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Understanding the Success of Airbnb

Understanding the Success of Airbnb

Whenever you are planning a trip, the word Airbnb always seems be present when looking for accommodation. The popularity of this peer-to-peer accommodation is now well known not just in the United States but all over the world, and it is now considered the world’s largest hospitality company running in 190 countries with a list of more than six million rooms, apartments, and houses across the globe. As the largest hospitality company in the world, it had a market value of $26 billion at the beginning of 2016. However, before they got onto the ladder of success, Airbnb had a rough patch. Many investors and venture firms did not believe in the capability of Airbnb and declined the start-up financial support.

The company giant was opened to the public in 2008, and was founded by Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, who at that time thought of making a few extra bucks by letting people in to stay in their living room in San Francisco. That idea lead them to create a website where others could do the same, so people traveling all over the world could get a cheaper option than booking an expensive and cramped hotel room. According to recent statistics, on an average, two million people decide to book in an Airbnb property each day. 

Despite its ongoing success, many countries have not welcomed Airbnb’s concept heart-warmingly. Some cities with a large number of listings claim that the business is making a bad impression on communities by giving more opportunities for the tourist than people seeking long term rents. An Airbnb statistics breakdown analysis has shown that people from San Francisco, Denver, and Honolulu have horror stories about their first-hand experiences with tourists staying in Airbnbs, stating issues like excessive noise at night, wild parties, and scams. However, there is also good stuff shared online from satisfied customers who had positive experiences with the affordable and nice homes available. 

Regardless of Airbnb’s underlying issues, they continue to improve their website, adding helpful new features, creating a product line, and trying different strategies to persuade more and more people to try their business and potentially drive the growth of the company. One of the main reasons why people love to use Airbnb and continue to book with them is their commitment to understanding their customer’s needs as well as their hosts’. Here are some of Airbnb’s footsteps to achieving international success that you can follow too in order to grow your business.

Friendly Interface

When the company put up their website online, its interface was not as good as it is today. The first few listings of rentals were too basic and not eye-catching based on the reviews of consumers. However, Airbnb changed its course by focusing more on the user experience. They updated their rental listings to have a much more refined and professional look and added hotel-like photos. After this improvement was made, they saw a spike in their traffic. Not only that, but they also made it easier for their customers to modify their searches and provided more specific suggestions based on customers’ preferences. They also roll out a map that shows nearby Airbnb listings for easier access.


Airbnb has managed to continue giving support to their employees with an intimate corporate environment. All employees hired by the company from the customer care department to web designers all receive words of encouragement from top management. In addition to making all employees part of any major decision-making process, Airbnb also wants its employees to be more creative. They expect all employees to think out of the box so that they can portray the company’s brand message. 


Establishing trust is hard to do even in the business world, and it can make or break customers’ loyalty to a brand. It also hinders customers’ desire to purchase online if they feel a lack of confidence in the brand, or they don’t trust the site they are purchasing on. That’s where Airbnb managed to step up. They made every booking transaction safe and they also reassure their customers that their personal data is secured. 

Airbnb also allows for a better communication process between hosts and guests, which will help them overcome any concerns or questions the customer may have in mind. All guest’s profiles must have a profile picture, a brief description to address the customer properly, and be checked through their Facebook profile, phone number, or email address.

Customer Experience

The thing that differentiates Airbnb from other hotels, hostels, and bed-and-breakfast establishments is its new approach of giving a local appeal and fun experience to its guests. Their listings are more personalized since it is from individuals and not from hotel corporations, and guests can experience a more authentic feel as they live like a local. The company also suggests activities for its customers to do while they are in the area. They focus on giving recommendations on where to eat like a local and things to do which would set the course of guest’s trip away from the busy tourist spots. 

Reviews from other guests also help other customers to decide if a certain home is the best accommodation for them or not. These reviews play an important role in the success of the business as they are crucial in establishing trust.

The story of Airbnb’s success may be an inspirational one for someone who is pursuing their own business. With its continuous innovation, perseverance, and care for its loyal customers and hosts, Airbnb has made a standard on how to become a successful business in today’s generation full of adventurous mindsets. 

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by Marissa Collins //

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.