Why didn't Airbnb think of this earlier?
Airbnb is making it easier for guests to know exactly how to check-in to their Airbnb homes with a new check-in tool on its mobile app.
With the new tool, hosts who opt into the new feature can put together a step-by-step guide on what guests need to know to check-in, such as which door to open, where the lockbox is located, and what code to enter.
Hosts only need to compile the guide once and it will be accessible to all of their guests. The guide can be accessed via the Airbnb mobile app even without Internet access.
The check-in guide feature is something many hosts and other enterprising companies have, in some ways, already offered to guests, whether in the form of PDFs or electronic guides such as those produced by San Francisco-based Hostfully, which helps short-term and vacation rental hosts develop personal guidebooks for their guests.
David Jacoby, Hostfully president and co-founder, said that, “As an Airbnb Superhost myself, this looks like a much-needed feature and I am excited to give it a try.”
He also asked, “When will we be able to also add video? This will be quite popular and helpful for those hosts who share an extra bedroom in their home in the traditional Airbnb way.”
However, Jacoby also noted this feature might not be as well-suited for hosts who work with a vacation rental management company and advertise their listings on multiple platforms.
“[They] get their bookings from multiple platforms, and Airbnb is actually No. 3 on the list in many cases, behind HomeAway /VRBO as well as the company’s own website,” he said.
According to data compiled by Skift Research, HomeAway, including VRBO, has approximately 1.2 million professionally managed rental listings, while Airbnb has an estimated 1 million professionally managed listings out of a total of more than 3 million listings.
“Vacation rental management companies are looking more and more for platform-agnostic tools to streamline their own guest communications and hospitality operations,” Jacoby said. “It is a headache for them to have to manage a check-in process through Airbnb’s app, and a separate one through HomeAway’s app, and yet a third for people who book directly.
“They would rather be able to send a simple URL to every guest that takes them to the same digital guidebook that has all the information they need for check in, home essentials, recommendations etc. As Airbnb tries to be friendlier to traditional vacation rentals, they will have an ongoing tension between wanting to keep the guest within Airbnb, versus letting the vacation rental management company manage the guest within their normal workflow.”
Photo credit: Airbnb's new app tool makes it easier for hosts to communicate check-in instructions to their guests. Airbnb