Airbnb is trying to remove barriers that might keep people of the registration of their houses in part by tripling its insurance coverage and offering free personalized advice to new hosts.
“Today there are 4 million hosts on Airbnb, but we’ve seen over 60 million people come to our accommodations page, which means they’ve been thinking about accommodations,” said Airbnb co-founder Nate Blecharczyk to FOX Business. “They haven’t taken the leap yet. And so we really want to give them confidence to become hosts.”
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To do this, the company has implemented a new system called Airbnb Setup. For the first time, new hosts will be able to be connected with a superhost in their area who can guide them on how to list their home on the platform. Hosts can chat via audio, video or send a message to a superhost for any questions or concerns they may have throughout the setup process.
More than 1,800 superhosts in more than 80 countries have already signed up to help guide new hosts starting Wednesday. However, new hosts will also have access to a team of Community Support Agents.
New hosts will also have the option of having an experienced guest for their first booking.
The company also increased its damage protection via AirCover, launched last spring, from $1 million to $3 million. Coverage will extend beyond the home and include cars, boats as well as other artwork and valuables inside the home, according to Blecharczyk.
Blecharczyk said the likelihood of a home or personal belongings being damaged is “extremely unlikely”. However, the company still recognizes that “it’s a thought every host probably has at one time or another,” he added.
“It takes a lot of trust to allow a stranger into your home,” Blecharczyk said. “We know people worry about these things, and we want to take that off the table.”
The company also simplified the process for hosts to file a complaint.
Airbnb is also rolling out other upgrades, including expanded identity verification for guests and exclusive booking screening technology, which helps reduce the risk of disruptive parties, as part of their mission to respond to all reasons someone might be reluctant to list their home, according to Blecharczyk.
The platform has also added new categories for users. Since early days of the pandemicAirbnb has added over 150 enhancements to its platform.
More recently, Airbnb updated its platform to make total housing charges more transparent to deal with customer complaints about hidden charges when booking. It also improved the checkout process for customers.
“I heard you loud and clear: you feel like pricing isn’t transparent and payment tasks are a pain,” CEO Brian Chesky said. tweeted earlier this month. “Starting next month, you will be able to see the total price you pay up front.”
Chesky added, “You shouldn’t have to do unreasonable checkout chores like stripping beds, doing laundry or vacuuming. But we think it’s reasonable to turn off lights, throw away food in the trash and lock the doors…like you would when leaving your own home.”