John Lewis and Airbnb Join Forces to Help Britain Become Perfect Hosts
With the trend for ‘home hosting’– renting out your home or spare room to holidaymakers – on the rise, John Lewis and Airbnb have pooled their expertise to launch ‘The Perfect Host’ masterclasses. The classes, which take place throughout May, aim to equip Britons with a range of tools, tips and hacks for welcoming guests into their homes.
As the number of UK properties listed with Airbnb continues to rise – up almost 100% in the past year – more people are turning their attentions to the guest room. With this in mind, experts from the John Lewis Home Design Studio have worked with Airbnb and a team of seasoned hosts to devise ’The Perfect Host’ masterclasses.
The format was carefully created after extensive customer research, which discovered that a third of Brits find the biggest barrier to welcoming guests is the impact on their daily routine. The average host has just two to three hours to clean their home and get ‘guest-ready’ before arrivals, with some even fitting a changeover into their lunch break. The research also found that ‘a good night’s sleep’ is the top priority while on holiday, with relaxing and comfortable bedrooms at the top of guests’ wish lists.
Designed with a guest’s comfort and a host’s convenience in mind, the masterclasses will serve as a useful guide for anyone looking to improve a guest room, whether to make extra income by home hosting, or simply give family and friends an extra special visit.
The masterclasses will cover ‘Getting Started’ as a home host, as well as top tips for turning around a guest room: ‘The Changeover’. John Lewis Partners (staff) will also offer advice on key products to invest in, as well as optional extras to make rooms even more welcoming.
In the last year, John Lewis has seen a significant increase in sales of guest room essentials including:
● Sofa beds +26% year-on-year
● Anti-allergy pillows +83% year-on-year
● Inflatable beds +15% year-on-year
● Small double beds +37% year-on-year
● Diffusers +9.5% year-on-year and +151% since 2010
● Mattress protectors +9% year-on-year
The masterclasses will be piloted at John Lewis shops in London (Oxford Street) and Birmingham throughout May, two cities which have been identified by Airbnb as locales on the rise for home hosting. London is currently the third most popular destination in the world for Airbnb customers, with 983,000 visits in the past year. Meanwhile, people in Birmingham are increasingly seeing the benefit of home hosting, with city property listings up 157% in the past year.
The classes will take place throughout the month to help hosts prepare their homes for welcoming guests over the next Bank Holiday weekend (28 – 30 May). The weekend which is anticipated to be one of the busiest summer dates for UK home hosts with a predicted 60,000 Airbnb stays across the UK alone and total host earnings projected at £14 million.
Christine Kasoulis, buying director for home at John Lewis, said: “At John Lewis we’ve identified a real increase in the importance of the guest room. We can see this not just in terms of sales, but also in the frequency of customers seeking advice from our Home Design Studio.
“’The Perfect Host’ masterclasses, which we’ve designed with Airbnb, set out everything a home host needs to know, from essential products and style advice, to time saving tips such as changing a bed quickly and efficiently. So whether you’re an experienced host or simply have friends or family staying for the Bank Holiday, the sessions will help you make your home stylish, welcoming and most importantly keep the process as simple as possible.”
Airbnb host, Hannah Allen, said: “As an Airbnb host, it’s important to make your guests feel as welcome and comfortable as you can from the moment they arrive. A lot of what I’ve learned has come from experience and feedback from guests. It would have been extremely useful for me to have had a starter kit, back when I first listed on Airbnb. I think the masterclass will encourage people looking to list to make the leap and become a host, as well as helping those already hosting to make changeovers seamless. Whether it’s tips for furnishing your guest room or how best to represent your town or city, these masterclasses will offer really helpful advice.”
The masterclasses will be led by John Lewis Partners and Airbnb hosts and piloted at John Lewis Oxford Street and John Lewis Birmingham on a drop-in basis. Classes will cover getting started, guest room essentials and demonstrate how to turn the room around in 30 minutes. For further information please visit: www.johnlewis.com