Skift Take

Airbnb prides itself on listening to consumer feedback for product improvements. As murmurs of a softening market get louder, Airbnb is back with upgrades.

Airbnb’s summer releases are highly watched in the short-term rental world, and after May’s rollout, CEO Brian Chesky promised more updates to come – he posted on some of them early Wednesday.

Better search and filters: The update will refine search results to display the best options for in-demand dates. “You told us it can be hard to find homes when you search for popular dates. Now, we’ll automatically show you great homes available for similar dates,” Chesky wrote. 

The filters include listings that offer king size beds and a pet-friendly home. 

Verified Listings: A common grievance among Airbnb users is that they cannot find the apartment or the host is not responsive. “You shouldn’t have to worry that a listing is fake or isn’t where it says it is. That’s why we’ve built a new system to verify listings on Airbnb. Every verified listing will have an icon so you know it’s real,” Chesky tweeted.

In the coming months, Airbnb plans to verify every listing in the US, Canada, Australia, UK, and France, with verified icons set to appear on these listings starting in February next year. The company will also extend this verification process to an additional 30 countries next fall. These efforts are meant to enhance trust and security within the Airbnb community, including the blocking of 157,000 fake listings and removal of 59,000 others this year, aimed at preventing fraud and eliminating bad actors.

Better Customer Service: The company is also promising better customer service to its users starting this fall.

“You said when you call us, wait times are long and you repeat yourself to multiple agents. We now answer 94% of calls within 2 minutes. Starting in November, we’ll match you with agents who can resolve your specific issue faster,” Chesky wrote.

Lower Prices: Responding to the popular opinion that Airbnbs are as expensive as hotel accommodations, the company has promised to make Airbnbs more affordable, starting this fall. 

“Lower prices Hotel prices are up 10% from a year ago. The average price of a 1-bedroom Airbnb is down 1%. This fall, we’re releasing updates to help make Airbnb even more affordable,” Chesky wrote. 

Lower Cleaning Fees: The verdict is still out on whether cleaning fees constitutes as “junk fees,” nevertheless, excessive cleaning fees still remain a contentious topic in short-term rentals. Chesky noted that over 200,000 listings have either lowered or removed cleaning fees since Airbnb’s total price display was launched. 

“Since we launched total price display, 260,882 listings lowered or removed cleaning fees. Now, nearly 3 million listings don’t charge a cleaning fee,” Chesky wrote. He also hinted more updates will follow in November.


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Tags: airbnb, brian chesky, cleaning fees, vacation rentals

Photo credit: Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky speaking with Skift CEO Rafat Ali At Skift Global Forum in September 2022. Skift

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