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Airbnb Promises to Verify All 7 Million Listings

Chesky said that the company would undertake a year-long project to ensure that every home listed on the platform is accurately advertised. As a stopgap measure, the company will “rebook the guest a new listing of equal or greater value” or completely refund them starting next month should the rental they booked not meet the company’s accuracy standards.

“Starting now, verification of all seven million listings on Airbnb will commence,” Chesky said. “We believe that trust on the Internet begins with verifying the accuracy of the information on Internet platforms, and we believe that this is an important step for our industry."

Simple arithmetic shows that 7,000,000 divided by 365 equals 20,000 verifications per day.

Good luck with that one old chap.

JF

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There’s a discussion about this on this thread as well:

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Some sort of computer program will scan the listing and then they will put eyes on a relatively low number. Interestingly Airbnb already has a “report this listing” feature. But they don’t seem responsive. Two years or so ago there was a completely fake listing in the Seattle area that I reported and it remained up. Like no one even looked at it or my report apparently. And there is already a way for a neighbor to report an airbnb in their neighborhood that’s been around for years. They could have used that to their benefit but don’t. There’s a chasm between what Airbnb thinks will solve the problem and what hosts think will solve the problem.

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Yes, I’ve read that one. I thought that BC’s claims deserved a topic of their own :wink:

JF

I agree 100%.

I’m curious about what your proposed solutions to the problem would include.

I don’t have one. The laxity in verification of both hosts and guests is a systemic fault, something that’s been allowed to simply rumble along. As long as there has been “heads in beds” (© @RiverRockRetreat) and a seemingly never ending supply of hosts, all has been rosy in the garden of Chesky.

There is no easy retro-fix. It is a process that, as new hosts come on board, both they and their properties are verified. To what extent is the question.

No mainstream OTA verifies listings to this extent:

Homes will be verified for accuracy of the listing (including accuracy of photos, addresses, and listing details) and quality standards (including cleanliness, safety, and basic home amenities) and those that meet our high expectations will be clearly labeled.

Are we going to have local Airbnb QA persons coming round with black lights and white felt gloves?

I suspect this is a knee jerk PR release. Some things might change, some things won’t.

JF

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LOL. I volunteer. (j/k)

As Deb said in the other thread I think it starts with ratings. Millions of listings have hundreds of stays with 4.8 and higher ratings. Obviously I don’t need to be verified in person by an Airbnb employee.

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You could just have large whole home rentals (4+ bedrooms that sleep 6+) automatically input a local contact in order to list. That would get rid of unsupervised party houses. Or at least clarify the responsibility.

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Yep, I’ll do that. Within a fortnight, at my price level, there’d no competition left :wink:

JF

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I’m thinking one thing they will do—especially because of the party ban—is flag all listings that allow larger numbers of guests. I’ve got one AirBnB that’s listed for 14 guests—that I have stretched to accommodate 18 guests a few times by adding more air mattresses—that I worry they may flag for that reason. I don’t allow parties and I live right next door so they’d be shut down immediately if anyone ever tried it. The listing mentions right up front that I live next door so I’m thinking that would discourage anyone looking to book for a party.

I’ve never had any problems there; my large groups have either been families or college or church groups. I’ve hosted the equestrian team and the Ultimate Frisbee Team from one university, a group of International university students coming to our area to receive an award, and multiple church youth groups. They have all been wonderful guests.

I would hate for AirBnB to delist the house or insist on reducing the guest number just because the house can sleep a large number of guests.

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Surely that can’t be the only criteria. The host in Orinda had previous complaints as well as citations from the city. And he was a remote host that didn’t live near the listing from what I understand. I don’t want to put all blame on him but still.

They are sure to piss off a lot of hosts though. They are putting 75% of the blame on hosts instead of on guests.

Reducing the number of guests on the official listing won’t do much to stop bad GUESTS. Our whole home listing said max 7 people. That didn’t stop high schoolers from trying to throw 50+ person parties at our home. Or even grown adults trying to throw 30 person daytime events that we don’t allow either. It is the size of the home and the amenities (pool… large backyard… views…etc) that determines whether bad actors choose your home.

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This is actually a very interesting idea. In my state, for LTR leases, if the owner isn’t a resident of the state, there has to be a local contact as well as some other regulations/stipulations about it (we live here so I didn’t read that info thoroughly). We don’t have STR regulations but if we get some, I think this part of the LTR regulations might could/should tag along.

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Yeah, and if it takes 30 minutes to verify a listing (however that would actually happen), then it would take about 2000 people working full time (8 hours/day and 260 days/year) for a full year with a labor cost on the order of 50M USD.

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That may be why they zero in on a home but I think their degree of success can be greatly impeded by savvy hosts. I’m having a hard time imagining any of the regular members here with large remote homes having this happen to them. Maybe I’m naive. I’m not trying to host bash though. Chesky is giving guests a free ride and putting 75% of the blame on hosts.

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Who enforces that? List a local contact, great, but if there is a party and the local contact can’t be reached? The home in Orinda had previous issues. Should there be a zero tolerance policy?

I doubt that will happen.
My large 17p listing is booked 100% from December trough March.

I already getting request for 2021.
Especially the large listings are hard to find in my area.

And partying is impossible, because I live downstairs.

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I don’t know. It’s not a legal lease without it though and the local contact has to be registered with the state somehow. It’s LTR stuff here but is an interesting idea.

The listing verification appears to have absolutely nothing to do with the “party ban”. Rather, listing verifications are to protect guests from scamming hosts.

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Resident hosts and hosts with 100s of reviews and no incident reports should be exempt. They need to start with homes they already know are a problem. Like the one where the shooting occurred.

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