Airbnb Inc. is planning to launch a new rental service for mega-homes, mansions and penthouses that will be inspected to ensure they pass muster.

The company will start testing the new offering in some markets at the end of year, according to people familiar with the matter. If the tests are successful, the San Francisco-based company will roll out the service broadly, the people said. Airbnb declined to comment.

Looking to appeal to well-heeled travelers, Airbnb has been segmenting its offerings much the way hotel chains do. The company has already started testing a tier called Airbnb Select, which requires hosts to maintain consistent standards for their lodgings. Just like you can walk into any hotel and expect a consistent set of towels, blankets, and quality, Airbnb Select is designed to do the same. Those homes must also be inspected.


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