Airbnb is to begin verifying properties for quality and comfort. The company will use a 100-point checklist to evaluate properties on features such as a well-stocked kitchen, towel quality and the mattress comfort.
Airbnb will give properties that pass the test Plus status. These properties will be recommended to those looking for something a little more than somewhere to sleep.
Airbnb Plus will begin rolling out today, with 2,000 homes having already been verified by Airbnb employees.
Likewise, Airbnb has also announced a third property tier targeting “high net-worth customers”, according to Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky.
Known as Beyond by Airbnb, these bookings offer more than accommodation. According to TechCrunch, they are built to provide luxury accommodation, hospitality and a unique experience.
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The company announced these new features at an Airbnb event at the SF Masonic Auditorium in San Francisco yesterday.
Why it matters:
Currently users can filter properties based on room type (entire property, private room, shared room), property type (house, apartment, bed & breakfast etc.) as well as price range, number of beds and bathrooms and features and facilities such as air conditioning and swimming pools.
However, with 4.5 million properties listed on the platform, it can be difficult to separate the blow-up mattresses from the luxury apartments.
The new tier system is part of a wider shake-up of Airbnb’s search function. In addition to the new tiers, hosts will now be able to list their properties as everything from a unique space to a boutique hotel. This should make it easier for users to find what they’re looking for.
This is another attempt by Airbnb to diversify its offerings. Founders Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk initially created the platform for those looking for simple accomodation. However, they have now turned their attention to a new clientele.
This appears to be another attempt to become more than a booking platform. The company has been moving into the experiences market recently.
Airbnb launched its Trips service last year, which allowed users to book travel experiences such as city tours and meet-ups with locals as part of their stay. Beyond by Airbnb appears to be similar.
What was said:
Speaking at the event, Chesky said:
“Airbnb is still an alternative. We still haven’t done the ‘everyone’ part… Until now.”
More than 1,000 Airbnb employees were in attendance in San Francisco alongside a number of “super-hosts”, or top-level hosts, TechCrunch reported.
Airbnb will also be launching a new “superguest” programme, which will see frequent users gifted with benefits such as discounts, flight upgrades and airport pickups.
It will offer 10,000 frequent guests the chance to trial the loyalty programme in the spring. Airbnb plans to launch the Superguest programme to all users in the summer.