Airbnb has been an affordable alternative to hotels for many years now, but its reputation has taken a hit as many people – including money expert Clark Howard – began to sour on the platform as it became more commercialized.
“I’ve been harsh on Airbnb,” Clark says. “People have complained about all the hidden fees, the cleaning fees and the chore list that you have to do when you stay in one. Before you check out, you basically are the housekeeper who has to completely clean the place, wash the sheets, make the beds, put the new towels up!”
These Changes May Make Airbnb Great Again
The company recently announced that it was making some major changes to its platform, including returning to its origins by introducing Airbnb Rooms, which it calls “an all-new take on the original Airbnb.” The company says the new features and upgrades are a boon for guests as well as homeowners looking to host on Airbnb.
Clark says the changes, including Airbnb Rooms, are the company “trying to go back to their roots where they are looking more for Airbnb hosts that are renting out a room in their place instead of these investors who are buying places just to put them in the Airbnb system,” Clark says.
Among more than 50 changes that the app is rolling out, Clark is especially excited about two of them.
And, you guessed it, the first on the list will help you better manage your wallet.
1. Total Price Display
In a marked improvement on how the system used to work, Airbnb guests can now view the total price with fees, before taxes. You can find the total price of a particular home in the following places in the app:
- In search results
- In the price filter
- In maps
- On listing pages
2. Transparent Checkout Instructions
Instead of having to search for a checkout list on the fridge of the host’s abode or someplace else, Airbnb is now committed to making checkout instructions easier than ever to find. They’ll now be available:
- On the home’s listing page before you book.
- As a notification that will be sent to you before you leave the home.
“During the review process, guests can tell us about any excessive requests. And listings with repeated low ratings from unreasonable chores will be removed from Airbnb,” the company says in its news release.
Other changes Airbnb has introduced include improved maps, cheaper fees on monthly stays, prioritizing customer service, a payment plan and instant rebooking credit.
“There are dozens of things they’re doing now for clear disclosure and changes in procedures for both hosts and guests staying in an Airbnb,” Clark says.
Will Clark give Airbnb another chance?
“I would say that I need to open my mind and accept that these changes may actually make Airbnb again an acceptable platform for consumers to book a place to stay,” he says.
“I had put them on the kibosh list, where you’re using Airbnb at your great risk. We’ll see whether the changes really do change the culture of Airbnb.”
Want more money-saving tips? Read our guide on how to book the best and safest Airbnb.