Airbnb will begin verifying all 7 million listings on its platform as part of a newly launched effort to weed out "bad actors."
Airbnb CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky called the platform's updated security policies "the most significant steps in designing trust" the company has made since launching the short-term rental platform in 2008.
The changes come on the heels of a high-profile incident on Halloween night in Orinda, Calif., where five people were killed during a shooting at an unauthorized party held at an Airbnb rental.
"Airbnb is a business fueled by trust," Chesky said in a letter to employees. "Our real innovation is not allowing people to book a home; it's designing a framework to allow millions of people to trust one another. Trust is the real energy source that drives Airbnb and has enabled us to scale our platform to 191 countries and to more than 600 million members."
The company will begin the verification process of all listings immediately. Homes will be verified for listing accuracy and quality standards, with Airbnb aiming to have every home and host on the platform reviewed by Dec. 15, 2020.
Additionally, Airbnb has implemented a new "guest guarantee," with the company promising that if a listing it does not meet accuracy standards upon check-in, Airbnb "will rebook the guest a new listing of equal or greater value, or they will get 100% of their money back." The guest guarantee policy will go into effect Dec. 15 of this year.
Other changes include the rollout of a new 24/7 Neighbor Hotline, which will be staffed by what Airbnb calls a "rapid response team." The hotline will launch in the U.S. at the end of this year and expand globally in 2020. Airbnb promises the hotline number will be "placed prominently" on the Airbnb homepage and app, as well as be easily searchable via Google.
Lastly, in order to crack down on unauthorized parties, Airbnb will expand efforts to manually screen high-risk reservations. High risk reservations -- which are determined according to duration of the stay, size of the listing and various other factors -- will come under increased scrutiny across North America starting next month, with those efforts set to expand globally throughout next year.