Tips for measuring your potential cost savings with Airbnb for Work
Whether it’s once a year, once a month, or somewhere in between, you will likely be called on to review with management the success of your company’s overall travel program and individual vendor partnerships.
While success is defined by the specific goals and strategy your company has set for its program, the metrics that matter for most companies focus on cost savings and traveler satisfaction. With Airbnb for Work, you can present compelling metrics in both areas.
“It’s really easy,” said Scott Gillespie, CEO at tClara, a firm that helps companies analyze and benchmark travel data. “All travel managers have to do is measure two things—cost, and traveler satisfaction with the convenience of booking and staying at an Airbnb for Work property.”
Measuring cost savings
The Airbnb for Work company dashboard is your go-to platform for measuring the average daily rate (ADR) for Airbnb use. From the dashboard, ADR can be displayed by day, month, quarter, year, or customized date range. You can also work directly with your Airbnb Account Manager to calculate ADR in specific markets. By comparing these metrics with the averages for your preferred hotel providers in the same time span or market, you can present data that clearly illustrates the overall cost effectiveness for your business strategy and bottom-line savings your company has achieved from using Airbnb for Work.
That’s exactly what Elena Warburton did. “Airbnb complements our hotel program with solutions that we found 30 to 40 percent cheaper than our standard hotel rates,” said Warburton, Director of Global Travel for RingCentral Inc., a provider of cloud unified communications and collaboration solutions. “Our average daily hotel rate company-wide is about $202, including all locations internationally across the entire organization, but our average daily rate with Airbnb for the entire organization is $109,” she said. “When I present these numbers, they speak for themselves so I don’t need to explain the savings we are getting by using Airbnb for Work.”
Cost savings are “the number one thing” Brandon Gries uses to measure the success of Hudl’s partnership with Airbnb for Work. According to Gries, Travel and Event Coordinator for Hudl, a software company that provides online tools for coaches and athletes, the company has seen significant savings on its accommodation spend by using Airbnb for both group and individual business travel. While the company’s average daily hotel rate for 2017 is $130, Hudl’s ADR for Airbnb is $94. “I’ve wanted to keep the average below $100 a night and we’ve been in the low nineties and even in the upper eighties at one point,” Gries said, “so the cost savings have been very good.”
Measuring employee satisfaction
Gries said he also measures the success of Airbnb for Work by “hearing employee satisfaction. By and large, we have had success with Airbnb and really good feedback that I’ve heard from our travelers, so if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. I haven’t heard anything on the negative side.”
Damien Williams, Head of Finance for Culture Amp, a SaaS employee feedback and analytics firm, takes a similar ‘soft metric’ approach to measuring the employee experience using Airbnb. “How I measure the success of Airbnb is how much are people complaining,” Williams said. “If I put this in place and people travel and I hear nothing, it’s wildly successful. If people complain, then it’s not great.” By that measure, Airbnb for Work has been very successful for Culture Amp. “It’s a great platform,” Williams said. “We fundamentally love Airbnb.”
While positive feedback from individual employees—and/or a lack of complaints—can give travel managers some indication of traveler satisfaction with Airbnb, more data-driven and comprehensive metrics of success are available.
Under Airbnb’s star-based online review system, guests and hosts can rate each other up to 14 days following an Airbnb stay. Airbnb reviews operate under a double-blind system and can only be submitted after a stay is completed to ensure honest and accurate feedback.
Based on how your business travelers rate their experience, a company-wide “Employee Experience” rating of Airbnb stays for all employee trips can be compiled by your Airbnb Account Manager on a quarterly or annual basis. These ratings include seven review categories: cleanliness, value, location, accuracy of the listing, communication, amenities, and check in. The Employee Experience rating also shows the percent of your travelers who submitted a review after their Airbnb stay. This rating can be a powerful metric to present to management: Airbnb research shows that the average guest rating is 4.7 on a 5-point scale.
Setting goals for employee adoption
Another metric some travel managers use to measure the success of using Airbnb for Work is based on setting goals for the number of employees who sign up on your company’s platform, and setting further goals for what percentage of employees who have signed up have booked an Airbnb for their work travel. Both metrics can be tracked via the company dashboard, and here, too, you can work with your Account Manager to develop specific goals and an action plan to boost participation.
At Box, a cloud management and file sharing service for businesses, Senior Treasury Analyst Rachel Ersted said the company was excited by the cost savings the company garnered with Airbnb, which motivated her to set additional goals for employee signups on the Airbnb for Work platform to encourage additional bookings.
“When we received the end-of-year review from Airbnb, we were very excited to see that we recognized significant savings,” said Rachel Ersted, Senior Treasury Analyst at Box, a cloud management and file sharing service for businesses. “This provided further motivation to advertise Airbnb as an option for travelers because we were seeing the success it was bringing to our overall travel savings goal.”
“That said, we don’t have any specific metrics for savings with Airbnb,” Ersted added. “As long as we continue to drive savings through the platform and drive traveler satisfaction, this makes us happy for now. We are a pretty simple travel program, just starting to form new areas of efficiencies for savings, so if it can hit those two levels—satisfaction and savings—then we are pretty happy.”
However you choose to measure the success of Airbnb for Work, you can track metrics for cost savings, employee signups and bookings, and the traveler experience through your company dashboard and with additional support from your Account Manager. By evaluating and acting on these metrics, you can optimize for cost savings and employee satisfaction from your company’s partnership with Airbnb for Work—and provide compelling measures of success to management.