Why home-sharing needs cross platform action to flush out the scammers

08/11/2019

An Airbnb property review helps the Airbnb community – but will simply push scammers onto other properties and other platforms

 

In 1914, police and lawyers from 24 countries first got together to discuss identification techniques and catching fugitives. Since then, Interpol has grown to be an intergovernmental organisation that facilitates cooperation between the criminal police forces of more than 180 countries. Interpol aims to promote the widest-possible mutual assistance between criminal policy forces and to establish and develop institutions likely to contribute to the prevention and suppression of international crime. Interpol is a brilliant example of successful cross-geographical cooperation.

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The home-sharing community can learn a lot from Interpol when it comes to trust and safety. This is a global community that is unquestionably facing one of its biggest challenges to date. Our research shows that nearly 1 in 10 Brits has at some time arrived at a short-term rental property to find it doesn’t exist. And even when properties do exist, 25% are left disappointed by their holiday rental property when it fails to live up to expectations. From the shootings in California and the Vice investigation to the constant house trashing and house parties making the news, fighting and pushing back against bad actors in the home-sharing space is going to be what 2020 is all about. In Brian Chesky’s words, Airbnb have now committed to independently verify each and every property listed on Airbnb.

 

This step is brilliant; it’s necessary but it’s clearly not enough. The home-sharing ecosystem is a world of independent islands made up of hundreds of marketplaces and platforms. So, when it comes to understanding who’s who, restricting information, reviews and ratings to segregated single platforms does not provide the breadth or depth of understanding to make sure these “bad actors”, both hosts and guests, can’t operate. These untrustworthy individuals can just move on to the next platform, still using the same fake information and no one is any the wiser, and they are in danger of trashing our industry unless we do something about it.

 

We need to learn from Interpol. We have to work together. It is going to take a global team effort. It is clear to us that no one person, or platform, ever has all of the answers, regardless of the amount of Google-kung-fu or platform only verification that happens.

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Having worked in the home-sharing insurance space for 5 years, and having founded GUARDHOG, the market-leaders for host protection, I have learnt a lot when it comes to home-sharing protection. Protection is important but it’s only part of the solution and not in isolation. We must do better than this, and that is why we have launched SUPERHOG.

 

SUPERHOG is the world’s first truly global prevention and protection platform designed to beat and better existing review systems. SUPERHOG has a clear mission: to rid the world of these home-sharing criminals, saving everyone cash, hassle and making our industry sustainable for the long-term.

 

SUPERHOG is a global trust tribe made up of verified and trusted home-sharers across multiple platforms from around the world. Our members range from occasional Airbnber’s and holiday home exchangers to professional hosts and house-sitters. We’ve created a world where unwanted hosts and guests are excluded, and where we can help everyone figure out who’s who, what their home-sharing background is, and whether we think they are an awesome guest, an inexperienced guest, or a troublemaker. You might not know who your host or guest is, but with SUPERHOG we will tell you.

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Connecting prevention and protection on a global level is hugely exciting for this industry. It’s a first. No one else can do this. It’s game-changing. Think of it as Batman (prevention) meeting Robin (protection) for the first time. Every verified member is independently given the green light and then their behaviour is backed by our £1m SUPERGUARANTEE for home-sharing mishaps, accidents, guest damage and liability including a £1,000 deposit. This is not a tool on the side of anyone but trust, and it is a tool for all parties: host’s, guests, OTA’s, PMS’s, and property managers.

 

SUPERHOG is a global platform. It’s free to register and anyone, anywhere in the world can participate and benefit from a host in California or a management company in Australia to a platform in Canada or a PMS in Africa. This is a global solution to a global problem. It’s the home-sharing communities Interpol.

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