Airbnb is showing signs of recovery as people emerge from lockdown

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,127   +154
Staff member
The big picture: Covid-19 may even be giving services like Airbnb a leg up on traditional hotels. With vacation home rentals, travelers can control their contact with others, cook in a private kitchen and avoid crowded areas like hotel lobbies.

Covid-19 containment measures are starting to take their toll. Having been stuck at home for well over two months now, many are starting to go stir-crazy and are opting for impulse road trips and weeks-long respites for a change of scenery.

Home-sharing company Airbnb, which saw business essentially dry up overnight due to stay-at-home orders, is starting to see signs of recovery. From May 17 through June 3, Airbnb users booked more nights for US listings than during the same period in 2019. Domestic bookings are also up in other regions the company services as well including South Korea, Germany, Portugal and New Zealand.

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky told Bloomberg that after having been stuck in their homes for a few months, people “do want to get out of their houses.” The executive added that people “don’t necessarily want to get on an airplane and are not yet comfortable leaving their countries.”

Airbnb’s clients aren’t traveling solely for pleasure, either. With many having been ordered to work remotely, “work from home is becoming working from any home,” Chesky said.

That is especially true for those struggling to adjust to working conditions that now involve all members of the family being home 24/7. You may not be able to go into the office for some peace and quiet but perhaps a vacation rental in a nearby town for a couple of days would have the same effect?

Image credit: Hung Chung Chih, Kevin Sloniecki

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QuantumPhysics

Posts: 6,308   +7,247
I'm currently looking into the cost of a vacation condotel and my question is: in the wake of Covid-19, what will be the new costs to the owners of insuring that there is adequate sanitation?

Furthermore, what happens to the Air BnB member's losses due to the quarantines?
 

GreenNova343

Posts: 442   +331
The problem, though, is the level of cleanliness & disinfecting that will be done. At chain hotels, or even individually-run hotels & B&Bs, they've gone out of their way to make clear on their sites exactly the kind of extra measures -- well above & beyond those normally taken -- to ensure that their rooms & facilities are clean enough that people will be willing to risk the potential exposure of going on a trip. Moreover, as traditional businesses, they're held accountable by local & state governments here in the US that ensure that they meet the required guidelines that allowed them to reopen. An AirBnB place? You're looking at a crapshoot. Some of those owners will clean the place quite well -- assuming they have access to cleaners & cleaning supplies (as most of them don't have access to the wholesale distributors that hotels have) -- but others will fall below what was considered "acceptable" well before COVID-19 came along.

I've always been hesitant about renting an AirBnB place...with COVID-19, I'm even more reluctant to. But I have no problems staying in a traditional hotel, because I trust them to be held accountable & be more responsible.
 

mctommy

Posts: 417   +143
The problem, though, is the level of cleanliness & disinfecting that will be done. At chain hotels, or even individually-run hotels & B&Bs, they've gone out of their way to make clear on their sites exactly the kind of extra measures -- well above & beyond those normally taken -- to ensure that their rooms & facilities are clean enough that people will be willing to risk the potential exposure of going on a trip. Moreover, as traditional businesses, they're held accountable by local & state governments here in the US that ensure that they meet the required guidelines that allowed them to reopen. An AirBnB place? You're looking at a crapshoot. Some of those owners will clean the place quite well -- assuming they have access to cleaners & cleaning supplies (as most of them don't have access to the wholesale distributors that hotels have) -- but others will fall below what was considered "acceptable" well before COVID-19 came along.

I've always been hesitant about renting an AirBnB place...with COVID-19, I'm even more reluctant to. But I have no problems staying in a traditional hotel, because I trust them to be held accountable & be more responsible.

Totally agree. Although unlike you, I've used airbnb numerous times when we traveled with 2+ families since it's better to congregate together rather than 2-3+ hotel rooms. For the most part, they were clean and we were happy with the experience and the cost/value.

Post-pandemic and us using airbnb? No thank you... at least for a year or two. I will stick to hotel rooms.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,751   +7,666
I'm currently looking into the cost of a vacation condotel and my question is: in the wake of Covid-19, what will be the new costs to the owners of insuring that there is adequate sanitation?

Furthermore, what happens to the Air BnB member's losses due to the quarantines?

Also look closely at what they are charging .... there was a news story out of Nashville tonight that lots of companies, restaurants, etc are adding a Covid-19 surcharge to pay for all the extra "cleaning" they need to do and believe it or not, it is perfectly legal as long as they disclose it up front.
 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 2,014   +1,204
...Furthermore, what happens to the Air BnB member's losses due to the quarantines?

They will eat those costs. An AirBnB is just a short-term rental property, which is nothing new. You've been able to rent apartments by the day for as long as there have been apartments to rent. Only thing AirBnB did was make them easier to find, which had to knock-on effect of increasing both the supply and demand.

As with any rental property, it is the responsibility of any property owner to maintain a cash reserve to fund every property they rent through any vacancy (for any reason). If they were over-leveraged, either because they didn't maintain a cash reserve for the property, or because they used the equity in one property to finance the purchase of an additional property, or whatever, I have no sympathy. Natural disasters happen, and you were unprepared to handle even 1 month of empty properties? Naw, that's on them as property owners and business owners.

I, for one, look forward to coming increase in supply of new properties to purchase, and the falling demand from buyer that will probably accompany it. I may just be able to finally buy my first home.