It’s out with the old, in with the new. In the past month, a number of leading proptech tools have unveiled new features. From new integrations to improved customer service, there are various ways how some of hosts’ favorite tools are planning to help them grow their short-term rental business. In some cases, they’re even taking on a whole rebranding to celebrate their expanded functionality.
Winter is also fast approaching in the Northern Hemisphere and there’s a clear preference among international travelers this season. Hosts in South America and the Asia-Pacific region are in for a busy end to their 2023.
From 6 November, Airbnb will be minus the Airbnb Plus program. This announcement most likely doesn’t come as that big of a surprise to the hosting community.
In the middle of 2020, most of the team working on Airbnb Plus was either reassigned or laid off. According to online resources, there are a few issues linked to the program like overinvestment, limitations it places on hosts, and lack of scalability, that could be the reason behind this move.
The vacation rental platform hasn’t revealed many details about what’s to follow. However, according to the notice on their website, new upgrades that will help hosts set apart their listings will be unveiled soon.
Beyond, one of the most popular dynamic pricing solutions, can now also boast an official integration with Airbnb. This news follows Beyond’s unveiling last month of Tally — a user-friendly payment processor.
According to Julie Brinkman, the CEO of the company, this new integration is just another way that the company can be of service to their users, helping them to grow their business. Beyond also integrates with other proptech tools like iGMS. For example, with the iGMS and Beyond integration, hosts can rest assured knowing that their rates will be based on accurate data, while their calendars and listings will stay up to date.
Minut, one of the leading noise monitoring tools and proptech companies, has announced a new product — Call Assist. It’s a 24-hour call assist service where trained phone operators will phone guests in the event of excessive noise.
The majority of noise-related problems take place at night (or, worse, in the early hours of the morning). If hosts were to phone guests themselves, it would mean that their peace will also be disturbed. However, with this new feature, hosts and property managers can enjoy a better work-life balance.
Earlier this year, Minut also added a new cigarette smoke detection feature. In addition to smoke and noise, it can also monitor motion, temperature, and occupancy.
NoiseAware, another popular noise monitoring tool, announced that it will be rebranding to Rest. This new name shouldn’t be read as a sign that the company is deciding to slow down, though. It’s quite the opposite.
The reason for the rebranding is that the company is planning to grow its features beyond simply noise detection. It’s following in the footsteps of one of its competitors, Minut, and it too is expanding its scope to smoke detection, which it currently only makes available to hotels. There are plans in the pipeline to make this smoke detection solution available to short-term rentals and interested hosts can join their waiting list in the meantime.
Staying with rebrands, Hopper, an online travel agency targeting younger travelers, has announced that it’s rebranding its B2B business as Hopper Technology Solutions (HTS). This rebrand forms part of the company’s move towards becoming a full-scale travel platform.
It will offer a new category — HTS eCommerce. This full platform will include components like top-tier fraud detection, personalized merch, and customer service automation.
That said, this expansion does come at a cost. The company laid off 30% of its team recently to help them reach breakeven as fast as possible.
The Expedia Group announced that it will partner with Air Miles, a group of loyalty programs available in Canada and several other countries. Air Miles has recently launched its own travel booking platform and, moving forward, travelers who collect Air Miles will be able to benefit from the cash portion of their travel bookings. This can then be redeemed for other travel, merch, or cash rewards.
Airbnb’s annual winter travel trends are in and a quick look at the data reveals that the APAC region is trending. Six of the top ten global countries are located in this region. Osaka in Japan tops the list with Hong Kong and Taiwan also featuring in the top five. Tokyo in Japan also made the list and it’s a firm favorite among families.
As for categories, the following are the most booked Airbnb categories among US guests:
It should then come as no surprise that US guests are choosing to explore destinations on their doorstep with many nearby countries offering amazing pools and beaches. Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and Mexico are three of the most popular international destinations among US travelers.
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