Airbnb unveils little details and a mobile app to make better, happier hosts

Airbnb has been hard at work on enhancing the experience around hosting through its home rental service, and on Tuesday at its new offices in San Francisco’s SOMA district the company launched a series of new services and details, as well as a new mobile app, to help hosts.

There are 500,000 places (350,000 individuals) listed as hosts on Airbnb, and the process of listing a home, as well as creating a good experience for the guest, hasn’t been all that standardized and easy to get right. Airbnb is reliant on growing this small but important community in order to build its businesses.

As both a host and a user of Airbnb I think the need for more hospitality guidelines is very important. I’ve hosted folks where I thought I was providing a great experience, and learned that there were little things that I forgotten to include. I talked about this a bit with Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia backstage at Roadmap last week.

Joe Gebbia Airbnb Roadmap 2013

Joe Gebbia, co-founder and Chief Product Officer, Airbnb Roadmap 2013

Airbnb has turned to its new hospitality expert Chip Conley to give hosts more guidelines. Conley announced that Airbnb is unveiling “9 hospitality moments of truth” that will deliver hosts more guidelines and ways to create trust for their guests — those include things like speedy communications with the guest.

Conley said Airbnb also created a hospitality innovation lab in Dublin and a check-in awards program in France, where it tested new services and programs. Conley said Airbnb plans to bring back the Super Host program, and said he plans to go on a “hospitality road trip” to find best hosting practices.

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky showed off a new fashioned mobile app for hosts called Host Home, which enables hosts to more easily and quickly connect with guests. “We’re a community, hospitality-driven company,” Chesky said at the event. Many of the new features in the app were ones that were requested by hosts, he said.

Chesky said in the future Airbnb will roll out new hospitality services in 2014, based off of Host Home. When the company develops new services for hosts — like a cleaning option — it will be available on Host Home, said Chesky.

During the event Airbnb also announced new ways to create better designed experiences around hosting. These new details include a launch of Airbnb Stories, which are profiles and stories about hosts that are doing a good job, and “Groups,” for hosts, which is a community site for hosts to communicate and share tips and tricks. The company also showed off Host 911, which is a place where hosts can get emergency questions answered.