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Airbnb Now Factors In Host Preferences - a good or bad idea for hosts?


#1

So apparently your potential guests who want to stay for only a few days won’t see your listing if you have a tendency to accept only week long stays. What does everyone think of this? To be honest I’m not sure if I agree with this.

For the first time ever, Airbnb is taking into account host preferences in its visitor-matching algorithm.

The room-sharing startup is now tracking what hosts care about, such as how far in advance a visitor has booked her trip, weekend versus weekday requests and length of stays.

Travelers’ search results will also differ. For example, if you search for a spare room for a one-week stay in Barcelona with two guests, you won’t just see the most relevant listing for your inquiry. The top-ranked results will include hosts who’ve shown a preference for one-week bookings with no more than two guests.

Airbnb has had its fair share of missteps with hosts, especially in places like New York, which has always had a contentious rental market. And like Uber, the supply side of Airbnb’s business depends on the reliability and safety of its hosts, who are essentially free assets to Airbnb and are crucial to the company’s future growth.

It was a big shift in Airbnb’s thinking to emphasize host preferences when serving up search results for visitors. “Conceptually, it took us awhile to convince ourselves this was the right idea,” Airbnb data scientist Bar Ifrach said in an interview with Re/code.

After changing their matching algorithm to account for hosts’ preferences — measured by which reservation requests hosts accepted or declined — Airbnb saw a 3.75 percent increase in booking conversion. “On average, each match was smoother and required less [request] attempts for the visitor,” Ifrach said.


#2

Wait, aren’t all bookings random and have nothing to do with our “preferences” of what we accept and don’t accept? I don’t like this feature, as I am thinking it means it will filter out the potential bookings that don’t match our particular algorithms.

For instance, length of stay. What is typical? I have no minimum at all on my stays. They can stay one night if they choose, but then they quickly realize they are paying through the nose for the cleaning, one night and tax. They could stay one night at the 4 Seasons for all that amounts to!

But I want to have that option open if I need to because I can “clean up” just on cleaning! And they are gone in the morning.


#3

I think this is a ridiculous change. My 2015 average stay was 5.25 days so does that mean I’m out of the running for 2 day requests? I’m not happy if that’s the case (and it sounds like it is).

The mantra has always been how much Airbnb cares. Really? How many meetings have I been to (NYC area) where Airbnb has talked about listening to hosts, using us as beta testers, the value of running ideas past us, etc. Baloney.


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