Back in February, Airbnb announced their hotel-like service known as Airbnb Plus. It’s a higher end tier of Airbnb listings that are visited in person to ensure quality, comfort, and design. The inspections consist of over 100 points, and in order to qualify, a host needs to have a rating of 4.8 out of 5 or higher.
100 points might sound like a huge hurdle to being a host, we’ve found that many of the requirements revolve around common sense measures you should be taking if you’re already an Airbnb host. While the Airbnb Plus requirements checklist is only provided to hosts that apply to the program, we’re able to provide a high level overview of the checklist.
The program currently is available to residents in: Austin, Barcelona, Cape Town, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Melbourne, Milan, Rome, San Francisco, Shanghai, Sydney, and Toronto.
Airbnb Plus requirements are broken down into four key pillars: thoughtful designs, comfort, equipped with comforts, and well-maintained properties.
Understanding the Airbnb Plus requirements
As mentioned earlier, the Airbnb Plus checklist is broken into four categories. We’ve outlined a few of the essentials below:
- Easy check-in: We recommend using a digital-lock as these enable you to change the codes after each stay. Hosts also have the option of providing keys via a lockbox or in-person, but traditional keys can be easily lost.
- Decor and other aesthetics that add a personal touch: You don’t need to be an interior designer to make your space look great. Simple touches like smart lighting, a large mirror, and flowers go a long way to enhancing the atmosphere of your space.
- Quality furniture that is free of stains, scuffs, cracks, and so on. If you’re looking for a way to add a creative touch to your space, you could check out IKEA Hackers.
- A neutral or pleasant aroma in every room. While air fresheners get the job done in setting the atmosphere, if you want to really provide an exceptional experience for your guests, we suggest providing a diffuser with a collection of essential oils.
You can find the official Airbnb Plus requirement overview here, on the Airbnb website.
The top reason Airbnb Plus applications are rejected
The top reason Airbnb rejects Plus applications is because the applicant’s place doesn’t stack up from a design standpoint. The Airbnb Plus team has been having problems communicating to people that their places just look bad. Typically this is because the furniture doesn’t match or isn’t stylish. Airbnb doesn’t want listings that look like a bunch of stuff was randomly thrown into the space. They are looking for cohesive designs.
So, is Airbnb Plus hosting worth the added effort?
The short answer to this question is yes, it’s a no brainer. If Airbnb Plus is offered in your region, it’s well worth the effort.
While getting approved to host under the program might seem daunting, in our opinion, most of the items on the checklist are common sense necessities you should already be offering as an Airbnb host.
That being said, Airbnb Plus hosts often need to upgrade their spaces. In addition to the $149 application fee, preparation costs often come out to around $500.
The application fee might sound steep, but that covers the cost of professional photography, and you’ll also be able to charge a higher per-night rate compared to standard Airbnb listings – often $100-$150 per night extra.
This hasn’t been confirmed, but we feel that Airbnb is going to modify their search algorithms to give preference to Airbnb Plus listings. As we discuss in our article on improving your Airbnb ranking, Airbnb already does something similar with their instant book listings.
This only makes sense when you consider how Airbnb is focused on delivering a quality experience to all their guests.
If we were talking about the luxury tier of Airbnb (to be announced in Spring of 2019) we’d have a slightly different attitude, mainly because the checklist for those properties is over 300 points. While the luxury tier is still in development, we can say that it’s more appropriate for experienced Airbnb hosts and property managers who have significant amounts of time to devote to hosting.