Austen Bernhardt from Autohost: “Screening AI Now Automates Your ‘Gut Check’.”

podcast austen bernhardt

By The Hospitable Team

Safety and security are paramount for every short-term rental (STR) host. On such a crucial topic we take no second longer and dive straight into the intricacies of guest screening in our latest Hospitable Hosts episode. 

Together with Austen Bernhardt, Sales and Partnerships Manager at Autohost (the AI-powered guest-screening platform), we zoom in on how automation can ensure a seamless, secure hosting experience without compromising your guests’ comfort. On top of that, Austin unveils some of the upcoming features and the future trajectory of guest verification services. 

Want to learn more about verifying your “Catch Me If You Can” guest? Or tired of hosting bachelor parties? This episode of our Hospitable Hosts podcast is your go-to! 

Prefer to read the highlights? We’ve got a summary of the key takeaways below. 

Play Smart, Not Hard

Armed with more data, hosts can make informed decisions about accepting or declining a booking, ensuring a more secure hosting experience. Austen emphasizes that Autohost takes guest screening to the next level, leveraging screening AI to analyze critical information for you. 

“The host is going to get a full-fledged risk profile. So, all the information like name, phone number, email, IP address, the device that they’re booking from and even their additional fingerprint — all these things are gonna be put into the risk profile and have actionable items.”

Austen highlighted the varying concerns and explained that hosts can tailor the screening process. As you allocate higher risk values to specific data points, Autohost will help you decide, “Is this a guest you want, or is this someone that you will probably decline the booking for?” 

Why Check Your Airbnb Guests? 

When working with online travel agents (OTAs), such as Airbnb, hosts entrust the responsibility of guest screening to these platforms. However, Austen highlights that, while initial verification may seem reassuring, there is often a lack of context or no timely update about the guests. 

“It’s just a black box. For Airbnb, you really have no idea what the rules and determinations are. For example, when I first made my Airbnb account, I had to plug in my ID, I think I even did a selfie. But I remember my father also making an Airbnb account… They didn’t even ask him for an ID or anything. There’s no picture of my father on Airbnb’s database.”

By taking a proactive approach to vetting guests, hosts regain control and peace of mind.

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Hospitable will take care of your communication, guest vetting, calendars, task management and much more even when you sleep!

No Harm Done to Guest Experience

While implementing guest screening is an additional step in the booking process, Austen highlights the positive reception from guests. Today’s travelers already expect verification processes as a standard security measure in vacation rentals, similar to the hotel industry. 

“It’s definitely becoming the norm in the industry. […] And with Autohost, it’s just lifting your ID up to the camera — flip, flip — and you’re done. It’s literally a less than 30-second process to collect the ID information. It’s like magic. It’s fascinating.”

By incorporating efficient and user-friendly verification methods, guests can provide the required information effortlessly, keeping the guest experience intact.

Improving Guest Behavior Over Time

Now, with guest screening in place, it’s not only you who has to match the high standards. Your guests also know that they are under close watch — this results in lower-risk reservations:

“Our customers report ‘better-behaved’ guests once they’ve implemented Autohost because these guests are now aware that they are responsible financially,” concluded Austen. 

In the full episode of the Hospitable Hosts podcast, Austen discussed more detailed insights from the world of guest screening, including: 

Explore more unique guest verification tips and tricks and optimize your hosting efficiency — tune in to the full episode of our Hospitable Hosts podcast now. 

Looking to maximize your vacation rental profits with
Hit this link to learn more about our unique features and automate your hosting experience.

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