Airbnb API. Sign Up Process, Minimum Requirements and FAQ

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We are glad to announce Airbnb and Cloudbeds 2-Way API Integration! Check this article to learn how to sign up for Airbnb API Connection

Benefits of the Airbnb API connection:

  1. Full sync between Cloudbeds and Airbnb listings. We will automatically update your
    • rates
    • availability
    • restrictions (MinLos, MaxLos etc.)
    • cancellations
    • modifications
  2. The sync is instant and is not delayed
  3. Support of sync for room types with multiple units of availability (*not all unit types apply)

If you already received an email that your property has been approved for API connection - please proceed to the article Connecting Airbnb API to myfrontdesk

Limitations of Airbnb API Connection

1. When the listing is connected via Airbnb API it's not possible to use the Smart Pricing and the discounts on Airbnb:

  • Length-of-stay discounts
  • Early-bird discounts
  • Last-minute discounts

If you're selling the accommodations with discounts at the moment - please pay attention to this limitation as after the sync all the discounts will be disabled. This limitation can be resolved later, please contact our Support team to check the current status

2. For hostels: with Airbnb API your guest will be able to book only 1 bed per reservation (ex., if you have 8 beds available in myfrontdesk - the dorm should be booked 8 times, 1 bed in each reservation)

See more information here: Mapping dorm beds on Airbnb with myfrontdesk

Sign-up Process For Airbnb API Connection
  1. If you are interested in the Airbnb API 2-way connection then please sign-up here: https://www.cloudbeds.com/channels/airbnb/
  2. Our customer support team will reach out to you with the further instructions as well as Connection Guide (it may take some time for our team to review your request)

Note: We will contact all approved properties in groups of customers over the next few weeks

Things to Keep in Mind before Sign-up Process:

  1. Airbnb has minimum requirements for API connection (can be found in section below)
  2. We suggest you try the connection on a less busy day and not on Friday or the weekend as the manual approval of your listings after starting the connection can take up to 48 hrs according to their requirements.
  3. Airbnb does not currently accept listings for the API connection in the following select urban markets:
    • New York, NY, USA
    • Los Angeles, CA, USA
    • Boston, MA, USA
    • Portland, OR, USA
    • Montreal, Que., Canada
    • Singapore

To learn more about this restriction please get in touch with your Airbnb Account Manager

Airbnb Minimum Requirements for API connection

To prepare for the API connection please make sure that all of your Airbnb property listings meet the following requirements.

Please note: Even if you were approved for API connection does not mean your listings will be approved on the mapping stage.

1. Listing's title

You should have at least 8 characters in the listing's title

2. Listing's description

Listing's description should be minimum 50 characters

3. Listing's pictures

Provide at least 7 photos for each listing and 3 high-quality photos (800px by 500px)

4. Listing's status should be Listed

Listing's status should be set to "Listed". If you will sync the listing in status "Unlisted" or "Snoozed" - it will remain in this status and it won't be possible to edit it unless the listing is disconnected

5. Listing's pricing and availability settings

After sync with Cloudbeds some settings in Airbnb Extranet won't be editable ("Edit" button will be grayed out as shown in example below), so make sure they are correct before the sync:

1.Listings->open the listing you need->booking settings->"How guests can book"

2.Listings->open the listing you need->listing details->"Listing status"

3.Listings->open the listing you need->"Listing pricing"->ALL SETTINGS

4.Listings->open the listing you need->"Listing availability"->ALL SETTINGS

6. Extra guest price, fees

If you collect extra guest charge or fees - you should setup them before the sync (these parameters won't be editable after the sync with myfrontdesk):

Unfortunately, if you use special discounts - after we connect your listing with API, all the discounts will be disabled.

Please note that myfrontdesk will only update and sync your base rate, which is on your Cloudbeds calendar.  We do not send, update your discounts, any other pricing models on the channel

Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQ )
API vs. iCal
What’s the difference between iCal and API?

When you’re using the Airbnb API Connection:

  • There is a full sync between Cloudbeds and Airbnb for your listings. We will automatically update your: rates, availability, restrictions (MinLos, MaxLos etc.), cancellations, and modifications.
  • The sync is instant and is not delayed.
  • There is support of sync for room types with multiple units of availability (not all unit types apply).

The Airbnb iCal connection is a calendar-based channel that works differently from normal channels. For example, only availability can be updated, not rates or any other stay restrictions. The way the synchronisation works is with calendar files. You provide the channel with a special calendar file that contains an "appointment" for the days with no availability, thus blocking the dates for bookings. All other dates have no such entry, so they remain bookable. It's important to note that calendar-based channels (iCal connection) are not updated immediately when you update the channel manager because they download the calendar files from Cloudbeds in hourly intervals. Thus, a delay is quite possible.

When I open Cloudbeds to connect to Airbnb, I see two options: Airbnb API and Airbnb iCal. Which one is the right one?

Cloudbeds currently offers two Airbnb connections: iCal and API. iCal is an old connection; it’s limited and can’t update your rates and availability on Airbnb instantly. The API connection (previously called beta) provides two-way synchronization and is the connection Cloudbeds recommends. The Airbnb API connection is no longer under testing. Sign up for the Airbnb API connection here: https://www.cloudbeds.com/channels/airbnb/. After signing up, Cloudbeds will contact you with further setup instructions.

I have signed up for the Airbnb beta connection. Do I have to sign up again? Is the Airbnb iCal not included in Airbnb API?
  1. There is no need to sign up again. If you already signed up, then we will contact you with further details within the next couple of weeks. If you haven’t heard from Cloudbeds within a couple of weeks, please contact us at support@cloudbeds.com.
  2. No the airbnb API and iCal are seperate connections.
What has changed? I’ve been using myallocator with Airbnb for over a year. Is this something new?

Yes, this is something new. You have been using the iCal connection, which is limited and does not support rates updates on the channel, modifications, cancellations, or instant booking updates in Cloudbeds’ system. The benefits of this new Airbnb API connection are:

  • There is a full sync between Cloudbeds and Airbnb for your listings. We will automatically update your: rates, availability, restrictions (MinLos, MaxLos etc.), cancellations, and modifications.
  • The sync is instant and is not delayed.
  • There is support of sync for room types with multiple units of availability (not all unit types apply).
I am using myallocator for the Airbnb connection. Should I change?

No, you can still use myallocator and connect to Airbnb with the API connection. To start, please sign up here: https://www.cloudbeds.com/channels/airbnb/. After submitting the form on this page, Cloudbeds will contact you with further setup instructions.

Going Live on the API Connection
We have utilized myallocator with the Airbnb API for our listings and now they don't show on Airbnb even though we received notice from Cloudbeds that we are live. Why?

Your listings are most likely under review. After connecting, some listing types require manual approval by Airbnb and, during this time, listings will be marked as unlisted on the channel. Usually it takes up to two business days for Airbnb to approve the listings. Once the listings are approved, they will become live and listed on the channel.

We just activated the Airbnb API connection. Is it necessary to review reservations made on Airbnb before the connection was activated, or will they pass to Cloudbeds automatically?

Activating the Airbnb API connection will not affect your old bookings that were made prior to the activation. Cloudbeds will not import bookings that were made prior to the Airbnb API activation. Only new bookings will be updated automatically in Cloudbeds.

I have signed up for Airbnb API integration. How long will it take for my property to be approved?

Usually it takes couple weeks. We do our best to contact the properties as soon as we can after they signed up for a connection. If you don’t receive any notification, instructions with further instructions feel free to email us at support@cloudbedscom and one of our agents will be happy to enable the channel for you and send the instructions.   

Is the amount of photos we can upload to Airbnb limited? We sell single beds in many different styles of dorms.

The Airbnb API connection requires that you display at least seven photos for each listing, and three of these seven must be high-quality (at least 800px by 500px). You’re free to upload more photos than this, if you wish.

For hostels, will I need to create a single Airbnb listing for each bed of each dorm?

There are several scenarios that you can view to determine which is best for your circumstances. Please refer to step 3.3 of the Airbnb API Connection Guide: Mapping dorm beds on Airbnb with myfrontdesk shared rooms (dorm beds).

Pricing and Payments
How will the payment be processed in Cloudbeds? Will Cloudbeds show the commission? We currently use an Airbnb payment credit as we create the reservation in-house.

All Airbnb bookings are paid at the time of booking by the guest, in full. When Cloudbeds receives the booking in myfrontdesk, the “balance due” section will only show the money that you earn; Cloudbeds does not count the commission. However, it will still show as “balance due” and you will need to manually add a payment in our system and mark this booking as paid. We are currently working on showing all bookings as paid when they come into the Cloudbeds system. As soon as this is implemented, everyone will be notified.

Does the minimum price listed in Airbnb override the rate in my Cloudbeds system? How do price settings work with the API connection?

After we connect your listing via the Airbnb API connection, Cloudbeds will control your rates and availability on the channel. Cloudbeds will override the rates, pricing rules, and smart pricing that was initially set up on the channel. We will send your base rates to the channel. It works the same way as with all other two-way connection channels.

Other than rates, what else from Cloudbeds gets updated in Airbnb via the API? What is Cloudbeds doing about intelligent rate and revenue management (a la Airbnb smart pricing algos)?
  1. There is a full sync between Cloudbeds and Airbnb for your listings. We will automatically update your: rates, availability, restrictions (MinLos, MaxLos etc.), cancellations, and modifications. Once you receive a reservation, it’ll be added to your Cloudbeds myfrontdesk system automatically and the channel manager will update your availability.
  2. Regarding intelligent rate and revenue management, when the listing is connected via the API, smart pricing does not work on Airbnb and Cloudbeds; it will override it.
  3. Yes, Cloudbeds rates rules override Airbnb smart pricing.
Features
Is it possible to sell hotel rooms on Airbnb?

Yes, you can sell hotel rooms and dorms. Please check our mapping guidelines for more information and all possible scenarios: connecting Airbnb API to myfrontdesk.

Will all the features we have with other OTAs be the same with Airbnb?

Yes, the Airbnb API connection supports most of the features that are supported by most two-way connections. Here are the features that the Airbnb API supports:

  • Automatic synchronization of your rates and availability
  • Automatic adjustment for cancellations
  • Sending minimum length of stay
  • Sending maximum length of stay
  • Sending closed days for arrival/departure
  • Closing rate plan for bookings

The Airbnb API connection does not support:

  • Sending single use rate (sending price for one person/guest)
I’m having some trouble with cancellations on Airbnb not being updated in my Cloudbeds system. What do you suggest?

The Airbnb API will automatically update your Cloudbeds system with cancellations only for bookings that were made after you connected the listing via the API. For these cases, the cancellation on Airbnb should be updated instantly in Cloudbeds. If you have any issues with this feature, please contact us: support@cloudbeds.com.

Is it possible to only allocate a block of 10 rooms to Airbnb while leaving our other inventory available for other methods of reservations?

Myfrontdesk has an option to configure an allotment. You can specify a designated amount of inventory to be pushed to all active channels for each room type. This option will allow you to send fewer rooms to specific channels. Please be aware that this feature doesn’t “read” from which channel you’re receiving your reservation. For more information, please contact our support team at support@cloudbeds.com. You can also check our Airbnb Mapping Guidelines to read further information about the mapping process.

Will Cloudbeds or Airbnb override instant book settings, especially with regards to the guest requirements section?

When your listing is connected via the Airbnb API, Cloudbeds will automatically turn on the instant booking on Airbnb, and it will not be possible to disable it unless you disconnect the channel. As for the guest requirements section, guest trip information we will not override this information.

With the instant booking feature on Airbnb, there seems to be a time lag on myallocator that can cause overbookings. Is this fixed with the Airbnb API connection?

Since the API connection updates availability automatically, instant booking settings will not affect anything. If you’re using the Airbnb Ical connection, we always suggest turning this feature off to avoid overbookings.

How far in future myfrontdesk updates the rates and availability of Airbnb?

Myfrontdesk will send the rates and availability for upcoming 3 years out but Airbnb only shows 365 days

Which listing types other than house do not support the multi-inventory?

The answer is provided by Airbnb team:

"Room Type Inventory Policies:

Room Type inventory allows hosts to have multiple availabilities for the same listing on the same day. Hosts can group multiple rooms into a single “representative” set and use daily availability counts to manage the availability on the listing.

This feature should be implemented only when there is more than 1 room available per day for the listing, and when these rooms share similar attributes such that they can be considered true substitutes; the rooms should have the same amenities, bed configurations, size, decor, and address.

Note that listings with property type House are not eligible to be listed as Room Type Inventory"

Reviews
Can I keep my Airbnb reviews if I move over to the new Airbnb API connection?

Yes! Cloudbeds will need to connect your existing listings via an API. You will not need to create new listings. All reviews will be saved.

Have more questions? Contact Support

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