Airbnb to verify all 7 million properties to improve trust

Andrew Cummings
November 7, 2019

The changes come after a rough week for Airbnb.

The decision comes following an investigation by Vice news into fraudster hosts as well as a shooting at a house in California rented through the company, which left five dead.

He said that addresses, photos and other details on Airbnb listings will be verified for accuracy and that "those that meet our high expectations will be clearly labelled".

Meanwhile, the news website Vice published an investigation into Airbnb scammers who posted inaccurate listings and then pressured guests into staying at properties they did not reserve.

Airbnb has had a tough month with these incidents, and Jersey City residents voted yesterday to impose stricter regulations on the company. Those that meet Airbnb's quality expectations will be labelled.

It will also set up a hot line for neighbours of Airbnb properties with concerns, and offer a "guest guarantee" whereby customers who are unhappy with a listing can rebook at another property or get a full refund.

In addition, he said at the conference, the company would conduct especially rigorous reviews of "high-risk" reservations that seem likely to lead to parties.

Airbnb will also launch a 24-hour emergency hotline in the the end of this year, rolling out globally in 2020. He appears to be challenging the company to make major changes to how the platform functions as the company prepares to go public sometime next year.

Airbnb will expand manual screening of "high-risk reservations" from December 15 to identify suspicious reservations and start a verification process for all the listings on its platforms, according to the email. The company has asked Charles Ramsey, the former chief of police for Philadelphia and Washington, and Ronald Davis, the former chief of police for East Palo Alto, California, to act as advisers and help train the response team.

After one night in a "flophouse", the guests were booted for good. Airbnb stressed that it doesn't consider race, profile pictures, gender or nationality when assessing the risk associated with a reservation.

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