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    Tips from property managers about how to host right now

    In a series of listening sessions, seasoned hosts shared their best strategies.
    By Airbnb on Apr 24, 2020
    4 min read
    Updated Jun 30, 2021


    • Property managers shared what’s working best for them right now

      • Consider updating your listing title and description to highlight amenities, longer stays, and more

      • Sharing enhanced cleaning protocols can also go a long way toward making guests feel at ease

      • Discover more in our complete guide to navigating hosting during COVID-19

      Over the past several weeks, we’ve been working hard to support hosts impacted by COVID-19 by sharing updated policies, explaining new programs and tools, and highlighting travel trends that we're noticing on Airbnb. But we thought it would be helpful to offer insight from hosts themselves about how they’ve managed to continue welcoming guests through such a difficult time.

      This month, we held listening sessions with some of our property managers to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on their hosting businesses. They shared valuable tips about how they’re continuing to host right now. Read on to discover how some property managers are dealing with the disruption to their business—and what they’re doing to keep hosting.

      Expand your usual booking window. “We extended our season,” one host tells us. “We normally close right after Labor Day, but I extended out to October 15.” If it’s possible for you to continue hosting longer than usual, you might be able to attract guests who are interested in dates outside your normal season.

      Encourage guests to rebook for future dates, and consider extra days or other discounts. “I tried to push people into future reservations instead of canceling,” one host tells us. “I also gave them a free week in my off-season when we're not that busy as another incentive, and they loved that idea. All they had to pay was a cleaning fee*.”

      Update your listing title and description to highlight that you’re open to hosting longer stays. As many juggle school closures and remote work, those who decide to book a stay may be drawn to work- and family-friendly listings. “I've changed the titles on our listings—we have a lot of properties that have private yards, and so we’re able to attract pet owners and people with children who just want their own space,” one host tells us.

      “One of the first things I did was change the listing title to say, ‘Private refuge with a fenced yard,’ and that seemed to help a lot,” she continues. “Any amenity that you see valuable to somebody who's going to be working from home, make sure that you put that in your title.” Another property manager agrees: “Most of our reservations coming in are for longer stays now.”

      Share your enhanced cleaning regimen. If you’re following extra steps to clean and disinfect your space, mention it in your listing description. “We’re doing whatever we can to advertise sanitized, clean apartments,” one property manager says. “Tell potential travelers that your apartments or your lodging is sanitized and clean as much as you can, so they can feel comfortable in staying with you.”

      Cater to people who can’t live with their families right now. “We’re allowing local people to socially distance themselves from family and book with us, and that has been working for us,” one host tells us. Whether this means welcoming COVID-19 responders through our Frontline Stays program or offering a place to stay for people who are temporarily living apart from elderly relatives, there are options when it comes to helping others during this time.

      Rethink your marketing plan, and adjust your rates. One property manager says that she’s staying afloat by strategically lowering her rates. “We revamped our marketing strategy,” she says. “We basically try to be more accommodating by accepting everybody at cost or below cost. We’re running at about 80% occupancy at cost, and I am grateful for that.”

      Another host agrees: “Adjust your rates,” she says. “There are people who still have plumbing leaks; there are people who are trying to work from home and have kids doing school from home, and they don't have enough space, so I’ve been able to fill some of my properties—but at drastically reduced rates, because they know the market.”

      Communicate with your guests. Now is a great time to encourage open communication with your guests to see how you can work together. “We’re working with guests on a case-by-case basis on refunds,” one host says. By connecting with guests on Airbnb, there’s a better chance that when it comes time to travel again, they’ll remember you and rebook.

      Do some home improvement. “I’ve encouraged my owners and myself to do those renovations—replace the floors, do the things that you have to block the calendar for,” one property manager says. From touching up the paint to creating a welcoming outdoor area, now is the time to finally get around to those projects to improve your space.

      Keep your spirits up, and remember people still need temporary places to stay. “I'm hosting a pilot who wanted to stay in a vacation rental for 14 days before he goes home, just in case he was sick,” one host tells us. “I have someone who’s parting ways with their significant other, and they needed a separate place to live. There are all sorts of reasons why someone might need temporary furnished housing right now.”

      When in doubt, consider revisiting your cancellation policy. Offering flexible cancellations can give guests more confidence to book your space. Explore more

      *Excluding Hosts who offer accommodations in mainland China. Find out more Information contained in this article may have changed since publication.
      Apr 24, 2020
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