This new platform got lots of press this week. Most headlines bill it as an Airbnb competitor although there are some significant differences. Thoughts?
An interesting notion. Their Invite-Only model creates huge challenges for a start-up. They want all hosts to be “referred” by an existing member. Same for all guests. This will take a long time to scale.
It is technically possible for a prospective host to submit to some sort of validation process, but unclear how long it will take and if they are staffed-up to handle it.
The same issues exist for Guests. It is a terrible idea to put big obstacles between a buyer and something they want, especially with a very mature marketplace.
At the beginning members will not have to be invited by members. New members will be vetted then they can invite others.
There are things in this world that aren’t meant to be “scaled up.” Obviously they need a model that is, at minimum, self sustaining. Like so many other home share or VR rental platforms that don’t seem to make it, it must not be that easy.
It is very odd to think that “existing members” can be trusted to invite 5 new members. As if that is the same thing as a proper vetting? This “invite only” and “limited invites per member” has been tried before. It usually fails. Initiative Q comes to mind.
Please don’t get me wrong - I am all for “all hosts and guests being vetted”. But it is silly to trust any host to recommend someone and consider it the same thing.
The question arises - why would someone invite a person who may well be their direct competition?
Indeed it is not easy - but their chosen structure makes it much harder for them to even get started.
For instance, until one is vetted and registered, one can not actually do a property search at all. A lot of guests want to first search to see if there is something they want and then go through the trouble of getting vetted. This will frustrate a lot of people.
I signed up for it Monday and am waiting to hear back. I got an email (auto) response. If I hear anything, I’ll definitely post back.
Think of it as a private travel club, not a booking platform, and you’ll have more success thinking about it in the right frame of mind. I’ve applied to join, not as a host per se, but as a member. I’d like to use it for traveling and hosting. They might not even offer accommodations in my town for a long while; I’ve no idea since I’m not a member.
It certainly has an interesting angle. For instance they want you to not only meet your guests but also to “keep in touch and do business together”. They also mention that a “decent” wine is a nice added touch and that you should be flexible on check-out time. Airbnb already looks easier
Oh geez, I can’t even be a member. They require a linked-in or professional website link and also require either a Facebook or Instagram link. I don’t know, I’d like to be open to it but it kind of seems like you’ll be expected to host one of those jewelry or linen outfits selling parties on top of it all.
As a host, I don’t think I want a whole pool of guests that are women that “need to feel safer to travel” either.
I don’t get it. The article starts:
Traveling as a woman shouldn’t be intimidating.
Why is society trying to divide us all into sections? And why should women-only accommodation give ‘a safer and more secure travel experience’? Is it that ‘all men are dangerous’ malarkey again? It drives me nuts - that implication that I’m a ‘victim’ and that my dad, brother, son, other half and male friends are all dangerous madmen who aren’t to be trusted.
Sorry, ranting again. I’ll go…
My guess would be those are just required for the early batch of people they don’t know and no one else does either. But it could be that they really do want to be very exclusive and in that case, I’m probably a poor fit. I’m a member of another group that had a similar genesis. They are based on having a love of literature but branched out in all directions from there. They have a travel section as well and women who are members trade off housing one another.
I’ve had 3 or 4 female guests who said they appreciated my place because they felt safe here. Whether the women who feel they need this kind of service are rational or not is another topic. The point is that some people think there is a need and an opportunity.
That was required when I first signed up for Airbnb. That’s why my husband and I share my account. He doesn’t have a Facebook or Instagram. Is that no longer required? Can he get his own Airbnb account now? That might get him excited to occasionally travel without me.
Yeah, that’s right. I have a friend who has no social media presence. While living in China she sought out an Airbnb in Berlin. She found one she liked but couldn’t get approved by Airbnb, i.e., the identity part. She even called them and offered a link to her profile at a Chinese university but that wasn’t good enough for Airbnb. That was about 5 years ago and to this day she is still mad at Airbnb and won’t have anything to do with them.
Yes, that’s true. And it’s not one I want to get started on, really. I couldn’t resist, up above, but it’s such a shame that this sort of service is necessary. (If indeed it is). Anyway…
I signed up many years ago, long before I hosted, and have never had to provide any social media to Airbnb. I did get “references” but that was by choice.
I wonder how many listings are run by women on Airbnb as it is? For myself it’s been 10 of 14 stays with primary host listed as a female. 2 stays with gay male hosts, and 2 with male host of unknown sexual orientation. At least half of those were clearly male - female couples running the Airbnb but with the female as the primary contact.
Maybe they are just looking to build just enough of a business to get bought out.
I notice this service is from my hometown, Austin. Women’s networking groups are very popular there. There is a womens-only group for just about everything in Austin. A friend of mine was a member of a womens-only home repairs / landscaping listings thing
Thanks for being our Guinea pig Caelleai<><>
Must be those transplanted macho Texan males from North Texas…
I signed up a couple of days ago. Just an auto email back so far, too.
Naw. Those guys won’t have anything to do with Austin (And our transplants are from California).