Our Airbnb #FairToSharePDX Team!

Our Airbnb #FairToSharePDX Team!

Last week, I was invited to a special event for Airbnb hosts to learn about hospitality best practices and a chance to meet one of Airbnb’s top level execs. It may not sound all too exciting, but with my recent contracted work with airbnb, I wanted to check it out and see how users were doing since City Council unanimously approved legislation making it easier for many Portlanders to share their homes.

For those who don’t know, Airbnb is a website for people to rent out and provide lodging anywhere in the world. Started back in 2008 by Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, the company has grown at an astounding rate- with over 10 million nights booked in 2012, and recently valued at $10 billion by TPG Capital in April 2014.

Portland is the first city Airbnb is rolling out their new business unit strategy, called the Shared City Initiative, which aims at working with local city governments to remit hotel and lodging taxes into the city, become apart of the community, and to create a shared economy.

The event was hosted by Chip Conley, Aibnb’s Head of Global Hospitality. Chip guided airbnb hosts through his presentation titled “Hospitality Moments of Truth”, which aims at educating hosts how to attract guests, cater to their needs, and getting them to leave positive reviews. The presentation not only groomed hosts into optimizing their listings, but aimed at providing guests better user experience when making a choice on where to stay. As he guided attendees through exercises, human philosophy, and major hospitality standards, it was evident that Portland hosts were leaving better prepared to maximize their future guest experiences and stand out as the best hosts on the website. It was also mentioned in his presentation, that Airbnb plans to roll out a “Super Host” program that would feature and give recognition to best hosts in their cities. Additionally, Chip plans on creating a “Global Hospitality Conference” for all Airbnb hosts in Fall 2014 to connect them with members around the globe, provide them with resources to ensure best hospitality practices, and to educate and inspire hosts to live by his “joy of life” mantra.