, Cape Town, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Melbourne, Milan, Rome, San Francisco, Shanghai, Sydney, and Toronto.
According to The New York Times, the average rate per night for an Airbnb Plus listing will be $200, as opposed to $100 for standard listings. Airbnb Plus listings will be editorially curated by the company into lists, and listings will also get Plus badges next to them on the website and mobile app to make them easier to see.
Airbnb hosts can apply to be part of the program and pay a $149 application. Upon receiving the application, an Airbnb-hired photographer and inspector will be sent to the apartments to capture professional-quality photographs and inspect the property to see if it meets Airbnb’s new 100-point quality checklist. The checklist includes a clean refrigerator, full cooking equipment, and stocked toiletries, among many criteria.
In addition to Airbnb Plus, the company also announced that it will officially be recognizing hotels on its platform, which is a notable shift in policy for a platform-owning tech company that has long considered the hotel industry its bitter rival. The company will also be giving boutique hotels and bed-and-breakfasts official classification.