Friday, June 4, 2021

Airbnb

 This was kind of a big deal and I thought I posted it but I can't find it anywhere so here goes. In the early days I didn't take guests. Just managers of the indoor facilities. In time the managers favorite people and with more time I took a few guests, who told somebody, who told somebody else, and now I have a job again. 



For eight or ten years I coasted along and was happy. Then I bought the place next door, Last Hurrah, sort of my accident. Mortgage payment doubled so had to adjust to that and started putting everything on airbnb and other online booking sites thought airbnb was the bulk of online booking through vrbo wasn't too far behind. Things really took off and now like when I ran the indoor soccer company I'm back to 60 to 100 hour weeks. I'm retired, in theory.

After Covid hit most all the online booking sites came up with cleaning procedures. Airbnb made one of the requirements wearing a mask. I told them that wasn't going to happen. They told me if it didn't they were going to suspend my eight rentals. I knew they wouldn't do it back in November because they were going public and you can't have a scandal or lose a bunch of business during that period of time. Every 10th or so time I was on the site they said they were going to suspend me. Sometime back in March they did, sort of.

They blocked my calendar showing all possible dates as being full so nobody could book. It has a boomerang effect. All the other booking sites that were linked to their calendar also showed me being 100% booked forever. So I disconnected their calendar from the other sites but when I did that it now showed the bookings from airbnb that were made before the block not show up. So I had to hand enter all the bookings into each individual site for each of the eight rentals on every other booking site. It took three 15 hour days. During that time airbnb rentals didn't show up on vrbo and 23 people tried to book nights that we already taken by airbnb renters. I had to email those 23 and tell them the nights weren't really available. Was pretty embarrassing and a big waste of potential guests time and mine. I got it all straightened out but some damage was done with a couple double bookings and a couple of missed bookings. I withdrew all my properties from airbnb. I explained to them that Utah doesn't require masks, San Juan County doesn't, and even CDC says they are only 1.2% effective. Still airbnb is sticking to their guns claiming they are going by the most recent science. Bullshit. Plus they're arrogant about it. Sending me occasional emails saying I'm blocked and when I get it together and decide to come back they'll help me. I tell them when they get rid of the mask requirement to tell me and maybe I'll come back. My feeling was it was going to make a big difference but vrbo has filled the gap. Where I was booked solid for about 45 days, now I'm booked solid for about 35 days. So net effect on my revenue and bookings is zero. I doubt that's the case with airbnb however. A lot of people that booked on airbnb previously either went directly with me this year or booked through vrbo.




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