The Price of Airbnb Plus: Thoughtfully Designed
Updated: Mar 26, 2019
Airbnb recently unveiled two new programs as part of its campaign to provide a listing that suits everyone: Airbnb Beyond and Airbnb Plus. These programs indicate a significant shift in Airbnb's core offering; this is no longer a company leaning on air mattresses and breakfast to make rent. It's a polished, professional site offering polished, professional inventory. Or at least driving the trend towards it.
This maturation does not come without growing pains, particularly for those hosts that gravitate towards the "couch share" version of Airbnb. But, exactly how uncomfortable would it be for a host to gain the Airbnb "Plus" badge, and most importantly, how much would it cost?
In this post, we tackle the first aspect (there are a lot, far too many to put in one post) of criteria laid out by Airbnb: Thoughtfully designed.
1) Cohesive Interior Design with Personal Touches
You don’t have to hire a design team to accomplish this; we wrote a post where we offer some easy tips to accomplish what Airbnb is looking for. If pictures are more your style, then we’ve got a few boards on Pinterest that will give you some great ideas. TL; DR? The easiest way to decorate is to have a monochromatic palette, with little pops of color here and there. That way, you can purchase inexpensive accessories and switch them out every so often without upsetting the whole vibe of a room. Things like vases, pillows, and pictures are affordable, yet easy ways to make your space unique. Here’s a couple examples we found that don’t break the bank:
2) Layout of Furniture is Thoughtfully Arranged and Not Cluttered
AKA: less is more. You may just have to subtract furniture! As for artfully arranged, generally if there’s a tv or a natural centerpiece in the room, it will work to position the furniture around that point. For more detail, we found this article especially helpful.
3) Design Elements like Artwork and Photographs that Reflect the Hosts’ Style and Personality
This one ties back to #1. Decorating beautifully doesn’t have to be expensive! By doing a little research, especially online, you can find lovely things that work well in the space while also being authentic to you.
4) Everything Out in the Open is Either Aesthetic or Could Be Used by a Guest
Especially in this case, having less expensive decorations is smarter. Accidents happen, and it's inevitable that something will be broken. A prized Chihuly art piece, though you may love it, is probably not best to put in a vacation rental. A dollar vase? No problem if it breaks.
5) All Counters and Cabinets are Organized and Clutter-Free
If your cabinets don't meet this standard, there's absolutely no reason to stress. There are two easy and inexpensive ways to solve it. A) Get rid of some things, and B) purchase some organizers! Cutlery organizers, baskets for cleaning supplies, and jars for earbuds are very affordable.
6) Wires and Cables for Electronics are Organized and Hidden From Sight
This one isn’t so bad either. Generally, it’s easy to tuck the TV wires behind the display. If you have your TV mounted on a wall, here’s some easy resources to cover up those wires. It's possible to be succored into a $100 "box" to hide the wires in, but if you’re on a tight budget there are $15 cable covers that will do the trick perfectly well.
So far, so good. Though this is only the first set of standards, if you're very budget conscious, you could meet the 'Thoughtfully designed' criteria for as little as $150. That price could go down if you only needed a few extra elements, but also skyrocket if you needed to add furniture; it will be a little different for everyone. It is, however, not insurmountable!
Will getting the Airbnb Plus badge continue to be worth it though, depending on all the other requirements? Make sure to come back to the blog next week where we break down the financial implications of "Comfortable".