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We just got an Airbnb email that invites us to apply for the Airbnb Ambassador program. There’s very little information about what this entails in the email. It says this:
"Airbnb Ambassadors make businesses out of recruiting people who’d make great hosts. As you guide hosts through welcoming their first guest, Airbnb will provide you with tools and expertise so you can grow your business with confidence.
"A select group of hosts are invited to hear more about this program. By clicking on the link below, you’ll learn about how you can help us build the host community of tomorrow, while earning more each day.”
That makes this program sound a bit like a multi-level marketing program. I don’t categorically object to that, but I’m ambivalent.
Has anyone applied to join this program? If so, why? And would it make sense for me to join, since the pandemic has stopped me from hosting for the past nine months and I don’t know if I ever will again?
It’s nothing more than a new-host referral program. But it’s limited to recruiting new hosts with entire place listings (i.e. no shared-space listings) and only if they don’t use channel manager software (i.e. they want the new host to not already be on another platform).
Seems like they’re expecting that Ambassador program members will continue to help guide and encourage the new hosts that they refer and there’s tools to help with that (like notifying an Ambassador when a host that he/she referred gets a booking or completes a reservation, etc.).
Interesting the new host referral is showing as $528 for my area (Phoenix) which is the highest I’ve ever seen and you would get 10% more if you are also in the Ambassador program.
I suspect they are trying to replace all the hosts who’ve been leaving the platform or at least booking more through other platforms since the COVID cancellation brujaja and in disgust at the collapse of their customer service. Not to mention those who aren’t going to sign up for the cleaning protocol. Probably also to tout to their IPO investors- “Look at all the new hosts signing up- we’re thriving”.
I’d be ashamed to try to get others signed up as hosts now. “Yeah well, aside from their latest tech disaster where countless numbers of hosts and guests had their accounts closed and all their reservations cancelled, and the fact that when they tried to report it and get it fixed, the CS reps hadn’t even heard about it or were impossible to reach, or that Airbnb refunds guests for completed stays they lied about, or that Airbnb will delist hosts for some complaint that was made but won’t tell the host what the complaint was, Airbnb is great!”
I’ll go out on a limb and say that it’s likely e-mail invitations to join the program are directed at hosts that have been profiled to exhibit behaviors preferred by Airbnb (i.e. the “select group”). Note that joining is not by invitation only, though.
Having now read through it, I agree. It’s a rebranding of what was already in place, now with an even bigger emphasis on the community aspect.
I said this before, and some disagreed with my perspective. Why on earth would I want to encourage competition in my local area when it is already saturated with investor hosts, holiday rental agencies etc, large tourist apartment companies, all listing on Airbnb, and many of the more traditional Airbnb hosts are giving up and selling due to lack of guests?
No thanks. On the basis that it is a one off payment, i.e. no further financial interest in the success of the new host, then I’d far rather spend my time promoting my own listings.
It’s typical Airbnb, they want new hosts but aren’t prepared to do anything themselves, I mean why should they… they have a little army of existing hosts they can utilise to do their job.
Become an Ambassador today and help build the host community of tomorrow.
Real life translation:
Get a fancy meaningless title, give up your time, increase your competition and make us loads more money.
You’re right @JohnF — if they want a referral from me I want a share of the new listing’s first year earnings! The idiots thinking this crap up have obviously never actually been hosts since they aren’t thinking about new hosts as competitors.
They aren’t idiots. This is actually a very calculated and successful strategy. Think about companies with support forums that allow customers to answer questions from other customers. Or online retailers (e.g. Amazon) that allow customers to ask questions about a product which can be answered by other customers. They even go as far as to send out notifications to previous buyers asking them to answer the question.
Every time they can get a customer to answer a question, that is money saved on a customer support or a product return. These companies are betting on people’s willingness to help and/or desire for recognition and it works.
Airbnb is doing a variation of the same thing for the same reason. I’m not sure the competition is that big of a deal, and if the referral amount is high, you can be sure it’s not. However, It remains to be seen whether they will be successful at it, but it hardly costs them anything to try it.
If I were to participate in the Airbnb Ambassador Program, I wouldn’t work with anyone who was local to me. For one, thing there’s a pandemic. For another, I don’t need to foster local competition, even though local competition hasn’t much affected our success.
Oh no! I got the email today! They think I’m a toadie!
Ooo, there’s a compliment. Gone straight to my head. It says, “You have been identified as one of the best in your area.”
I’m the only one in my area. For miles. There was one other but he wisely closed down because of the pandemic. As I should do, but paying the bills has been nice.
So it’s just me, all by myself here in the sticks, busy being “one of the best” but not one of the wisest.
Yup, like the rest of you, I would be ashamed to bring anyone on board just now. The cringey kindness cards, the glitches, the… oh right. You know all the reasons.
You’re still special! They just think you aren’t good at math.
They used to offer me $120 but are now offering me $800. I guess that explains why my occupancy is so high. That’s a week of bookings at most. Even with the increase, they must think I’m a fool to ask me to voluntarily increase the competition.