Airbnb launched a new software update that enables the integration of smart locks so hosts don’t need to worry about issuing new door codes and guests can find them without hassle. The update could alleviate some stressors when renting an Airbnb, as guests could get lost looking for smart door code messages, and hosts could miscommunicate the information.
Smart lock integration will work with certain hardware by companies August, Schlage, and Yale (specific models were not named). Airbnb says it can automatically generate the code, and guests can view it in the Airbnb app, via email, and get a notification before they arrive. The code will deactivate after the guest checks out.
Smart lock integration will be available for early access-registered hosts in the US and Canada “later this year.”
Some of the changes in Airbnb’s winter update are rolling out this week, like updated review listings. They can be sorted by rating and recency and automatically include information from the reviewers’ booking information, like the length of the visit and if they traveled with kids or pets.
Airbnb is adding a new “Guest Favorites” designation for 2 million homes that are highly rated (currently 4.9 on average) and excel at “ease of check-in, cleanliness, listing accuracy, Host communication, location, and value.”
Airbnb says many people prefer hotels to Airbnb, and the idea is that Guest Favorites can quell anxiety by reducing choice fatigue.
For hosts, a new “AI-powered photo tour” can help automatically detect and organize photos by room so they can add specific amenity information. A new listing editor has also been added that better communicates available amenities in the house.
Additionally, new pricing features arriving next year include clearer communication on what fees are applied during the stay (presumably after talks with the White House). Co-hosts can get easy payout splits from the cleaning fees and even a cut of the booking amount (should the primary host wish). Hosts can compare listing prices with nearby Airbnbs in the app, and a new dashboard gives a clear indication of earnings along with projections and reports.
Correction November 8th, 2023 1:30PM ET: A previous version of this article suggested Guest Favorites have a minimum rating of 4.9. To clarify, 4.9 is the current average rating for Guest Favorites. Additionally, the article said guests can add additional information for reviews. However, this information is actually automatically pulled from the guest’s booking and attached to their review shown in the ratings section.