Our Challenge 7 solution, HappyHost, utilizes data from our survey on Airbnb rental prices. We wanted to test our hypothesis that certain photos such as outdoor shots may increase the perceived value of a rental as opposed to low quality or unappealing photos. From our data we found that certain photos may increase the perceived value of a rental by up to $40 over lesser photos. We also found that in general, people weren’t sure what a good value for rental prices would be. 

Our solution aims to address both of these challenges with our browser extension HappyHost. This extension is designed to provide potential room hosters on platforms such as Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway with consultation on which of their photos provides best perceived value, as well as suggestions for good rental prices for the given posting. 

The user can access the extension in their browser when they are about to create a posting on a site like Airbnb. This takes them to the setup screen, where they input location, hosting platform, type of rental, number of beds and baths, and amenities. They also upload the photos they will post to display their rental. Once all options are selected, they submit their posting for review. 

Setup Screen

Loading Screen

To generate results, HappyHost scrapes data on postings similar to yours across the selected platform. It looks at comparables in terms of size, location, and amenities. It also analyzes the photos you’ve uploaded to find key features that are known to increase perceived value, such as water views, increased light, etc. From this data, HappyHost generates a slide deck of your photos ranked in order of best photos to display to worst. HappyHost also outputs a “Recommended Price Range” that suggests what your posting is worth if presented with the suggested photo order. 

Results Page

The user can also hover over the Recommended Price Range section with their cursor to get an overview of how HappyHost is improving their posting. HappyHost provides a graph showing the difference between the pricing of comparable postings, the pricing HappyHost suggests if the user’s worst photo is displayed prominently, and the pricing HappyHost suggest if the user’s best photo is displayed prominently. This features utilizes real data sourced from the survey, showing user’s just how much of an improvement in pricing they receive from using HappyHost’s services. 

Results with Graph Feature

Overall HappyHost provides a simple yet effective solution to helping users maximize their experience with home rental postings. By allowing the user to input their own information for a desired posting and by using information from various hosting platforms, HappyHost gives the user a distinctive advantage in rental payout.