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Watch out, Airbnb: Marriott thinks it can win the home-sharing game

Watch out, Airbnb: Marriott thinks it can win the home-sharing game
[Photo: courtesy of Marriott]

Marriott International has only been piloting its home-sharing program for a few weeks, but it’s already pretty sure it can win the home-sharing game.

The 90-year-old hotel company teamed up with a company called Hostmaker for its London-based home-sharing pilot program, and in an earnings call last week, CEO Arne Sorenson hinted that it was going well. Well enough that Marriott thinks it can take on the many companies already crowding the field, including Airbnb, HomeAway, and high-end home-stay companies like Oasis, which is part of the World of Hyatt, and AccorHotel’s OneFineStay.

While only a test, we are integrating our home-sharing offerings into our loyalty programs,” Sorenson said during the company’s first-quarter earnings call. The company is also “curating for design, functionality, location, and safety, and providing the commitment to service and quality that is not typical in this space” (although all the companies in the space seem to believe that they are the only ones living up to that commitment).

“As some of these platforms have grown into millions and millions of units, there is an almost paralyzing array of choices and a lack of branding, and the lack of real attributes of quality around service and product, makes this an area where we think we can bring our brands, we can bring our service and product focus, and deliver something which is simply a better product than much of what is out there,” Sorenson added.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the length of time and the branding on the pilot program. The story has been update.

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