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    Get to know the Host Advisory Board: Merrydith Callegari

    Discover how she helped start a local Host club & get February meeting updates.
    Ni Airbnb noong Mar 18, 2021
    3 minutong pagbabasa
    Na-update noong Mar 24, 2021

    Mga Katangi-tanging Feature

    • Merrydith Callegari became a Host during retirement

    • The hosting club she helped launch in Tasmania not only mentors new Hosts, but is also involved with the local community

    • Learn the latest from February’s Advisory Board meetings

    • Stay up to date on the Host Advisory Board’s progress in 2021

    With 17 members from 14 countries and five continents, the Host Advisory Board includes diverse Hosts who’ll relay the interests of the global Host community for Airbnb’s consideration in planning and decision-making in 2021. Each month we’re highlighting an Advisory Board member and sharing the latest updates from the board.

    Long before Superhost Merrydith Callegari had heard of Airbnb, she and her husband frequently welcomed family, friends, and even new acquaintances to stay at their home in Tasmania, Australia.

    “I'm a fan of the pay-it-forward movement,” Merrydith says. “We just love to meet people, talk, and hear their stories.”

    Merrydith and her husband spruced up their basement after their kids moved out and turned it into a two-bedroom apartment. A relative who stayed with them for a month was the one who suggested they could list the space on Airbnb.

    “I had friends who were hosting already and loving it because it was providing them with extra income,” she says.

    Merrydith had retired from a 20-year career as a job trainer after her grandchildren were born, and hosting was something she could do from home while watching her grandchildren.

    “I never set out to be a Superhost,” she says. “I just want my guests to feel instantly like they're at home and that we care about them.”

    Building relationships with the local community

    Soon after Merrydith listed her downstairs apartment on Airbnb, she started going to Airbnb meetups and advocating for Hosts in Australia. Attending Airbnb Open LA, a hosting festival in 2016, inspired her to start a local home-sharing club with friends in Hobart, Tasmania.

    “People wanted to do things, not just meet for coffee and chat,” she said. “Straightaway, we started doing community projects.” For example, they created a community library in a park by a school that’s still popular three years later.

    The home-sharing club also started an expo in 2017, inviting small businesses in Tasmania to tell Hosts about their products. “To ensure we got lots of Hosts, we had a full show with lots of guest speakers on interesting topics,” Merrydith says. “It worked really well and became very popular.”

    Helping new Hosts get started

    Merrydith’s previous career as a job trainer helping young people entering the workforce has made her a natural mentor for new Hosts. She’s even developed a step-by-step checklist for people setting up a listing for the first time.

    “From my years of training, I know that sometimes you have to go back to the basics,” Merrydith says. “If this person just arrived from Mars, what would they know about hosting? Nothing. So you start from the beginning and you build on it.”

    She’d love to get the word out that local Host clubs around the world are available for this kind of support. “There's so much knowledge in all the clubs,” Merrydith says.

    What the Host Advisory Board is working on right now

    After creating committees in January, the Advisory Board has been meeting with Airbnb’s leadership teams and providing feedback about topics Hosts care about. “I've always had the feeling that collectively, we can do a lot more than separately,” Merrydith says. “I want to find out the biggest problems that Hosts face and try to solve them.”

    Here’s what the Advisory Board has been discussing recently:

    • Superhost status: Members of the Host empowerment committee championed Superhosts, who are now able to keep their status through the end of 2021 if they meet two criteria. Learn more
    • Guest reviews: Because reviews help build trust in the community and are important to your hosting business, the belonging committee has been sharing ideas for how Airbnb can address disputed guest reviews.
    • Airbnb’s fee structure: The Advisory Board has been discussing how Airbnb can help Hosts set a fair, competitive rate that’s more transparent to guests.
    • Community grants: The Host Advisory Board is helping develop the community grants program, which will focus on supporting communities around the world.
    • Sustainable hosting: The sustainability committee has been helping Airbnb identify ways Hosts and guests can become more sustainable.
    • Host marketing: Airbnb unveiled a new campaign, Made possible by Hosts, on February 22. The board members weighed in before the campaign launched and they’re continuing to provide feedback on how it’s being received by the Host community.

    Stay tuned for more from the Host Advisory Board. We’ll be sharing updates from the board’s monthly meetings, along with tips from board members.

    Information contained in this article may have changed since publication.

    Mga Katangi-tanging Feature

    • Merrydith Callegari became a Host during retirement

    • The hosting club she helped launch in Tasmania not only mentors new Hosts, but is also involved with the local community

    • Learn the latest from February’s Advisory Board meetings

    • Stay up to date on the Host Advisory Board’s progress in 2021
    Airbnb
    Mar 18, 2021
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