At a recent travel forum, Airbnb's co-founder and chief strategy officer Nate Blecharczyk mentioned the word 'bleisure', which means a trip that combines a work week with a weekend, and this type of travelling seems to have become company's growing segment. In fact, 15% of nights booked on Airbnb are for business travel, representing 3x growth year-over-year (Oct 2017 figure).
To this end, Airbnb and the other short-term rental booking platforms are doing their best to cater for the market - so how can you take advantage of it too?
Important statistics about the business travel trend
Business travel in itself is nothing new, but its relationship with Airbnb and short-term rentals is. A mindblowing statistic about the growth of the business travel segment booking with Airbnb is that in 2015, there were 250 companies that partnered with Airbnb to book accommodation for their employees. In 2017, there are over 250,000. Not a bad increase in numbers in just two years.
In 2016 in the USA alone, corporate travel was worth $296 billion while Australian statistics from 2015 show $28.7 billion, an increase of 6.4% over the year prior. Now, it is not surprising to us why Airbnb describes business travel as their 'next frontier' as they try to provide well-priced accommodation that also has the personal touch.
So what is Airbnb doing to get on board with this trend?
Airbnb already has certain extra certifications that listings can attain that are displayed on the listing, such as the ability to receive instant booking confirmation and the coveted SuperHost badge. These extra certifications allow a potential guest to see at a glance that they can book a property immediately (without needing to wait for host confirmation) or that the host is recognised by Airbnb as consistently providing an above-average experience to their guests.
The new badge that Airbnb has created is the 'Business Travel Ready' badge. This badge denotes that a property meets certain criteria that make it suitable for the requirements of business travellers. We'll get into what those criteria are shortly, but the other important aspect of this new badge is that there is the possibility to filter listings based on whether they are business travel ready or not. This means that if someone is looking to book accommodation for corporate travel, they can filter the search results to refine the responses down to only those which meet these requirements.
What does your property need to have to be 'Business Travel Ready?'
First of all, your property needs to be an entire property (not a shared space - all MadeComfy properties are entire properties) and one of the approved property types (namely a house or an apartment). Airbnb states that this requirement is present because most business travellers are new to Airbnb so it is important that they know what sort of space to expect when they arrive.
For a property to be business travel ready, it must be a non-smoking property and it must not have any pets living in the space during the guest's stay. They say this because of the possibility of allergic reactions. If a pet lives in your space normally but will not during the time it is rented out, Airbnb asks that you ensure the property is cleaned before any guests arrive.
In order to be business travel ready, a property must have all of the following amenities available:
- A laptop-friendly workspace
- 24/7 self check-in
- This is a requirement because business travellers often arrive and leave at odd hours. Self check-in means any form of check-in that does not require the guest to be met in person to be given the key, such as a key lockbox or a smart lock
- Smoke detector
- Essentials such as toilet paper, shampoo, clean towels and fresh linen (supplied to all MadeComfy properties)
- An iron
Reviews and response rate
To be eligible in the first place, the property needs to have an average 3-star rating plus reviews for cleanliness and the accuracy of the listing must be 5 stars. Furthermore, hosts must have responded to 90% of booking requests within 24 hours during the past year.
To be eligible for business travel status, hosts must provide a 7-day cancellation guarantee to their guests. This means that if a host cancels a booking within 7 days of the arrival date, their property cannot be considered for business travel ready status for a year after the cancellation date.
Becoming business travel ready is not a one-time thing. Listings are evaluated on a rolling basis and need to continue to qualify after the initial evaluation.
If you want to make your property business travel ready and attract this growing segment of guests, we recommend hosts to keep above requirements in mind from the moment they start marketing in Airbnb. Also at MadeComfy, we endeavour to ensure that as many of our properties as possible qualify for these additional certifications so we aim to provide the necessary inclusions.
If you have any questions about whether your property meets the business travel ready requirements, feel free to send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org!
MadeComfy provides an end-to-end property management service, which means property owners don’t need to do a thing when they hand over their keys. MadeComfy makes the process of earning greater returns from short-term renting effortless, achieving up to 40% more than long-term rentals and self-managed Airbnb listings. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help!