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Airbnb - host account is a company not a person

Does Airbnb allow a company to have a host account… or do their terms legally prohibit a company or business to set up an account? Their interface and the general gist of the service is designed to represent mostly individual hosts. However every once in a while I see a business or property management company have a host profile with tens if not hundreds of listings. Are these hosts allowed to do that? I certainly don’t see any hotels advertising on Airbnb so I’m pretty sure hotels and maybe even bed and breakfast entities would be prohibited, but where does Airbnb draw the line? If someone creates a host profile and shows only their business name on there and not their personal details… will that be against the site’s terms?

Also from a marketing perspective, will guests trust a company host more because they’re an official entity or would they be put off because they’ll feel like they’re getting just another corporate apartment that is more like a hotel or extended stay housing and may not be as unique, one-of-a-kind and home-like as an individual’s place?

I don’t know whether it’s officially allowed, but it’s very very common in resort towns - e.g https://www.airbnb.com/users/show/37504441 - If you look through their reviews you’ll find the occasional guest who was upset to find themselves dealing with a company, with all the bureaucracy involved, but many are fine.

Yes, there’s a small hotel on the next street to me that advertises on Airbnb. And they are way cheaper than me.

@jaquo I wonder if a small hotel like the one next to you may have snuck in through the cracks… does being a commercial host like them violate their Airbnb agreement in any way shape or form… since perhaps they are using Airbnb to offer a different sort of product/service than the site was designed for? Where does Airbnb draw the legal line on who can host?

The Best Western hotel is listed in my area.

I don’t think it does. There are plenty of hotels in our area that use Airbnb.

So is it that Airbnb allows it but some (if not most) hotels choose to not advertise and list their rooms on Airbnb? Maybe the hotel franchises have restrictions against it but I really did not think hotels are allowed to list on Airbnb. Where can I find the legal agreement between Airbnb and hosts that spells out the terms on who can be a host in good standing etc?

I’m what would be considered a “commercial host” as I no longer share my home with guests and have multiple listings. Airbnb is first and foremost a for-profit company, so they’ll take all the hosts they can get, and while a host like me will never be featured in a “live like a local” ad, I’d say that the small percentages of commercial hosts make up a large portion of the company revenue.

I am very happy listing my places on Airbnb, and I love that it started out as a sharing economy biz, but those days are long gone. When you reach the revenue levels they have, the kumbaya feeling is just another marketing tool.

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Hey @superhostnyc… very cool… so I have just 2 properties for now but plan on having many more in the future under a commercial brand… do you recommend that I list under the brand name from the get-go or should I market under my individual brand at first and at some point somehow update my profile and transition to a commercial host profile? I have a handful of reviews now and they already mention my personal name… if I switch to a commercial profile in the future, the review history may look weird as past reviews won’t mention the business name. Did you have that issue… or perhaps after you accumulate a lot of reviews, the very first few ones don’t really matter as no one will scroll that far back to read them and question if this is an individual person or a company. But what was your experience with regards to how you present yourself on your host account… and do you think it matters one way or another?

Because I started so long ago and it was with two listings in our house, I listed under my personal name. By the time that I started adding additional listings I was a superhost and had a pile of great reviews - so I just continued under the same personal profile. I personally think that even commercial accounts benefit from having a real person/personality/voice at the helm. Most of the relationship building happens in advance of the stay, and I think people want to deal with a “Maria” on the other side, even if they know full well they are getting into a standard short term rental which is less personal than staying in my extra room.

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Very helpful… thank you @superhostnyc. I think I’ll keep my first name listed on my Airbnb host profile even if the profile mentions I run a company that offers 10+ properties. It sounds like it won’t be an issue if anyone scrolls through past reviews and does not see the business name in the very first ones.

@superhostnyc… do you know if the same transition (from an individual to a business with 10+ listings) is easily doable on HomeAway? I believe they have a separate type of account for property management companies vs individual owners there.

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