Travel

Airbnb’s new AI-powered “Guest Favorites” property badge will update daily

Airbnb’s new AI-powered “Guest Favorites” property badge will update daily


In
the same week Airbnb’s Plus program
officially shut down
,
the company is launching a new “Guest Favorites” badge that will be
automatically added – and removed – from properties through an artificial
intelligence-powered system.

Airbnb
says it has about 7 million properties on its site and about 2 million of
those are marked as “Guest Favorites” as of the launch Wednesday. Users can filter
their search to find these properties.

But
the designation is not guaranteed for any set time. Airbnb head of global
operations Tara Bunch said the system is dynamic and badging may change daily.

“We
have these machine learning and artificial intelligence tools that look at all
these different areas like the quality rating, the cancellation rate, CS
[customer service] tickets, all of the subcategories – cleanliness, accuracy,
location, value, etc.,” she said.

“It
takes all of those factors and it essentially then automatically, on a daily
basis, elevates the guest favorite badge on those properties that are at the
top.”

Airbnb
created the Plus program in 2018 as a way to identify certain properties for
top placement and support. Plus required hosts to apply to receive the designation, and
Airbnb inspected properties against a 100-point checklist heavily focused on
the property’s design.

The new “Guest Favorites” badge is a more automated –
some might say objective – designation. Bunch said that in conjunction with the
existing Superhost label, these two designations will “capture the very best
hosts and properties. And I think having a third category [of Plus] was just
kind of confusing,” Bunch said.

On
average, Airbnb said properties that currently have the Guest Favorite label have
ratings of at least 4.9 out of 5 and host cancellations and quality-related
customer services issues of 1%. The fact that the designation is dynamic can
also serve as a motivator for hosts, Bunch said, to address issues that may be
hindering their listing.

Also
as part of Airbnb’s 2023 Winter Release, the company is redesigning its ratings
and review functions. Guest can now sort reviews by date, rating and
characteristics of the reviewer – such as those traveling with pets – and to see
a chart that shows the distribution of reviews from one to five stars.

And
it’s making several updates for hosts, including a simplified interface to add property
details and check-in information. Airbnb is also integrating AI to automatically
organize photos of listings by room to make it easier for users to understand
the layout of a property. And hosts can now connect compatible smart locks to
their Airbnb account to automatically generate unique codes for each
reservation. 

In Airbnb’s earnings
call last week
– when it reported revenue of $3 billion in the third
quarter this year – co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky spoke of multiple growth
opportunities for the company, including international expansion and more use
of AI to refine products and services. 

In September, Chesky
announced several updates
including a new system to verify listings to
prevent fraud and increase trust.



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