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Are your guests “different”?

With South Carolina in phase 2 of reopening, I’ve had a wonderful rush of booking requests.

Historically my guests have been budget conscious families and mostly middle aged couples or groups. My condo is close to ocean but not ocean front so not as appealing to younger guests.

Usually by 4/30, my summer is booked. Understandably everyone waited

My guests this summer are easily 90% 24-32 yr old couples. Almost all want early check-in. (I advertise “for your protection, reservations follow the CDC Covid 19 recommendation for the condo to be empty for 24 hours between bookings”)

My Summer bookings by older guests have disappeared.

My fall festival bookings by older guests have all cancelled.

50% of my booking requests are from people joining Airbnb in June 2020. Newbies always require more hand-holding but due to the high %, this is WORK!

Are you back in business? If yes, have you noticed a different type of guest booking?

I’m not back in business. As you know I have a very different kind of business than most here. Luckily I think I’ll do okay with the new paradigm. I just hope my long layoff won’t hurt the biz going forward. But as we have said on other posts maybe it will be a blessing in disguise that pushes me to do something else.

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I am getting the same kinds of requests. However, it is typical of my summer guests who wait until the summer to book. My older guests would have (actually did but cancelled) booked 4-8 months ahead of time for summer dates. The majority of my shorter-notice summer guests are generally milennials and very often new users. This summer, everyone will be a shorter-notice summer guest so I imagine they will make up the majority.

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Same with my guests.

I hope this doesn’t derail the topic too much but…

I have some real misgivings about the youngsters going out and having fun and spreading disease all summer. And this isn’t youth shaming. When FL went ahead with spring break and everyone wanted to blame kids I said “what about government’s role in keeping people safe?” So while they may not get sick, it’s believed that the numbers of asymptomatic carriers is high. If I re-open, am I contributing to the problem or just getting my share of the pie of what’s going to happen regardless?

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Amen and preach it. When March 13th rolled around and the big Spring Break destinations were packed with youngsters partying, I asked why they weren’t all sent packing right away. Our governor backed the individual counties that allowed or didn’t allow these vacationers.

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Fair question. I think it depends on where you are. My area is a tourist economy. My 2 condos on or off market will not make a difference. There is an abundance of available rentals so they can easily rent somewhere else.

In a lower volume area, a rental or two to out of towners could make a difference.

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I hope the picture will much clearer by the time I open.

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I’m at the Jersey Shore and normally my guests have been families with young children. Now all my bookings are similar to yours; young couples new to Airbnb. I just had one couple leave today and they were wonderful. The house is clean and tidy and they barely used any of the amenities. I’m looking forward to the next young couple coming tomorrow.

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I am conflicted as well, but my being open or closed will make no difference, the maskless visitors are still coming. I am eating pie

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The county where I manage, opened up yesterday to STR’s. My biz is starting to flip flop - more inquiries these last few days from Air, vs VRBO. And yes, they are mostly new members.

Fortunately, the golf course also opened and tournaments are being scheduled. I’ve got two Air bookings for those events so far.

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I fear there will be a “second wave,” of bookings then cancellations. Twice the pain for Air hosts. Could it be that there are more bookings from Air because guests know they are more likely to get refunded?

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yes I got 2 requests today after 3 months of no bookings. all brand new joined today. One wanted to come today, no explanations offered. I declined them both because I don’t know who they are and why they are coming. And had to lecture to them. how crazy is that!

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Well, it seems to me that older people who are in a more vulnerable demographic for COVID, or simply more aware and cautious, would be reticent to travel now, whereas young people, who are cavalier about it, are going to be ones more likely to travel. And many of those will be new to Airbnb and clueless about good communication with the host, actually reading through the listing description, etc. Also I think there’s some social media buzz about Airbnb hosts being desperate for bookings now, so they may be trying to take advantage of that. I’ve certainly read a lot of host posts lately about guests asking for discounts and acting like they’re doing the host a huge favor by booking.

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That may be true in some areas. For now, I think my bookings will not go through another cancellation phase.

Usually by June 1st, I would be fully booked into October. My latest booking is the first week of August.

My first two sets of summer guests asked about renting a week or so in the fall. Both are waiting “to see how this Covid19 thing goes”

It seems some guests are aware of the dynamic environment and are booking fairly last minute.

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I welcome newbies booking but yes they are Work! Often it becomes a tutorial on how to book via Airbnb.

I never know or ask these things, are you renting a room in your house? I do not see the need to pry, if a hotel asked me why I was coming I would be like WTF?

RR

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Fair observation.

My Beach area closed in March AFTER spring break reservations and reopened just before two huge events that provide heavy hotel bookings & big business for the area.

Both events had rescheduled to later in the year but both weeks the area was busy with people who had booked early and kept their reservations.

It’s all about the dollars.

Airbnb has over 3,000 listings in my area. There is a huge number or hotels, timeshares & other condo rentals.

I opened up 30 days after the state’s phase 1 opening so close to phase 2 start. Yes it was about the dollars for me too.

Covid-19 cases are increasing in the area.

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There’s about to be a huge observational trial run with human volunteers. Thousands are signing up to test maskless covid transmission in enclosed spaces in Tulsa Oklahoma.

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I kinda of ask too. I want/need my rentals to be highly relationship based because I am a remote host and guests do the exit cleaning (saves them. >$120 in cleaning fees).

I don’t get wrapped up specifically in who are you and why here but I want to get to know them a bit.

With the relationship, things tend to go more smoothly.

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