By David DeMoss
Following up on our previous blog post about a tragic Airbnb shooting, the company’s CEO Brian Chesky has come up with protective measures to ensure that the scenario doesn’t happen again. This includes making sure the Airbnb homes are 100% verified, a 24/7 Neighbor Hotline, an intensive screening of high-risk reservations, a guest guarantee that re-books or refunds a guest if a listing doesn’t meet their standards, and a party house ban, that will prohibit unauthorized parties as well as abusive hosts and guests. The company is committed to making rental experiences fun and safe, and hopes to reinforce trust within the people of its community. More from Hotel Business, below.
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky is rolling out plans to “stop unauthorized parties before they start,” following a deadly shooting at an Airbnb rental home in Orinda, CA. Airbnb outlined measures it will be taking to build trust within its community of home-sharing hosts and guests.
“At our core, Airbnb is a business fueled by trust. We have an ongoing obligation to build trust and invest in innovations that will support trust when it comes to our policies, tools and procedures to ensure we are doing everything we can to protect hosts, guests and the communities in which we operate,” said Chesky. “Earlier this month, we initiated a 10-day sprint to review and accelerate the development and implementation of new trust initiatives.”
In an effort to build trust on the platform since its original design in 2008, Airbnb’s new features include the following:
100% Verified Homes – A newly established team is building the technological and human review protocols to review all Airbnb listings and hosts to verify for accuracy and quality standards. Those that meet the company’s high expectations will be clearly labeled.
Airbnb Neighbor Hotline – The company is more than doubling the size of the team responding to incidents and launching a new 24/7 Neighbor Hotline.
High-Risk Human Review – The company is tripling its technological and operational investment in screening of high-risk reservations to cover the United States, Canada and Mexico by the end of 2019 and all reservations globally by the end of 2020. This effort will be informed by Airbnb’s anti-discrimination and law enforcement partnerships to make them as fair and effective as possible.
Guest Guarantee – Beginning on December 15, 2019, if upon checking into a listing that does not meet accuracy standards, Airbnb will rebook the guest at a new listing of equal or greater value, or they will get 100% of their money back. “Most hosts do a great job, but guests need to feel like Airbnb has their back, and we believe this commitment is a necessary step in giving guests peace of mind,” he said.
Party House Ban – The company is finalizing its policies and implementing enforcement protocols before December 15 to combat unauthorized parties and remove hosts and guests engaged in abusive conduct.
Airbnb’s work has extended beyond the homes available on Airbnb to Airbnb Experiences, which includes the following:
- 100% Verified Experiences
- Expand List of Technically-Specialized Experiences
- New Requirements for Technically Specialized Activities
- Double Down on Prohibition of Dangerous Activities
In addition, Airbnb is making foundational investments this year:
- Improvements to technology platforms
- Offerings such as Airbnb Experiences, Airbnb Luxe, and Airbnb Plus
- Acquisitions like HotelTonight
- Airbnb China
- Marketing, in part to help educate consumers about new offerings
“With these additional protections, we will work together with our community of guests and hosts to reinforce the trust platform that we have built with our community. The world moves at the speed of trust, and the more trust that exists, the more access we can all have. Airbnb is founded on trust, and our vision depends on us continuing to increase this in our community,” he said. “More than eleven years after Joe, Nate and I started Airbnb, I have been asked what has surprised me most about the world. My answer is two things: that people are, in fact, fundamentally good, and that we are 99% the same. We still believe this, and with these changes, we hope to continue to demonstrate this to the world.”