“The core invention of Airbnb is trust,” Jonathan Mildenhall, Chief Marketing Officer, said to the audience on his Airbnb Keynote presentation.
Yes, I’m repeating the beginning of my previous recap. Why, you ask? Because I felt that we experienced trust that Friday, November 13th, in Paris.
As you may or may not remember, my phone died that day, but what I failed to mention was how my dear friends, other New York City hosts, took on the task of making sure I stayed connected. Elle made sure she was taking photos of the afternoon keynote for my recaps. Wilfredo returned to my session, not just as an attendee but also to make sure I was updated with the NY team’s progress. They were simply amazing.
That Friday evening, I ran into Alex Nigg and Tammi Sims, who I’d only met a few days before at the Host Educators meeting. I mentioned my phone situation and without blinking, he pulled an extra phone from his bag. (Alex was premiering his app “Get Properly,” a visual checklist for the team helping you out. Go ahead and check it out. Amazing! Right?) Not only did he lend me the extra phone, but he also changed the sim card to make sure my number worked. Alex didn’t know me, but he trusted me. Mind-boggling.
I went back to my Airbnb home, and as I was starting to work on my recap the first text came from Maria, a friend and host from New Jersey. Before I could figure out what she was talking about, I got the second text. It was our Paris host telling me about the terrorist attacks. One of the targeted locations was a restaurant,which was only a seven minute walk from the apartment. Yes, it was that close.
From there, my borrowed phone went crazy with people checking to make sure we were safe. I called my mom, sent out a group email, and posted on Facebook and Twitter that we were fine.
At one point, I got emails from my NY Airbnb community folks, my Host Educator support person, and a random employee called me. Airbnb was calling every single one of the five thousand hosts who came to Paris for their conference to make sure we were all safe. I was touched. Thankfully, we all were.
Trust was there that weekend: Alex handing me a phone, the connection between hosts abroad, and Airbnb called every one of us.
I’m grateful that the company to which I have dedicated myself for the last 5 years understands that trust is the foundation for the hosting life. We trust our guests. Our guests trust us. And we all trust that Airbnb will do what is best for everyone.