Launch Timing in BC Canada with COVID19

Hi Everyone,

We struggling with our Airbnb launch strategy due to COVID19.

Our location is more of a summer destination, however we feel that we can capitalize on some winter attractions and activities, but are prepared for leaner winters and Busy booked summers.

Our suite will be ready Nov 1st, 2020. Our options are:

  • Do a private 6 month rental and then launch the Airbnb for the summer peak season.
  • launch the Airbnb right out of the gate in Nov 2020.

With the Canadian Market focusing on local travel to contain the spread of the virus, it seems short term rentals are booked solid. I am wondering if other hosts are seeing more off season bookings due to the pandemic?

Many thanks.

Every market is focussing on local travel because of travel restrictions and concerns about Covid. @BClakehouse

Good to hear STR are booked solid across Canada. In many areas in Europe they are way, way down including in London and other capital cities.

What is important when making a choice is not to look at what other hosts are experiencing, but what is happening specifically in. your location for your sort of property.

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Yes, I am seeing a tremendous bump in off season booking. Summer is my slow season with generally 3-4 booking from June- mid-Sept. Winter is booked every weekend, with some 3 day and longer holiday bookings.

I had a LT renter through July 6th, and have been booked every week since. We are keeping 3 days between bookings, but next open weekend is mid-Sept.

I will say that the Covid cleaning protocols are tremendous, so if you’re not prepared for all the extra work and time, then go w/ the 6 month rental. I’ve increased my rates to make up for the extra cleaning time, but it’s exhausting.

Best of luck!


Excellent info! We are extremely prepared for COVID cleaning and sanitisation protocols. So that is not a hinderance. Thanks for your response. :wink:

Where are you located in Canada? What research have you done around booking rates of similar properties?

British Columbia - Shuswap Lake is where the property is.

I have looked around and chatted with a friend who has an Airbnb on Okanagan lake. Bit of a different area as she is in wine country. But she is booked solid after just opening in May.

Other STR in my area show vacancies in the late fall and winter Online, but there is a huge amount of government promotions and focus on travel locally in B.C. So I question how Far in advance do people book weekend getaways? I need 35 nights booked between Nov 1 and Apr 30th to make it worthwhile.

I just don’t want to miss out on a good opportunity to launch sooner Rather than the spring. But I also don’t want to be sitting empty all winter! Anyone have a crystal ball? :wink:

Of course this will vary quite a lot depending on the listing, location and season, but I have noticed that people generally seem to be booking much closer to the stay since Covid. I’d say about 2 - 3 weeks prior at the most. I used to get people booking at least a month if not several months ahead for some stuff. Thanksgiving would definitely be booked by now in other years, but it seems like people are being tenative about making plans, which makes sense. Not sure if others are having the same though.

If you’re new to short-term rentals, having somewhat sparse bookings might be a great opportunity to get feedback from guests and make improvements to your listing before things get busy.

Still, I’d probably take the 6-month long-term direct-booking if you can get it and the price is good.

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