Airbnb does not want you to forget about it, especially if you are planning a post-pandemic vacation. So, on Monday, the company made a slew of announcements, all of which appeared to be aimed at getting people to rent, travel, and, crucially, choose Airbnb to do so.
It also introduced a quick onboarding process for hosts, at a time when competitors such as Vrbo are attempting to poach them, as well as a new service for Super Hosts that will allow them to contact the Airbnb team directly for customer support.
Airbnb's concept of travel is expanding beyond short vacations. According to Chesky, nearly a quarter of Airbnb bookings are “long term,” meaning 28 days or more. On a monthly basis, “millions and millions of people” stay and live at Airbnb listings, he claims, and in cities like New York, that figure is closer to 60%.
“I think eventually in the future people will start paying for rent the way they pay for cable television, or for Netflix, you pay on a month-to-month basis,” the CEO Brian Chesky said.
He didn't say anything about how this might affect tenants, such as those who prefer long-term rentals because it locks in their rent at a set price and provides legal protections.
However, the shift to long-term rentals does not imply that the company is changing the way it vets guests. It will not require renters to prove their income, provide a credit score, or leave a deposit of the first and last month's rent for longer stays, as traditional landlords do.
For budget-conscious renters, he says the company is rethinking how fees work on its platform, especially after a flurry of complaints about exorbitant cleaning fees. The team is optimizing their system to calculate the "best deal" for renters that takes fees into account, as well as soliciting feedback from hosts and guests on how to make fees work for everyone.