Airbnb just made some key changes in the way it does business, likely as a response to a several incriminating instances that have plagued the company this year.
Last week, Vice reported on what looks like a nationwide Airbnb bait and switch scam, in which hosts asked guests to relocate at the last minute to subpar and suspect accommodations. This revelation came as the company was wrestling with a Halloween night shooting in Orinda, CA that resulted in five deaths at a house party at an Airbnb rental. This latter incident led the company to ban party houses at all Airbnb properties.
To help restore trust, Airbnb will verify every one of their 7 million listings by December 15, 2020. The company will introduce Airbnb Guest Guarantee by December 15, 2019, and set up a neighbor hotline to address relevant concerns.
Airbnb’s CEO Brian Chesky tweeted the company’s course of action:
Airbnb, like other short term rental companies, wants to ensure it has a strong supply of properties and, in the past, has prioritized host relationships. Now we are seeing a shift in its business model, which has been generally favorable to hosts, to one that is prioritizing guest satisfaction. Guest retention is increasingly important for Airbnb to remain competitive, as there are now more lodging choices than ever. The line between hotels and short term rentals has blurred and there are more players competing for business.