Hosting an Airbnb property gets a bit simpler with a new chatbot for FAQs

hostbot answers airbnb questions burner device train
A new chatbot is aiming to help Airbnb visitors get immediate answers to their questions — and allow hosts to spend a little less time answering them. Announced on Tuesday, Hostbot is a tool that answers the most frequently asked questions for Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO and other vacation rental marketplaces.

The feature comes from Burner, an app from the start-up Ad Hoc that gives you another phone number to keep your actual number private while still receiving text and voice messages on the same phone. The app is popular for keeping work or project calls like rental properties separate from a private phone number.

While Burner already offers a private number for hosts, setting up Hostbot within the Burner app creates an automatic response system. With Hostbot, when guests text one of the most frequently asked questions, the chatbot will respond for them, cutting back on the messages hosts need to send. The chatbot sends out replies that the hosts write during the initial setup — Hostbot currently uses a list of 16 of the most frequently asked questions.

When there’s a question not among that list of 16, hosts can just respond as they normally would.

The new chatbot is being added to Burner’s list of features, which includes turning off a certain number at certain times, setting unique answering machine messages or simply deleting a Burner number when you are finished with it. The company suggests using a separate Burner number for each rental property.

The launch of Hostbot came on the same day Burner announced the launch of their API, which allows third-party companies access to use Burner for their own apps or to create plug-ins to expand Burner’s functionality. That means more add-ons and chatbots like Hostbot will likely be coming to the Burner platform.

Burner is a free download for both iOS and Android, with in-app credits and subscriptions for the additional phone lines.

Product Review

The all-new Palm wants to be many things, but it’s really just a tiny smartphone

The all-new Palm is here, and it’s tinier than ever. Exclusive to Verizon, it syncs to your primary smartphone and acts as a secondary device -- with features to help you disconnect from technology. But at $350, is it worth the high price…
Smart Home

These awesome treehouses will make you question life on solid ground

Check out these truly awesome treehouses from around the world. From a three-story treehouse in the Costa Rican jungle to a mirrored cube hidden among the trees of Sweden, we’ve got you covered.

How to protect your iCloud account

From Chinese hacking to identity theft, it's not surprising if you're a little worried about your iCloud data. Here's how to protect your iCloud account with a few simple security steps. It will only take a few minutes, and we'll walk you…

Was your Facebook account hacked in the latest breach? Here’s how to find out

Facebook now reports that its latest data breach affected only 30 million users, down from an initial estimate of 50 million accounts. You can also find out if hackers had accessed your account by visiting a dedicated portal.

Number not recognized? Here's why you're receiving calls from 'Scam Likely'

While it may seem like a bold marketing move to tag your calls "Scam Likely," these alerts are actually your carrier's way of helping you identify scams. Here, we'll walk you through what exactly these markers mean and how you can turn them…

How much is Spotify Premium, and how can you get it at a discount?

Having access to millions of songs comes at a price -- albeit, a pretty small one. Before you figure out how much is Spotify Premium going to cost you, you will want to see if you qualify for a discounted (or even free) subscription.
Product Review

We can’t find a reason to buy the Porsche Design Mate 20 RS over the Mate 20 Pro

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro looks like an exceptional phone, so can a version with Porsche Design’s involvement be worth spending twice as much on? We’ve taken the phone for a test drive.

Master your new Google phone with these handy Pixel 3 and 3 XL tips

If you’re hunting for some Pixel 3 tips to help you get more from your Google phone, then you’ll find them right here. We’ve got tips for shortcuts, camera controls, and more. All these tips will also work for the Pixel 3 XL.

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are now available for purchase

Google's latest flagships, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, are now official and we have all the details from the October 9 event in New York City and Paris. Here's everything we know about the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.

The world’s thinnest smartphone fits alongside your business cards

Kyocera has taken the wraps off of a new smartphone called the KY-O1L. The device is a tiny 5.3mm thick and is specifically billed as being a phone that can fit inside a business card holder.
Social Media

Grow your Twitter audience overnight with these simple tips and tricks

Using Twitter can be intimidating, but these tips will help you feel less inadequate when you look at your follower count. As long as you use a bit of moderation, you'll soon be one step closer to social media fame.
Product Review

Samsung’s Galaxy Book 2 is a Surface Pro alternative with one big advantage

The 2-in-1 form factor is clearly a big deciding factor for anyone looking to buy a new device, which is why Samsung is again getting in the action this year with the new Galaxy Book 2.

Google Maps brings its real-time journey-tracking feature to iPhone

It's been available on Android for a while now, and now Google Maps has brought its real-time journey-tracking feature to iOS. It lets you choose who to share a journey with, and tracking ends automatically when you arrive.

The five-camera LG V40 ThinQ is now available from the major carriers

LG has finally taken the wraps off the new LG V40 ThinQ, the company's latest and greatest flagship phone that packs a whopping five cameras. Here's how to buy the new LG V40 ThinQ.