Airbnb has taken a strong step in the vacation rental sector what could be called as a milestone on booking and technology. Until now Airbnb has been behind others in the world of private accommodation with only having instant booking available on a small minority of listings. However now, the company says it has reached a level where two out of five listings offer instant booking.
This equates to 60% of all bookings now being secured with instant booking.
The brand has a fair way to go before it catches up with private accommodation rival Booking.com, which has 100% of its portfolio with instant booking, whilst HomeAway has aspirations of its own to get as close as it can to an overwhelming majority of properties featuring the functionality.
Improved calendaring — giving hosts with multiple listings (for example, a host with a listing for an entire home and a separate listing for a room inside that home) controls to link their Airbnb calendars and prevent double-bookings, as well as the ability to set minimum night requirements for specific dates.
The ability to save days for guests inquiring about a listing — allowing hosts to hold certain days from being instantly bookable (by other guests) if they are already in conversations.
Tools to better manage guest expectations — via a new guest-education capability, where all first-time guests will receive education on how Airbnb is a different experience from hotels. Existing Airbnb guests now need to to read and agree to hosts’ house rules and expectations about their listing before booking.
Check-in/check-out parameters — giving hosts flexibility to only allow check-ins/check-outs on specific days of the week and at certain times, since some hosts prefer to be present to greet guests and help them get settled.
Rebooking controls — restrict guests that have rated a host three stars or lower from being able to instantly book with that host again.