After years of disrupting the cookie cutter confinements of traditional hotels, Airbnb appears to be carving itself a niche in the hotel business. The hospitality service started a new venture called Niido, an extended-stay rental concept that offers modern home amenities like keyless entry with hotel features like front-desk staff.
Historically, both hotels and landlords have opposed Airbnb, but the expansion to Niido may have brought on a shift in attitudes. Backed by a $200 million investment from Brookfield Property Partners, the new concept seems to be starting off on the right foot with its peers. Airbnb, on the other hand, still grapples with the opposition, such as being sued by AIMCO for illegal renting — a jab straight to the heart of the disruptor’s business model.
By embracing traditional hospitality services, Niido borrows aspects from both hotel and home. The new venture goes beyond with features like app-controlled check-ins and “Masterhosts,” or designated concierges. It comes at a time when Airbnb may be looking to fight off more than just lawsuits; luxury hotel chains like AccorHotels are set to implement extensive digital strategies including the acquisition of several travel tech startups in an effort to stay ahead of Airbnb.
Similarly, Four Seasons grew its social communities by 45%, updated its consumer-facing app 37 times since its development in 2015, and invested in emerging technologies like WeChat concierge and Instagram Stories, as observed in L2’s Digital IQ: Luxury Hotels report. Additionally, Hilton introduced personalization features like smart room profiles that enable guests to save room preferences such as temperature and favorite TV show through an app — features that appeal to the Airbnb community. Smaller brands are also fighting back with initiatives like enhanced digital check-in, chat and text-based concierge services, as well as external partnerships that offer guests exclusive experiences.
Whether it marks a new, more harmonious future for landlords, developers, and disruptor remains to be seen, but with Niido, Airbnb is taking note of the convenience advances of a rapidly innovating hospitality industry.