Airbnb has not only changed people’s lives and how they travel, it has also completely transformed the hospitality landscape for good. The hospitality industry is arguably the most active and exciting industry to work in at this point in time – mergers galore, new businesses sprouting up all over the place, and there is a new dimension as well as fluidity that is quickly shifting and defining world travel.
The future is never that far away and neither is change, it is all a question of perspective and best guess. I often wonder what will happen in the next five years and even further, trying to spot the trends and themes that point toward future possibilities expected and unexpected.
As someone who has decided that hospitality is the industry I want to work in, I have turned my attention to what I think the future holds, specifically in relation to Airbnb. A company that is still in the early stages of a long process to create lasting value and achieve that aimed for community super brand status, or in other words – the cultural hub of global hospitality, knowledge and experiences.
The Evolving Host
There is already a mobilised selection of hosts around the world voluntarily helping Airbnb, in San Francisco (SF) and other states within the US and outside of it as well. In SF, some hosts formed a body called Home Sharers of SF to help lobby the SF governments against Proposition F, which was defeated. This was by far the most published example from late 2015 but I am sure there are many other hosts doing the same thing albeit not as aggressively.
Airbnb has even awarded hosts who have made this effort to go above and beyond the call of hospitality ‘duty’. You can find the list in their blogs about the host winners in 2014 and 2015.
So already there is a burgeoning legion of loyal hosts who are willing to go that extra mile for the company, that for many have given them a new opportunity, calling, and purpose in some respects.
Mentoring is the next natural section of the host that is due to be cultivated, which needs a reward system, not an award system to sustain it. Airbnb announced at its last Airbnb Open that it will be introducing a Host Mentor Program, the system will work as such, a host will mentor a new host for 30 days, this will count as one mentorship, achieve ten and the host will receive a $250 accommodation credit to use on Airbnb.
Let’s be honest they are not getting that much back for the effort that will be involved in ranking up the mentor system. Some hosts are always going to need more time, effort, guidance, also, 10 months is a long time. This is why I feel that there will in time have to become a new level of rewards and even possible employment/freelance opportunities.