Airbnb and short-term rental property owners have felt the first-hand effects of Americans putting travel on hold due to Covid-19. Along with Americans limiting their travel, several states and local governments have put restrictions on short-term rentals, which has led to Airbnb hosts adjusting both their short-term and long-term revenue estimates.
In order to gain insight into how Covid-19 has affected short-term rentals, we surveyed both part-time and full-time Airbnb hosts as well as guests who have used the platform.
According to respondents who host Airbnb properties, hosts have lost an average of $4,036 since Covid-19 began to spread in the U.S. Many expect to experience further revenue losses during the summer, which is typically a ripe time for travelers to rent out Airbnb properties. Overall, hosts anticipate a 44% decrease in revenue from June through August.
These revenue losses have led 41% of hosts to supplement their income with another job or revenue stream for the time being. Hosts have also gotten creative with their properties with 47% offering month-long stay options and 29% listing their properties at reduced prices to front-line personnel such as medical professionals who are traveling during this time.
In order to create consistent revenue, some hosts have opted to list their properties on the long-term rental market such as Zillow, Craigslist or Apartments.com for 3-, 6- or 12-month leases.
According to respondents who have been Airbnb guests, 64% said they have either canceled or plan to cancel an upcoming reservation due to Covid-19. Almost half said they canceled their spring bookings while 24% canceled bookings planned for this summer.
Airbnb After Covid-19
While uncertainty remains around when travel will return to pre-Covid levels, both guests and hosts remain optimistic. Overall, 37% of hosts believe guests will return this fall.
But guests appear to be a little more eager to book. According to respondents, 26% said they’ll feel safe booking again this summer, which could be good news for hosts who look to recoup lost revenue from the spring.
In the meantime, guests are taking advantage of Airbnb’s virtual experiences, which are online activities led by Airbnb hosts that include everything from online cooking classes to dancing lessons. Thirty percent of Airbnb travelers surveyed said they’ve taken part in virtual experiences, which provide an additional revenue source for hosts without them having to leave the house.
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From May 1 to May 13, 2020, we surveyed more than 500 Airbnb guests as well as Airbnb hosts. The average age of hosts was 36 and the average age for guests was 33. For hosts, 31% operated Airbnb full-time while 69% operated part-time. Types of listings: 74% entire home; 21% private room; 5% shared room. Settings: 45% urban; 45% suburban; 10% rural.
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