How the future stock Airbnb has changed the way we live. There have been certain companies that have transformed how we look at things, how we live, one of them is the global player, Airbnb. The success of the short-term rental market has led to the emergence of a parallel business in the Airbnb galaxy. The objective: to relieve owners from the stress of managing rentals while guaranteeing a good reputation on the site thanks to semi-professional services.
They pride themselves on answering all your questions in record time, waits for you at the entrance with a big smile and sweets, prepares an impeccable lodging where nothing is missing and explains to you what not to miss in the city, like if he was a tour guide!
No, we are not talking about a particularly considerate owner, but to an employee (or auto entrepreneur) of one of the many services of "concierge Airbnb" that abound in France.
"People want services worthy of the hotel business".
In the last two years, and with the explosion of the private short-term rental market, a lucrative parallel market for homeowner services has arisen around Airbnb and other flagship platforms such as Booking, HomeAway and Abritel. Their credo: to manage the rental from A to Z. The services offered are numerous, from the creation of ads to the selection of the tenant. But not only that! They do not just help you with that. It is also possible for them to manage the online communication with the guest to prepare for his arrival. Services such as key collection, upstream and downstream professional cleaning, availability of clean linens, ability to carry out emergency repairs are also available. And if that did not seem enough… They will also respond to travelers 24 hours a day.
"The time we went to sleep on a sofa a little dirty is over. Today, people want the charm and authenticity of Airbnb´s private homes, but services worthy of a hotel”.
This opens up a market to satisfy those owners who do not have the time or the desire to invest time to manage their own short-term rentals. Explains Aurélien Malfait, CEO and co-founder of Luckey Homes. This startup employs 40 people, is managing 1,200 properties and has raised 3.2 million euros since its creation in 2015. Indeed, in 80% of Airbnb rentals the owner is absent, that leaves a full empty apartment to the tenant.
According to Mathieu Gabin, the founder of the platform Quelconcierge.com, "between 500 and 600 startups, easily" coexist on this market in France, "including about 120 on Paris”. This 27-year-old entrepreneur has a good overview as he has specialized in a very clever niche: his site is a comparison of Airbnb concierges throughout France. Thanks to him, nobody gets lost in this little jungle of short-term rentals. Everybody can find the service that best meets his needs!
Globally, two economic models compete. The majority of companies offer à la carte services, that is, they post a price for each service individually - ad management, check-in, check-out, cleaning, troubleshooting - and the owner can choose what he wants. He can, for example, delegate the household but he can still take care of the reservations himself. The other economic model is that of the "all inclusive", where companies take care of everything for a percentage. Most famous startups in this sector, such as the French Bnbsitter, Luckey Homes, HostnFly, Airbnb Services or the UK Hostmaker practice the "all-inclusive".
The Airbnb concierge, whatever the model, takes between 25% and 30% of the rental price. Some smaller ones only take 20%, but these exclude the household, which they charge separately."
Since the offers are roughly the same, startups and successful entrepreneurs rack their brains to come up with ways to offer the best service. Some specialize on a vertical, such as key management. For example, Monkey Locky or Keycafé offer instructions located in various places of the city: the owner deposit the keys there and the tenant picks them up.
Also, "global" concierges often choose to highlight their technology. The French HostnFly, for example, claims to have an income optimization algorithm. It allows you to anticipate what the housing will bring and pays the owner in advance. BnbLord promises owners that they will earn 30% more revenue through its "price algorithm" associated with "various tips and knowledge" to highlight the ads in search results".
As for Luckey Homes, they have developed tech tools to optimize the occupancy rate and rates according to seasonality and local events. "We also offer an app that our service providers and employees, cleaning women, for example, use in the field to report on operations", said Aurélien Malfait.
Some startups like Airbnb Services rely on the completeness of the service, in order to suggest developments on their guestbook. As this ecosystem is hyperlocal, this distinction also depends on the areas where these companies operate. And the type of services they agree to offer. Some are high end, others are limited to a few neighborhoods or cities.
Nevertheless, it is also possible to really innovate in the service sector around Airbnb.
Airbnb is not very convenient for groups of friends who go on vacation together. This is due to the fact that the payment must be made by one person from the group. The startup Pledge, based in Brest, France, has designed a Community e-payment solution, the commercial site is immediately paid for. But each participant has 48 hours to pay his share. Another promising innovation is Germany's Nuku, which claims to be the European leader in intelligent access solutions. The startup, which collaborates with Airbnb, sells a smart lock that hosts can associate with their Airbnb account. In order to allow their guests to access rented accommodation without a physical key.
Regulation as a sword of Damocles.
On the Airbnb side, we watch this beautiful world bustling and we do not intervene. "It's great that companies are creating jobs and new services that make life easier for our owners", said Emmanuel Marill, Airbnb's France and Belgium director, but we usually forget the consequences of the world’s largest players.
Certain cities are going through difficulties due to this extensive use of short-term rentals. Consequently, long-term options seem to keep increasing in price. We have to try harder to create both opportunities and limitations that will allow Airbnb coexist with other tourism players. More importantly, we need to find a way to balance short-term high prices to those who are living in a city long term.