A black sedan slides to a halt on a dimly lit, residential street. It’s 1 AM and the only sound is the murmur of the car engine. The passenger door opens and a man steps out—the click of his door reverberates in the early morning silence.
He looks out of place standing in the dark street. He’s never set foot on this street before, has never seen any of these houses, and doesn’t know who lives in the one he’s about to approach. He holds a small bag in one hand and a crumpled piece of paper in the other.
Pausing, he looks to his right and left, watching for anyone who might see him. He walks to the front door of the house, slowly turns the knob, and steps inside.
Is this man a burglar? An ill-intentioned home intruder?
No — he’s your next-generation business traveler, using Airbnb to book accommodations for his business trips. Before you know it, executive business travelers will be walking into homes of people they’ve never met and sleeping in their beds.
Does that sound strange? That’s because it is. Airbnb is becoming more and more popular for casual travelers–but what many people don’t know is that it’s also increasing in popularity for business travelers. Companies like Salesforce.com and Google are now using Airbnb for business travel.
But does this business trend have real value behind it? Here at Ecosystems, we are passionate about structuring the value of anything, so we endeavored to find out.
We sent our CEO to the other side of the country to spend 3 nights in an Airbnb “backyard bungalow” – and report back to us about the experience and his perceived value.
The team looked at his notes, pictures, and analysis. We did research. We read Airbnb customer reviews. We analyzed current challenges for the individual business traveler.
We took this insight and analysis and modeled it in our mobile value selling platform (see screenshot below).
We found 3 primary categories of value that Airbnb provides to the business traveler: personal identity value, improved productivity, and reduced travel costs.
Click the categories to expand each description:
“To attract the best talent, companies are going to have to accommodate the wishes and needs and desires of the young people they attract.” -Rob Gurney, Emirates Vice President
- Improves employee morale and productivity by providing comfortable, unique travel environments
- Improves team cohesion through one-location retreats
“Larger corporations increasingly are integrating their expense management systems with travel booking tools while smaller and midsize companies still find it challenging to justify the cost of doing so.” -Business Travel News
- Improves collaboration between employees and management
- Reduces time to confirmed booking due to searchability features
“Letting employees see details of their own expenditures can have a significant impact on spending behavior and, oftentimes, reduces frivolous or excessive spending.”
-Michael Sheehan, CEO of UK consulting company
- Reduces overnight costs compared to hotels
- Reduces transportation costs due to proximity to meeting
- Reduces time spent coordinating and inputting travel expenses