The Airbnb Way by Joseph Michelli


An unprecedented inside look at how Airbnb and its host community create dynamic customer experiences and build brand loyalty in the sharing economy.  

The Airbnb Way delivers proven methods for increasing customer engagement, loyalty, and referrals that can be utilized in every service setting and in any industry. Exclusive interviews with Airbnb leaders and rich stories from hosts and guests provide an inside look into the wildly popular online rental platform.

The book features: 

  • Airbnb strategies and practices that will drive customer engagement and loyalty
  • Expert advice on how to provide phenomenal customer service
  • Illuminating stories about Airbnb guest and host experiences
  • Unique leadership principles for activating all stakeholders--including those who share resources and services and more

About the Author

Joseph Michelli

In addition to being a New York Times #1 bestselling author of books about world-class customer experience providers (e.g., Starbucks, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Zappos, and the Pike Place Fish Market), Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D., is an internationally sought-after speaker and business consultant.

Dr. Michelli has been recognized as a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) by the National Speakers Association and as one of the Top 10 thought leaders in Customer Service by Global Gurus.

Dr. Michelli transfers his knowledge of exceptional business practices through keynote presentations that explore ways to develop joyful and productive workplaces. In addition to his dynamic and entertaining international keynote presentations, Dr. Michelli provides:

  • Consultation on the development of optimal customer and employee experiences
  • Service excellence training
  • Enhancement of staff empowerment
  • Leadership team development services
  • Group facilitation and team-building strategies
  • Creation of customer and employee engagement measurement processes
  • Customized management and frontline training programs

Praise for The Airbnb Way

“The Airbnb Way explores the ‘how’ of hospitality. It offers actionable examples of hospitality principles as shared through the stories of Airbnb leaders, guests, and hosts alike. This book is relevant for anyone who seeks to drive a welcoming and differentiated brand experience.  It is for those who chose ‘to be a host’—in the sharing economy, their service business, or personal life.”

Chip Conley, Hospitality Entrepreneur and Strategic Advisor of Airbnb


“Joseph Michelli shares his insights in yet another great book, this time about Airbnb. He’s a master of understanding what makes successful companies tick and then sharing his discoveries with the reader. While the principles in this book are straightforward, you’ll learn both the basics and the graduate level skills of creating a great organization. You’ll enjoy learning about an iconic brand from an iconic author.”

Mark Sanborn, Top 5 Leadership Gurus -, Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestselling author


"The Airbnb Way is a book about belonging, empowerment, trust, hospitality, and community. Joseph shares practical tips on differentiating your corporate or personal brand, elevating your service level, and innovating solutions to meet employee and customer needs. Michelli’s new book can help you drive culture and create outstanding experiences for those you serve."

Tony Hsieh, CEO of and New York Times bestselling author of Delivering Happiness


“Airbnb is a company that has changed the way many people travel and given many individuals a path to entrepreneurship. With a commitment to building a company culture that promotes belonging, trust, empowerment, and community, Airbnb leaders inspire hosts to create magical and memorable travel. In this book Joseph Michelli takes you into the world of Airbnb leaders, employees and hosts. He offers insights on how you can differentiate your personal or corporate brand-fueled by stories told The Airbnb Way.”

Michael E. Gerber, New York Times bestselling author of The E-Myth books


“The Airbnb Way provides insights on how Airbnb leaders create a culture of hospitality. More important, it shows how the Airbnb host community welcomes and fosters belonging for guests across the globe. In The Airbnb Way, Joseph Michelli provides a roadmap for delivering engaging and differentiating branded interactions. The book’s practical tools apply broadly. Whether you are engaged in the sharing economy or are a global leader seeking to drive memorable experiences across your organization, you will want to spend some time learning from this book.”

Alfred Lin, partner at Sequoia Capital


“The Airbnb Way, Michelli's latest masterpiece, describes leadership and business lessons that every leader and organization must take in. Belonging, trust, hospitality, empowerment, and community are key tenets for all people-oriented businesses and this book is a must read for those that serve others.”

David Feinberg, VP Google Health


“I’ve spent my career helping companies transform their customer experiences. Many of the lessons I share with my clients are echoed in the pages of The Airbnb Way. In it, Joseph Michelli helps you understand what it means to ‘host’ and deliver hospitality—no matter where or what you seek to offer customers. Through The Airbnb Way you will learn from Airbnb leaders and hosts as they drive magical end-to-end experiences.”

Jeanne Bliss, 5 Time Chief Customer Officer, Customer Experience Pioneer, & author of bestselling books, including Would You Do That to Your Mother? & Chief Customer Officer


“I know the importance of convenience and emotionally engaging experiences. The Airbnb Way captures stories and insights to help you make it easier for your customers to work with you. It also shares the leadership genius that fueled a transformative travel brand. This is not just a book for hospitality professionals. It is written for anyone who wants to make the lives of those they serve better and more convenient.”

Shep Hyken, customer service/experience expert and New York Times bestselling author of The Amazement Revolution

Book Resources

Airbnb Introduces the Bélo - July 2014

At Airbnb, they imagined a world where you can belong anywhere and introduced the Bélo.

Host Q&A with Brian Chesky

A panel of Airbnb hosts share their best hospitality insights.

Making Your Guest Stay Special

Airbnb host Joy shares that while staying at an Airbnb in Portland, Oregon, her host provided an array of local treats that made her trip memorable.

Josh's House in the Trees

If you could have one wish, what would it be? In Josh's House in the Trees, a little boy's wish turned into a modern-day barn raising that brought an entire community together.

10 Steps for Starting an Employee Volunteer Program

If you are considering creating an employee volunteer program for your business, CyberGrants has a helpful ten-step guide.

Airbnb We Accept Ad

In February 2017, an Airbnb television advertisement titled “We Accept” aired during Super Bowl LI.

How to Have Less Waste

Learn from Airbnb host, Kathy, how to reduce waste.

Meet In Ja and James | Airbnb Superhosts

Meet Airbnb senior superhosts In Ja and her husband James, who host their home in Los Angeles on Airbnb. The couple met in Korea in 1960 and the challenges they faced as a mixed-race couple in the US have led them to make their home a haven for acceptance.

Meet Dan, Airbnb Superhost

It's easy to see what makes Superhost Dan so super—it's not just the yurt, elevator, alpaca farm, jacuzzi and airplane hangar—it's the friendly welcome with which he greets everyone.