Marriott Gets Into Home Sharing With Tribute Portfolio Homes

There are some interesting developments when it comes to the ways that hotel loyalty programs are cooperating with home sharing. Historically hotels have viewed home sharing as a big competitor, though are they starting to realize that they’re better off working together?

Hyatt and Oasis recently launched a close partnership

At the beginning of March it was announced that Oasis Rentals is being fully integrated into the World of Hyatt program. Oasis offers 2,000 home rentals in more than 20 destinations worldwide, and is a bit different than Airbnb because they offer some hotel-style amenities. The reason this move wasn’t so surprising on Hyatt’s part is because Hyatt has a strategic minority investment in Oasis.

What made this so interesting is that historically hotels think of home sharing as a competitor that they wouldn’t want to work with, but with this partnership Hyatt essentially acknowledged that there are occasions where home sharing is a better option than hotels.

The way Hyatt did it, Oasis became part of the Unbound Collection, which is Hyatt’s independent hotel brand. That’s an interesting way for them to integrate Oasis, since the homes are almost being treated like hotels.

I guess it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but one of Hyatt’s competitors is matching them almost exactly, though I’m not sure what exactly is in it for them.

Marriott & Starwood introduce Tribute Portfolio Homes

Marriott is already the world’s largest hotel group, though I guess that’s not stopping them from trying to grow even further. Specifically, Marriott is launching a trial partnership with Homestay, where Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest members will be able to earn and redeem points, as well as receive elite nights, for stays at homes.

Marriott is essentially integrating these homes into Tribute Portfolio, which is Starwood’s independent hotel collection.

Skift reports that the trial with Homestay is expected to last for six months, and for now is limited to homes in London. To see the 200+ available homes, you can visit tributeportfoliohomes.com.

Here’s how they describe Tribute Portfolio Homes being different than other home sharing experiences:

Every property within Tribute Portfolio Homes is vetted and reviewed by our hospitality experts. Properties meet rigorous safety, security and design standards before they are accepted as part of Tribute Portfolio Homes. We have partnerships with local property management experts, like Hostmaker, who provide 24/7 support to our guests during their stay. We also strive to make travel easy and stress-free for our guests through offering 24 hour in-person check-in; high speed wi-fi; premium bed linens and fluffy white towels – all expertly laundered; full-sized bath amenities; cooking essentials; and child-friendly items, such as high chairs and travel cribs. Additionally, staying with Tribute Portfolio Homes allows our guests to earn with Marriott Rewards or SPG.

As far as the loyalty program benefits of Tribute Portfolio Homes go:

  • Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest members can earn one elite qualifying night for every night booked through tributeportfoliohomes.com
  • Members will earn five points per dollar spent, which is only half of the 10 points you usually earn for stays at most Marriott brands
  • Points should appear in your account within 3-6 weeks of the completion of a stay
  • Members can’t yet use points for stays at these homes, but they’re planning to add this functionality in the future

Bottom line

It’s clear that Marriott is just testing the waters here. The partnership between Hyatt and Oasis makes sense, since Hyatt owns a stake in Oasis. However, in this case we’re just seeing a marketing partnership between Marriott and Homestay. It seems odd to have an agreement like this when you have no financial stake in the company otherwise, since you’re just sending customers to your competitors.

Then again, there’s little downside to this trial, since it’s just homes in London, so it’s not like they’re partnering with Airbnb, or anything. Perhaps they’re trying to see if they find that consumers actually different uses for hotels vs. home sharing, and how they can best leverage that. However, I feel like that would work better if they actually had a more rewarding structure and offered 10 points per dollar, elite bonuses, and more (though perhaps that’s not practical, given the commission split they’re getting).

What do you make of Tribute Portfolio Homes? Would a loyalty program partnership like this cause you to give them a try?

(Tip of the hat to Sean)

Comments

  1. It follows the usual pattern of big business shrieking and screaming about the nasty competitors in the market and then getting into the same field themselves. EG, big tobacco did everything they could to block the e-cig industry but is now a major investor in it. Same with transport: taxi companies getting into Uber-like business; big pharma into alternatives, if only to close them down.
    This is not a surprise, even if it’s only ‘testing the water’

  2. I’m much more inclined to use a service like this than AirBNB. With AirBNB, you’re at the mercy of whoever posted the listing. From what I can tell, there’s no inspections, no verification, nothing required of the host. I say this, as there are numerous illegal AirBNB listings, to which AirBNB shrugs and says it’s the host’s problem…

    Well, what happens when you book a flat, arrive, only to find that the building doesn’t allow short-term rentals and the doorman/security won’t let you in? This happened at one of my condos, where the happy vacationers showed up at the gate and told the guard they were “checking in” and wanted directions for the check-in desk… Needless to say, they were stuck finding other accommodations.

    At least with something like what Marriott is proposing here, I feel that there will be some level of standards. As a bonus, it looks like the rates are pretty decent from what I’ve seen. Certainly better value-for-money than many hotels in London.

  3. @AlexS:

    Totally agree on all points and have been screwed by unscrupulous hosts. But having been a host and a guest, it’s just SUPER hypocritical and kind of offensive that Marriott lobbied very heavily against Airbnb in very lucrative hotel markets, spending lots of money on anti-Airbnb campaigns under the guise of hotels protecting/creating jobs and Airbnb removing rental inventory from the market thus creating a housing shortage/crisis in cities. But really, they couldn’t care less about the communities where the homes were located. And now they’re doing the same thing but we don’t hear any sort of plan to add housing to the market… And London isn’t exactly brimming with affordable housing.

  4. I totally second AlexS’s opinion. Airbnb’s issues are that if something goes wrong, you only have recourse AFTER your vacation has been ruined.

    A bad uber ride is over in 10 mins. A bad Airbnb would be haunting you for the entire duration of your stay.

  5. I don’t really get it – I don’t really have much interest in staying in homes in cities.

    Near a ski resort, on a lake, on the beach – I’d maybe look into it but I’d much rather stay at a hotel in an urban area. This just isn’t very appealing to me.

  6. This move isn’t surprising at all. I’m guessing Airbnb is killing a chunk of these big chains’ business in major cities. I’ll provide a few anecdotes.

    Last year, as a host, I made about $18,000 renting a one bedroom apartment that’s right across the river from Manhattan. I’d say ~90% of my guests visited NYC as a primary reason for their booking. Assuming my average daily rate ($60) is half that of a decent hotel in Manhattan, which I think is conservative, then I single-handedly sucked let’s call it $30,000 worth of revenue from the big chains last year; of course, it’s possible some of my guests wouldn’t have made the trip at all if they had to pay for a hotel in Manhattan if Airbnb or something similar didn’t exist. Now go figure how much all the hosts in and near major cities, whose guests would’ve most likely stayed at a big chain instead, sucked away from those big chains.

    Similar story on the guest side. In the last two years I’ve stayed at Airbnbs in one major US city and four major European cities, and I loved all those stays; in one case, it was a family trip where 7 of us rented a 4 bedroom. Where would I have stayed instead? Absolutely at a Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt or SPG property, and I would’ve paid a lot more (I cost compared).

    And to the commenters worried about being screwed…don’t be idiots. Only book properties with lots of reviews, and actually read the reviews. How the hell are you going to book a place that doesn’t allow short term rentals, show up and be denied entry? Was that person the very first guest to stay at that place, with no other reviews on Airbnb to go off of? In any case, you complain to Airbnb and that host should end up banned from the platform so at least future potential guests get some benefit from your misfortune.

  7. Marriott Vacation Club has already been doing this, so this is not surprising. Just allows them to monetize this even more

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