The service is going beyond the budget conscious and into the premium tier

When Airbnb first entered the sharing economy scene, it caught the eye of smart, thrifty travelers. Fast forward a few years and now the company is reportedly making strides towards offering a more premium service. Under the tentative name of “Select”, sources told Bloomberg, Airbnb will soon become a luxurious choice, too. In this new chapter for the company, valued at $31 billion, Airbnb-commissioned inspectors will come to the listings and make sure they meet specific standards. Those accepted will occupy prime estate on the home sharing platform’s interface and will wear a distinctive badge.

This step forward for Airbnb challenges already disgruntled hoteliers. The aim of the premium tier would be to lure luxury travelers. Hotels often have premium services and amenities which the Select range will emulate. This is a long way from Airbnb’s roots as an alternative couchsurfing platform.

UBS Investment Bank has previously stated that the privately-held company is experiencing slower growth because of regulations. Nevertheless, it is still growing and tapping into moneyed customers. Note that Airbnb earns money from percentage commissions—in other words, higher-priced listings means more money for the company.

Before Bloomberg broke this news, Airbnb has already been home to extremely luxurious rentals. Mansions in the Hamptons, luxurious apartments in city centers and estates in exotic locations are not too hard to find on the website. However, the platform solely relies on customer reviews to gauge quality among its temporary homes.

According to the sources, the checks will verify the quality of the buildings, linens and towels provided by hosts. By principle, Airbnb allows hosts to be as hands-off or hands-on as they wish. For the forthcoming premium tier, the hosts may be required to do a bit more. In Bloomberg’s report, entry into the program will equal free professional interior designer consultations and property photos from a professional.

The service is expected to roll out by the end of this year, with high-rating hosts already receiving messages inviting them to join trials.

Airbnb

When Airbnb first entered the sharing economy scene, it caught the eye of smart, thrifty travelers. Fast forward a few years and now the company is reportedly making strides towards offering a more premium service. Under the tentative name of “Select”, sources told Bloomberg, Airbnb will soon become a luxurious choice, too. In this new chapter for the company, valued at $31 billion, Airbnb-commissioned inspectors will come to the listings and make sure they meet specific standards. Those accepted will occupy prime estate on the home sharing platform’s interface and will wear a distinctive badge.