Hot on the heels of Airbnb’s promise to play nice with local governments in the future, the company announced that it wants its hosts to become more business-like. At the Airbnb Open earlier today, CEO Brian Chesky that his company has made it to where “people” and “businesses” aren’t the only two categories in the world anymore, now there’s “people as businesses.” Basically, this means Airbnb is going to start working harder to assist and train its hosts to attract more customers and operate more like an actual business.
If you are familiar with Airbnb, you may think the company’s primary offering is a digital platform for finding a short-term rental. You’d be wrong. “The hosts are the product,” said CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky, during a founder Q&A at the Airbnb Open on Friday. Before Airbnb, Chesky said, there were two categories in the world: people and businesses. But the hosts who use the platform to list spaces for travelers are “people as businesses.” Despite all the talk of the community that Airbnb is building among its hosts and guests, listing a place on the rental service is more than a social endeavor: It’s a job. And Airbnb would like hosts to be really good at it. “The best hosts are great psychologists,” said Chip Conley, Airbnb’s global head of hospitality. Conley has years of experience in the hotel industry, and has offered that expertise to Airbnb’s hosts through trainings for the past two years. At the Open, an event designed specifically for hosts, Conley presented his guidelines for a great Airbnb hosting experience. Here are the highlights.