I had six properties before the pandemic. I closed two as soon as it hit. I converted two into long term rentals around June. Not because I could not stomach the downturn but because I could not stomach airbnb as a partner. This was a business for me so the constant uncertainty was unacceptable. They kept extending EC two weeks at a time, keeping my calendar blocked but at the end of the day refunding everyone. I had all weekends booked this summer so I never could take a longer stay if this continued to be an STR. Then Airbnb started to randomly cancel one and two night reservations a couple of days before arrival siting a non existent ordinance. They kept allowing guests to book but then would suddenly cancel. The guests that came instead of cancellations were unreal. The handful that was not tying to throw a party had insane expectations. The conversion of those two to LTR left me with one house that I hosted as two areas- two bedroom and a three bedroom or an option to rent the whole house. That’s when Airbnb dropped another bomb. The only way to get Chicago city registration through the listing. I can not go down to city hall, there is no form to fill out. Apparently airbnb has not renewed my license since a October. The violation I received was something like $3000 per day of operating without a license. I tried to get Airbnb to help but needless to say could not get attention of anyone who is actually able to do so. I have just paid $5000 to an attorney to negotiate a settlement with the city of $2500. I have to take all thee listings down by July 31 from all sites. Even though Airbnb was the one to mess up, this applied to VRBO etc. I will be trying to get a different license from the city but I can only list the property as a five bedroom which will be really hard for many months as groups are not travelling right now. When I have set out to do short term rentals, I have thought through pretty much every scenario including loss of license so I cannot say I am shocked. I know I am an absolute nobody to this company and ten other hosts will replace me once things are better and they will be great hosts. It sucks to be a nobody though.
@Inna22I haven't been to the CC in a few days and now I see this. Airbnb won't miss the contribution of my little listing, but they certainly will miss listing (multiple listings) like yours.
I'm sad for you, but I'd be lying if I didn't say I'm a little glad to see hosts abandoning Airbnb. I LOVED this platform for so long and used it for as long as I could. I'm still finishing out reservations since my "retirement" announcement, but the last day Airbnb will make money off of me for the foreseeable future will be August 6th.
I wish you so much success with your properties in the future and I hope Airbnb will evolve into something we can all come back to and support.
PS - I'll also miss your crazy guest stories! Yours were the BEST!
@Inna22 Just chiming in to say I’m saddened, if not surprised, to see you go.
it’s bad enough when a host derails themselves with bad decisions or when a city enacts impossible rules, but when ABB can’t handle the most basic of things then that just doesn’t leave you much to work with.
best of luck to you!!
@Paul1105 What a striking way to demonstrate that heavenly integrity which you went to such bizarre length to boast about. Your insight into my character is matched only by your incredibly observant insight into my nationality.
I have gotten to the point where I am only doing this on weekends. Soon I will likely not do it at all. I am refusing 0 review guests as the last several ones were trash and my superhost status means absolutely nothing to me anymore. For the most part I have found having higher rates and not accepting guests with 0 reviews, it has been bringing in better people but ultimately I am one bad guest away from closing my doors as I am tired of the newer culture of AirBnB guests.
@Russell49 I've been doing a similar thing. Weekends mostly, with one or two exceptions. I'm screening guests pretty hard, and excluding more than I normally would. My prices have stayed the same, although it's more work with Covid.
I stopped worrying about superhost status a long time ago, but the irony is that the quality of my guests has been pretty good, lately, and my rating is slowly crawling up again. I've mostly taken folks with lots of great reviews, and who have a good reason for travelling.
@Russell49 Ditto. We have blocked our calendar weekdays. Only do weekends now with a 2 night minimum (to compensate for the extra cleaning, one nighters just not worth it), school holidays excepted. We also had someone book a single Sat night for next Jan at the height of our peak season. Not happy given our beachside location. Usually we get 3-7 day bookings during this summer school holiday period, (had another 6 night booking, that was more like it) so decided it's time to put some limits on.
We also changed our booking requirements to guest must have previous reviews legacy of our most recent newbie 1 night guest who left the place a mess, had 5 guests stay using all 3 beds, 4 adults and one very noisy rambunctious boy, lost the key on arrival, lost the tv remote, asked loads of questions already answered in our listing pics, gave us 5 stars in each category then gave us 4 overall, trashed our previous 4.94 rating in one easy step.
Blocked our calendar completely to end of August, and frankly we are enjoying the Bnb "holiday". Most of our guests are lovely, but it's definitely a case of "on our terms or not at all" now, not just anybody and not for flighty 1 nighters.
I cannot blame you. To be honest, we have done the 2 night min and raised prices. Usually this weeds out the people we don't want, but the current booking we have checks out tomorrow and has been noisy. I am leaving them a very honest review and poor rating. After these guests, we are closing our doors for at least a month. My experience with AirBnB used to be a good one-meeting guests from around the world who were familiar with the platform and the concept of house rules, but the current breed are shocking and use AirBnB with "more affordable" in mind.
@Inna22 I’m sorry to hear you’ve been hit with yet another blow to your business. I‘m sure you will find success in your near future, just apply the same dedication, passion and enthusiasm as you have with Airbnb. Best of luck!