The difference between a good vacation rental host and a great one is that a great host is always looking to go one step beyond. In the world of Airbnb rentals, one way those efforts are rewarded is with Airbnb Plus status. Read on to learn what the Airbnb Plus program is, how you can earn it, and whether it’d align with your objectives.
What is Airbnb Plus?
To start with, an Airbnb Plus rental is guaranteed to have all the basics of quality covered: everything is spotlessly clean, lots of amenities and perks are provided, and the host is a reliable professional with enthusiastic hospitality.
Beyond all that, Airbnb Plus is a marker highlighting properties that are exceptionally designed. You can think of an Airbnb Plus home as one where the guest won’t be able to resist snapping photos as soon as they walk through the door. If you browse a few, you’ll notice right away that the images look as though they’ve been pulled from a magazine.
In essence, Airbnb Plus is for travelers seeking luxury. An Airbnb Plus property brings the service and ease of a hotel together with the character of a home.
How to qualify for Airbnb Plus
Airbnb Plus is currently active in a total of 70 cities worldwide including popular destinations such as Los Angeles, Sydney, Barcelona, Toronto, London, and plus more! To ensure quality, the process of allocating Airbnb plus status is selective; you’ll need to apply. This involves a non-refundable application fee of $149 to get your property considered.
If your rental isn’t an entire home, it must at least have a private bathroom in order to be eligible for Airbnb Plus. You also won’t be considered unless you have an average rating of 4.8 on your reviews, a 95% booking acceptance rate, and a full year free of cancellations on your end.
Once your property is under consideration, a professional will visit your property for an in-person evaluation. This more nuanced vetting process will focus on three main criteria:
- Maintenance: nothing is broken, everything is sparkling clean, and all private rooms have locks with clean linens and mattresses. Bathrooms have strong water pressure.
- Amenities: the kitchen is fully equipped with all the comforts of home for the customer. This includes water that is filtered or bottled, and appliances such as iron and ironing board, hairdryer, clean coffee makers, and safes are at hand. The TV has cable or streaming, not just satellite. A good wi-fi connection is established. Self-check-in is a must using either a keypad or lockbox.
- Design: perhaps the toughest qualifier, your space must be artfully and coherently decorated. Whether it’s boho chic, country farmhouse, or beach cottage, there should be a tasteful and thoughtful design concept that is carried through in each room.
Along with great decor and superior amenities, high-quality, privacy-safe noise and occupancy detection can help keep your rental in excellent shape, by preventing noise issues and unauthorized parties – and the complaints, property damage and down nights that may result from them. Indoor and outdoor noise protection also saves hosts countless labor hours, allowing you to focus on what matters most in attaining Airbnb Plus status: superb guest experience.
Essentially being a short-term rental listed on Airbnb Plus means upgrading your rental to make sure that you are giving the customer a high-end vacation. This doesn’t necessarily mean shelling out a ton of money, you can give a high-end experience simply by giving the customer all of the comforts of home.
Can any guest book an Airbnb Plus property?
While the name has an air of exclusivity, no special membership or status is required for a guest to book an Airbnb Plus property. Airbnb rentals with Plus status are a little more expensive on average, but pricing is still fully at the host’s discretion.
Airbnb Plus versus Superhosts
You may already know about the Superhost program for Airbnb rentals. Superhost status is another distinction that Airbnb can give a property in order to help browsing guests find a quality service.
Being a Superhost is a little more formulaic than being an Airbnb Plus property. Rather than relying on an application and review process, Superhost status is applied automatically when a host meets a standard criteria.
Like Airbnb Plus, Superhosts’ rentals must rate 4.8 on average, or higher. Three other rules apply: you must have at least 10 completed stays annually (or three long-term ones), a cancellation rate under 1%, and respond to 90% of guest messages within 24 hours.
Can you be both?
Yes, absolutely. Airbnb Plus listings have a slightly higher standard for the actual property itself. However, service and reliability remain just as important. If property management logistics are a code you haven’t quite cracked, our one-stop property management software can help you keep on top of it all, easily and efficiently.
Who vets your property?
Airbnb Plus home inspections are carried out by third-party individuals with professional experience in photography and decor. The inspectors are unbiased; the goal is just to make sure a guest who sees the listing online will be satisfied with what they actually find.
The inspector will use a standardized 100-point checklist. While some questions about the design of your home may seem subjective, this checklist helps make sure the process is fair. If interior design isn’t your biggest strength, you can still stand out by nailing it on amenities and comfort.
What is Airbnb Plus’ benefit for guests?
The biggest benefit of an Airbnb Plus rental is clear: confidence. It can be daunting when scrolling through rental listings, trying to pin down which accommodation will give you the perfect vacation experience. We’ve all peered at glossy photos online and wondered: is this too good to be true?
With Airbnb Plus, you know an unaffiliated human has checked out the space with their own eyes. You also know the host has invested significant money and energy into their business. Keeping you happy will be their top priority.
Better customer service
In addition to getting the best service from your host, you’ll get a little extra customer support from Airbnb itself. Even though anyone can book a Plus property, once you’ve done so, you’re considered a special customer until you check out. The platform will prioritize any concerns you may have.
This last point is where the 95% acceptance rate requirement comes into play for the guest. When you submit a booking request, a regular host could reject you for any number of reasons, sending you back to square one. An Airbnb Plus host will check for any glaring issues, and otherwise give you the green light quickly.
What is Airbnb Plus’ benefit for hosts?
As a host, you may be thinking Airbnb Plus sounds like a lot of hoops to jump through. Why shell out $149 to apply for something you might not even get? Luckily, though, there’s more in it for you than just a label.
Rise above the crowd
Some guests will only browse Superhost Airbnb rentals, and the same goes for Airbnb Plus. You’ll get onto the radar of a customer base on the lookout for luxury, making their selections by switching on the Plus-only filter when they browse. These are the guests who are choosing Airbnb as a more relaxed alternative to a ritzy hotel.
Even for guests who are open to either Plus or regular, the appeal will be undeniable. Your property will have a purple “PLUS” sticker right on the thumbnail, and a nice graphic below the listing that details all the Plus guarantees. This badge is a great boost, especially in highly populated places such as Austin, San Francisco, or New York. It’s easy to get swept up with all the choices so having a leg-up will always be a plus!
Raise your rate
If you’re hoping to charge a littlemore for your place, Plus status is a great opportunity. You can’t change your location if your rental isn’t in an ultra-trendy neighborhood, and you can’t necessarily make the space bigger. Applying for Airbnb Plus is a way to squeeze a little more money out of the changes you can make—as well as the work you’ve already done.
Certainly, if you already provide great service, generous amenities, and thoughtful decor, Airbnb Plus offers recognition for those strengths. It calls attention to them, and it reassures the customer that your vacation rentals offering really is as good as it looks.
What’s more, there is also a concrete reward for being awarded Airbnb Plus status. Every property owner approved for Airbnb Plus gets a free photo shoot of their place with a professional photographer.
Stunning, high-quality photos may well be the single most important thing about your listing. Guests fall in love—or don’t—when they see your space and imagine themselves inside it. A professional can perfect the angles and lighting to be sure you’re giving potential vacationers the best impression possible.
Do other rental sites have similar programs?
Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, and other rental platforms each have their own ways of sorting and ranking listings. However, just as Airbnb arguably has the biggest reach, Airbnb Plus is the most thorough vetting program in the game.
For Vbro.com listings, vacation rental owners can earn a status as Premier Hosts. This title is more comparable to the Superhost distinction than to Airbnb Plus. It’s based on ratings, reliability, and responsiveness—but it isn’t corroborated with a home visit.
Now being aware of what Airbnb Plus is, it’s also key for hosts to know what Airbnb Plus is not. One crucial thing to note is that Airbnb Plus hosts cannot list on any other sites. This is a rule that doesn’t apply to Superhost accounts. If you’re active across multiple platforms, you’ll want to consider whether or not this clause is a dealbreaker. As your business matures, even the best use of Airbnb Plus might be eclipsed by the benefits of having your own direct booking site or taking advantage of multi-channel distribution.
Weighing it up: truly a Plus?
If your property is a cut above in elegance and character—or you’re willing to get it there—Airbnb Plus could be a promising segue into the line of luxury. It depends on how you want to market your vacation rental, and whether you can commit to Airbnb as your only distribution tool.