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B&Bs leverage Airbnb; the way partner programs leverage affiliate marketplaces.

If you decide you want to rent a room, you can surely put a “Room for Rent” sign out on the front of your house. You don’t need to have it on Airbnb.

People did that for years, especially back in the great depression in America, in the spa towns in Germany, and with gîtes in France.

The B&B business model is not new. It works. It’s a proven model.

People do and have done it rather effectively, on their own, with without the help if their local board of tourism, for years. But and even while the internet helped many of those B&Bs, Airbnb turned the “cottage industry” on its ear.

With the advent of Airbnb, even well-established B&Bs are getting shut-down and shut-out of the market if they are not listed on Airbnb. Both established and new B&Bs have all turn to ensure they’re listed on Airbnb…and maybe too.

In fact, if you’re going to start a B&B these days, you would most surely put it on Airbnb as a fist source of action, right?

I’m mean, unless you’re starting a venture capital backed firm to compete with Airbnb, no one in their right mind is going to try to build their own website and drive traffic to a private site to get reservations. Sure, you might have a website and your own reservation system too; but you certainly wouldn’t need it and you’re probably going to be better off starting your B&B by getting it listed on AirBnb. You want to go where the eyeballs are.

Some might put up a simple page to avoid the fees Airbnb charges or because they “want to be more selective in the clients they choose.” But, I can tell you (because I watched my teenage daughter run one) that you would be forgoing A LOT and leaving a ton on the table by not using everything that Airbnb offers.

As IT guys we know this. We know that SaaS services like Airbnb (or a Partner Marketplace for that matter) are all about helping people start-up and scale-up. They take us from nothing to something, virtually overnight; providing not just the tools we need immediately, but also the tools we are going to need in the coming future. With a complete SaaS service, we have path for growth.

Similarly, with their partner affiliate programs an IT firm can build their own Affiliate landing page and partner portal - just the same way you can build your own page for your B&B listing. That is certainly doable.

But, why would you do that and replicate development of pre-existing technology when there is a service consolidating all the feature/function requests, of thousands of users, in a low-cost SaaS delivery model - specially for helping you manage and navigate the partner affiliate model.

Relate Articles:

- Cell Phones and Partner Programs

- Chicken and Egg

If you have a partner program and are looking to implement an affiliate referral program, you might want to consider:

The Public Marketplace is a: SaaS-Based listing of your product, in front of 100,000’s of affiliates who are looking for B2B products to represent.

The Private Marketplace is a listing of your program and partners, on your site, where you drive customers and partners to look at your program and referral offering.