Travel Management Tools

Everything you need to know about Airbnb hosts and places to stay

When you or your coworkers are ready to book upcoming work trips through your Airbnb for Work company dashboard, Airbnb’s search function gives you access to over six million listings in more than 191 countries. At the heart of those listings are Airbnb hosts, who play a pivotal role in the company’s mission of “belong anywhere.”

In this overview, you’ll learn how:

  • hosts set up their listings
  • Airbnb works with hosts to secure the safety of those listings for your travelers
  • to identify and book listings specifically designated to meet the needs of business travelers

Airbnb hosts have four ways to list their space on Airbnb. They can list it as an entire home, a hotel room, a shared room, or a private room. In an entire home, hosts can rent out their entire property for the duration of a stay, so guests will be the only people occupying the property. For private rooms, hosts typically reside on the property. For boutique hotel rooms and serviced apartments, hosts can list a private or shared room.

Hosts list their property on Airbnb’s website with an in-depth description, along with multiple photos, pricing and location details, and a description of themselves. After each stay, reviews and ratings from previous guests of both the host and the home are displayed on each listing page. Ratings and reviews on Airbnb are double-blind, which means that both the host and guest cannot see what the other party has written until they have both submitted their feedback.

While it’s more common for enterprise companies to limit Airbnb stays to entire homes, many travel managers at small and mid-sized companies allow travelers to stay in either hosted or private Airbnb listings for their business trips.

Sean Flynn, Controller and manager of the travel program at Gusto, an online payroll service for small businesses, says, “We have no specific guidelines or restrictions around which Airbnb listings employees can use,” Flynn said. “Right now, whatever is flowing through is fine, and we’ve had no issues at all.”

A focus on safety and security

One of Airbnb’s top priorities is to protect the safety and security of its hosts and guests.

At the foundation of that commitment is Airbnb’s robust Trust and Safety team, which consists of 24/7 support agents, engineers, data scientists, product managers, designers, crisis managers, and victim-advocacy specialists, in addition to the company’s deep bench of experts in policy, privacy, cyber security, insurance, and fraud issues. 

Airbnb doesn’t release payment to a host until the guest is safely checked in. In the rare event an issue arises, Airbnb’s global customer service and Trust and Safety teams are available 24/7 days a week to help make things right with rebooking assistance, as well as refunds, reimbursements, and support programs like our Host Guarantee and Host Protection Insurance. If, for instance, you arrive at a listing and it’s not as advertised, all you need to do is reach out to our team and we are here to help.

A growing variety of listings for business travelers

Airbnb listings include a showcase of work-friendly places to stay that offer the amenities business travelers need to be productive and comfortable. The Airbnb work trip toggle currently shows business travelers homes, boutique hotels, and serviced apartments that business travelers have positively reviewed. We’re constantly using technology to evolve the work-friendly criteria to meet business travelers needs.

Other filters, for things like wifi and self check-in are also available, and many travel managers specify these for their business travelers in their policies and instructions, ensuring they get what they need for successful work trips.

Making the connection

Regardless of what type of property is booked, travelers, those booking for others, or travel managers have the opportunity to message the host before and during the guest stay. This online conversation creates a strong sense of community and a highly effective support network for travelers. Hosts also generally like to provide local knowledge to help their guests get comfortable in their neighborhood and home.

“I always communicate with the host,” said Gusto’s Flynn. “For me, there is a humanizing effect. In most cases, though for money of course, someone is inviting a stranger into their home and that means a great deal to me. I am not necessarily the type of person who wants to get into a listing and chat the whole way through, but I also believe that this is a business transaction with someone who is presumably not unlike you in a lot of ways.” While logistics comprise much of the communication pre-stay, Flynn said he always includes “saying ‘thank you’ on the front end of the trip.”

I always communicate with the host. For me, there is a humanizing effect.

Sean Flynn, Gusto

Neys said Medallia employees regularly communicate with hosts and find the messaging capability to be “very valuable.” She added, “Sometimes people might want to negotiate for a lower rate. Or they might have questions about the area, or about a late arrival. It’s a great communications tool.”

Once the travel period is over and the guest has checked out of the Airbnb listing, both the host and the guest review and rate each other on a five-star scale. Only guests who actually stayed at a property are able to review the property, and the double-blind system ensures that feedback and ratings are honest.

Airbnb’s review and rating system is designed to provide a continuous feedback loop that builds and maintains the overall quality of its community of homes. Additionally, Airbnb hosts are highly motivated to maintain excellent product and service rankings to ensure they continue to attract business, just like any other accommodations provider anywhere in the world.

Search for Superhosts

Many travel managers, trip planners, and business travelers also look for listings hosted by a Superhost.

Superhosts are automatically identified by Airbnb for their active hosting status and their dedication to providing outstanding hospitality to all travelers. Over the past year, Superhosts have hosted at least 10 trips with a 50 percent review rate, maintained a 90 percent response rate or higher to booking inquiries, and received a 5-star review at least 80 percent of the time they received reviews and a 4.75 overall rating on a scale of 1 to 5. Superhosts have also hosted reservations without canceling in the last 12 months.

Using the work trip toggle, and searching for Superhost listings, makes it quick and easy to find ideal places to stay for business travelers. With the simple and intuitive company dashboard, Airbnb equips your team with tools designed to make your responsibility of booking and managing travel easier.