How Airbnb Luxe is catering to the mega-rich

by Patricia R. Davis

Gone are the times of air mattresses on the floor. Airbnb now caters to the mega-rich with a brand new tier of luxury apartment residences. Airbnb Luxe went live on Tuesday morning after being teased, with 2,000 new listings on Airbnb’s website presenting visitors the chance to live in some of the world’s most extravagant houses.

How Airbnb Luxe is catering to the mega-rich 3

Everything from entire islands to medieval castles and mansions decked with water slides, dinosaur skulls, and archery levels is up for hire. The common luxurious list has an asking fee of US$14,000 a week – but can cross as high as US$1 million per week for a non-public island in French Polynesia, which incorporates sixteen residences. Luxury travelers have been eyeing extraordinary domestic rentals for a while, Nick Guezen, Airbnb’s international director of portfolio strategy, says.

However, he says the marketplace has not provided sufficient safety to excessive-profile and mega-wealthy clients searching for privateness. However, this is not the case. Thinking about that, the Accor-owned Onefinestay, the second-domestic condo platform third home, and flat-rental agency Paris Perfect are all mounted competition in the space. Also, Airbnb Luxe is largely a rebranding of Luxury Retreats, a Canadian business enterprise specializing in remarkable listings, which was obtained using Airbnb in 2017 for about US$three hundred million.

None of the listings on Luxe is new to the marketplace: the homes now sit underneath the Airbnb umbrella. The corporation is having a bet on its brand’s power to present it in an aggressive area. People are growing up with Airbnb,” says Eshan Ponnadurai, worldwide advertising director of luxury for Airbnb. Someone who began in their early 20s renting a room at US$100 a night and is now developing in affluence can also need a room at US$1,000 a night.

Because Airbnb has become part of the cultural talk, renting out your home to a stranger has ended up legitimized in a sociological experience as nicely – even to the awesome-wealthy, says Arun Sundararajan, a professor at New York University, who’s an expert on the sharing economy. Previously, the people who owned multimillion-dollar residences could have been reticent about sharing them with strangers. Still, nowadays, he says the general public recognizes someone who has stayed in an Airbnb.

It seems like a greater ordinary activity that lowers the barriers to rent out an extra pricey domestic. In 2017, 36 percent of affluent guests with a profit greater than US$100,000 had been surveyed using Skift Research to stay in opportunity accommodation or domestic rentals. This year, that variety has mushroomed to 59 in line with the cent.

Since it became based in 2008, Airbnb has upended the travel industry, challenging the big chains and tour websites of Booking Holdings and attracting the ire of cities around the arena searching to crack down on illegal listings and grappling with growing rents.

Conquering the posh condominium market will permit Airbnb to promote itself as an employer. However, this cannot comply best with professional rules and cater to the arena’s most demanding visitors. This is a manner for a luxurious vacationer to e-book a home without issues or problems,” Queen says. “We can provide them something vetted and can be relied on.” In April, Airbnb took over ten floors of New York’s Rockefeller Plaza with plans to convert them into two hundred overnight flat-fashion suites.

Last month, Airbnb introduced Angela Ahrendts, the high-profile luxurious retail govt, to its board of directors. Ahrendts, 58, spent five years overhauling Apple’s retail operations and, earlier than that, converted Burberry right into a global luxurious emblem. This new luxury tier represents a rewarding sales supply. However, Luxe’s 2,000 listings pale in assessment with the more than six million listings to be had on Airbnb’s preferred website.

The agency takes a percentage of the cost of each booking it arranges, so greater-highly-priced inventory generates higher margins and allows to justify the privately-held employer’s US$31 billion valuations. Under Airbnb Luxe, the complete charge comes from the host. The proportion depends on the marketplace and the partnership organized with owners, says Guezen, who declines to present any specifics because the charges range too much among properties.

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