Airbnb Has a Plan to Verify Quality Rentals and Offer Even More High-end Options
The home sharing site is getting even more mainstream with new quality control and a ranking system
After “disrupting” the travel industry with its home sharing network, Airbnb is continuing on a path to becoming more mainstream.
On Thursday, the home rental platform announced several changes, including a system to verify the quality of and rank its listings.
“Airbnb Plus is a new selection of only the highest quality homes with hosts known for great reviews and attention to detail,” according to the company. Every Airbnb plus home has been visited in person and put through a 100+ point quality inspection. Hosts of these homes are also supposed to have at least a 4.8 guest rating.
The designation, which will be visible on listings as a “PLUS” badge, could come as a relief to travelers who are a bit uneasy about either the safety or the comfort of a stranger’s home.
Of course, sending inspectors to individual listings is a timely process — only about 2,000 listings in 13 cities will be part of the launch, USA Today reported.
For travelers who aren’t quite impressed enough by “Plus,” Airbnb also announced “Beyond,” a new tier of booking that “will offer custom designed trips of a lifetime, including the world’s finest homes, custom experiences and world-class hospitality.”
Airbnb will also introduce four new property types. The existing options of Entire Home, Private Room and Shared Space will now be joined by “Vacation Home, Unique, B&B and Boutiques” — as in boutique “hotels,” a word only mentioned once in the announcement. Smaller hotel properties have previously been listed on Airbnb, but this marks an official departure from the “home” part of home sharing. A new loyalty program for both guests and hosts will be rolled out along with these updates, promising “benefits across the entire trip,” but Airbnb has not revealed any details as to what those benefits will be.
In addition to the new classifications, travelers will soon be able to sort their lodging options by what kind of trip they’re taking and who will be on it. The first two “Collections,” will be “Airbnb for Work” and “Airbnb for Family.”
The home/apartment/room rental service that began as an extra couch in San Francisco is still trying to distinguish itself from hotel chains, but that appears to be increasingly difficult as it looks to give travelers a consistent experience.
This article originally appeared on Travelandleisure.com