Advice for Airbnb Hosts During the Coronavirus Crisis
There’s no doubt about it, it’s a daunting time for Airbnb hosts right now. The coronavirus crisis made the travel industry come to a full stop in a matter of weeks, and with so much uncertainty about the future, you’ve surely seen a lot of cancellations. You may be wondering what you can do right now to generate some cash flow or set yourself up for success in the future. Here are six ideas for Airbnb hosts during the COVID-19 crisis.
Consider long-term renters
Borders are closed, flights are grounded, and “stay at home” orders mean that people are certainly not going on vacation. Tourists typically stay for just a few days – maybe a week, at most – so these short reservations are all but gone right now. Since the short-term stays are off the table, you may be able to find success with long-term stays. Target people who are in the process of moving, studying, or working a temporary job need accommodation for a month or more. Airbnb is pivoting to focus on these types of guests, so you can adjust your listing to meet this demand. Consider offering a monthly discount that would put your property on par with long-term rents in the area, and include amenities like basic cooking ingredients, extra sheets or towels, and laundry detergent to make your place most suitable for long-term guests.
Engage with past guests
If you don’t have many new reservations coming in right now, then it’s a great opportunity to follow up with guests who have stayed at your property previously. Strengthen your relationship with prior guests through social media or email newsletters. You can share photos of your property or your area to get people excited about the idea of traveling in the future, and if you’ve recently made any updates to your property, make sure to keep your guests up to date.
Offer vouchers for future reservations
With so many cancellations, you’re probably searching for ways to generate some income quickly. Instead of waiting for people to travel again, sell prepaid vouchers that travelers can use for future reservations. For example, someone could purchase a €100 voucher that they could redeem for €125 on a future reservation. If you have a website, then you can build the voucher purchase into your site, otherwise, guests could pay you directly via Tikkie. If you have an email list of past guests or social media accounts, then you can advertise the promotion directly to your guests or followers.
Invest in your online presence
Use this slow period to your advantage by dedicating some time and effort to your online presence. Now is a great time to refresh your listing content, upload some new photos, or update your website or social media pages. You may even want to branch out and list your property on sites besides Airbnb, if you don’t already, like Booking.com or Vrbo. If you post blog articles or social media content, then you can take time now to plan and prepare your content for the future.
Work on physical maintenance or improvements
Besides giving your online presence a little refresh, you can also make updates to your physical property. When you don’t have guests on-site, you can complete maintenance projects more efficiently. Perhaps you’ve been thinking about a fresh coat of paint, some new furniture, or fixing a pipe that’s leaking. Although it’s certainly not ideal to have an empty property for a few weeks, it does present a good opportunity to finish maintenance projects.
Donate your property to medical professionals
We’re all trying to do our part to flatten the curve and support those most affected by the coronavirus crisis. Some people donate money or supplies, but as Airbnb hosts, you have the unique opportunity to offer your property to first responders and healthcare staff who need a temporary place to stay. Visit Airbnb’s coronavirus relief page to participate.
As Airbnb hosts and members of the hospitality industry, the next few months are going to be tough. But by generating some short-term cash flow, investing in your property, or supporting your community, you can make the most of this difficult time.