Skift Take

Airbnb has spawned an ecosystem of startups offering ancillary services, but Handy has a leg up on its competition with a brand and customer base already built up around the country.

On-demand home cleaning service Handy this week announced a new product created specifically for vacation rental hosts. The new service, launching in New York, San Francisco, LA and London, allows hosts to book services such as check-in and check-out cleanings, linen supplies, laundry and key swaps.

This new product is an expansion of Handy’s exploration into the host market. It offered cleaning services directly to Airbnb hosts via the Airbnb’s website since January 2014.

“Over the last year, we’ve seen an increase in the number of requests from both customers and prospects asking us to offer services through our platform that can meet their needs as rental hosts,” says Handy CEO and co-founder Oisin Hanrahan said in a statement.

“Expanding our host services platform and building a tailored product for these valued customers is a logical next step for us as we continue to grow our breadth of services.

Handy is far from the first to recognize the business potential in offering cleaning and concierge services to a growing number of vacation rental hosts. Skift previously reported on the ecosystem of startups that are looking to cash in on the recent growth of Airbnb, HomeAway and other vacation rental platforms.

Hanrahan, however, is not concerned with the competition, citing Handy’s on-the-ground support as its greatest differentiator.

“Other startups in the space act as concierge services that contract with vendors on behalf of the customer to help hosts locate the services that they need, but don’t perform the actual cleaning or laundry service. Because of this, scheduling and communication is much less automated,” says Hanrahan.


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Tags: airbnb, vacation rentals

Photo credit: The home page for Handy's new Host service. Handy

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