Airbnb isn’t the first company in this industry to believe they can treat owners with arrogance. Most readers know who I’m referring to and that company has had an amazing attitude adjustment after seeing both owners and guests flee from their site.
Booking agents are totally irrelevant without owners, who take most of the risks in this industry. But since most owners are small operators and booking agents tend to be huge companies run by overpaid CEOs, they start believing they can enforce outrageous policies and treat customer service as a cost they want to get rid of.
Ever try to call Airbnb? Good luck. Question one of their policies? You get a ChatBot responding to you.
We own many properties and knowing full well how badly they need us, our response to their arrogance is simple: you can rent any of our properties anywhere else, for less. We list on several sites, and Airbnb is useful to us — some guests only look there and they book from the site. Others shop around and we get a hit for the same property on several sites. I’ve yet to see one choose to pay more just for the privilege of booking on their site.
I doubt anyone at Airbnb cares at the moment. After all, they are so much bigger than us. But I’ve seen this before, from their once-arrogant competition. Sales will falter, the C-Club will demand answers (only when they don’t get that fat bonus, forget the obligations to the actual owners of the stock) and people will be sent out to kiss ass and “try to understand how they can be a better partner.” Then we will set terms for them to get equal billing, just as will did with those other guys.
Ultimately, they will listen… money is common language. So from one CEO to another: a storm is coming your way. Enjoy the sunshine while you can.