Airbnb is revamping its home-rental platform to ease tensions between guests and hosts ahead of the summer tourist season. This was reported by Bloomberg.
The company is introducing more than 50 new functions and updates at once. Their goal is to improve price transparency, checkout, accessibility, and more. The changes, in particular, take into account customer feedback and their posts on social networks.
The company’s chief executive, Brian Chesky, recalled last summer when he began to notice a growing number of complaints on social media. So that season was kind of a wake-up call for Airbnbs. Then there was a wave of anger from long-time users who complained about long lists of duties and exorbitant cleaning fees. Part of the problem is related to the design of the app.
“People were complaining about the host, but the host had bad tools,” Chesky said. “Hosts were charging excessively high cleaning fees because they didn’t realize what the guest was really paying.”
To fix this, the company brought in a design department and 20 different teams. They ended up creating a system that allows guests to see the total cost with all fees before taxes across the entire app. At the same time, owners will get new tools to set competitive prices, add discounts and compare their listings with others. Hosts will also be able to view the total price per night throughout the app to get an idea of how much guests will pay.
To make Airbnb more accessible to guests, the company is making changes such as lower fees, the ability to pay in installments, and a new discount tool for hosts to offer the best deals.
Also, the “Rooms” category will have more than 1 million ads with an average cost of $67 per night, where guests will live with hosts, sharing common spaces. The Host Passport will provide guests with detailed information about the person they are staying with, including their photo, social interaction preferences, and fun facts about themselves.
According to Brian Chesky, Airbnb is exploring ways to use artificial intelligence, particularly to improve customer service. But before launching new features with AI, a company must first solve existing problems.
“I think AI will have profound impacts on Airbnb,” added Brian Chesky.
We will remind that Airbnb currently has more than 4 million hosts. They have hosted 1.4 billion guests in their homes around the world. This year, the number of guest arrivals may reach 300 million.