Hosts need to wear many hats. At times they need to be writers, marketers, accountants, cleaners, handymen, and, in some instances, even law enforcement officers and arbitrators.
No one could have predicted how this pandemic will rock the world. If you are finding yourself between a rock and a hard place, have faith in yourself. Hosting has taught you a wide range of invaluable skills that will help you during these challenging times.
While everyone is braving the same storm, sadly not everyone is in the same boat. To help hosts keep their boats afloat, numerous stakeholders have introduced new features, made changes, and launched funding. Let’s find out more about the plans that have been put in place the past month to help hosts.
AirDNA has introduced more features to its MarketMinder tool to help hosts analyze the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on short-term rentals. The goal is to offer information about when the market might possibly pick up so that stakeholders can get a more comprehensive idea of the situation.
Users will find the Booking Trends chart and Rate Analysis chart useful. By using the Booking Trends chart, users can see when guests begin to make reservations, while the Rate Analysis chart will help users to keep track of rate trends and compare rates to the previous year.
AirDNA has also introduced another free online tool, the COVID-19 Data Centre. This online resource shares interactive charts that hosts can use to see how the average prices and occupancy rates have been impacted since the beginning of the year.
During April, iGMS interviewed property management companies and property managers to find out how they were dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak. The results of their survey have revealed that 45.7% of property managers have witnessed an 80-100% revenue drop.
Moreover, 74.3% of hosts and property managers reported to have slashed operational costs, while 48.6% were thinking about cutting down costs related to salaries and staff.
Though, all is not doom and gloom. Experts believe that short-term rentals will recover quicker than hotel accommodation. Furthermore, the majority believe that their business will return to the same level in about 6 months after travel and movement restrictions have been lifted.
Airbnb Experiences was first launched in 2016. Since then it has launched new categories such as Olympic Experiences and Animal Experiences. Though, sadly, Airbnb had to pause all its Experiences until the end of April.
To help hosts during the pandemic, several new and existing experiences can now be enjoyed from the comfort of your home via Zoom. Not only will it help hosts to generate an income, but it aims to help senior citizens who might also feel very isolated.
Currently, there are more than 50 Online Experiences already available that include meditating with Buddhist monks, baking fun for the family, and brewing coffee with a professional coffee taster. Airbnb plans to add thousands more over the course of the next couple of months.
The vacation rental platform giant, Booking.com, has announced that it will reduce its spending (specifically marketing expenditure), cut salaries and place a moratorium on new appointments. Also, to help the company further, the CEO of Booking Holdings, Glenn Fogel, and three other executives have sacrificed their salaries. Booking.com also received a $4 billion loan that will help to reduce panic regarding the future of the business.
While an employee letter that was written in March by the CEO did not include any plans to lay off employees, the online travel agent has now informed their staff that layoffs have now become likely. The World Travel and Tourism Council has predicted that more than 70 million jobs in the travel industry could be lost. Another leading online travel brand, The Expedia Group, already had to lay off about 10% of its employees.
Airbnb has received $1 billion in funding from Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners and an additional $1 billion loan. According to The Financial Times, the loan will be linked to an interest rate of 7.5 percentage points above the risk-free rate. Similarly to Booking.com, Airbnb has also announced that it will reduce its costs by placing a moratorium on new appointments and marketing expenditures.
Last month, Airbnb received an adverse response from its guests and hosts for how it has dealt with cancelations. In response, it has created a $250 million relief fund for hosts. It has also announced that a percentage of the funding that it has received will be reallocated to its hosts.
I-PRAC, a global membership platform for certified short-term rental professionals, has announced that it will invest £1 million into the short-term rental industry. The funding will be used for company memberships which will allow 2500 property managers and owners to join its global verification platform for a year free of charge.
The goal of these memberships is to help managers and owners to create a sustainable direct bookings business. Moreover, current I-PRAC members can also renew their company memberships free of charge for the next year. The goal of the company is to safeguard travelers against fraudulent bookings and at the same to increase consumer trust in the industry.