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New beta: Get 7% on top of regular rate to offer flexible cancellation


#1

One of the most useless features i’ve seen implemented in my market. I’m glad they consider it Beta because this is just hilarious. It only works in markets where you can easily get a booking within that 5 day window to replace a cancellation. I have a good mind to exploit this feature as a guest by reserving a room and pay the 7% premium while i continue to shop around for better deals on the market. Since I cancel, i don’t pay a cent anyway.

It’s all downside for the hosts, unfortunately. This move is obviously hosts to implement flexible cancellation policies. As hosts compete to outgun each other, flexible cancellation turns out to be the differentiating factor. More and more guests will opt for those listings with a “free” flexible cancellation, the end result being hosts will be left out in the cold more and more often. Those who maintain a strict cancellation policy will have to adjust rates slightly to continue being competitive, only to realise they can just easily be left out in the cold via EC.

Honestly, if it weren’t for Airbnb’s site traffic, it is one of the worst platforms for hosting. I’ve just signed for Homestay.com, which seems promising enough, and there’s an option for hosts to collect a 25% deposit for cancellations, which seems way fairer.


#2

I’ve been offering flexible cancellation on my simple room for 4+ years. I’d love to get an opportunity for a bonus of some kind. There’s another beta test regarding cancellation posted on another thread.

What I see coming down the way (and have for a long time) is everyone on Airbnb will be forced into flexible cancellation and accepting instant book with no photos before booking. It will get more and more like hotels.


#3

It’s a shame that Airbnb is no longer the simple platform for people to share homes. All I want is an easy platform to advertise my space and I’m having to operate like a hotelier. When will Airbnb notice that homes are not hotels, and the more they strafe towards hotel like policies the faster they will get booted out by the local lawmakers.

I just attended my management committee and there were complains about people literally operating a hotel within the complex, even going so far as to offer paid laundry and breakfast delivery services.

There has to be a line somewhere , and I wish Airbnb will stay to its roots. I’m travelling soon and for the first time in a very long time, I considered a traditional hotel instead of an Airbnb.


#4

I wish a platform that went to the original Airbnb model would start up and be viable. What I don’t know is if there is enough revenue in that model to make it a viable business. Luckily in my town it’s mostly people offering a room in the home or a guest suite in the back. A few hosts now have two or three places but they manage them themselves. We don’t seem to have many remote owners and property management companies. So I’m not completing with hotel-like entities yet. But as a guest I wish I could filter out all the properties that aren’t managed by their owners.


#5

If there was a premium paid the host for offering flexible cancellations I would move my moderate cancellation to be flexible. In the past 4 years I’ve not had a problem with last minute cancellations so the change would be low risk.


#6

I’ve been hosting off and on in Seattle home since 2015 and seen the change as my market has become more saturated with STR buildings managed by companies. In 2019, the city is limiting STRs to two per host in response.


#7

I love this. Any ideas about how they will enforce it?


#8

The City of Seattle has a website for hosts outlining the new policies. I am not sure how it will be enforced. For the first few months, the enforcers are just going to educate hosts. I suspect that the property management companies will try to get a BnB license to operate more than two rooms, or have their employees make multiple AirBnB accounts to appear as different individuals.

The new regulations also mean landlords must approve of AirBnBs (no sneaky subleasing) and that we get three business licenses: the STR license, the city business license, and I’ve heard from other hosts we need a state business license to get a city business license (ah, bureaucracy).


#9

I’m sure they will have to adjust as they go. I think governments will use software to scan and triangulate listing, licenses and property records. The regs may get skirted for awhile but I imagine eventually technology and government resources will be hard to beat.


#10

We’ll be asked to post our STR license number in our listing’s ad copy. I’m happy to follow the regulations but I’m not happy about having to get three different licenses.


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