Skift Take

Plum Guide's use of AI to evaluate home design isn't perfect – but it has shown impressive results and it's still early days.

Plum Guide has 30,000 luxury homes listed on its short-term rental platform, and every one of them has been evaluated to make sure its design meets the high standards of the company’s brand. 

That evaluation used to be done solely by humans. Now, it’s done by AI. 

The company says its software developers have trained an AI tool on Plum Guide design preference, and claims there is a 91 percent match rate between what the AI grading model decides and what humans would have decided. 

“That definitely exceeded my expectations. This is really digitizing what is, in effect, a very creative process,” according to Doron Meyassed, CEO and co-founder of the London-based Plum Guide, during a presentation at Skift’s Short-Term Rental Summit on Wednesday in New York.

When the company started, it sent hospitality experts into every home to evaluate roughly 500 features, checking aspects like the bedding, toiletries, wifi speed, and shower pressure. The company says it accepts about one in 15 applications.

Plum Guide says it had success using human experts, but the process took time and limited its ability to grow. It wanted to discover if AI could complete all those tasks as well as a human.

“The answer is not yet, but the results are pretty impressive, especially in the last year as things have taken off,” Meyassed said

The cost of adding a home to the platform has dropped 85 percent, he said, and revenue per employee has quadrupled. That was all done while maintaining customer satisfaction rates and improving sales, he said. Plum Guide has now reached nearly $100 million in revenue.

Besides the evaluations, the company is now producing all of the written content for its listings with generative AI from ChatGPT. With that tool, the time for writing a listing has gone from 60 minutes to 15 minutes, and the sales conversion rates for those listings are higher, he said. 

It’s not perfect, though, as he highlighted some examples of rejected names that the AI has chosen for listings: “I’m A Basement Dweller” and “The Dustbin” to name two. 

“I think ChatGPT has definitely made it possible to do, as everyone knows, far more complex stuff. It is far from being perfect. We are not ready to let this thing run on its own,” Meyassed said.

He added that as AI-integrated search becomes more powerful, listings will need to include detailed information about features in order to stand out. And, he thinks AI evaluation of reviews will lead to only the best properties succeeding.


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Tags: artificial intelligence, chatgpt, content, luxury, skift live, skift short-term rental summit, travel technology, vacation rentals

Photo credit: Doron Meyassad, the CEO of Plum Guide, at Skift's Short-Term Rental Summit Ryan Bourque / Skift

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