pick to describe your home,” Conley says. “If
someone walks in the door and there’s a bowl of
apples they could actually eat, there’s Enya music
playing in the background, and there’s an aro-matherapy candle, that’s a positive experience.”
Since Conley has been on board, Airbnb
hosts have made huge improvements in service
levels, and now the company has a Net Promoter Score — the hospitality standard, used to
measure guest satisfaction — that’s 50 percent
higher than the hotel industry average.
If the concept of home is dear to Conley, it’s
because he’s on the road about a third of the
year and has visited 60 countries (with no Kindle, either; he still lugs paper books). Whether
it’s to an Airbnb listing in India, the hot Nevada
desert of Burning Man or a windowless room
with shag rug walls in the company’s headquarters, he settles in quickly.
“Because he travels so much, the world is his
home,” says SOMArts’ Jenson. “He’s at ease
with a lot of different ideas and people, and he
knows it’s about being welcoming and open.
He likes to share the idea that you’re at home
no matter where you are.” As evidence, his San
Francisco house is filled with indigenous art and
photographs he’s picked up in India, Morocco,
Bali, Mexico and Japan.
Soon, Conley will be moving to another
home. He’s about to semiretire (again) and
move to Baja, where he plans to write a book
on being a “modern elder,” exploring what millennials and boomers can learn from each other.
The first thing he’ll do when he moves is open
the boxes with the art and the books. “I don’t
care about the dishes, the linens or even my own
clothes,” Conley says. “But the art and books —
they’re like breathing, educating things in my
life. They are living for me.” n
Pops of primary colors and Asian-style chairs in a
meeting room at Airbnb’s offices in San Francisco.