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Airbnb Plus: Your Complete Guide to Hosting and Booking

Last updated: January 8, 2020
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Airbnb has made it easier than ever to find a place to stay, whether you’re traveling domestically or abroad. You get to stay in the homes of locals instead of generic hotels, and you can choose to stay in the heart of the city or far out in the country. And no matter where you stay, you get the convenient booking and 24/7 support that come with all Airbnb listings.

Still, there are some travelers who will be hesitant about staying in a stranger’s home. How can they be sure that they’ll have all the amenities they expect from a hotel? How can they be sure that the home looks as pictured in the listing?

To help ease the minds of travelers who demand only the best, Airbnb has created a new program called Airbnb Plus. In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about the Airbnb Plus program, whether you’re a guest looking to book with it or a host looking to use it to earn extra money.

What Is Airbnb Plus?

Airbnb Plus is a special section of Airbnb. All listings must meet rigorous requirements for amenities, cleanliness, and distinctive design. Additionally, Airbnb Plus hosts must maintain a high rating and provide exceptional hospitality for every guest.

Beyond these general requirements, all homes feature effortless check-in (generally via a lockbox or keypad) and priority support from the dedicated Airbnb Plus customer support team. The result is a premium experience that’s perfect for vacationers and business travelers alike.

How Airbnb Plus Works for Guests

If you’re feeling intrigued and want to book an Airbnb Plus for your next trip, how do you get started?

Luckily, Airbnb Plus is built to be easy to use. To see listings, just go to the Airbnb website and type in your destination:

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Once you’ve done that, you should see Airbnb Plus homes prominently featured on the results page:

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If one of the suggested homes intrigues you, then you can click on it to see more information:

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To see more homes, just click “Show All”:

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When you look at an Airbnb Plus listing, you’ll notice that you’ll be able to see far more detailed information and photos than most regular Airbnb listings offer. You’ll also be able to see the same useful facts that all Airbnb listings have, such as the home’s general location and reviews from previous guests.

To identify an Airbnb Plus listing, just look for the “Plus” badge:

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How Airbnb Plus Works for Hosts

We’ve seen how this luxe service works for guests, but what if you’re an Airbnb host who wants to add your home to Airbnb Plus?

In order to become a Plus host, you’ll need to have a home that meets all of the standards. Some of these are subjective, such as having a home with “exceptional quality and design.” Others are more objective, such as making sure your home has a particular set of amenities and you have a host rating of at least 4.8.

The key thing to understand about Airbnb Plus is that you cannot apply to the program. Instead, Airbnb will invite you to apply if they believe your home would be a good candidate. There is no specific property type you need to have — you’ll find that luxury retreats, studio apartments, private rooms, and entire homes are all eligible.

Assuming Airbnb identifies your home as a good candidate, they’ll send you an invitation to join the program. From there, you’ll need to complete a five-step process:

1.  Pay the Program Fee and Agree to the Airbnb Plus Terms

To join the Plus program, you’ll need to agree to a special set of terms. Specifically, you must agree to the following:

  • Only accept reservations for your property on Airbnb or through your own website
  • Unlist your home from other booking websites or services
  • Update your calendar availability on Airbnb

In addition to agreeing to the above terms, you’ll also have to pay a non-refundable fee of $149. This is a one-time fee that applies to every property you want to list as a Plus property. The fee helps cover your home visit, photo shoot, and report. You’ll pay this fee once you schedule your home inspection, which you can learn more about in the next step.

2. Schedule an Inspection

If you accept Airbnb’s invitation to join Plus, then your home will need to undergo an inspection from an Airbnb partner. This person will make sure that your home meets all the Plus standards. They’ll also take professional photos that showcase your home’s best features.

2. Prepare for the Inspection

To prepare for the inspection, you’ll want to refer to the Airbnb Plus Home Checklist. This page will take you through everything that your home needs to have in order to be accepted. This checklist includes things like making sure your home is well-designed, has all the required amenities, and is well-maintained.

3. Undergo the Inspection

During the inspection, someone from Airbnb will visit your home and assess it based on the Airbnb Plus Home Checklist. Don’t worry — the inspection is not pass/fail. Instead, if your home needs a few extra touches to meet the requirements, you’ll have a chance to make changes.

Be aware that this will be a very detailed inspection. As Airbnb explains, you can expect the person visiting your home to “thoroughly review your space, opening drawers, cabinets, and even the oven.” We therefore recommend that you perform a deep clean beforehand (or even have your home professionally cleaned).

4. Make the Required Changes

One the inspection is complete, you’ll receive a home report from Airbnb outlining any changes you need to make before your home will be accepted. This could include fixing anything that’s broken, cleaning certain items, or adding amenities. The report might even ask you to make changes to your home’s design.

After you’ve made the changes, you’ll send photos of them to Airbnb. Assuming they approve the changes, your home will be added to Airbnb Plus. You can then start hosting guests as you normally would.

Where Is Airbnb Plus Available?

Many guests are curious where they can find Plus homes. The program is now available in over 100 cities across the world. Here are just a few of them:

  • Austin
  • Barcelona
  • Cape Town
  • Chicago
  • London
  • Los Angeles
  • Melbourne
  • Milan
  • New York City
  • Rome
  • San Francisco
  • Shanghai
  • Sydney
  • Toronto

To see if Airbnb Plus is available in your next destination, visit Airbnb.com and start searching.

How Much Does Airbnb Plus Cost?

For booking any Plus homes, you’ll pay a nightly rate, service fee, and any local taxes. You may also be required to pay a cleaning fee or security deposit if your host requires it.

These are the same costs you would pay to stay in a regular Airbnb listing. There are no additional fees to stay in these top-quality homes, and you’ll find Plus properties at a variety of price points to suit every budget.

For instance, here’s an entire studio apartment in Chicago, IL for just $50 per night:

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On the other end of the spectrum, check out this $1,259 per night chalet in the French Alps:

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As you can see, whether you want an affordable urban stay or a luxury retreat, there’s a property for it on Airbnb Plus.

Airbnb Plus FAQ

To conclude this guide, here are answers to some common questions hosts and guests have about this specialized listing of homes:

1. When will Airbnb Plus be available in my city?

Airbnb is continuing to expand the program to new cities every day. If Plus is launching in your city and the company believes your property would be a good fit for the program, they’ll send you a message inviting you to join.

2. Are there any special requirements to stay with Airbnb Plus?

No, there are not. As long as your Airbnb account is in good standing and the host approves your request to book, you can stay with Plus. In this way, it’s no different from the requirements to book any other Airbnb listing.

3. Do you have to be a Superhost to be invited to join Plus?

No, you do not, although it certainly helps. Airbnb invites hosts to join the program based on both the quality of their listing and the quality of their hosting. Since being a Superhost is a reflection of your hosting skills rather than the specifics of your home, it’s possible to be an Airbnb Plus host without being a Superhost (and vice versa).

Make Your Next Trip Special

We hope this guide has shown you everything you need to know to get started with Airbnb Plus. Whether you’re a guest looking for a distinctive place to stay or a host who wants to get their property on an exclusive list, Plus is an option worth knowing about.

Looking to save on your stay? Check out our guide to Airbnb promo codes.

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