Brian Chesky’s plan for Airbnb to win with AI

AI to the rescue vacation rental industry

Reading into the fine lines of Brian Chesky’s recent interview, he’s trying to achieve a simple goal. How will Airbnb double its revenue without doubling its workforce?

As the most recognizable brand in the vacation rental industry, Airbnb thrives at the forefront of innovation by leveraging technology to improve guest experiences and drive revenue growth. However, with increased competition and a data-scarce landscape, Brian wants to take things to the next level by using AI personalization on its web and email marketing efforts.

Q: How is Airbnb using AI to enhance its website and email marketing efforts?

A: Airbnb is leveraging AI personalization on its web and email marketing to curate guest experiences every step of the way. By analyzing all types of data on user behavior and preferences (PMS, Google Analytics, marketing, reviews), Airbnb is already offering personalized property recommendations and targeted promotions. By spoon-feeding potential guests properties tailored to them, Airbnb is increasing revenue per guest, user engagement, loyalty, and conversion rate, and ultimately driving more bookings on their platform. 

ai personalization funnel

Q: Why is AI personalization important for driving direct bookings in a data-scarce landscape?

A: The data landscape is becoming scarcer due to third-party cookies being deprecated, data regulation increasing, and big tech no longer sharing data. AI personalization offers a way to deliver customized experiences despite limited data availability. By leveraging existing user data, companies like Airbnb can identify booking patterns and utilize look-alike models within AI algorithms. This allows them to provide relevant real-time content and promotions to returning and anonymous users. Built by the Google AI team behind Google Ads machine learning infrastructure, AI personalization is finally accessible to VRMs with 75+ properties.

Q: How does Airbnb use AI personalization in its email marketing campaigns?

A: Airbnb utilizes AI personalization in its email marketing by sending targeted property recommendations based on guest preferences, behaviors, and purchasing power. Airbnb identifies preferred accommodation types and guest intent based on website behavior and marketing engagement. They then send personalized email promotions that align with each guest’s preferences and purchasing power. For example, if a user is looking at luxury accommodations with pools that fit a family of 7, they’ll receive email promotions for high-end villas based on that user’s unique profile.

Q: How does Airbnb employ AI personalization on its website?

A: By analyzing user behavior, preferences, and search history, Airbnb tailors search results and listings to match individual guest preferences. This ensures that users see the most relevant and appealing options first, basically spoon-feeding them the best options. Personalized recommendations, such as a “recommended rentals for you” section, increases revenue per guest & average booking value by always serving guest the best property option at the optimal price point.

Q: How does Airbnb leverage personalized reviews to convert web visitors?

A: Airbnb recognizes the importance of personalized reviews in influencing user decisions. Like Amazon, where 95% of shoppers use reviews to make purchase decisions, Airbnb is capitalizing on this trend. They utilize AI algorithms to analyze reviews and identify relevant aspects that align with a user’s preferences. By showcasing personalized reviews that highlight relevant features, accommodations, or destinations – Airbnb will convert web visitors into bookings at a higher rate than VRMs.


Q: How does Airbnb use AI to detect and prevent fraud?

A: Airbnb employs AI to detect and prevent fraudulent activities on its platform. Machine learning algorithms analyze user behavior and activity to chargeback patterns and anomalies that may indicate fraudulent behavior, such as fake listings or identity theft. This enables Airbnb to take swift action to protect its users and maintain a secure environment. 

Q: How does Airbnb utilize AI in customer service?

A: Airbnb enhances its customer service through the use of AI-powered chatbots. These chatbots, powered by natural language processing (NLP), provide instant answers to common questions and support inquiries. By automating responses and resolving simpler issues, Airbnb can handle a higher volume of inquiries efficiently, leading to improved customer service and a better overall guest experience. This is how they’ll keep their team lean while increasing efficiency.

Q: How do VRMs compete using similar AI technology?

A: Fortunately for VRMs with 75+ properties, there is only one AI personalization vendor in the vacation rental industry. You guessed correctly. It’s Aidaptive. Built by the Google AI team behind Google Ads machine learning infrastructure, AI personalization is finally accessible to VRMs with 75+ properties.

With all of that being said, it’s important to beware of AI Vaporware. If you need sample questions to perform due diligence with a vendor, we have covered this topic here: Due diligence questions every AI vendor should have answers for.

As always, please feel free to share your thoughts or let me know if you have any questions. Or feel free to email me directly at [email protected] for a faster response.

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Evan Dolgow
Evan leads the predictive hospitality efforts at Aidaptive, helping property managers of all shapes and sizes realize the value in their data.

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