We know that information about the current coronavirus situation is being shared widely, but with all the noise it is easy to feel quite confused and lonely. So, in any way we can, we want to make sure that you all feel supported at this difficult time.
To begin with, I want to ensure you are aware of the go-to Airbnb resource for information regarding the coronavirus and hosting: Airbnb.com/COVID19.
We’re keeping it updated with Airbnb policy news, advice, and tips, so we hope you find it useful. A lot of the tips have come straight from threads shared here in the Community Center.
Head to Airbnb.com/COVID19 to find out more.
Exploring the Community Center, you’ll also see many useful topics and members sharing their own experiences and advice. Here in the Community Center, we rely on the support of our fellow members on a daily basis.
During times of uncertainty, it is important that communities really come into their own and be there for each other—and we’ve certainly never been short of camaraderie here in the CC. Currently, many people are working from home or are unable to leave their homes and it can be a lonely place to be. The Community Center is a good place to find support.
We’re planning some online meetups through this period and some activities we can all participate in “around the house,” so do keep an eye out for more information on this shortly.
In the meantime, sometimes the little things can go a long way, so please share any of your tips and supportive words for each other below.
Hosts are financially bleeding with the sweeping 100% refund policy re COVID19. Strict cancellation policies being overriden without any regard for the financial well-being of the hosts at all.
Many hosts can not afford to pay their mortgage and other bills this month. I’m not sure how this one-sided policy is supposed to make us feel “supported”.
@Lizzie All well and good but not one newsletter is addressing the severe impact this has on hosts. Only newsletters outlining what Airbnb has decided to do, give full refunds, suggest hosts change their policy (which have already been overridden by Airbnb anyway to give 100% refund) etc.
I do think Airbnb could have the decency to directly address the impact this is having on hosts aka 'Airbnb community', even if it is not doing/not going to do anything to help alleviate that impact. Hosts are in the dark and have been left high and dry. Community?
Thanks so much for your comment. I do hope all is ok with you.
Yes, I completely agree and to be completely honest with you myself, @Stephanie and @Quincy are busy collecting all the feedback shared here in the CC, just so that the information shared makes the most impact and we can move forward in the right direction. As you have probably noticed there are quite a lot of posts in lots of different boards and so you might see smoke coming off our replies! : )
This is such a crazy time around the world and it's really upsetting for me to see so many upset hosts. I think personally we need to work out a way as a community of how we are all going to get through this.
I'll make sure you know when there are more updates.
There is one very clear and common goal being expressed across several CC threads that shouldn’t require much collection to make an impact. Hosts are trying to minimize and best prepare for the financial impact cancellations are and will continue to have on their business, their lives, their livelihood.
A couple questions that would put my mind at ease and I imagine many others....
1. Does Airbnb acknowledge the financial impact cancellations and decisions they made are having on hosts?
2. Does AirBnB have any tangible plans to help hosts minimize and best prepare for the financial impact cancellations are and will continue to have?
The CC has gone several days with no acknowledgment from AirBnB on this subject across many CC threads. These chats grow daily, as hosts like me, search through clusters of messaging in anticipation of finding something tangible to help minimize very real concerns. Justifiably this lack of response and communication against these concerns is adding fuel to the fire.
Time is of the essence—there will be time to challenge, improve and celebrate decisions, I anticipate. But now, smart decisions us hosts make are imperative to impacting how we come out of this. I’m hoping your efforts can help us get those questions answered with Godspeed.
Thanks for all you do.
@Lizzie @Stephanie @Quincy , I understand everyone is busy during this time but are you guys still working during this time? Is anyone from corporate checking these threads? Is there any intention to provide some answers to many discussions taking place or intent to put our hosts minds at ease as we struggle to come up with clarity on our own? Sharing in these forums is beginning to feel like a big waste of time since no answers to the many comments / thoughts across these forums are being addressed. Expectations per your last update was that you were compiling the breadth of information across many chats to help make the strongest impact. Where are we with this?
A suggestion, check in with us daily, even if just to say we are working for you, a little goes a long way and frankly you are the only corporate connection we have so we are relying on you and your efforts. Hope you and your family’s are safe and well and please don’t misunderstand my intent here, I do very much value your time and energy.
@LizzieActually, no, nothing is ok with any of us since we've been completely screwed by you and your company. And really, stop using the word community. It just adds insult to injury as you know there's no truth in it.
Thanks for the platitudes though. I'll send them to my bank. No doubt they'll accept them in lieu of money for my mortgage.
You've thrown us all under the bus. No other platforms in New Zealand are allowing refunds. They recognise that hosts stand to face mortgage defaults or bankruptcy. Our cleaning staff have lost their income. Yet guests who only stand to loose a relatively small amount of discretionary holiday money are getting full refunds.
Good luck rebuilding your platform after this passes.
" I think personally we need to work out a way as a community of how we are all going to get through this. "
AirBnb's unilateral actions have demonstrated that we are not a community.
I feel your pain. I am in the same situation in SF. This is my primary home, my only home, I don't do this for fun, I do this as income. It takes a lot to make accommodations for me and my 3 kids to host and that is why I have a strict cancellation policy. I have now had 2 cancellations and I expect more to come. AIrBnB should abide by our strict cancelation policy and pay for the guests. They should have prepared for such a catastrophic event-they have plenty of money in their coffers.
Please let me know if I can help in any way. Hosts should unite.
I do wonder if Airbnb's extenuating circumstances policy, which is not in step with the rest of the short term rental industry is a worthwhile USP if it causes a goodly proportion of your hosts to go out of business.
Why oh why don't you come into line with the rest of the industry and then upsell insurance (once of course the insurance industry comes back).
My hot 'tip' would be for AirBNB to stop revoking hosts' income without warning or due process.
AirBNB receives funds from guests and hosts in the service fees they collect from both, and the interest fees they acquire while the funds are being held. The fair thing to do in this time of crisis would have been to offer:
1) Future travel credits to guests for any existing reservations, or
2) The option of receiving a 50% refund for guests of properties with strict cancellation policies.
Instead, you've completely cut yourselves out of the equation by using AirBNB Hosts as your own insurance policy - we bear all of the financial burden while you send guests feel-good messages about how you're protecting the community and only have their best interests in mind. (Read: want them to return to your platform and spend more money in the future.)
No notice to hosts, no room for discussion, no plan for financial relief. Moving forward, AirBNB needs to have serious discussions about offering travel insurance to guests, be it optional or mandatory, and including those fees in every booking. When I travel, I get travel insurance. My 'insurance' as a host was that AirBNB would adhere to the very terms of their contracts both with hosts and between guests and hosts alike.
Glad you've walked away unscathed, however. Please let us know what else you're 'doing for hosts' from your ivory tower. I know there's a toilet paper shortage, but you didn't have to wipe your collective ***es with hosts on this one.
Well said, Danielle. Whatever they may come up with, there is no way they will pay hosts, event at 50%, for the cancellations that have occurred as I am sure that the amount of cancellations made the moment their revised extenuating circumstances policy went live means that it is no longer feasible financially for them to do so, unless they can reverse the cancellations and access the guests' funds. The policy was issued for the guests' sakes because there were too many of them calling AirBNB's support network to clarify their cancellation rights with situations engendered by Covid-19 - so the best way is to reduce or totally remove those calls.
Further, if AirBNB were truly interested in doing something for the hosts community, there would have been a lot more posts from community managers/moderators and/or other AirBNB staff to allay the angst and fears of the hosts who have been posting on this topic. 2 days have passed and we are entering the 3rd day since the publication of their hated policy and the automation of guests' cancellations (with 100% refunds) thereof with minimal responses from AirBNB to the community posts on this topic.
The only time they will take notice is that enough of us leave this platform and look for alternatives. But, AirBNB knows that too many of us are entrenched in their system and would find it potentially difficult to move away. Hence, they are banking on this fact that the whole matter will blow over within the next month when cancellations are more or less fully exercised by the guests and hosts are still forced to remain with AirBNB to survive their loss of revenue (since it would be the quickest way for these hosts to build revenue again then to migrate to another platform).
They don't give a **bleep** about us. I have taken my properties out of this platform - tough to build again somewhere else, but in the long run, better for all of us to do so.