Why did you add new basic amenities requirements?
Our goal in requiring essential amenities was to meet guest expectations, as these are the items guest tell us they look for. But we’ve changed our approach and are now leaving it to hosts to choose whether or not to include essential amenities. For listings that don’t include essential amenities, we’re exploring ways to let guests know what to expect.
Why did you change the cancellation policy, making it easier for guests to cancel at no cost?
We added a grace period to the Strict cancellation policy to encourage guests to book with confidence, and to make a way for them to resolve booking mistakes right after booking (as long as the trip is at least 14 days away and they cancel within 48 hours of booking). We have measures in place to make sure guests don’t misuse the grace period by booking more than one listing at a time or cancelling more than three times in a year penalty-free.
Your needs are top of mind as well. When you need to cancel due to an unforeseen situation, you’re covered under our Extenuating Circumstances policy to ensure that unexpected maintenance issues, sudden emergencies, and other covered instances do not impact your record or put an additional burden on you to bear the cost of cancellation penalties or guest rebooking.
Can you request that guests have a profile picture? Can you share more info about guests upfront?
We’re committed to helping both hosts and guests feel comfortable hosting and traveling on Airbnb. And we understand that you may prefer guest profile photos so you can recognize and welcome guests when they arrive, but we’ve also heard stories of guests being denied acceptance based on their race or appearance. We’ve considered the solutions to the community’s needs carefully and are announcing new profile photo tools that we hope will address those needs equitably. Soon, hosts will be able to require guests to provide a photo before arrival. If you require profile photos, the small percentage of guests without them will not be able to request to book your listing until they upload one. If a host requires a photo, guests will be able to choose whether their photo is shown to the host before or after booking. We feel this is a fair way to address both host and guests preferences.
You're constantly pushing me to lower my price, why? Who are you comparing me to?
Our tools help you set a competitive price and get more bookings when demand is low, which can mean suggestions to lower your price. But we’re launching improvements that better consider your market during periods of high demand. Soon we’re going to equip you with more data, not just pricing suggestions, to help you set your price.
As for comparisons, we look at successfully booked listings in your area with similar numbers of guests and amenities (listings you won’t see if you’re searching dates they’ve booked). We also look at what guests click before and after visiting your listing.
What's the short-term rental legislation in my region? Where can I find info about it and ensure I'm compliant?
Understanding the legislation around short-term rentals is one of the first steps in becoming a host. Head over to airbnb.com/responsible-hosting for information about what rules apply to hosting in certain areas. It’s our plan to continue to provide all hosts with more detailed information about how local policies impact their ability to hosts, but in the meantime, we encourage hosts to learn the rules that apply to them before they welcome their first guests.
Can you add an option to add extra fees for offering extra services?
We’re exploring ways for you to offer and manage these fees through the platform. The types of fees you’ve asked for fall into two categories: standard fees charged to every guest (like resort or linen fees, and local taxes) and optional fees charged for specific services guests could add (like breakfast or airport pickup). Stay tuned for updates!
The review system can feel unfair sometimes. What are you planning to do to improve it?
We’re going to look into how one-off ratings affect your overall rating and impact your status in programs like Superhost. But it’s important for Airbnb to be a neutral platform for both guests and hosts, so we won’t remove reviews unless they violate our Content Policy. We want to give guests the chance to share their feedback— and for you to respond, too. You can always publicly respond to reviews.
Regarding reviews of your location, we understand that your location isn’t something you can change. But it is something that helps guests decide if it’s the right spot for them to book. Guests are asked to rate how convenient they think the location is, and that’s subjective, since preferences vary. This rating doesn’t say anything about the quality of your hosting or your listing and it does not affect your search ranking, overall experience rating, or eligibility for special programs like Superhost or Plus.
Correction: Previously we stated that guests who cancel before check-in, without seeing or visiting the space, shouldn't be able to leave a review, and that if hosts contacted us, we would remove reviews left by these guests. But it’s not always that simple. We only remove reviews which violate our content guidelines. We apologize for any confusion we may have caused in the Host Q&A. We take this seriously, and moving forward, we’re committed to being more clear.
When do you plan to expand Experiences to my city?
Since they began two years ago, Experiences on Airbnb have grown from 500 offerings in 12 cities to 12,000 Experiences in 180 cities, with more regions and countries soon to come. You can apply to host your own Experience at airbnb.com/host/experiences.
We couldn’t end the Host Q&A without sharing some exciting things we’ve been working on for you. We’re improving the reservation page so you can print, sort, and filter—and so the page is quicker to load. Your calendar will load faster now too, and we’ve made design changes so it’s larger, easier to identify blocked days, and so you can scroll to future months with ease. Finally, we’re working on photo services and tips to help your listing stand out in search like never before.
Thanks to the thousands of you who tuned in live, and for those who were unable to access the livestream we apologize for the technical issues you encountered. We hope you’ll enjoy the replay, which is available now.