EP209: This Week in the World of Airbnb

If you could change anything about Airbnb’s website, what would it be? Hosts had their say in the news this week, with a Forbes article polling Airbnb entrepreneurs about adjustments they would like to see on the platform.

Jasper is joined by Hostfully CEO Margot Lee Schmorak and Hostwell CEO Keith Freedman to discuss the feasibility of the changes proposed by hosts around keyword search, verified ID settings, and special pricing for children. They offer insight into why Airbnb’s Host Calendar view doesn’t show pricing for individual nights and how a low barrier to entry for Airbnb guests facilitates growth.

Margot, Keith and Jasper also explore the idea of removing zombie listings from the site, discussing why Airbnb is hesitant to do so despite the benefits of publicizing the ‘real numbers.’ Listen and learn how Airbnb is addressing the issue of wheelchair accessible criteria for listings and how to discourage underage drinking on your Airbnb property.

Topics Covered

Article #1: Airbnb Hosts Speak Up: These Simple Changes Would Make the Site Far Easier to Use

  • Show pricing for individual nights in Host Calendar view
  • Part of purposeful design, encourages use of Smart Pricing
  • Bring back keyword search
  • Want to control what people are looking for, prevent off-site booking
  • Apply verified ID setting to requests for booking (beyond Instant Book)
  • Stems from host misunderstanding feature
  • Host responsible for checking guest status
  • Allow for different pricing of adults vs. children
  • Would complicate user interface
  • Host can indicate discount in listing
  • Remove ‘zombie listings’ after one year
  • Would reduce number of users, Airbnb uses stat to court investors
  • Contributes to perception of large numbers of illegal operators
  • Number of bookings would be more appropriate figure
  • Require complete guest profile to inquire about listing
  • Low barrier of entry for guests necessary for growth
  • Establish and verify criteria for wheelchair accessible listings
  • Acquisition of Accomable addresses issue

Topic #2: My listing is in the middle of nowhere, and I worry about guests booking for parties. I don’t want to facilitate underage drinking, but Airbnb does not allow hosts to discriminate based on age. For this reason, I don’t use Instant Book because it prevents me from vetting potential guests.

  • Host would not be liable for illegal activity
  • Clarify no-tolerance policy around underage drinking in listing
  • Publicize use of security camera, smart noise sensors (e.g.: Noise Aware, Party Squasher)

Resources Mentioned

Article #1: forbes.com/sites/sethporges/2017/11/17/airbnb-hosts-speak-up-these-simple-changes-would-make-the-site-far-easier-to-use/#793cc30b20cc

PriceLabs

Booking.com

Accomable

NoiseAware

Party Squasher

Connect with Jasper

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @GetPaidForUrPad

Instagram: @GetPaidForYourPad 

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Airbnb News Facebook Group

This episode is sponsored by Aviva IQ. Aviva IQ automates messages to your Airbnb guests. It’s also free!

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