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At the start of 2018, Airbnb released their Superhost update – an elaborate roadmap outlining company objectives for the next 10 years.

As part of this update, Airbnb announced two new tiers of properties: Plus and Luxury.

According to the travel giant, all properties in the Airbnb Plus tier have been verified by professionals for “quality and comfort”.

But what other requirements are there to join? Let’s take a look.

What makes a listing eligible for Airbnb Plus?

Before you can even request an invite to the Airbnb Plus program, you need to ensure your listing is eligible for consideration.

That means:

1. Your listing is an entire home or private room with private bathroom.

2. Your listing is in one of the following cities: Austin, Barcelona, Cape Town, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Melbourne, Milan, Rome, San Francisco, Shanghai, Sydney, Toronto.

Airbnb Plus is also expected to arrive in Athens, Auckland, Bali, Beijing, Chengdu, Crete, Lisbon, Mexico City, Montreal, Phoenix, Prague, Riviera Maya and Seattle soon.

3. You have an average rating from guests of 4.8 stars or above.

4. You accept at least 95% of booking requests.

5. You haven’t canceled any reservations in the past year.

Provided you fulfill these basic requirements, you can move on to the next step and evaluate if your home meets the program’s high standards.

Airbnb Plus: Home requirements

There are four different categories of home prerequisites that hosts have to comply with in order to qualify for Airbnb Plus.

Design

This new tier separates the professionals from the rookies when it comes to interior design. Hosts hoping to join this scheme must have a keen eye for style. The design requirements are as follows:

  • Cohesive: use complementary colors and textiles to create coherence in each room.
  • Uncluttered: ensure the furniture arrangement is thoughtful and not overbearing. Make sure cabinets and surfaces are tidy and clutter-free. Equally, electronic wires and cables should be neat and hidden from view.
  • Personal: your property should reflect something about you and your passions. Display photographs, original artworks and other unique items that show who you are as a host.
  • Functional: all objects on display should either serve a purpose or add to the aesthetic (i.e. houseplants).

Comfort

The guest experience is at the top of an Airbnb Plus host’s list of priorities. Ensuring each stay is as comfortable as possible for your guests can help encourage five-star reviews and repeat visits.

  • Easy check-in: hosts should either automate check-in with a digital lock, keypad or lockbox, or provide an in-person check-in service.
  • Bedroom: beds should be elevated off the floor and have flat mattresses with quality matching linens. There must be two pillows for every guest. Private bedrooms will have a private bathroom, with either a bathtub or a shower.
  • Bathroom: there must be at least two sets of luxury towels, hand towels and washcloths per bathroom.
  • Storage: hosts should provide at least clothes hangers and an empty drawer or shelf to store guest clothes.
  • Privacy: help your guests to feel completely at home with curtains, blinds or frosted glass to provide privacy.

Equipment

As Airbnb Plus properties are a cut above regular rentals, so are the expectations of what hosts should provide. This is the bare minimum you’ll need for consideration in the program:

  • WiFi: as the most popular amenity, your Airbnb WiFi should be fast, with download speeds of at least 5 Mbps.
  • House manual: your property welcome book should include host and emergency contact information, WiFi passwords and house rules.
  • TV: must come with a remote control and access to entertainment options such as Netflix or HBO.
  • Safety: your property has fully functioning smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Kitchen essentials: provide pans for cooking, salt, pepper, oil, filtered water and a supply of tea/coffee to last the entire stay.
  • Bathroom essentials: hair dryer, shampoo, conditioner, hand soap and body wash are all essential bathroom items.
  • Other: an iron and ironing board are available for guest use.

Maintenance

It is up to the Airbnb Plus host to ensure regular maintenance of their property. Here are the key areas to check frequently:

  • Exterior: outdoor areas should be well-kept with no weeds, overgrowth or dead plants.
  • Entrance: should be tidy and well-lit. The door should close properly and have a secure lock.
  • Electrics: all lights are working at the property, kitchen appliances are clean and in working order.
  • Interior: all furniture is in good condition with zero breakage, scuffs or stains. All walls, floors and ceilings are free of cracks, stains and cobwebs. Carpets and rugs are clean, free of stains and in good condition. Windows and mirrors are clean and not cracked or chipped. There are no signs of pests.
  • Aroma: neutral or enjoyable smell throughout. No stale odors.
  • Bathroom: cabinets, surfaces, shower curtain, and bath or shower are clean, mold and mildew free and without any personal items. Faucets, shower head, flush, and cabinet handles are tightened and without leaks.
  • Climate: depending on location, adequate heating or air conditioning is working well and easy to adjust.
  • Water: strong water pressure for both hot and cold water.

What does Airbnb Plus cost for hosts?

Unlike a regular Airbnb listing which is free to create, joining this scheme will cost owners $149. This covers the cost of your in-person property inspection and a personalized report which helps you to prepare for Airbnb Plus.

Airbnb Plus hosts will also have access to premier customer support and educational videos, as well as home styling and interior design advice.

What are the benefits of Airbnb Plus?

The main advantage of joining this program is to stand out from the crowd and gain more visibility for your listing.

Each Airbnb Plus listing page includes:

  • The verified PLUS badge which helps build guest trust.
  • Higher placement and more visibility in search results.
  • A new look and feel, which has been designed to make properties stand out more.
  • Fresh photography to give prominence to the home’s best features.
  • A virtual tour of the property to help with guest decisions.

This new tier of homes (which currently cost an average of $250 per night), provides owners with another great opportunity to increase bookings and rental income. While the program launched with just 2,000 properties, there are plans to expand this to 75,000 before the end of 2018. Will you try to become an Airbnb Plus host?

What do you think about this article?

Airbnb Plus: Everything Hosts Need to Know
4.1 (82.86%) 14 votes
(4) Comments
  1. Caroline Matz Reply

    This program should also include Central Oregon/Bend area and not just be major high density cities. Many people like to vacation in the outdoors area and homes, like mine, meet the requirements.

  2. Paul Reply

    Hi jess,

    This article is a very one sided, dare is say promotional piece about airbnb plus.

    What would be truly useful for your readers who may be contemplating a move to airbnb plus, is to warn them of the many downsides to becoming a “plus” listing.

    There are untold numbers of hosts that have been encouraged to upgrade to airbnb plus who are now seriously questioning their decision. Not only does airbnb make hosts jump through an incredible array of requirements (which is fair enough), at the end of it you will end up with little control over your listing. You will no longer be able to add, remove or change any of the photos on your listing.
    This that airbnb will choose the best photos? Think again. There are a ton of hosts complaining about this. We have a beautiful 3 bed villa with swimming pool. What does airbnb choose to showcase our villa? A very poorly lit picture of a bed. Our previous photos were far superior to the new photos provided by airbnb plus, and there’s nothing we can do about it. Airbnb support staff refuse and say they are unable to change photos. The who scheme is half baked and rushed. My suspicion is that airbnb rushed out an incomplete and I’ll prepared platform and are now swamped with support calls. In the meantime, as a host you’ll have to just hope that having a higher ranking profile will offset your potentially inferior photos.

    My advice for successful hosts, is to wait until these bugs are ironed out. When this will be who knows?

    • Jess Ashworth Reply

      Hi Paul,

      Thank you for taking the time to read our article and leave your feedback. Please note that this article was published shortly after the Airbnb Plus program first came to fruition and is designed to explain the requirements and benefits of the program for hosts. I understand this may seem one-sided, but at the time of writing, there was not any feedback available on the potential downsides.

      I’m sorry to hear your experience as an Airbnb Plus host hasn’t been very positive so far. I would be interested to hear if your booking numbers have been affected by factors such as not being able to select the best photos to show off your property. I would recommend escalating your support request further as I believe Airbnb would normally act in their hosts’ best interests to try to resolve this situation. In fact, just yesterday I read a quote from Chris Lehane, Airbnb’s Head of Global Policy and Public Affairs in which he said – “Airbnb only succeeds if our hosts succeed, economically.”

      Again, I’d like to thank you for your feedback as I’m sure it will be useful for other hosts considering joining Airbnb Plus.

      Please keep us updated on your progress.

      Best wishes,

      Jess

    • Ian Reply

      Hi Paul,
      Thanks for posting the above, which clearly provides answers to questions airbnb seem to be ignoring. Was recently invited to join for all of my three listings, and am still in the process – which I am now trying to stop. Am hugely disappointed and regretting accepting the ‘free’ offer, which I now feel I was tricked into. Airbnb’s photos of my first listing are terrible, mine were made by a professional photographer at considerable cost and are far superior. Am hoping as I have not completed the process I can stop it.
      Wrote to airbnb plus support to ask if I could use my own images, as I was not happy with theirs, and so far have received no reply.
      Are you aware if ‘upgrading’ to Airbnb Plus also means hosts can no longer edit their listing’s descriptive text? Seems they are trying to take full control of that too….
      KR,
      Ian

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