Lodgix Airbnb Integration Has Launched

READ THE DOCUMENTATION!!!

Our integration to Airbnb has lanched.  It may still require a bit of tweaking in the next couple of weeks (July 2017), but we felt it was close enough to warrant it going live.   This integration is not as slick as the one we have with HomeAway as Airbnb is not an entity that was designed with the needs of the property manager in mind.  It was designed for people who want to share a room in their house.   Airbnb likes to centralize all the tasks to make it super simple for someone with a spare room to collect payment, remit taxes, etc..    That model doesn’t work so well for a professional property manager.   Not too mention the typical Airbnb guest profile doesn’t match up well with a vacation rental manager who is more accustomed to taking bookings far in advance.

A more typical Airbnb guest is a last minute booking, far more likely to be seeking a discount, as compared to a more traditional vacation rental guest who books far in advance and is less price conscious and more concerned about securing the best possible place for the dates they require.

Unlike HomeAway and other channels, Airbnb does not share guest payment data, they don’t allow participation in the guest inquiry process, they have a very restricted set of fees (one fee actually), they collect the taxes, they restrict the cancellation policy, etc..   So there are many nuances.   It can be made to work, but your business model must be flexible to work around the limitations imposed by Airbnb.

Airbnb also doesn’t want inventory in certain areas, mostly in New York and in other areas where litigation is pending.

Airbnb REQUIRES that a new Airbnb account be established for the integration.   Lodgix will then populate your new Airbnb account with the property data on Lodgix.   THERE IS NO WAY TO USE YOUR EXISTING AIRBNB ACCOUNT.  Once the new account is populated, your Airbnb account manager will migrate your reviews to your new account.

Initially Lodgix will be charging an additional 1% on every booking originating from Airbnb once integrated.   This fee may be reduced, capped or eliminated in the future.  However right now we really have no idea as to the support costs that will be required to maintain this channel.   Airbnb doesn’t allow access to their developers, which means that when we experience issues we have to submit tickets through our account rep at Airbnb who then acts as the middleman for issues and it just takes MUCH much longer to get answers, if we ever receive an answer at all.  For that reason, we are not willing to bear those support costs and need to pass them along to you.  If all ends up going smoothly we will work aggressively to implement a cap or perhaps remove the fee completely as we did for HomeAway and Flipkey.

The integration setup and settings page can be found at:
Settings > Channel Management > Integrations > Airbnb tab

 

Airbnb Integration Update

Slowly but surely we are working through all of the nuances of integrating to Airbnb.  We are hoping for a soft launch with a few selected customers in the last week of May. Before that however I thought it would be good to review how the Airbnb integration will work and what will comprise their minimum listing requirements.

The listing review process

Listing review process
All listings being managed via a third party Channel Partner must meet a minimum set of criteria prior to being live on Airbnb. The process of evaluating that minimum criteria may take up to 5
business days. You will be notified via email once your listings are live on the platform. If your listings were rejected, you will have an opportunity to modify the content and resubmit. As soon as
your listings are approved, they will begin appearing in search results on airbnb.com.

Airbnb listing minimum requirements
Airbnb expects our Channel-connected listings to meet a set of minimum content requirements,including:
● Minimum 8 characters in Listing Title
● Minimum 50 characters in Listing Description
● Minimum 70 days available with the next 365 days
● 7 or more images
● At least 3 photos have a minimum resolution of 1024 x 683 pixels @ 72 dpi
● 5 or more amenities
We do not allow hosts to connect via a Channel Partner in select urban destinations. For more information on the minimum listing requirements or regional restrictions, please contact your
Market Manager.

Transferring reviews to your new account
If you have been managing your listings through a manual Airbnb account, your Market Manager can help you transfer any reviews to your new, Channel-connected account. You can initiate this
process as soon as the connected listings are live on the platform. Please note that the review transfer process is a 1:1 host transfer: we cannot transfer reviews from a single host account across
multiple Channel-connected accounts, or consolidate reviews across multiple accounts into a single host account. Once this transfer process is complete, please deactivate the listings tied to
your manually-managed account to avoid duplicate listings on the Airbnb platform. Please note that listing and reservation data will not be transferred over as part of this review transfer process,
so there may be a period of time where you are managing reservations across 2 different accounts.

Note: if you are a Superhost transitioning over to an API-managed account, please alert your Market Manager of your Superhost status. They will be able to provide additional
recommendations for the transfer process that will avoid jeopardizing your Superhost standing.

Managing guest inquiries

Instant Book and channel-connected listings
All channel-connected listings are automatically enabled for “Instant Book.” This means that a guest reservation inquiry will be instantly confirmed as long as your listing calendar shows availability.
Airbnb listings enabled for Instant Book convert at a rate almost 2x higher than a listing that requires hosts to confirm a reservation. It also boosts your performance in our search ranking.
If for any reason you are uncomfortable with your guest, or they violate your host rules, you may cancel your reservation without penalty. Please reach out to your Market Managers for support or
questions regarding Instant Booking reservations.

Managing guest communications
Airbnb guests and hosts may communicate with each other via our messaging platform. Today, we do not pass messaging data through our API, which means you may not be able to manage your
Airbnb messages via your Property Management or Channel Management software. To respond to guest messages, you can log into airbnb.com and reply via your user inbox. We also
recommend configuring your account to receive email and/or text notifications every time a guest contacts you. You can set this up by navigating to the “Account Settings” portion of your account.
Any users with email notifications enabled can respond to Airbnb messages by replying directly to email notification. Airbnb does not allow for hosts to use the message system to transfer contact
information like email addresses, phone numbers or links to direct websites prior to a confirmed booking.

Post-Booking communication
Once an Airbnb booking is confirmed, a guest will be able to view the property address, check-in instructions, and House Manual on the Airbnb platform. We will also provide you with the guest’s
phone number details, and share your preferred phone number with the guest to facilitate better communication before and during your trip. Airbnb generates a platform-specific email alias for each user that can be emailed directly. This means you can communicate to guests without logging into the Airbnb platform. This email address expires 2 weeks (14 days) after a trip is complete.