A Community Fueled by Trust

Today, Airbnb Co-Founder, CEO and Head of Community, Brian Chesky, shared the following email with the global host community.

Subject: A community fueled by trust

Dear Airbnb Hosts,

We are a community fueled by trust. Joe and I were the first hosts in 2007 when we created Airbed & Breakfast, which was really just a way to rent out three airbeds in our San Francisco apartment. At the time, people said this idea would never work. “Strangers will never trust one another,” they said. But we believed that people are fundamentally good, and that if we could design a system for strangers to trust one another, this would be an idea that would spread around the world. 

It worked. You have hosted more than 500 million guest arrivals. But we have spent a lot of time listening to you and we know that we can do more. People need to feel like they can trust our community and that they can trust Airbnb when something goes wrong. 

Last month, we took the most significant steps in designing trust on our platform since our original design. As we close out 2019, I want to tell you more about what we are doing. 

New Guest Standards

In order to protect you and your home, we are rolling out new Guest Standards in early 2020. You can read more about these standards here.

Better Review Policy 

Our review system has always been an important building block for trust on Airbnb, and the changes that we are making will ensure the reviews on Airbnb are more fair and better reflect the experiences our community is having.

Party Ban

To protect you and your local communities, we are cracking down on unauthorized parties, and all “open-invite” parties and events are banned in Airbnb listings.

Airbnb Neighbor Hotline

We are launching a new 24/7 Neighbor Hotline so that anyone can call us anytime, from anywhere in the world and reach a real person at Airbnb. This number will be placed prominently on our homepage and in our app, and be easily discoverable on the Internet. This will launch in the US by December 31, 2019 and will roll out globally over the course of 2020.

Identity – Online and Offline

The person you interact with online should be the person who shows up at your door in real life. Today, in 11 countries, we first compare information people provide us like their name, phone number and birthdate to confirm a user’s identity. We are expanding this system globally. It will increase the accuracy of our verification process, and can help ensure the reported 1 billion people around the world who don’t have a government ID have the opportunity to be part of the Airbnb community. 

Host Protection 

While we believe the above improvements will reduce unwanted incidents from happening, we want you to feel like we have your back if something does go wrong. We rolled out access to our Urgent Support Line in the US and debuted our local emergency line in 31 countries. At the same time, we have prioritized growing our customer support team so you can reach the right person, faster. 

These changes are really just the beginning. The design of trust on Airbnb will never be complete, and we will continue to work with you to add more protections to offer a safer experience for everyone in our community. 

More than 11 years after Joe, Nate, and I started Airbnb, I have been asked what has surprised me most about the world. My answer is: people are, in fact, fundamentally good, and we are 99% the same. You remind the world of this every single day. 

Thank you for hosting.