We always love hearing what Airbnb’s learned from its data tracking and how it’s improving the home rental site, notably including trying to combat racial discrimination across the platform. It recently shared its Winter Release, which included mention of three new rollouts to its website, all geared to help guests better understand what they can expect from their rental before they book it. The idea is to minimize the occurrence of guests showing up to feel like the space was not as cool as it looked online.
1. The Guest Favorites category now lets guests select a rental based on its accrued ratings, reviews and reliability, according to Airbnb. This is a selected list of 2 million homes out of the 7 million currently offered worldwide. They average over 4.9 stars out of a high of 5 stars. Two-thirds of these homes are offered by Superhosts, who have gotten rave reviews for reliability—for not canceling last minute, helping guests perform an easy check-in and providing clean spaces and good communication.
2. Airbnb has revamped its ratings and reviews page with new features that help guests know more about the house, its quality and possible failings. Right now, there are 371 million reviews across all the holdings, and the new tweaks to the system will let guests find more relevant reviews. They can sort reviews now by how recently the review was written and by the rating. A new chart will let guests easily see how many stars, from how many guests, the home has received. The reviews also include more data points, such as whether guests stayed there with kids, brought along a pet, a large group rented the space, and how long the trip lasted.
3. The listings tab has new tools for hosts to manage their listings and spotlight the details that they believe will be best appreciated by their guests. Guests love details, the more the better—and Airbnb has found that homes with more details get booked much more often: 20 percent more often. The new listing editor feature lets hosts include more details, such as amenities and sleeping arrangements. A photo tour will now sort photos by room, better allowing guests to “see” the home beforehand. Finally, hosts can use smart locks, which will create a unique code for each reservation, which makes everyone feel more secure and safe when showing up to a destination (and you can see the code before arrival, so you’re not concerned about Wi-Fi connectivity in the dark woods at the Airbnb door—yeah, it’s happened to us!). This smart lock integration will start in the U.S. and Canada later this year.