Airbnb launched a new software update that enables the integration of smart locks so hosts don’t need to worry about issuing new door codes and guests can find them without hassle. The update could alleviate some stressors when renting an Airbnb, as guests could get lost looking for smart door code messages, and hosts could miscommunicate the information.
Smart lock integration will work with certain hardware by companies August, Schlage, and Yale (specific models were not named). Airbnb says it can automatically generate the code, and guests can view it in the Airbnb app, via email, and get a notification before they arrive. The code will deactivate after the guest checks out.
The winter 2023 software update also brings several other quality-of-life improvements for guests and hosts. Guests can now sort reviews by rating or recency and can easily glance at the number of positive and negative reviews of a listing. When leaving a review, guests can add more information about the stay, including the length of the visit and if they traveled with kids or pets.
Airbnb is adding a new “Guest Favorites” designation for 2 million homes that are rated at 4.9 and above and excel at “ease of check-in, cleanliness, listing accuracy, Host communication, location, and value.” The idea is to ease potential guests’ fear of the unknown and reduce choice fatigue. Airbnb says many people prefer hotels to Airbnb, and it hopes Guest Favorites can quell anxiety and invite more bookings.
For hosts, a new “AI-powered photo tour” can help automatically detect and organize photos by room, and they can then add more amenity information per room. A new listing editor has also been added that better communicates available amenities in the house.
Additionally, new pricing visibility provides clearer communication on what fees are applied during the stay (presumably after talks with the White House). And co-hosts can now get easy payout splits from the cleaning fees and even a cut of the booking amount (should the primary host wish). Hosts can even compare listing prices with other local Airbnbs in the app, and a new dashboard gives a clear indication of earnings along with projections and reports.
Airbnb is rolling out many of the new listing features worldwide this week. Meanwhile, smart lock integration will be available for early access-registered hosts in the US and Canada “later this year,” and price comparison and visibility will come next year.