Our Journey As A Short-Term Rentals Host
What happens when a data science expert travels all over the world for business, trying to spice up his travel after getting bored from structured hotel environments. One of our founders started experiencing Short Term Rentals (STR) as a guest, and had some disappointing stays, due to some bad behaving guests in the next room.
Our founder decided to deep dive into bad behaving guests problem, and started hosting a unit on Airbnb. He experienced several guest problems as an Airbnb Superhost. We can describe this as a fundamental "trust & transparency" problem inherent in the nature of hosting "a stranger" in your next room. In order to better understand the root cause of the problem, our founder took it to the next level, and started to host a vacation rental for group reservations, listing it on multiple platforms, such as Airbnb and VRBO, focusing on guest booking, guest profile, guest navigation between the platforms, and guest behaviors in actual stay.
Our findings gave us deep insight. We observed that guests with bad behaviors would come back under different names, declaring false age, being less communicative, and providing as little info as possible. We further experienced that some group reservations turned out to be very disappointing, costly, and at some point unmanageable due to guest denials despite the picture proofs of the damage.
Fixing The Problem Domain: Bad Guests, Or Guests With Bad Behavior
How do we approach solving the problem? Is it about bad guests, or guests with "bad behaviors"?
There are no "bad guests" in our definition. This definition is "static" and does not reflect behavior of a person during the stay. This approach only focuses on nationwide background screening, or guest screening. Because a normal, non-criminal guest may show bad behavior in a stay, guest screening can not capture these behaviors, and it potentially misses solving the entire problem.
In addition to guest screening in criminal databases, we extend our focus on hundreds of millions of normal guests travelling every year. We also switch our focus from "bad guests" to "guests with bad behaviors". Combination of the two truly reflects the nature of the problem.
Bringing AI Tool To The Short-Term Rentals
Once we fixed the problem domain, and solution angel correctly, our Artificial Intelligence (AI) team with deep data analytics experience has developed our patent pending AI-based solution, which provides a unique combination of all static and dynamic trust attributes related to the guest.