Airbnb is one of the most talked about companies of the last 10 years. The idea came about when the three co-founders Nathan Blecharczyk, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia couldn’t pay their rent. An industrial design conference was being hosted in San Francisco and with hotels in the area completely sold out they decided to build a website and rent out air mattresses to attendees needing somewhere to sleep.
It’s now hard to imagine that in 2008 the company’s owners were making more money from selling breakfast cereal than the sharing economy.
Today, Airbnb is a global phenomenon. Or as those in venture capitalism like to say, a unicorn – because of course the mythical creature is the perfect symbol for those rare startup companies that go on to be valued at more than $1 billion.
Not content with shaking up the holiday rental market, Airbnb is now making waves in a new part of the travel industry as the home sharing giant embarks on entering the online hotel distribution space.
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Here are six things your hotel should know about The Channel Manager and its industry-first connection with Airbnb:
- Things just got official for Airbnb and the hotel industry
In a global first, Airbnb is officially opening up its platform to hotels. In partnership with SiteMinder, the jointly-developed technology will allow boutique hotels and B&Bs to have a real-time connection sending room rates between their property management system (PMS) and Airbnb via SiteMinder’s channel manager.
- The active recruitment of traditional hotels is underway
Airbnb has, for some time, allowed eligible hotels to list individual rooms on its platform, but this is the first time the company is actively recruiting traditional hotels to be listed on its website. They chose SiteMinder because the global hotel tech provider presents a customer base that is rich with independent boutique hotels and B&Bs giving Airbnb the connection it needs to reach its ideal hotel customers who are actively distributing their rooms online.
- This new connection is only available to hotels via SiteMinder
SiteMinder customers will be able to apply to be listed on Airbnb through their existing connection to The Channel Manager. If the hotel is approved by Airbnb, SiteMinder will add Airbnb as an online channel for distributing room rates and availability, similar to how hotels use the SiteMinder platform to provide real-time room rates and availability to the likes of Expedia and Booking.com. Hotels that are not customers of SiteMinder are not eligible to apply to be listed on Airbnb through SiteMinder.
- Airbnb wants to list unique hotels offering personal hospitality
In line with Airbnb’s regular standards, not all hotels are eligible to list on Airbnb. Airbnb is looking for boutique hotels and B&Bs that offer a “unique” guest experience, such as highly-rated independent hotels with guest rooms that offer personal touches, locally-relevant or unique amenities, and knowledgeable owners/hosts available on the property full-time.
- Despite many claims, no other hotel technology offers a real-time connection
No other hotel technology provider has a real-time connection. SiteMinder worked with Airbnb to develop the industry’s first. Some providers claim they support an Airbnb connection through calendering technologies. These solutions have several limitations, the most critical is that they are not real-time connections, which can lead to disappointing guest experiences because of accidental double bookings and forced cancellations.
- Airbnb and SiteMinder will go live in March – so get in early to express interest
The connection will be generally available in March and hotels that believe they meet Airbnb’s criteria are being invited to express their interest by – click here to find out more. Hotels will be contacted by a SiteMinder specialist to discuss how they can get started and answer any questions about the connection.
Airbnb embraces hotels and co-develops with SiteMinder the first real-time connection between a channel manager and Airbnb – click here to find out more.