Colorado Springs, CO Level 2
How do I simply transfer my AirBnB account with write up, pictures, descriptions, etc. to the new owners of the property ??
I sold property. How do I transfer all contacts, etc. ??
I sold (2) large guesthouses in June 2021. I also had others I did not sell so I did not want to tarnish my status as a host. I worked with the guests who had booking beyond the sale as well as the new owners.
The new owners agreed to honor the upcoming booking as well as honor the price they were booked at. They set up their website & had a list ( furnished by me) of the upcoming bookings, their names & the $ amount.
We choose a day & I personally contacted each upcoming guest & told them of the sale. At that time I furnished them with the new owners info & how to contact them. So they had to cancel with me & turn around & re -book with the new host.
We had (6) months of bookings ( it was part of the sale) but you cannot force the guests to go with the new owners I am told or just automatically transfer them. The reason I was told is that they booked with you based partly on your track record & reviews. They know nothing about the new upcoming hosts.
That said … after contacts the guests we had all (6) months of guests turn around & re - book with new hosts… with the exception of 2.
I think the key is to contact the guests personally & give them good, straight forward info to easily re- book, reminding them that the price would be the same & that you have confidence in the new owners to give them a great experience.
So...bottom line. Selling my property & I have 26 upcoming reservations. What is proper way to do this.
If I cancel them & the new buyer sets up a new website & they want to transfer then they can.
But what about me cancelling all these reservations? I have other properties on Airbnb & do not
want these cancellations to count against me (I am a Super Host on all properties)
**[E-mail address hidden due to safety reasons - Community Center Guidelines] - Please note that it is not allowed to share any personal details publicly
When I was selling my property I set my listing so I only took bookings within three months of arrival to minimise the risk of accepting bookings I couldn't honour @Connie17
If you didn't want to have cancel guests and take the hit - this is the best approach .
hopefully you've stopped taking longer term bookings now .
if you can't swop these guests into one of your other properties it sounds like you will need to learn the lesson and take the hit .
@Alexandra316 why do you feel Airbnb will cancel these 26 bookings penalty free
the new host can set up an new account for the listing, block the dates that you have bookings already and just allow airbnb to pay you and you pay them. You as a current host should unlist your property to keep any more bookings from happening
@Wendy1275 That would be a work-around, but not an ethical one unless the guests were informed that the property has been sold and given the choice. I wouldn't necessarily want to be held to a booking if the property had changed hands, and I had no reviews to go on for the new host.
@Connie17 That's a lot of reservations to take care of. There is no easy way to transfer reservations from one host to another, unfortunately.
The person purchasing the property will need to set up a new listing for the space. Then I would send all of your guests a message letting them know what is happening: that you're sellling the property and giving them the link to the new listing. You will likely get some people cancelling of their own accord. After you've given guests a few days to read the message, you will need to contact Airbnb and let them know that the property has been sold and you would like to cancel all the reservations without penalty. The guests can then re-book with the new host.
Hi @David7664. It was a mess and Airbnb was no help at all. My mistake was assuming that prior examples of people transferring their listings meant that it would be possible for me to do the same.
I stopped taking bookings when I decided I was going to sell. But my property sold much quicker than anticipated (we were in contract the same day it was listed) so I had three bookings post-closing. Since there was no clear Airbnb policy on the issue, I tried to do what I saw others had done in the past. The buyer created a duplicate Airbnb listing (same pictures, same content - btw, its crazy how easy it is to do that) and all the guests agreed that they wanted to transfer their booking to the buyer's listing. I then spent ages on the phone asking Airbnb to make the change. Airbnb refused.
Airbnb told me to cancel or co-host instead. I did not want to cancel because I still had several other Airbnb listings (the penalties aren't too bad for ONE cancellation but are increasingly severe for more than one). So I opted to co-host with the buyer. But, because the bookings were made before the buyer was my co-host, Airbnb would not allow me to designate that the payments be disbursed to the buyer. So I had to transfer the funds to the buyer, via bank transfer, each time I received my payout from Airbnb.
The situation was not ideal. I was still in the loop on all the messages and details for each stay, even thought the property was no longer mine. The guests were thoroughly confused (and understandably nervous about the situation). And the buyer would have preferred to receive the money directly from Airbnb rather than trust me to send it each time. By the end of the third booking, we were relieved to finally be done with the awkward arrangement. For example, the buyer told the guests in a welcome email that they would have access to a new grill during their stay. For some reason, the new grill was delayed. So when the guests arrived, they contacted both me and the buyer asking where was the new grill and what were they supposed to do with all this meat they had purchased. I was not close by and had not been aware that the buyer made the promise of a new grill, so I was flummoxed as to how to help. Long story short, the buyer ended up making a run to walmart and personally delivering a new grill to the guests.
I suppose if we had more bookings (any successful STR will have bookings more than a year out), then we could have drafted a detailed written contract and business plan for how to handle the bookings. But that obviously adds a great deal of complexity to the process of trying to sell the property. I've seen others say that a property owner should just stop take bookings if they intend to sell - but that is risky also. It means a property owner would be giving up income that supports the property while they try to sell it and it means allowing a valuable STR business to die off during the process.
It was frustrating because Airbnb refused to do something they had done before and that all three parties said they wanted - the seller, the buyer, and all the guests said they just wanted the booking transferred to another listing. Fortunately, the buyer was gracious. The guests were gracious. Only Airbnb was completely unhelpful and unflexible.
Thank you @Betsy13 I really appreciate you sharing your experience in such detail. The seller in my case is an experienced host with multiple listings and I can understand why he wants to protect what he has built up. They have found themselves in a very similar situation to you, except I believe they have many more post close bookings than in your case. I completely appreciate how your arrangement could feel uncomfortable, not to mention the confusion and impact to the guest experience. Personally I am not comfortable entering into such an arrangement without written agreement about how to handle the bookings, and you're right that adds a lot of complexity. These are all things I'm glad I have learned now if I ever decide to embark on being a host myself. 🙂
At first I didn't really understand why Airbnb would not be accommodating for this kind of thing, but in reading through their terms and various threads on the subject I can now better understand why they take this line, even if I don't fully agree with it. They claim it's about protecting the guest experience, so in that spirit you can argue a host shouldn't knowingly subject a guest to potential future disruption to their plans. Hence a host should stop listing if they are considering selling like others in this thread have suggested. It's in the host's own best interests for their status on Airbnb, but more importantly it's about doing the right thing for their guests, who may be loyal repeat customers.
I hear what you're saying about the downside if you stop accepting new bookings, but if the owner is looking to profit from a red hot real estate market, then they probably need to give some on the STR market in return. At least with Airbnb it seems you don't get to have it both ways. From what I can tell VRBO seems much more forgiving to the owner in this respect. Furthermore, Airbnb offers more lenient cancellation policies up to 24 hours beforehand in fact. So a host could always just change their policy to make it easier for the guests to alter plans. Again, you could argue it comes back to whether the host is looking out for their guests or themselves. Airbnb forces them to put the guest first.
I'm glad you got to work through your situation even if it was frustrating, and again thank you for sharing. I will happily update with how my situation pans out for others to learn from.
@David7664 The thing is, you can't just pass guests on to a new host as if they were part of the furnishings. Guests book based in large part on the reviews. If there is a change in ownership, guests have no way of knowing if the new host will be a good one. It's like if you ordered a leather jacket, because you'd had a jacket from that company before and were super pleased with it. It wouldn't be okay if you just got sent a substitute jacket made by some other company, that might not fit right, or have inferior workmanship.
And an Airbnb business is the host's business- the business isn't the property. The simplest, most basic listings can have pages of glowing 5* reviews, because the host is attentive, the property is kept super clean, it's comfy and even better than advertised. And some supposedly luxury properties can have poor reviews because the host doesn't run his business well, it's less than clean, messages and issues aren't responded to promptly.
What the current owner should do is contact the already booked guests and explain the situation, asking if they want to keep the reservation with you, the new host, and if so, getting the guests to cancel (so the host doesn't receive penalties) and reimbursing them in full, including the Airbnb fees they paid, so they can rebook with you if they like.
I have also read posts where hosts contacted Airbnb, providing documentation that the property had been sold, and Airbnb dealt with the cancellations and refunds without penalties to either host or guest. He just can't clutter up that request with asking them to transfer the bookings, which they won't do.
@Sarah977 I think we're saying the same thing and I agree with you completely. I have no interest in buying his STR business which he has worked hard to earn. I would just like to buy his condo. 🙂
So I agree with your suggested approach. However what I understand from reading these threads is Airbnb won't refund their service fees (or the occupancy tax for that matter according to other threads on this forum).
I know there are apparently stories of others having better luck getting full refunds, but according to @Betsy13 she tried this and Airbnb refused. Either way I agree the seller still needs to at least give it a try.
Yes, I learned a lot from the situation. I understand that there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution and that there are multiple considerations for corporate Airbnb, hosts, guests, and potential buyers/sellers.
As I said, it was my mistake to assume that Airbnb would do what they had done before. My frustration was that I tried to do things the right way. I researched my scenario and read through all the same threads referenced by @Sarah977 and made a plan accordingly. I stopped taking bookings before listing and when we entered a contract to sell the property, we specifically contracted to protect our post-closing guests (I did NOT treat my guests like furniture....). I communicated with all my guests well in advance of their stay and gave them a myriad of options. All of them said they really wanted to stay at THAT property, no other; that they did not want to cancel and rebook (despite my offer to cover all fees); and that they wanted to have their booking transferred to the new buyer (who wanted to host them). So I felt like the rug was pulled out from under me when Airbnb said, "No. It doesn't matter that we did it before. No, there's nothing in writing about this. We just won't help you."
It's easy to say how others should conduct their business. I know the real estate market is "white hot" now. It was not when I listed. I listed my property in a market depressed by the pandemic in a county where similar properties had taken YEARS to sell. Fortunately, my property was viewed as highly valuable to my particular buyer not because it was "just a house" but because of its location, its aesthetic, its amenities, and because of the STR business that I had built up with blood, sweat, and tears.
@David7664 , I hope your seller has better luck than I did and that you both can reach a resolution that is mutually beneficial. You are right that Vrbo is generally more even-handed with property owners. Unfortunately, with Airbnb, it feels like they view guests as their customer and property owners as their chattel.
@Betsy13 It definitely sounds like you tried to do everything very professionally, including being respectful and caring about the guests. I wasn't implying that you regarded the guests as furniture you could pass on. You obviously didn't.
But I have read posts before where hosts who were selling their property didn't seem to understand that the booked guests were at least owed a non-money-losing opportunity to cancel the booking if they didn't want to take a chance on a new host with no reviews.
@Betsy13 it sounds like you definitely tried to do things the right way. I'm sorry Airbnb weren't more helpful in your case.
Like I said, I'll let you know what happens in our case. Thanks again for the comments and advice.
@David7664 Right, Airbnb probably won't refund the service fees. That's why my suggestion was that the current host cover any losses incurred by the guests. That would be the ethical thing to do, considering he had been greedy in continuing to take bookings when he had the place for sale.
@Sarah977 I understand your suggestion and agree it's still the best approach. But as best I can tell (having this conversation third hand through our respective realtors) the current host is trying to cover his losses. Which is why we have a sticking point.
@David7664 Sounds like he wants to have his cake and eat it, too 🙂 His only losses would be covering the service fees, which doesn't sound like such a huge deal to me, considering he's due to see a shwack of money from selling. There's no other losses, because he won't be able to provide any service to the guests if he doesn't have the prooerty to host them at anymore.
FYI: I sold my property. As soon as I went into contract, I stopped accepting future bookings. But I already had three bookings beyond the closing date, so I asked Airbnb to transfer those three bookings to the new owner. I didn't try to transfer the listing, just the three bookings. All three guests confirmed they would like to transfer to the new host who has the same property. Airbnb won't do it. I told them I found several instances where hosts said they had done this with Airbnb. They told me they don't do it anymore. They said either cancel the bookings or co-host. I told them I did set up the bookings to co-host and tried to designate that payouts go to the co-host but it won't let me do that either (the system says only future bookings can be paid out to the co-host). They said figure out the bank transfer on my own or cancel. When I went to try to cancel the bookings, it tells me I will be penalized in multiple ways if I cancel. I tried to say that I was cancelling for extenuating circumstances but selling the property is not a covered circumstance. Since I am still an owner of other properties on Airbnb, I don't want to be penalized (three times!) for cancelling. Moreover, it warns that if I cancel more than once, my account may be suspended. Just another example of Airbnb's lackluster customer service to hosts.
Hi @Betsy13 can I ask what ended up happening in your case? I'm trying to enter into an agreement to buy a property and the seller is apparently having exactly the same problem where he doesn't want to be penalized by Airbnb for cancelling the bookings he already has so I can take them on. I'm willing to honor the dates and have his guests rebook with me but it seems excessively difficult to do this, and it's holding up our ability to enter a contract as a result. Wondering if/how you worked this out. Thanks!
The owner should have stopped taking long term booking when he put his place on the market then he wouldn't need to cancel bookings @David7664 - he is simply selling you a property not an STR business
it's up to the owner to resolve this with Airbnb .
The penalties are not high he should just take the hit if Airbnb won't help transfer bookings to the new listing you have set up.