Airbnb: Introduction and FAQ
Launched in San Francisco in 2008 after its founders rented out an airbed in their spare room, Airbnb now has more than two million listings across 190 countries. The number of guests booking on Airbnb has risen from 21,000 in 2009 and was more than 40 million by 2015. It’s a good time to list on Airbnb because the word from them is that traveller demand presently outstrips accommodation supply.
We have a fantastic two-way integration and full booking integration with Airbnb, enabling SuperControllers to manage their Airbnb listings directly from their SuperControl account.
Our connection with Airbnb means you can:
- Sync your existing listings with rates and availability only, or create new, full content Airbnb listings using your SuperControl data.
- Accept live online bookings. Nb. This integration enables Instant Book on AirBnB only.
- Get your properties directly in front of the 100 million+ guests who book with Airbnb worldwide.
It’s free to list your properties on Airbnb. Depending on how strict your cancellation policy is, Airbnb takes a percentage fee from (+ VAT) of each booking.
When SuperControl is integrated with Airbnb, bookings made on Airbnb are managed on a setting called Instant Book. With Instant Book, guests confirm their reservation right away without approval from the host/owner. On SuperControl bookings are provisional until you confirm with the guest, but on Airbnb the booking is confirmed and payment is made when the guest makes a booking. Look for the button on your Airbnb listing that says "Instant Book".
Benefits of Instant Book:
- You do not need to respond to each request.
- Guests can plan their trip and make a booking instantly.
- Using Instant Book can positively affect your response rate and so works towards improving your search results placement.
- To obtain Superhost status on Airbnb you need a 90% response rate. Instant Book can help you reach that status.
Even if your property is normally set as 'Enquiry Only' on SuperControl, using the full integration with SuperControl and Airbnb will make it Instantly Bookable through Airbnb.
1. Go to Integrations > Channel manager > International > Airbnb.
2. Click the link here:
3. Log in to Airbnb using your second account details.
4. When multiple accounts are connected the below will show to make the user aware of where new listings will be created:
5. Click on "Manage Accounts" to set-up an alias if you wish to rename the Airbnb account so it is easier for you to choose what account should be assigned to what property:
6. When multiple accounts are connected, the listing will show which account it is connected to (the highlighted text will either be the user ID or the alias.):
Label your merged Airbnb account with an alias
If you have listed multiple Airbnb accounts in SuperControl you may wish to enter an alias name so you can easily see what properties are synced to what account/alias.
1. Go to Integrations > Channel manager > International > Airbnb.
2. Click on Manage accounts:
3. Enter you "alias" name. This can be your Airbnb login email for your different accounts.
4. Click Close.
This is the most flexible option for guests and allows them to cancel for a full refund until 24 hours before check-in. This means you won’t get paid if a guest cancels at least 24 hours before check-in. If they cancel after that, you’ll get paid for every night they stay, plus 1 additional night.
This is a moderately flexible option for guests that allows them to cancel for a full refund until 5 days before check-in. This means you won’t get paid if a guest cancels at least 5 days before check-in. If they cancel after that, you’ll get paid for every night they stay, plus 1 additional night, plus 50% for all unspent nights.
This is the least flexible option for guests and allows them to cancel for a full refund only during the 48 hours after booking, and only if they cancel at least 14 days before check-in. If guests cancel later than that, but at least 7 days before check-in, you’ll get paid 50% for all nights. If guests cancel later than 7 days before check-in, you’ll get paid 100% for all nights.
a. Free cancellation, as long as the guest cancels at least 30 days before check-in (time shown in the confirmation email)
b. After that, guests can cancel up to 7 days before check-in and get a 50% refund of the nightly rate, and the cleaning fee, but not the service fee
c. For reservations that are made less than 30 days out, guests can also get a full refund if they cancel within 48 hours of booking as long as the cancellation occurs at least 14 days before check-in.
1. Existing Strict
a. Free cancellation for 48 hours, as long as the guest cancels at least 14 days before check-in (time shown in the confirmation email)
b. After that, guests can cancel up to 7 days before check-in and get a 50% refund of the nightly rate, and the cleaning fee, but not the service fee
Benefit from this cancellation policy: Hosts have seen an uplift in conversation of an avg 20% Vs normal strict or superstrict if booking were made with longer lead time (30 days +)
How to view or change your cancellation policy
If you don’t know which cancellation policy applies to your listing or you want to change it:
- Log in to your Airbnb account.
- Go to Your listings and select a listing
- Click Booking settings
- Next to Policies, click Edit
- Under Cancellation policy, select a policy, then click Save
Note: Changes to your cancellation policy will only be applied to future reservations, and won't affect any pending or confirmed reservations
The image below demonstrates, for example, the timeline for the Moderate policy:
If you are using this cancellation policy, please follow the links below to get your account verified
This is a compulsory step Airbnb has put in place and it is important to verify your account as soon as possible.
** You must log into your Airbnb account - this process cannot be completed within SuperControl.**
Nb: We strongly recommend that either the legal representative or business owner listed in the Business Account Verification flow verifies the Airbnb account.
How do I complete these two verification steps?
You’ll be able to select a Super Strict cancellation policy after you complete two verification steps related to your Airbnb account:
1. To verify your business account, follow these instructions (log into your Airbnb account to view): https://www.airbnb.com/hosting?bavi=1
2.To verify your identity as a representative of a business, follow these instructions: https://www.airbnb.com/account-verification. When you have logged into Airbnb you will see this screen:
Q. When I try to complete the Business Verification Process, I get a request to enter my Registration number, but I am a small business owner and do not have a Registration number. I can't proceed without entering something in this field. What should I do?
A: If you are a small business owner without a Registration number, you can still complete this process and access our Super Strict policies by taking the following steps:
- On the page that requests a Registration number, click "Back."
- From the resulting page, select the "No, that doesn't sound like me" option.
- Follow the flow to verify your identity.
Q. I never had to go through this process before in order to select Super Strict cancellation policies. Why do I have to do this now?
A. For safety and security purposes, Airbnb is asking all our software connected hosts to take additional verification steps for Airbnb accounts at this time. This is an essential process to help ensure that Airbnb can securely partner with your sotware provider. Nb: We strongly recommend that either the legal representative or business owner listed in the Business Account Verification flow verifies the Airbnb account.
Q. Will I have to do this every time I want to select the Super Strict cancellation policy for a new listing moving forward?
A. No, you only need to complete this type of account verification once. After you have successfully verified your account, you can select the Super Strict cancellation policies within your software program for any listings that you send to Airbnb.
Q. I’ve already verified my identity with Airbnb. Why do I have to do this again?
A. We’re asking software connected hosts to take additional steps to securely verify their identities on Airbnb. This is to help ensure that only legitimate businesses can access our Super Strict cancellation policies.
Q. Can’t you just bypass this requirement for me?
A. We [Airbnb] are happy to walk you through the step-by-step verification process, so that you understand it and can ask questions along the way. However, our team cannot override this requirement, which has been implemented within the highest level of our Trust and Safety workflow.
Q. I don’t want to share this type of information with Airbnb. Can I still create new listings and continue hosting?
A. Absolutely. You are welcome to create new listings and to continue to host, but any new listings will only be eligible for one of our more traditional cancellation policies (flexible, moderate, or strict).
Q. When I click the Business Account Verification link from the email I was sent, it just takes me to my Airbnb dashboard. Is there anything else I need to do?
A. If you’ve already completed the process of Business Account Verification, or if you have started but not completed the process, you may not see the intended automated pop-up when you click the link contained in the email.
Once you’re directed to your Airbnb dashboard via the link, you may see a banner with a pink button that says, “add business account.” Clicking that button should allow you to initiate the process of verifying your business account. If you don’t see the “add business account” link, another way to check your business account verification status is to navigate to the following page: Airbnb Homepage → Profile circle in upper right-hand corner → Account → Settings.
Under “Company Account” you’ll see a detailed form to fill out. If it’s already complete, it’s likely you’ve already submitted the form - but you’re welcome to submit again just in case. If the form has been partially filled out, please complete and submit it.
You need to allocate at least five amenities for each property in order for the listing to work. When you first see the list of amenities, the list will all show as none available like this:
In order to show them with green ticks to show that they are available, follow these steps:
Step 1 - To add all amenities into SuperControl click "add them now":
This will now populate all of these amenities into SuperControl.
Step 2 - Once completed you need to tick what amenities are associated with the property. Please note, these are labelled as "amenities" in SuperControl.
At the top of the page on the grey menu bar select "Search variables"
Under the heading "Airbnb" tick the amenities that apply to this property:
NB. You will need at least 5 amenities for the listing to validate.
Then Save at the bottom of the page.
Step 3 - Navigate back to your Airbnb listing page by going to Integrations > Channel manager > International > Airbnb - click the property reference number; then go to the Amenities tab.
You will now see the relevant amenities are ticked:
Airbnb has recognised it wasn't effectively designed for people with disabilities. In humbling conversations with travellers with disabilities and advocacy groups, they listened to stories, gained perspective, and learned how to do better. Airbnb quickly learned that their previous solution — a single “wheelchair accessible” option to filter for accessible homes — failed to meet the needs of people with disabilities. Guests weren’t getting the information they needed to find the right homes, nor the confidence that the home they selected would actually be accessible for them.
To help address this problem, Airbnb has been working on a new “accessibility needs” feature. In collaboration with their community, they've identified a set of features that can make a home a better fit for people with disabilities. These features include step-free entry to rooms, entryways that are wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair, and more.
We now have these listed in SuperControl allowing you to enable the accessibility amenities that apply to your properties:
1. Add the amenities that apply to your properties by going to Properties > Amenities > Add/edit amenities.
2. Once added go back to Properties > Amenities > Add/edit amenities. Click "Map Airbnb" next to each amenity and map accordingly:
3. Click Save.
4. Now go to Properties > Edit > select property > Amenities > Go.
5. Tick the variables that are relevant for your chosen property and click Save.
When you first start your set-up for the Airbnb integration you may not have any photos added to your property in SuperControl.
Step 1 - To upload photos go to Properties > Edit > select "Photos" next to your selected property and Go:
Step 2 - Click Upload photos and add in all relevant photos for this property. Please note you need to add at least seven photos; three of which should be at least 800x500px.
Step 3 - Navigate back to your Airbnb listing page by going to Integrations > Channel manager > International > Airbnb and click the property reference number to take you back to your listing set-up page:
Step 4 - Click on the properties you wish to enable for Airbnb and Save.
Go to Integrations > Channel manager > International > Airbnb
Use the toggle slider to turn the listing from On to Off:
1. When a guest places a booking on Airbnb, the card details and payment are processed directly through Airbnb.
2. Depending on your chosen cancellation policy, Airbnb will pay you the funds near the guests’ arrival date. For more exact information on when you will be paid, you should contact Airbnb.
3. The amount you will be paid by Airbnb is the rental price minus the commission that Airbnb takes.
You can add an uplift to all new listings by going to integrations > Channel manager > International > Airbnb then click on the Settings button:
Select your uplift in the Uplift field of the Rates section (this will save automatically when edited):
**IMPORTANT** Adding an uplift here will NOT apply to existing listings – this will only affect any new listings you create.
To add an uplift to existing listings, the following steps must be completed on a property by property basis.
Step 1 – Go to Properties > Edit > Web details (for the relevant property) > Airbnb data > click on the Rates box.
You can then add your uplift for the listing in the Uplift field and click Save at the bottom right of the page to update:
You can now schedule emails to be sent to a guest directly from SuperControl into their Airbnb login! Emails such as Welcome messages or arrival instructions etc. When they reply it will directly feed back into SuperControl - keeping all correspondence in one place.
If an Airbnb guest requires an ad hoc reply you should respond directly from Airbnb. This is because you can only schedule automated emails to the Airbnb messaging service in SuperControl.
See more information here.
The reason they may not appear online is because you still haven't published them from your Airbnb account.
To publish them you need to log into your Airbnb account and select each property you wish to publish on the below link.
The security deposit never really gets "taken" with Airbnb. It's just a value that is set aside to be able to be claimed against via the Resolution Centre in Airbnb should you need to.
If a guest does a non-dated search on Airbnb, you can now specify the base price that you would like to display. Within your Airbnb data page (Properties > Edit > Airbnb data > Go) click on Rates.
If left at 0, then we will use your lowest price for one night.
You can now choose to send availability from Supercontrol to Airbnb between certain chosen days.
This means you can choose to have a different minimum stay on Airbnb to Supercontrol.
For example, for guests booking direct through your website you may have a 3 night minimum, but then you want a 7 night minimum for Airbnb.
Please note your minimum on Airbnb cannot be lower than your minimum length of stay in your property Price Planner.
You can block dates just on Airbnb and leave them open for direct bookings or other channels. To do this go to:
Integrations > Channel Manager > International > Airbnb
Then click on the relevant property ID
This takes you to the Airbnb settings for the chosen property. Click the "Availability" tab.
On this tab there is a button labeled "Block dates". If you have already blocked dates there will be a note to indicate how many.
Click on the button to open a calendar popup. To block or unblock dates just click on the days. Red days are blocked and white are available.
If you have more than 5 listings then you can see additional filters in Channel Manager > International > Airbnb. You can filter by "Stage" and if you have multiple accounts synced to Airbnb you will be able to filter by "Account" also:
Airbnb check for updates hourly and our data cache has a 15 minute processing delay, so at most any changes will be live on Airbnb within 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Note: any updates to availability will sync to Airbnb within 15 minutes.
1. Log in to Airbnb and go to Host > Listings.
2. Tick the listing(s) that you want to edit, then click 'Edit Selected', then click 'Sync Settings'.
Superhost status can be achieved every quarter based on criteria over the past 12 months. Host must achieve a minimum 4.8 average rating on all properties, 90% response rate, less than 1% cancellations by host and a minimum of 10 stays over this period. Until the end of 2021, given the exceptional circumstances only the minimum 4.8 rating and 90% response rate are required to achieve Superhost Status
Airbnb does not support the option to charge for extras such as pets in the booking system. The only way to do this is to write the extra charges in the House Rules and then charge separately when selected by guests. It can be charged through Airbnb's resolution center or offline. In either case it wont be subject to Airbnb service fee
You can now choose a language to write your description in from the drop down menu.
For example, If you only have your description written in English and a guest was viewing your listing from a different country then google translate would automatically translate all text. Meaning the description isn't actually word for word how you may want it to be read in their language. You can add your descriptions in as many different languages from the drop down so when the guest in that specific country is viewing it, then they will see your version over the translated one.
The country names will remain greyed out until there is a description in there.
The Integration with SuperControl and Airbnb is instant book it cannot be switched off. If you want to avoid getting bookings at certain dates the best way would be to close availability through the integration which will feed through to Airbnb.
We would advise to remove the listing, follow the optomising guide and re-add your listing.
The back end calendar or host calendar will only display 1 nightly price this could be different based on the number of nights and capacity and will fluctuate. This price is not sent in your integration. This is not controlled by SuperControl and will not affect the front-end calendar that your guests will see. We advise checking your Airbnb prices against the front-end calendar that your guest will see.
After consideration Airbnb has decided to not make a distinction especially in search results. There is not an advantage to listing as an agency as there are still many long time Airbnb users who will prefer to use private hosts rather than professionals. You will need to make this clear to the guest by adding it in the profile description
When you cancel a booking for example, there is a 15 minute delay whilst the data is cached and sent to Airbnb.
To eliminate this delay entirely you just need to click the button below on the main AirBnB integration page in SC (the same place as you turn on messaging for an account):
Once there you want to click the 'Authorise' button in the 'Booking Webhooks' column:
Note: You need to make sure that you're logged out in Airbnb or logged into the right account as it follows the same process as first connecting. You will click authorise and then will need to grant access in Airbnb which will then redirect back to SuperControl.
You will need to add a discount by following this guide https://help.supercontrol.co.uk/m/using-supercontrol/l/738749-edit-discounts-how-do-i-add-edit-discounts
You will then need to go to Integration > Channel Manager > International > Airbnb select your property > Rates
Select send discounts
This will send the prices to Airbnb at your discounted rate and will show as an overall price on your Airbnb listing.
How to Optimise your Listing on Airbnb
Within your Airbnb data page (Properties > Edit > Airbnb data > Go), you will find a button called "Booking settings". These settings allow you to specify the following:
- Guest requirements
- Pre-booking message
- House rules
- Details about your home
These settings are useful during the booking process to help ensure the guest's expectations of your property match the property in reality, and make sure guests are clear about your house rules.
1. Be specific
Make your listing content as comprehensive as possible. Owner listings typically out-perform those added by agencies because of attention to detail. Tick every amenity that applies to your holiday rental, don’t miss anything out. If there is a box you can tick, make sure you do. It’s worth setting a reminder to check your settings regularly to see if Airbnb has added any new ones since you initially set your property up.
2. List all of your properties
The major players know how many properties you have in your portfolio, and owners and companies that add them all to their channel rank higher.
3. Add your prices way in advance
Make sure you add your prices at least 12-18 months in advance. Don’t get too hung up about what you should be charging, the further ahead you set your prices, the more flexible you can be. Set them high to start with, then adjust them as those dates get closer. The worst that could happen is that someone books and pays a premium price.
4. Don’t cancel!
Canceling bookings has a detrimental affect on your listings. Aim to have a cancellation rate that is lower than 10% to help your holiday rentals’ performance on Airbnb. In an ideal world it would be 0%.
5. Ask guests to review their stay
As well as building trust and providing proof, the number of reviews your holiday rental has affects where it appears in searches. Use auto emails in your SuperControl account to send guests review requests on departure.
Give these a go and you will see results. Remember, advertising on Airbnb gets your self-catering properties seen by a much wider audience. Once you have secured bookings via the channel you can build relationships with the guests, and stay in touch to encourage them to return – booking direct with you next time.