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Serving Two Customers

Former Supply Side Manager, Australia, NZ, Pacific at Airbnb

IP Interview
Published on May 30, 2020

Why is this interview interesting?

  • How Airbnb looks at both hosts and guests as customers
Executive Bio

Darren Vincent

Former Supply Side Manager, Australia, NZ, Pacific at Airbnb

Darren was one of the first employees to join Airbnb in the APAC region. He joined the company in 2012 when the company opened the first office where he was responsible for opening new destinations in Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia. Darren was then promoted to lead recruiting and onboarding hosts where he led the supply side to grow from 5,000 to 200,000 hosts.

Interview Transcript

What were the biggest lessons you learned in scaling the supply side in those early days?

I think the biggest lesson is really about being in that customer focused or customer centric approach. When I say customers, I do mean both hosts and guests in that view. Really, having your ear to the ground with hosts and being as present as possible. In those early days, we would try to get to as many markets as possible. Try to meet as many folks as possible. Then also just understand, what are the things that guests are wanting in their stays? What are the things they’re looking for? What are the things that Airbnb as a website, as a platform, Airbnb hosts as well could do better to make their stays better? It was just about listing as much as possible and getting out and meeting your customers and being involved as much as possible.

What customer came first, the host or the guest?

Generally, I would say Airbnb would treat their hosts as partners. Then ultimately the guests are the customers. Try to have a partner centric approach to how you would work with hosts. Ultimately, if a host business does well and they do well on Airbnb, everyone in Airbnb as a whole does well, as well.

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