Airbnb gave US$10 million to 100 builders across 23 countries to find who can build the most unconventional vacation property ideas.
Airbnb is trying out a technique where it gifted $10 million — $100,000 each to 100 aspiring builders, architects, and designers — to build unique, unconventional vacation property areas.
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While the company severely struggled during the pandemic, it is fighting hard to make a comeback by thinking of creative ways to attract more people to some of its rentals.
Airbnb has launched its “OMG! Fund,” giving the money to builders to create wacky and creative rentals.
What the fund aims to achieve
The $10 million worth of “OMG! Fund” was created as part of the company’s initiative to bring out exciting and creative designs to attract more potential users.
This comes as the trend of people documenting where they are staying or the unique places they can stay on Airbnb starts to become a trend.
There are already more influencers and regular vacationers alike that have started to look for unique places to go on a vacation. Airbnb is trying to get ahead of this trend through its new fund.
How the fund worked
The fund was initially launched in June, and the company was able to generate tens of thousands of applicants. Although it would be interesting if the company could cater to all of them, it decided to narrow down which projects it would support.
Out of tens of thousands of applicants, Airbnb picked just 100 winners, which involved creative designs on properties that the company would support. The judges then asked the finalists to share additional blueprints, plans, and videos about their projects.
Finally, Airbnb broke everything down to the winners, with concepts ranging from sci-fi to recycling solutions and all the creative things.
Here is the breakdown of Airbnb’s OMG! Fund competition:
- 1,214 ideas revolved around treehouses
- 961 views included the incorporation of music
- 777 ideas utilized fruit
- 680 ideas considered wine
- 509 ideas used mushrooms
The competition found that out of all the participants, 7,931 of them were motivated by sustainability and included solar panels in their designs.
These participants tried to make their projects as sustainable as possible to attract more environmentally-friendly visitors and help avoid the excessive use of unrenewable resources.
Why creative designs are important
Unlike rentals, where people stay for more extended periods, Airbnb still caters to those who want to vacation for just a couple of days.
On top of luxury suites or castles, Airbnb is adding to its unique selection by offering other properties that could be attractive to potential vacationers.
Through the OMG! Fund project, not only were they able to get more people to design their own Airbnb project, but they were also able to support the 100 winners to make those projects a reality.
However, those who didn’t win might also be encouraged to make their project come to life, especially since the requirements of Airbnb upon submission involved sharing a whole idea.
Of course, with the support from Airbnb, it is easier for non-winners to make their designs a reality.
Factors that make unique designs hard to accomplish
Compared to conventional homes, many factors make unique properties hard to create. First and foremost, the most challenging part about a unique design is the structure and how to make it come to life without giving up its integrity regarding sturdiness and support.
Another problem that builders might need help with is the skilled labor capable of carrying out what they imagine. Then, to top everything off, the builders will also have to worry about the materials, sourcing them, and whether they simultaneously fit the standard and design.
One of the judges, Kristie Wolfe, spent $32,000 to create her unique vacation rental called the “Big Idaho Potato Hotel” in 2019.
While Wolfe considered herself a builder and could stay within a small budget, the same cannot be said with other builds with more unique designs. Depending on the project, the $10 million funding by Airbnb per participant could help make their concept come to life.
The bottom line
One limiting factor for many people wanting to build a unique property is not having enough funds to do so. With Airbnb’s OMG! Fund, 100 builders were allowed to go wild and create properties as unique as their imaginations could think up.