Editor’s note: This story has been updated to note Airbnb’s recent acquisition of NabeWise.
A new online tool from travel accommodations website Airbnb that allows users to scope out neighborhoods could also prove useful to homebuyers and real estate agents.
Airbnb Neighborhoods, which launched today with initial coverage of neighborhoods in New York, Paris, London, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Berlin and Rio de Janeiro, allows users to filter by neighborhood attributes like shopping, dining, and access to public transit.
The online service provides neighborhood maps, local photography and articles, details on public transportation and parking, and tips from Airbnb’s host community.
That content has always been woven throughout the Airbnb site, "but now we’re enhancing all this content and making it more immersive," said Ann Montgomery, product lead for Airbnb Neighborhoods, in a statement. "Airbnb Neighborhoods lets our community feel what it means to become part of a city."
Montgomery was a co-founder of NabeWise, which Airbnb reportedly acquired in July.
Screen shot of Airbnb Neighborhoods home page.
Airbnb Neighborhoods launches with "deeply immersive" local guides in more than 300 neighborhoods, and "will continue to roll out Airbnb Neighborhoods to major travel markets around the world."
Airbnb Neighborhoods also includes an offline component to connect travelers with local businesses. Local Lounges, a new partnership between Airbnb and coffee shops in San Francisco, will provide travelers with free Wi-Fi and local guidebooks.
Participating coffee shops include Farley’s in Potrero Hill, Radius Café in SoMa, Coffee Bar in the Mission, Cafe Sophie in the Castro, Progressive Grounds in Bernal Heights, Bean There in the Haight, Cafe Abir in NoPa, The Brew in Russian Hill, NOOK in Nob Hill, and Caffé Sapore in North Beach.
Information about neighborhoods is critical to homebuyers, and a number of companies have sprung up to supply it.
Neighborhood info and ratings website StreetAdvisor offers a paid service that allows brokerages to white-label the site’s consumer neighborhood reviews and insight.
Walk Score, a website that scores neighborhoods based on the ease of getting around on foot, has expanded to include information on public transit and recently introduced a crowdsourcing neighborhood feature that allows users to create custom neighborhood tours.
Other websites focused on neighborhoods include BlockAvenue, a New York City-focused site that includes Facebook-enabled location reviews; and Nextdoor, a neighborhood-focused social media site.