Now that we have options for places to stay when we travel thanks to Airbnb, we’ve become accustomed to ignoring hotels as an option. Unfortunately, that means that booking a place in a pinch using the Airbnb-only approach leaves us roomless for the most part. If you’ve ever used the service, you know that you need at least a few days, probably a week, of lead-time for finding the right spot.
The process of contacting prospective hosts and getting all of your questions and answers out of the way is time-consuming but completely worth it. Staying in someone’s home has always been a preferred alternative for me, as I feel like hotels are too sterile for my liking.
Thankfully, the company believes it has come up with a solution for last-minute trips and booking and is launching a service today that it calls Match, to move the process along for these very situations.
Find me a place, fast
The new feature is woven into Airbnb’s existing product, and is aimed to help out those who are trying to find a place in under five days, or have had another booking cancelled or declined.
The way that the company explains the service is that you’ll set your criteria for the perfect landing spot, rate a few locations so that the service knows what you’re looking for, and it will help you write a message for the hosts.
After you’ve written your message, Match will blast it out to all of the hosts that fit your criteria and provide you with feedback in real-time as it comes in. For those that are on the road, Airbnb’s Match service will even message hosts on your behalf if you like.
Instead of picking rooms one at a time and messaging each host in that manner, the Match service will most certainly speed things up for you. If I still have enough time to pick through all of my options, I probably will, but I can see the service becoming the default for many people. It seems like the more automated and convenient web services are, the more the users will take advantage of it.
Airbnb says that the normal 20-60 minutes of browsing that average users take will be turned into more like 5-15 minutes with Match. That’s a huge time savings, plus the company says that those who leverage the option have double the chance of successfully booking a place to stay.
Booking a hotel is something you’ve always been able to do pretty quickly, but it comes with a price and lack of options. Every single time I’ve booked a hotel with a few days to spare or less, I’ve ended up at a place that I didn’t like at all, be it because of bad service or uncomfortable surroundings. I can see myself using Airbnb Match as an alternative the next time I book my trip.
For those of you at The Next Web conference in Amsterdam, you can rent a spot to catch some Z’s at the venue using Airbnb.