Let’s see where Airbnb is heading to with its 2023 Summer Release.
50 new guest features and 25 host features are introduced into the platform, with Airbnb Rooms and Host Passport being the headliners.
Inspiration for the Airbnb 2023 Summer Release
- Post-pandemic world and economic recession lead to a 20% increase in travellers booking rooms for 2022 compared to 2021
- The feedback from guests and hosts shows that guests need more information about their hosts, and privacy details ensuring transparency about shared spaces
- The interest of individuals and couples seeking an authentic experience is not fully addressed on other travel platforms, so Airbnb wanted to meet the requirements of this group
- Interviews with 3000 Airbnb hosts showed that it took too much time to do simple things on the app
- Airbnb wanted to get host feedback on the new features before the official release
Airbnb’s goal for the 2023 Summer release is to shift their brand image from an expensive travel website to one that offers more reasonably priced lodging options. This is the reason why the Rooms category was introduced.
25 host features from the Airbnb 2023 Summer Release
Airbnb Rooms Category Host Passport
The Airbnb Rooms category with over 1 million listings, offers guests an affordable way to travel, with over 80% of listings costing less than $100 per night. For hosts it is the opportunity to earn income by renting out a single room – a “financial lifeline” as Tara Bunch puts it (Airbnb’s global head of operations).
What properties qualify for Airbnb Rooms category
- Private bedroom with a door
- Access to private or shared bathroom
- Access to at least kitchen, or living room, or backyard
- Host’s own name on the listing
- Airbnb listing type is Private room
Not private rooms: shared room, hotel, resort, tent, camper, standalone unit (such as a backyard bungalow), or any other type of property.
Host Passport allows hosts to showcase their hospitality, as well as share stories about their city or neighbourhood. Guests can see extra information about the bedroom door locks or whether the bathroom is shared or private. You can even include Guidebooks to your profile.
In the Host passport one can provide a lot of personal information.
The Airbnb Host Passport is going to be used for personal matching with guests who share the same interests and lifestyle. It can include quite a lot of details: photo, gender, age, hobbies, location, past trips, languages, pets, host’s school, favourite songs,
Airbnb will be calculating compatibility scores to match guests with trustworthy and reliable hosts. That is the potential bookings boost – for good hosts. But also an exposure. What about discrimination?
Also, Host Passport doesn’t appear anywhere else except for the Rooms category (as a host badge in the corner). Does it mean that for hosts with non-room listings the personal matching would not work? We don’t know yet.
Pricing tools and price transparency
Now to better understand and change the listing price, hosts just need to tap on it in the Calendar view. Control prices for peak and non-peak seasons. View the booking earnings breakdown and set weekly or monthly discounts using the slider
Compare similar listings feature is an option to see the average price per similar listings booked in your area (same location, property size, amenities, ratings). This game-changing feature allows hosts to manage bookings in uncertain situations, for example, in low seasons, but it can also pose a risk as some property managers may reduce their prices, which could impact profitability.
The new total price toggle allows guests to view the total cost of their stay, inclusive of all fees but before taxes, which is supposed to help them make more informed decisions about where to book.
Pay Over Time option in partnership with Klarna allows guests to make payments in 4 interest-free instalments in the US and Canada or monthly instalments for US stays above $500. This means more accessible accommodation for a wider range of travellers.
Hosts now have increased control over pricing and are encouraged to diversify their pricing strategy. However, if hosts choose to charge extra, they may receive penalties in the form of lost bookings, as long as guests can always see the true price and choose to book for longer stays.
Simplified Booking Calendar for Hosts
The Airbnb Calendar has been updated for increased host’s convenience. Now it is much easier to select multiple dates by swiping across the screen (horizontal swipe for days and vertical swipe – for weeks). The price for those dates can be easily changed without closing the calendar or switching screens.
By selecting the Year view at the top of the calendar, hosts can view all 12 months at once with current reservations highlighted with colour.
You can set weekly and monthly discounts, which is crucial for attracting guests looking for longer stays.
With these features Airbnb sets high standards of UI/UX for any booking software in the short-term rentals niche.
At Your.Rentals, we also work on the convenience of the Calendar selection and price setting tools.
Your.Rentals Calendar setting with Seasonal rates applied to listings (swipe to select).
Check-in and Check-out process
The new checkout process has a section for Checkout instructions in the Host listing tab. Hosts can faster add details for common checkout tasks, making it easier for guests to understand what is expected of them. Guests can indicate when they have completed the tasks, and the host will be notified.
Automatic checkout info will also be sent to guests the day before checkout. You may wonder why guests need checkout instructions? Can’t they just leave the keys on the table and throw the trash away? Yes and no.
Checkout instructions can be viewed as an extra layer of control for hosts, as they can more easily communicate the expected checkout behaviour.
On the other hand guest’s Checkout feedback to checkout experience can potentially lead to the downgrade and removal of listings with repeated low ratings for wired tasks.
The mobile version of Co-Host tab has got a completely new look.
With Airbnb’s extensive ecosystem, features such as Co-hosting are made possible. Invite co-hosts directly from the app with varying levels of Co-host permissions: calendar, inbox, or full access to calendar and listings.
Co-Host payouts sharing allows sharing payouts directly on Airbnb. You can choose to share a percentage of your earnings or a fixed amount per booking, and your co-hosts will receive payouts for bookings after guests check in.
We can clearly see Airbnb’s commitment to empowering co-hosts, cleaners, family members and ensuring their success on the platform.
Airbnb plans for integration with AI
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky unveiled his vision of AI integration with Airbnb. Here are some key takeaways:
- Airbnb intends to rebuild the entire app with AI at the centre, but the major changes are slated for mid-2024. The Apple approach: not being the first, but being the best.
- Airbnb will be bringing GPT4 into their app instead of building an interface layer on top of ChatGPT. Chesky is closely connected to Sam Altman, OpenAI (ChatGPT) founder and CEO.
- AI for Airbnb will include paid products and services for hosts and guests as well as a potential ad product which he wants to do differently.
- Airbnb’s CEO envisions three AI layers: 1) the big foundational base models, 2) the personalized layer of AI, and 3) the AI interface.
- Chesky believes that there is still a market opportunity worth a billion-dollar business solely for Airbnb Experiences powered by AI.
Airbnb is shifting its brand image to provide more reasonably priced lodging options by introducing the Rooms category. This is an opportunity for hosts to have a ‘financial lifeline’ by renting out a single room.
Hosts can use the Host Passport to showcase their hospitality and attract travellers with a similar lifestyle.
The pricing tools allow hosts to manage bookings, set weekly or monthly discounts and provide booking price transparency.
The Compare similar listings feature enables hosts to see the average price per similar listings booked in their area, while the new total price toggle enables guests to view the total cost of their stay, inclusive of all fees but before taxes.