Stagecoach Equity and Management currently manages 12 AirBnb units. Our cancellations have gone up over 300% in the past ten days. The average cancellation rate for AirBnb in the US currently is about 60%. People are cancelling their vacations, no longer have graduations to attend, are postponing medical surgeries; almost all events are being canceled. Luckily for us we’ve had a strong year prior to the Coronavirus outbreak and as investors we have to prepare for these scenarios. Right now your chance of actually profiting off your AirBnb is slim. What can you do this month to at least break even? Here are some tips Stagecoach Management and fellow AirBnb hosts are testing in order to keep our bookings up:
Let people know you are offering incentive to stay at your place. Every host is trying to stay occupied, so stand out and let people know what you are offering and why you are the best choice for them. There are a few pricing strategies you may want to use. Try offering incentives to locals who may be looking for accommodations during this time. Some locals could consider your location safer for them and their family. Some do not feel comfortable at their apartment complex with young children. The elderly might want to stay somewhere besides a retirement home and are looking for a clean and sanitary place. People are upset about their travel plans being canceled and are booking staycations in some instances as well. We have also talked to hosts who are offering a certain percentage off when you book for 14 days or longer. Encourage longer stays to help your properties stay filled while this blows over.
Let people know that each property is professionally deep cleaned every time a guest checks out. You can add an infographic like the one pictured below to show people you care about cleanliness. If you choose to do so, make sure you post it in your first five photos. Those are considered your “hero photos” and will pop up as guests are scrolling through multiple listings.
Use Facebook Marketplace to post your AirBnb as short term, all bills paid rentals. We are also listing furnished units on the Houston MLS. If you are near hospitals, try reaching out to HR for traveling nurses visiting town who need a place to stay. Try using other platforms aside from AirBnb such as booking.com, homeaway, VRBO, etc. Your marketing is your most important tool right now. Travelers are more likely to avoid hotels and choose a more private option. Let them know you offer self check in with no interaction from the front desk or a bellhop.
AirBnb just announced a new cancellation policy this morning stating reservations made up until March 13th with a check in date from now until April 1st, can receive a free cancellation. People are very uncertain of what is going to happen to their travel plans. Giving them the comfort of knowing they can cancel with you at any time, could help increase your bookings. Please check AirBnb daily as they are changing their guidelines as needed daily.
While you can’t control the outbreak, you can control your reaction to it. Keep your owners/investors in the loop and communicate with them the significance of the effect this is having on your investments. The impact of the Coronavirus could impact bookings for up to two months. Keep your head up we are all in this together.
As always please feel free to reach out to us for any other questions and stay safe!