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Airbnb requesting "Virtual Home Reviews" from hosts

Hi Airbnb Hosts,

Has anyone received Airbnb’s message below requesting an appointment for their "Virtual Home Review? IMO, It’s less about helping hosts get back on their feet post COVID-19 and more “we’ve verified a host’s listing so if a party/shooting breaks out, it’s not Airbnb’s fault.”

If anyone has interviewed, please share your experience. Perhaps I’m a bit jaded.

Stay safe and healthy,
Peter

Jun 3, 2020

Airbnb Support

We hope you and your family are safe and healthy as we all work to navigate the COVID-19 crisis in our communities. While Airbnb has developed initiatives (https://airbnb.com/covid) to minimize the impact to your business today, we are also exploring programs to help hosts get back on their feet once COVID-19 is less of a threat in our communities.

One program involves verifying listings in order to offer both hosts and guests more peace of mind once we start traveling again. As a successful host, we’d like to partner with you first, before launching the program to all hosts later this year.

If you’re able to safely access your listing and are interested in participating, please use the link below to schedule a 20 minute virtual home review with our team.

Schedule an appointment: (link removed by moderator)

If now is not the right time, we completely understand, and look forward to working with you when the timing is better. More details about the program are available at: https://abnb.co/videofaqs

Thanks, and stay safe,
The Airbnb Team

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This is likely related to the thing they announced in Nov, after the death at a big party - where they announced that they would be “verifying all 7 million listings”.

If you have the time, it may be best to just get it over with.

Verifying listings isn’t about parties or shootings. Verification is about host scams. It just happened to be announced at the same time as the “party house ban” because of all of the bad publicity. Of course, the bad publicity wasn’t causing Airbnb to lose hosts, it was causing them to lose guests, so their spin back in November did it’s best to direct blame away from guests.

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They can sack 1900 call centre staff, but have lined up verifications???
No wonder there is NO ONE to answer the phones!

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@pmarlin I removed the link to schedule appointment in case it was directly linked to your listing… We would not want someone scheduling for you!

RR

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Someone posted about it a few days ago.

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Figured as much, so I scheduled for next Fri. Will report back to the group.

Thanks, I had already deleted the specifics of my listing. But you never know…

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Thanks KKC, I found lparks’ “Weird Message from Airbnb” report back reassuring.

Well, that’s what it was! He just wanted to look at all the things that I say I have on my listing. He told me that I would be hearing more about verified soon- that it will be a big deal. And that verified listings will be given search priority. It took 15 minutes. Let me know if you have any questions about what else happened!

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Cool - THANKS! We are pretty curious what it entails but don’t anticipate getting ping’d as our usual listing is off-market and our new listing is not listed yet.

I was sent the same request for an interview. I feel like I’m about to be sent to the Principal’s office for doing something bad…lol!
Is the general consensus to accept the request and go through with it? Thanks!

I would accept. Refusing might make it seem like you have something to hide. It seems they are going to eventually do this with all listings, or at least the entire house rentals (because this supposedly came out of the bait-and-switch scandals that were publicized) and they are doing a trial run, of which you are a lucky winner :slight_smile: If it means you get some “verified” badge on your listing sooner than others, that seems like a good thing.

Yes. I forgot all about their promise to verify all of their listings…so I’ll go with it and if the outcome is news worthy, I’ll post it on this forum. Sigh. Thanks, muddy.

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I have the interview scheduled for tomorrow. I was completely under the impression it was to verify that I have parking and entry as I have described. Safe and able to do social distancing.
This is all news to me.

The virtual home review went smoothly via Zoom/cellphone. The Airbnb rep requested that I provide video of items from my listing (ie front of cabin, parking, bedrooms, baths, shampoo, frig, stove, grill, etc), walking from room to room. She went through her checklist and seemed rushed to complete the inspection in 20 minutes and proceed to her next listing review. That’s why I haven’t been able to reach a CS rep for the past three months…

As others have mentioned, those with the verified listing will get the “verified” badge and search priortiy. We’ll see how that goes. My Superhost listing lags behind cabins with fewer and lower reviews. Not to complain, we have our niche and do ok.

So, if you get the message from Airbnb, schedule time and get it over with.

Have other hosts been doing the Zoom verification?

I did mine yesterday. It was pretty anticlimactic. The CS agent was a typical AirBnB employee–like a polite robot. He wanted to see my router, TP, iron, towels, soap, etc. It felt a bit silly verifying a consumable like TP. The CS agent wanted to see my stove and I kept saying “I don’t offer one!”

For those who have been through this process, what happens next?

Did it weeks ago and now have a green verified stamp on my profile…which a guest would have to click on to see!

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Well I can’t do this because I’m 400 miles away. Guess I’ll ask my cleaner…

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TLDR: My Airbnb Virtual Home Review happened on June 12 and today, July 19, I noticed a “Verified identity” icon under my profile.

The Airbnb rep had promised placement priority for those with “Verified identity.”

So, being the curious type, I’ve been regularly looking at my placement for the past month via InPrivate Browsing/Incognito.

Today, my Superhost listing hasn’t budged, ranking 14 out of 30. Of the 13 listings ahead of mine, 1 listing has a paltry 4.64 stars with 22 review, so definitely not boosted for new priority.

I wasn’t expecting much, but geez…

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Well, that’s something you can certainly never put any faith in.

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