On Thursday, a new set of tools for Airbnb hosts will go live, amid the happy fanfare of 5,000-odd home-sharers gathering at the the company’s annual host conference in Paris. Among them is a feature called “smart pricing,” which VP of product Joe Zadeh says will answer, for good, a question that they get all the time: What price is the right price?
The new features are being presented as a means of making hosting more attractive and easier than ever. Some of the tools are meant to foster a sense of community among home-sharers — like a host mentoring program, through which more experienced hosts can earn credit for helping newbies, and a “toolkit” that includes instructive videos made by hosts, for hosts. The company also launched a new certification program that will allow hosts to earn a “Business Travel Ready” label for their listing in the hopes of getting more bookings from Airbnb’s corporate partners.
It’s the updated smart pricing feature, though, that could make the most difference for the site’s users. Hosts can now opt in to letting Airbnb analyze scores of factors and set a price,