I know this isn’t an easy time for hosts.
While our core values as hosts haven’t changed, the world around us has. These days, with the global spread of Covid-19, we have been challenged to redefine what the Airbnb community and togetherness means. Although we need to distance ourselves physically right now, we’re still all in this together.
If you are experiencing (understandable) cancellations rolling in this past week, It’s probably because of the new COVID-19 Airbnb cancellation policy. Airbnb now allows hosts and guests alike to cancel and get a 100% refund without penalties.
“Reservations made on or before March 14, 2020, for stays and Airbnb Experiences, with a check-in date between March 14, 2020, and April 14, 2020, are covered by the policy and may be canceled before
How the COVID-19 Airbnb Cancellation Policy Works
In light of the novel coronavirus outbreak and its impact on the travel industry, Airbnb has changed its reservation policies to help hosts and guests cancel bookings without taking a loss.
For guests: If they cancel a covered reservation, they will receive a full refund and Airbnb will refund all service fees.
For hosts: If you cancel a covered reservation, you will not be charged, there will be no impact to your Superhost status, and Airbnb will refund all service fees. You don’t need to contact us in this case.
Social Distancing is an Option
As a host, you may want to just cancel all bookings for the rest of the month due to the Coronavirus-19 risk. Personally, as hosts in this unprecedented time, we’ve decided to temporarily close our Airbnb through April 14th. This decision is really personal and depends on what type of Airbnb you are hosting.
This is the time to limit its spread, so your choice as a host may be exercising social distancing, especially if your Airbnb is a room in your home or a suite. Read tips about hosting safely during Covid-19 here.
How to Attract Bookings
In times of crisis like this, we may need to think about how to keep our business up and running and then return to our normal prices and way of running our Airbnb’s. Hosts worldwide will receive a lot of cancelations during the next month. If you do want to fill those empty nights, you can attract new guests from your own area or driving distance with a few clever tactics.
Reach Out Over Social Media
Reach out to your social media following. I’ve seen some clever posts offering big discounts for last-minute deals to stay somewhere in style.
Lower your Prices
Guests are canceling their flights and bookings, but some are re-booking stays closer to home. Slash your nightly price for this period to attract new guests.
Put ‘Discount’ in your Title
I change my title several times a year. If there is a local event or a recent cancellation I often change my title to reflect that. If you’
Highlight your Cleanliness
Let potential guests know that you are keeping your Airbnb extra sanitized and clean between guests. The health and safety of your guests should be one of your biggest priorities when cleaning. This for me is the most important. I wouldn’t want to stay anywhere that may be hastily cleaned in this period.
Over the next few weeks, many schools will be closed and people will work from home with children in tow. Rather than bunker down at home, with the kids, some families are booking a fun Airbnb nearby instead. Mention family-friendly or perfect for families in your title.
Reach out to Guests
When a guest cancels message them with understanding and offer a discount to keep the reservation or to re-book at a later date. At least you can establish a conversation and possible future booking.
Think about Long Term Tenants
As hosts, we don’t know how long this pandemic will last and for some, the damage may be greater, especially if you are paying a mortgage. If you’ve had many cancellations, consider filling your Airbnb with long-term tenants while you wait for things to normalize.
Learn More about Hosting
For more Airbnb tips check out my Airbnb Host Bundle. It comes with a listing workbook, a customizable guest welcome book, and other freebies! This bundle is for the absolute beginner to the more experienced host looking to explode their bookings. My book covers everything from creating a listing, ranking high in searches, increasing bookings and becoming a Superhost. You’ll learn to streamline your communication with guests and provide an experience that they will rave about in reviews. The Ultimate Superhost Guide is filled with insider tips that are essential for every Airbnb Host! The more you know about Airbnb, the more you will be able to use this knowledge to optimize your listing, set goals and succeed. There is a learning curve to being an Airbnb host and this book will become an essential reference to return to time and time again. You can find it here!