An Insider’s Guide to the Airbnb Experiences
Here at Host an Experiences, (myairbnb)we have heard from many hosts that have applied, or are applying, to have their Experience idea published online. Unfortunately not every application has been successful. This is certainly frustrating as aspiring hosts see the first batch of online experiences launched on Airbnb have such a successful uptake.
The good news is that (myairbnb) Experiences member Abeer has successfully navigated the Airbnb application process and her Creative Smartphone localhost at Home Experience is now live! Below he shares his advice on what to expect when you begin the application process, and his best tips to help all our members get approved too.
Step 1: Written Application
The first step is to pitch your Experience idea to Airbnb via the application portal – found here. For existing hosts, it is the same platform and process that you were required to fill out for your ‘real life’ Experience. After submitting your application you’ll hear back from Airbnb within 1-3 weeks to learn if you’ll be moving on to the next stage of the application process, if you need to make some adjustments to your idea, or if you’ve been denied.
If you can translate your existing ‘real life’ into a digital format, that is fantastic, but it is not mandatory! You can create any sort of Experience as long as it meets the Airbnb standards. Be strategic about choosing your idea – consider what translates well through a computer screen, and what experiences are already offered online. It’s important to know that Airbnb will deny ideas that are considered to be a ‘service’ and not an experience.
Step 2: Rehearsal
If your application is approved, or you have made the necessary amendments as suggested by Airbnb, you will be invited to host a full rehearsal of your experience in front of a group of Airbnb staff. You’ll be given several date and time options to book your rehearsal which will take place on Zoom and lasts for 45 minutes to an hour.
This is your time to shine! So whilst this is a rehearsal, make sure it is not your first one. Practice with friends and family beforehand and ask for critical feedback from them, including how they felt about the technical aspects of their Zoom experience. You may even like to attend other Experiences that are already live or read what I’ve learned after joining 5 online experiences.
Step 3: Decision
You may get instant feedback from the Airbnb staff at the end of the rehearsal. But it’s more likely that you will receive an email with detailed feedback and a decision about whether you passed the rehearsal, or whether you need to improve your idea, within 1-2 weeks of your rehearsal. If successful, your decision email will also include a step-by-step guide on how to set up your Airbnb Zoom Account.
Interaction! Interaction! Interaction! The most common piece of feedback from Airbnb is that hosts need to engage with their guests more. Experiences which have hosts talking at the camera the whole time will not be approved by Airbnb. Identify areas within your Experience idea that allow you to ask questions of your guests, or even better, allow you to start-up a conversation between the guests themselves.
Step 4: Publishing queue
A successful rehearsal is not the final step in the application process. If Airbnb approves your Experience, you will be moved into a publishing queue with an approximate wait time of 3-4 weeks. During that time Airbnb looks through every experience in the queue to ensure a healthy and balanced marketplace. As a result, there is no guarantee that all successful rehearsals will result in published experiences.
Unfortunately there is not much you can do to speed up the 3-4 week waiting period before your experience is launched on Airbnb. But don’t forget that you already have a great Experience ready to go, so consider reaching out to previous guests or corporate contacts who you can invite to take your Experience on your private Zoom account. A simple Squarespace or Bluehost ..
website is a great marketing tool, and it allows you to create a booking system for direct customer bookings. Check out our tools you should use.
Step 5: You’re online!
Congratulations, you’re in business! Now add slots to your calendar, set a low initial price to get first reviews asap, clean your space, wash your hands, stay home and start smiling to people via Zoom while sharing your awesomeness with them (don’t forget to engage-engage -engage).
There is inevitably going to be some awkwardness associated with online experiences compared to real life ones. Conversations can be a little bit stunted as people turn their mute buttons on and off, and some customers may even log out before the experience is over. Just remember, that’s all okay! Right now guests are generally understanding about the little hiccups in online Experiences, so long as they can see you are trying to be a host Experiences host yourself!
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Let’s lean on each other to find inspiration and new ideas. If you’re keen to brainstorm, MyAirbnb Team Experiences hosts are happy to jump on a free Short time chat. Click here.
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