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Airbnb Response to Coronavirus

What is airbnb doing for its hosts, to make sure we survive so we can be there when and if things ever return to normal. They are very happy to use our equity to fund their billion dollar platform . For some it is a fun hobby, for others not. Airbnb has a responsibility to address this issue in some way.

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Nothing so far.

They might go bankrupt, they might get investor funding, they might sell out to someone with deep pockets…Amazon might want to get into the travel business.

What do you think they should do?

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Nothing.
It is a survival of the fittest.

And if things return to normal there will be plenty of hosts that jump on the wagon again to make a quick buck.

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It up to you to make sure you survive not Air, not the fat orange one, we are on our own.

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There is always another host to take a failed hosts place. There’s no shortage of accommodations, not in my area anyway. None of us can say what will happen. Perhaps they will help people secure loans to stay afloat. Would that make you happy? A loan is the last thing I want…

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It’s harsh, but Airbnb is focused on survival until people are traveling again. 100% refunds encourage guests to return to Airbnb vs. other platforms. New hosts, or hosts who have not gone out of business, will fill the property demand. It’s a trade off for hosts – low barrier to entry and booking logistics provided in exchange for a relatively low fee and agreement to TOS that give Airbnb maximum flexibility.
If hosts willingly engaged in entrepreneurship, and benefited from individual property rights and, for some, sparse regulations or even operations under the table that allowed them to take advantage of this business opportunity and reap profits, they can’t expect a free-wheeling example of capitalism in action to turn into a socialist enterprise that takes care of them.
I hope everyone on the forum remains healthy, and recovers mentally and financially from this very challenging situation.

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I am surprised by responses to my question why airbnb has given no thought about what is happening to the hosts who make their business possible. There may be strategies that could mitigate the situation.

I would suggest to those that have not set up a website that now is the time to do it, if air tanks then you will be ahead of the curve. I get a few bookings with mine and if air did not exist I would imagine people would just search my area and find my site.

RR

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Did you get a chance to read what everyone was saying, @colleague? It’s possible Airbnb has given thought to what is happening to hosts. It’s just that handing us cash – is getting cash your mitigation strategy? – isn’t realistic. What everyone is saying is this: Don’t rely on the company. Do something yourself.
There are some good strategies here.
Asking the company to address the issue “in some way” is no strategy at all.

I asked a direct question of the OP which was

and got no answer. That makes me think colleague has no idea, they simply want Air to magically produce a solution which ensures “our” survival.

The best thing Air can do for us is to make sure they survive so they are around after this is over. Use them or don’t. If they fail it’s not going to be because hosts abandon them in droves.

I think generally businesses take out loans to cover this type of loss of income.

What do you think they could do to mitigate? I initially thought they should do more but it seems clear that they aren’t going to. I don’t think most small businesses are doing much for “employees”. I know my hair salon is closed. All the wait staff I see regularly are out of work… Maybe we will get something from the stimulus. Maybe we can get UE.

AirBnB has been operating in the red since 2019 and is seeking an additional round of investor funding to keep afloat. They are not believed to be anywhere near the previous 30+B valuation now.

The funding, if they manage to get any, will not be used to compensate hosts. It will be used to save the ship, which I presume is going to have to lighten its weight, so all I expect is for longer CS wait times to be the new norm with reduced staffing. Just a hunch.

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I was seeing that, too, @KKC.
A friend of mine runs a theatre fundraiser. Used to, I guess. Will again. Anyway, whenever someone would say, “You should do something about ______!” she would make a production of digging around in her bag for a pen and paper, then look them in the eye, pen poised, and ask, “Okay, how will I do that exactly?”
So, @colleague, how will Airbnb do that exactly?

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A loan was the first thing I got offered by my bank. I refused, I do not need another loan. A loan is just filling one hole with another.

I asked them to freeze payments on my existing loans for 6 months. They agreed.

Meanwhile I went trough all my fixed expenses and managed to cut, cancel or freeze nearly all of them.

With the amount we made this winter we should be able to make it until next winter. Some income would be nice this summer but I do not count on it.

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In the four years I have been on the platform, there have always been endless strategies for improving performance, like the promotions and discounts which I participated in this past winter.

I think that in these circumstances a formal letter from management to its stakeholders was called for. Something like we appreciate your efforts, and we’re working to see how we all get over this hump together etc.

Why not a promotion for canceling guests to bank the reservation or a portion of it at a discount to be shared between management and hosts.

It’s astonishing that so many of you replied so quickly and with such venom yet seem incapable of imagining that it is part of management’s role to come up with solutions and to communicate them with their stakeholders: their hosts and employees.

c

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Many of us don’t see ourselves as “stakeholders.” Airbnb worked for me, not I for them, I paid it a fee to connect me with people to stay here. They also processed payments. Occasionally they helped me with another issue but I mostly found myself dealing with problems on my own.

I never swooned as they whispered sweet nothings in my ear. I can see why others are hurt though.

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That’s exactly why so many hosts are saying this is going to financially ruin them- they have been living beyond their means on borrowed money, with no nest egg. Mortgages could be paid with the money they would have saved by not indulging themselves in a couple of Starbucks coffees every day and the rest of their non-essential impulse buying, and believing their ten year old needs a $600 iphone.

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So another thing that Airbnb is now doing is that after they ask if I would be okay with refunding the rest of the payouts from reservations cancelled, they are issuing payouts anyway?? Why would they ask me if they are going to charge me after I get paid?

Have these happened to you all?

This brings up a thought that I’ve had in my mind since I was a latchkey kid who constantly heard about how it required 2 parents to work to maintain a household unlike in the bygone era that my parents grew up in.

However, we live a very different lifestyle than our grandparents did and that is why it takes two incomes. If we only had one phone, one car, one modest house, one pair of jeans, no vidya games, no Netflix accounts, no internet bills to pay, and so on and so on… many could live very comfortably on one income.

Many people will need to make hard choices that will include cutting some of the first world luxuries we take for granted in order to weather this. Time to differentiate between needs and wants.

I encourage members to visit and follow this thread if they need help right now and invite you to add to the collection of resources. I try to search for a few minutes each day and keep adding when I find new resources:

COVID-19 Aid and Assistance

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Getrealk

I have not been asked that question. I collected a partial payment only for one of several cancellations so far.

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