May 9, 2019

Free Business Idea: Scott's Cheap Flights for new AirBnb Listings

Daniel Dixon @YouveGotAFriendInMe

My wife and I are doing the whole "digital nomad" thing. I'm finding a few things with Airbnbs:

  • New AirBnbs are often a good deal. The host wants good reviews so they'll discount their price to attract folks.

  • New listings can also be a scam. Scammers copy photos from an amazing place, make a place that is enticing, and then you show up and it's fake. They're hoping you cancel so they still collect part of the money. ( Has happened to us. Airbnb gives you $50 for the trouble. )

  • You can verify the hosts of the real new listings because they sometimes have other listings that have reviews. Could also pull their social profiles?

AirBnb unfortunately doesn't have an API for this, nor do they have a search feature built in for doing it manually.

Why not send out weekly emails of new, good looking AirBnbs (or HomeAway and others) that are currently discounted.

I'd subscribe to that. Pro users get access a half hour earlier (i.e. Scott's Cheap Flights).

Could call it "NewBnb" (sounds like "new-bie") .

  1. 2

    I would just like to add. Scott's Cheap Flights for ski holidays would be amazing!Good margins with SKI, Good last minute discounts with SKI, Lots of upgrade with SKI.

    1. 1

      So pull weather data and pull lift prices to determine when's a good last minute time to go?

      1. 1

        No just a list, and email people the best deals every week. Weather can help!?

  2. 2

    What if new hosts posted on the site themselves to get promotion and increase reviews for a slight cheaper price, and you charge monthly access for visitors to access?? And on top you could find good deals and start the ball rolling that way

    1. 1

      There's a weekend project. No tech, just a landing page and a newsletter. Don't charge at first to build an audience.

  3. 1

    For perspective, I'm staying in a great Airbnb right now in Hong Kong. Just opened in last month (April). Cheap price ($28/night). No one else is in the other rooms/listings because there aren't any reviews yet.

    Need a service to broadcast legit new short term rentals that are low cost because they're new.

  4. 1

    I just want someone to make this service so I can use it. ;)

    As a dev, I'd do it myself, but I have other ideas I'm working on.

    We subscribe to Scott's Cheap Flights, but admittedly, the it's a lot of emails and you forget to check it / get inundated.

  5. 1

    I dislike airbnb now. I had a somewhat of a similar experience recently and I'm gonna write about it. Airbnb customer service was way below expectation as well.

    1. 1

      We still enjoy it. It's still "king" in my mind for its space (like YouTube and Uber are in theirs).

      But NewBnb's appeal could be pulling from all services.

  6. 1

    That's a fun idea! I agree the lack of API makes it troublesome...this would be a fun technical problem to solve.

    Questions for you:

    • How do you know if it's a new Airbnb? Is there a "created" date? Or would it just be if they dont have any reviews?
    • How would you check if it is a scam? Maybe a reverse image search for the photos? That seems tedious though...
    • Social profiles would, in theory, be the easiest :)

    Edit/Follow up question -
    How do you figure out if an Airbnb is discounted? Do you have to get the "average" of places nearby?

    1. 1

      Ah looks like you need to be a partner to access their API:

      1. 1

        I thought this was just for hosts to manage their own listings, but maybe it has more.

  7. 1

    Nice idea, the lack of API or search features makes this sound quite difficult.

    If you were launching this, how would you source the new listings?

    1. 1

      Listen the Scott's Cheap Flights podcast ( ). You could use "human power" (Mechanical Turk?) to check cities regularly, or build screen scrapers (a service in itself?)