Following in AirBnb's footsteps, high-end hotels enter home-sharing market

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Hotels largely stood by as home sharing companies like Airbnb began offering travellers a chance to bypass a standardised hotel room and, instead, live like a local. But hotels are no longer standing by. In fact, they’re beginning to get into the private home-rental market themselves, mostly at the high end — but with a difference. Take AccorHotels, which operates hotels and other properties in 100 countries. 

It has entered the home-sharing market over the past two years by acquiring companies already operating there, says a report in nytimes.com. Adding private home rental is a way to capture more of the customers’ total travel spending, Makarand Mody, assistant professor of hospitality marketing at Boston University, said. “If I’m a Marriott customer, Marriott wants me to be able to find all my lodging needs on their website,” he said, “whether it’s a business trip or family reunion.” It is only natural, he said, for hotel portfolios to include a new type of accommodation that the market wants.

Being "good enough"

In a new book, The Shopping Revolution: How Successful Retailers Win Customers in an Era of Endless Disruption, Barbara Kahn says in today’s retail environment, it takes more than a great sale to keep customers coming back for more. Each one of the winning retailers were the best at something. But they leveraged that leadership advantage to be the best at something else, too. She calls that the two-quadrant strategy. 

So, you have to be the best at two things and good enough at everything else. But if you’re in a competitive industry, if everybody’s trying to be the best at something, what that does is ratchet up customer expectations. In other words, just being good enough is getting harder and harder to do, let alone being the best. Little wonder, then, the retail industry is undergoing a major repositioning as legacy stores and brands that were once customer favourites fall victim to shifting consumer demands.