Homeowners are flocking to Airbnb, looking to host just as the economy shifts.
About 60 million people have visited Airbnb to explore becoming a host since the beginning of the pandemic, including 30 million just over the past year. Due to the increased interest, the company is launching Airbnb Setup, which will offer additional guidance and make it easier to offer a property on its platform.
"We're in incredibly volatile times, economically," said Catherine Powell, Airbnb's global head of hosting. "More and more people are turning to hosting and to this opportunity to earn a really important incremental income."
Airbnb Setup includes one-on-one mentorship from a Superhost — a host who has received excellent reviews on the platform — as well as support in 42 different languages. New hosts are also guaranteed that their first booking will be from a seasoned user who has booked at least three stays with good reviews.
"This is someone who's been on the platform for some time, has no bad reviews, no incidents, and we know that they will give a new host a great experience for a first booking and will give them really constructive feedbacks and tips on hosting," she explained.
Guests will also have to prove their identity starting in Spring 2023 in the top 35 countries and regions, which covers about 90 percent of Airbnb's reservations. Hosts will also be eligible for up to $3 million in damage protection, which covers cars, boats, and watercraft, and also considers art, jewelry, and collectibles.
According to the U.S. Travel Association, travel prices increased 2.5 percent between October and September, while overall consumer prices went up 0.4 percent. Gas prices increased after a three-month decline, while lodging went up 5.6 percent.
Powell pointed out during the third quarter of 2022, the company clocked a record 90 million guest stays at Airbnbs. In the current quarter, the company is noticing an increased demand in travel both domestically and internationally, but understands that people are conscious about how much they are spending, which is why it is offering lower-priced options like private rooms and making it easier to share costs with larger parties. The company also recently simplified pricing so people can see one charge before taxes, making it easier to budget.
"We want to ensure that we are an affordable platform that offers value," she said.