As part of its core effort to further bridge the gap between unconnected communities, Airbnb continues to expand its services to as many distinct market segments as possible. With the addition of its corporate & business travel program, Airbnb has begun accommodating professionals traveling for work and invites yet another personality into the sharing economy. Airbnb extends this invitation by tailoring its ethos of “belong anywhere” to a fresh audience, one with high budget ceilings, high relocation rates, and high expectations for properties within the proximity of specific meeting points.
And the invitation has been accepted, with more and more companies relying on Airbnb’s travel program to schedule efficient and productive business trips. So, what is it about the style of business traveling that leads professionals to look to Business Travel on Airbnb for accommodations?
1. Business Lunches, With a Side of Cultural Immersion
Airbnb understands that these business travelers aren’t looking to its service for an opportunity to explore in-depth, but rather for a quick arrangement that both is convenient and inspires. Such travelers typically city-hop without forming any personal connection to where they are, staying in hotels and limiting their cultural lens to one looking from the outside-in. With Airbnb’s professional-targeted program, these travelers encounter the unique opportunity to conduct business efficiently while experiencing the local community from the inside-out.
2. “Put it on my Tab”
Business Travel on Airbnb has collaborated with Concur, a B2B company that offers resources to help streamline and organize all corporate travel activity. More specifically, Concur’s TripLink service automatically logs property bookings into the Concur interface, where company expense reports are populated and corporate travel policies are stored for reference, as well. What do these resources mean for the business traveler? Property bookings that both are seamless and come pre-approved.
But wait, there’s more. From financial planning, management, and support, to expense updates throughout the trip, Airbnb’s business services really go above and beyond on the travel budget front. These professional management features have contributed to a major shift in the way people travel for business. Before these automatic receipt registrations for expense reports and other relevant corporate budget features, sharing-economy travel “typically had no visibility to the corporate travel manager, who wants to know ahead what they’ll spend.”-Mike Koetting, executive vice president of Concur. Now, Airbnb has already greased the wheels of scalable and business-travel-management-friendly properties across over 35,000 cities and 190 countries.
3. Six-Star Accommodations
Many business travelers are concerned with designer accommodations, or more specifically, notoriously high-tiered hotels that communicate an equally high status. Some corporate globetrotters simply rely on the consistency and perks that come with hotel brand loyalty – they can be sure to arrive at a similarly elite and comfortable suite at the Four Seasons in Italy as they did at the Four Seasons in Spain, for example.
While on the one hand, Airbnb “suites” are obviously anything but uniform, on the other hand, Airbnb places have higher potentials for a luxurious business trip experience. Consider the opportunity to book a property with a full, furnished kitchen and dining room for entertaining prospective clients on the road. The fact that Airbnb offers a mixed bag of properties gives business travelers the chance to find accommodations that exceed hotel standards (and in turn, contribute to similarly impressive personal appearances).
The ability to cook meals and do laundry on one’s own terms provides value to a business traveler. Indeed, in many cases the variety of offerings — from bedding to appointments — ranges into areas much nicer than a three or four star hotel.
-Grant Martin, Forbes Contributor
4. Extra Leg Room
Suppose a team of 4-6 businessmen needs to travel to a vitally important conference in, say, New Orleans during Mardi Gras. Not only will all viable hotel rooms be fully booked but also the business travelers will run into an issue with finding a single spot that is spacious enough to fit their whole party. While local hotels cannot accommodate bookings that are both last-minute and apt for larger groups, Airbnb properties can. In fact, the corporate use of readily available, large capacity Airbnb homes comes Warren Buffett recommended √.
Moreover, these homes will almost always grant that extra space necessary for creating communal work environments, providing yet another business asset that is unrivaled by any classic hotel.
If you put a bunch of people into a house instead of separate rooms, there’s a whole collaborative feeling about it.
– Graig Mansfield, VOX Media, Business Travel on Airbnb patron
Booking through Business Travel on Airbnb doesn’t just complement a successful corporate travel experience with cultural enrichment: it supplements the trip with both budgeting & planning management and a unique environment that can be crucial context to efficiency and productivity. On top of all that, consistent support means an easy return to the office with no outstanding paperwork baggage.