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Airbnb seems to almost encourage hosts, now budding entrepreneurs, to manage more than one Airbnb property by teaching hospitality skills and making it easier for them to accept bookings. Sharing is certainly big business.
For guests, the app redesign means larger, high-quality photos and reviews placed above listing descriptions. But the launch was really geared towards improving hosts’ mobile experience.
The redesigned app features a dashboard that gives its 350,000 hosts worldwide the ability to respond to guest messages, accept bookings, and update their hosting calendar on one screen. The new ‘Host Home’ also teaches hosts how to become more hospitable by pushing them recommendations from new head of hospitality Chip Conley during the booking process, preparation phase, and arrival.
Airbnb continually says that its hosts are regular people just trying to stay afloat, but founder and CEO Brian Chesky purportedly told more than 300 hosts at the company headquarters, “You’re in the business of hospitality.”
Airbnb is now also encouraging hosts to work together to create a better experience for guests.
Host Groups is a platform where hosts can connect based on location or interest in order to share best practices, which may include tips to leave guests a bowl of candy or pricing strategies during high-demand periods. The hosts that heed Airbnb’s advice the best will be rewarded in an upcoming program that gives perks and possible travel credits to top ranked hosts in 2014.