airbnb guest and host

How to Increase Airbnb Bookings During the Coronavirus Pandemic

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There is no question that the world is going through unprecedented times. Most of us never saw a situation of the magnitude of the Coronavirus Pandemic coming, and world markets reflect that. Prepared or not, as an Airbnb host, it is unfortunate to see bookings drop during these times. Luckily, there are some things you can do to increase Airbnb bookings during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Airbnb has seen a significant decrease in new bookings, which isn’t helped by plummeting world markets. Markets in metropolitan areas have been hit the hardest, whereas smaller and more remote markets are doing somewhat better, but are still feeling the hit.

This Is No Time To Stress

Despite the global threat of the virus, there are some opportunities for hosts. Borders were closing and flights gradually came to a halt. Soon, it was primarily medical professionals and stranded personnel who required a place to stay. Even as border restrictions have eased, COVID cases are still high in many places, so it’s still important to consider the impact of Coronavirus on people’s ability or willingness to venture out.

Forget the past for a minute, especially if your main clientele are leisure guests. In times like these, you need to adapt and tailor your listing to those who require accommodation for good reason. And, unlike grocery and supply stores, increasing the price of your accommodation to make up for lost revenue is not the way. Changes in short-term rental needs since the beginning of the Pandemic have offered new opportunities for hosts and guests alike.

Those who may be looking for an Airbnb are:

  • Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals who travel nationally or overseas
  • Students and their families who prefer not to return to their on-campus accommodation
  • Stranded travelers due to border closures and flight cancelations
  • Those either returning home or arriving in a country and are required to self-isolate
  • Professionals seeking an office space while they must or choose to work from home

Of course, there are a few folks who still decide to travel and appreciate the isolation a rental property provides over a hotel, but the above groups are ones you could be focusing on to increase your bookings. There are a number of ways to increase Airbnb bookings as Coronavirus continues by simply modifying your listing.

Lower Your Prices

  • Lowering your prices to either break even or make a minimal profit is recommended during these times. While it may seem tempting to increase your prices to regain some lost revenue, this is not the best way to attract bookings during this pandemic.
  • Once you have decided on a new nightly price, make you advertise the discount in your listing title. As soon as people see that you have taken initiative and adjusted your prices, they will immediately be drawn to your property.
  • Lower prices for at least the next 2 months, even if this coincides with some events that usually see your bookings soar. Not only is it likely these events will be canceled, but it gives you some reassurance that you won’t be increasing the price when the pandemic is still being felt. This also eliminates any guest dissatisfaction or complaints you have to deal with in the future.
  • Share your discount on social media outlets and any other forums you may be a part of. If people know about this great bargain, the response can only be positive.
  • As the groups above will require accommodation for an unknown period of time, but at least 2 weeks, the use of long-term discounts could go a long way to seeing your bookings increase.

Optimize Booking Settings

  • Adjusting your booking settings to suit the clientele who need a place to stay is critical. This begins by setting your minimum night stay to one. Although guests during this time will probably require a longer stay, it gives them the peace of mind that if a flight comes up last minute or some restrictions are lifted, they can get home without needing to pay any extra fees. While you might need the money, it is important to think of guests and how they must be feeling if they are scrambling to get home, so flexibility is key. Guests love flexibility, especially during unsure and nervous times.
  • Having your listing ready to go ASAP is essential to keeping your booking rate up. A lot of travelers arrive at the airport to find their flights have been canceled last minute. As a result, they require a place to stay right away. Any sense of reassurance such as availability right away and the one-night minimum stay is all they will need to book with you.
  • As mentioned earlier, flexibility is key. Setting your cancellation policy to flexible is the best thing you can do right now. Fortunately, Airbnb has begun protecting hosts with cancelation options again, so hosts can control how they wish to deal with cancellations at this time. Also, Airbnb has added a filter for flexible properties, meaning guests find it much easier.

List Your Property Everywhere

Extreme circumstances mean taking extreme measures. Making sure your property is listed everywhere you can think of will help your bookings increase. Listing on social media, other booking platforms, on your own direct booking site, or anywhere else properties are listed is bound to have positive results. There might be someone who stumbles across your listing who has a loved one in need of a place to stay due to restrictions or flight cancelations, you just never know. Listing your rental elsewhere during these times is essential to increasing bookings, especially at short notice.

Increase Those Bookings!

If there is one piece of final advice for increasing Airbnb bookings during the Coronavirus pandemic, it is to reassure your guests. Any reassurance at this time will help your guest satisfaction and overall rating skyrocket, meaning when this is all over, you can get those bookings rolling in!

Once you have implemented the measures stated above, you will be well on your way to increased bookings. If you happen to already be hosting a guest, ask them if they would like to extend their stay, as they might not feel comfortable traveling. Make sure to lower the nightly price for them and tell them the discount you can offer.

We are all in this together and we, as an Airbnb community, will come out stronger. Host and guest safety are a priority, so please stay safe and follow all government restrictions and Airbnb cleaning policies. Happy hosting!

About the Author Jake Leavy

Jake Leavy has worked in the content industry for 8+ years. Travel writing has been his main focus, however, he also has luxury hotel management experience under his belt. He has traveled to over 50 countries and loves immersing himself into different cultures. Jake combines his passion for travel and hospitality experience to offer hosts tips and tricks to improve their business.