Airbnb 2024 Spring update: Carrots and sticks for hosts 

Thibault Masson

Updated on:

airbnb 2024 spring update

Airbnb has just dropped a surprise 2024 Spring update. Usually, we only have a Winter and a Summer one. This update is mainly for hosts.

With over 7 million listings on Airbnb, the challenge for travelers of sifting through an abundance of choices to uncover the best quality listings has never been more acute. This situation necessitates a dual approach: elevating the visibility of exceptional listings while systematically weeding out those that consistently underperform. Also, Airbnb is keen on increasing the competition among listings on quality and price.

Airbnb’s response to these challenges and opportunities is multifaceted, and aimed at enhancing the overall platform experience for every user:

  • Enhancing Guest Confidence and Choice: By introducing and promoting listing-level distinctions such as the Verified Listings, Guest Favorites badge, and the new top 25% and top 1% mentions, Airbnb significantly aids travelers in identifying high-quality accommodations. This not only elevates guest satisfaction but also streamlines the decision-making process amidst a vast sea of options.
  • Reducing Guest Complaints through Reliability: Tackling issues from fraudulent listings to mitigating the impact of host cancellations, Airbnb’s initiatives are squarely aimed at bolstering the platform’s reliability. The verification process and stricter cancellation policies underscore a commitment to trust and consistency, ensuring that guests view Airbnb as a dependable choice for their travel needs.
  • Stimulating Competition on Quality and Price: The introduction of new recognition tiers above the already coveted Guest Favorites badge incentivizes hosts to strive for excellence in quality and value for money. With part of the ranking based on value, the platform naturally encourages competitive pricing among hosts, fostering an environment where quality and affordability are key differentiators.

Before we get into the details of the carrots and sticks, the Airbnb 2024 Spring update also proposes something new on the connectivity side: Hosts with listings in the US and Canada will be able to connect compatible Schlage smart locks with their Airbnb account and automatically generate unique codes for every reservation. It is a step further into Airbnb’s 2024 strategy and its host marketplace, where Airbnb is to connect hosts with tools and service providers, much like a PMS would.

Airbnb 2024 Spring Update in details

Carrots (Benefits for Hosts)

Verified Listings:

Airbnb 2024 spring update verified listings

The verification process, with a focus on the US, Canada, Australia, UK, and France, aims to boost guest confidence. Listings that complete this process receive a “verified” badge, likely attracting more guests due to perceived reliability.

In these countries, by end of March 2024, nearly 1.5 million listings will have completed the verification process and will receive a “verified” badge.

Airbnb will soon launch new features, including photo and video verification, enabling more hosts in specific countries to authenticate their properties. Additionally, starting this autumn, Airbnb plans to extend its listing verification process to an additional 30 countries.

New Top 1% and Top 25% of homes worldwide mentions on listing pages:

Airbnb 2024 Spring update top 1 of homes worlwide 1
  • In the Winter 2023 release, Airbnb introduced the Guest Favorite badge, a distinction awarded at the listing level.
  • Airbnb had given more visibility to the Guest Favorite badge than to the Superhost status, which is recognized at the account level. Superhost status is gradually losing its prominence. 
  • By Summer 2024, Airbnb will further enhance listing-level recognition by adding:
    • A mention for the top 25% of listings worldwide
    • A special mention and trophy badge for the elite top 1% of listings
  • The calculation will be global and based on ratings, reviews, and reliability. It sounds like it will use the same evaluation criteria as Guest Favorites, which is recalculated daily. These top 1% and top 25% mentions may also fluctuate from one day to the next.

Support and Education for Improvement:

Before removing low-quality listings, Airbnb offers hosts education and actionable feedback. This guidance can help them improve their offerings and guest experiences.

Sticks (Obligations and Consequences for Hosts)

  • Mandatory Listing Verification: Hosts are required to undergo verification for their listings. This process, although beneficial, might be seen as an additional hurdle to maintain listing visibility and trustworthiness.
  • Bottom 10% ranking mention:  Listings in the bottom 10% of ranked listings will be visibly marked
  • New sort function for lowest-rated reviews: It helps travelers see the lowest reviews for each listing.
  • Limiting Host Cancellations: In the final quarter of 2023, Host cancellations were reduced by 36%. Airbnb has introduced firmer consequences and stricter policies to deter avoidable host cancellations. They have also worked on preventing hosts from making honest mistakes that lead to host cancellations. For instance, new hosts cannot open their calendar availability too widely at first. Airbnb also says that its new pricing tools help hosts make fewer pricing errors.
  • Removal of Low-Quality Listings: Since April 2023, Airbnb has removed 100,000 listings, under their new hosting quality system.

At the heart of these strategies is Airbnb’s recognition of the need to adapt to a changing marketplace where quality, reliability, and value are paramount. By carefully balancing the carrots (incentives for hosts to improve and excel) and sticks (consequences for underperformance), Airbnb aims to refine its ecosystem, ensuring that it remains a premier choice for travelers worldwide. This approach not only caters to the immediate needs of its users but also sets a foundation for sustained growth and innovation in the hospitality industry.

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