Airbnb makes it easier to rent out your home

Platform is adding superhost ‘mentoring’ and extra protection

Helen Coffey
Friday 18 November 2022 11:04 GMT
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Airbnb is introducing new feature
Airbnb is introducing new feature (Airbnb)

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Airbnb is adding features it hopes will lure more homeowners into joining the platform and becoming hosts.

The home sharing and accommodation rental site revealed the upgrades at a press event in New York, saying it hoped to alleviate barriers and pain points.

The first feature is a “mentoring” style scheme called Airbnb Setup, whereby new hosts can choose to be matched with a local superhost (experienced hosts who have been vetted by Airbnb), free of charge, who will give them advice and address questions and concerns.

These can range from consulting on the best types of photos to use and how to set up an availability calendar, to how to prepare for first guests and create a stand-out experience.

Fully trained superhosts can even do video chat consultations and are paid by Airbnb for their time.

Another feature is enhanced insurance protection for hosts, with Aircover damage protection increasing from $1m to $3m and now including valuables.

The platform is also seeking to verify all users to reassure hosts, plus weed out potential party bookings by identifying last-minute reservations by under 25s whose main residence is in the same area as the property.

Verified users are those whose identity has been confirmed by proof of a government-issued ID.

“From the beginning, we realized that to let someone into your home you have to trust them. And to trust them, you have to know who they are,” said Airbnb CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky.

“We’re starting today by verifying guests in 35 countries. This covers 90 per cent of our reservations.”

The rest should be completed by spring next year, he said.

“It’s really interesting that we started in 2008, during the Great Recession, when people were looking to make some extra money,” added Chesky, who has now listed a room in his own San Francisco apartment on the site.

“This is very similar to that moment. So, what if we can make it much easier to become a host and allow you more peace of mind? And so that’s what we’re doing.”

Airbnb has also added six new categories of listing that users can search by:

  • Adapted (homes adapted for wheelchair access)
  • Hanoks (traditional Korean homes)
  • New (properties added within the past 10 weeks)
  • Play (homes with game rooms, water slides, basketball courts and more)
  • Top of the World (accommodation at least 10,000 feet above sea level)
  • Trending (Homes that get a lot of views)

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