When our VP of Product, Joebot, took the stage at Airbnb Open in Paris, he reminded us what matters most: listening to hosts like you. Our goal is to make it incredibly easy for you to be a successful host. We can’t do that without your feedback, which is why we listen to you in diverse ways, like through Host Voice, at meetups in your city, and during research sessions with focus groups.
At Airbnb Open, we take the opportunity to unveil brand new features and services, so we can get face-to-face feedback from hosts who have arrived from all over the world.
At Airbnb Open 2014, you told us you wanted help setting your listing price, you told us how important it is to have dependable information about your guests, and you were frustrated with the limitations of Groups. We spent this year working to address these needs, and we were thrilled to share our work in Paris at this year’s Airbnb Open.
Guest onboarding: Setting expectations and collecting additional profile information
You need to feel confident every time a guest arrives at your space. Now, whenever a traveler signs up on Airbnb, we’re going to send them an email that sets expectations and makes clear that they’ll be staying in a host’s home (not a hotel). When they create their account, we’ll collect their email address, verify their phone number, and require that they upload a profile photo. We know that travelers sometimes upload a photo that doesn’t clearly show their face, so we’ve launched technology that can guess if a photo is of a face or not. If it isn’t, we’ll ask the traveler to try again.
To request a reservation, travelers will be required to send you a message. We recommend they include a bit of information about themselves and the purpose of their trip. And finally, before a traveler confirms a booking, we’ll put your House Rules right on the checkout page.
Smart Pricing: Take the guesswork out of setting your price
Starting in January, we’ll begin rolling out Smart Pricing—a new tool that automatically adjusts your price based on hundreds of factors including travel trends in your area, your listing’s location and amenities, your bookings and reviews, and the number of people who have looked at your listing page. You can turn Smart Pricing on to help maximize your bookings and your earnings, so you reduce the chances of turning guests away with a price that’s too high, or confirm guests at a below-market rate. You set your minimum and maximum price and how often you want to host, and Smart Pricing does the rest!
Business Ready Listings: Attract business travelers eager for rewarding experiences on the road
Business travelers can make great guests: they book longer stays, travel during the off season, and frequently return to the same locations. If you want to attract their attention when they’re looking for a place to stay on Airbnb, you can confirm your space is Business Travel Ready. Once you’ve confirmed that you’ll provide the services and amenities business travelers have told us they need most, your listing will stand out in search results with a special business travel badge. Your listing might just become someone’s home away from home!
Connect with fellow hosts: Develop your approach to hosting
Last year we heard you loud and clear: Groups needed some attention. You wanted to be able to find relevant content, track your posts, and connect with fellow hosts. We needed to make big changes, not just small fixes. And to make sure we got this right, we worked with 15 hosts to develop and test the new Community Center.
Now you can quickly access featured content, search for topics you’re interested in, and see all the conversations you’ve contributed to in one place. There’s also an announcement board where we’ll post news and timely updates when something isn’t working. In about a month, we’ll launch a way for you to send direct messages when you want to have a one-on-one conversation. We’ll continue to support and improve the Community Center based on your feedback, so dive into the conversation and start sharing your ideas!
At Airbnb Open this year, Joebot said: “Your thoughts and ideas create a roadmap that charts the future of our services and the strength of our community.” And he meant it. All of these launches are influenced by feedback from you, and we can’t wait to see how your ideas continue to shape the future of Airbnb.