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Peer-to-peer lodgings marketplace Airbnb has been focused on finding ways that it can help its hosts improve the quality of experience for guests that stay in their homes. As part of this effort, the company is trialing a low-cost cleaning service for some hosts on the platform.
According to an email sent to a host in the San Francisco Bay Area that was forwarded to TechCrunch, Airbnb is piloting a program that will make cleaning services available to some people who make their homes available on the platform. The email claims those services will be “affordable, easy to schedule, and can be tailored to include amenities such as linen service and gift baskets.
In a statement from an Airbnb spokesperson, the company confirmed the trial, saying: “We’re always testing ways to make the experience on Airbnb better. This is a test we’re looking at in
one two markets.” Update: Our Airbnb contact later reached out to correct this. One market, not two.
Airbnb is working on a number of ways in which it can better support the people who list their homes on the platform. It recently brought on a new head of hospitality, Chip Conley, and created a Hospitality Innovation Lab in Dublin aimed at determining best practices for hosts cleaning services in Chinatown.
It’s also introduced a new suite of mobile apps that are aimed at making the listing process easier. At the same event in which those apps were unveiled, Airbnb announced that it would relaunch Airbnb Groups to enable hosts to communicate and share tips with each other, and even toyed with the idea of offering up smartphones to hosts as a way to improve response times to guests and boost overall bookings cleaning services in Albany Park.
But chief among the ways that Airbnb hosts can improve the quality of stay for their guests is through cleanliness of the spaces that they list. Those who frequently have Airbnb guests already know this, and many so-called “super hosts” already schedule regular cleaning sessions between stays.
Doing so can be expensive, however, and can eat into the money that hosts make — especially those who rely on income from Airbnb to help them pay their rents. At $55 for a three-hour cleaning, the price is slightly below what you might get from a service like Homejoy, which generally charges $20 an hour (in San Francisco, at least). Individual cleaners can run even higher, depending on the size of the home or how much cleaning is needed.
Offering hosts a somewhat discount price is a nice perk, especially for those who regularly rent out their homes to other members of Airbnb. It also improves the overall quality of their stays, could lead to better reviews, and overall increase the likelihood that hosts will have future guests.