As all who read this regularly know I am an Airbnb host. I have two rooms at the top of my lovely 3 storey house that I rent out. Because of Covid-19 that has all stopped. The cancellations started around my son’s birthday on 16th March and by the time the lockdown started on Monday 23rd everyone had cancelled. I have lost a lot of bookings and no one is booking yet for the summer because we are all waiting.
I read all the articles I see about Airbnb and they make me cross. Let me say clearly – Airbnb is a platform for those of us who wish to put our rooms, properties, caravans, etc on to so that people worldwide can see they are available. I get bookings from as far away as Burma, Australia, Brazil, Congo. I would not get these without Airbnb. I am not forced to put my rooms on to Airbnb. I know that they take a percentage from me for each booking I receive. I also know they take money from guests who book. This is all clearly stated. For this percentage, as well as getting the Airbnb website platform, I also have access to over insurance cover should things go wrong. I have never tried to claim so not sure how well it works but it is there. I also know that it is my choice how I advertise my rooms, what I say about them, about the area, about what people will receive when they arrive. It is also my choice how I behave to my guests. It is then also my guests choice how they review my property and me afterwards.
When I read stories that include how a man had a portfolio of properties on the Airbnb site and doesn’t know who he’ll cope financially now they have locked down the site. I want to say to that man that yes I am sorry that he will be losing his livelihood but that is not Airbnb’s fault. No one said he had to put all his properties exclusively on to Airbnb. They are more than happy for people to advertise on different sites and even have a function on how to sync calendars from those different platforms. Also, very big one – at the moment no one should be travelling so you should not have people wanting to book your properties. Actually Airbnb have sent an email to all their hosts to say that if you are willing to have key workers stay they will make your properties available. Because my husband is asthmatic and we have my daughter staying, who has taken over the top floor, I’ve not tried this.
I have also read stories that talk about how Airbnb have let people advertise that their properties are a good place to stay during this crisis. No Airbnb did not do that. The idiot who’s property it is put that on his site and has somehow overroad the lockdown Airbnb have imposed.
I notice too that there are never headlines about how Sykes Cottages, Lakeland Cottages, etc behave or how bad they are. Let’s be fair
So please note – Airbnb is a platform we host use not a boss we work for. We, as adults with rooms, houses, etc choose to put our lettings on there. Airbnb does enable us to do this. And Covid-19 is NOT Airbnb’s fault.