How Airbnb Desecrated Its Hosts in 3 Minutes

How Airbnb Desecrated Its Hosts in 3 Minutes
by Elizabeth Sickels | Airbnb Host Tips Vacation Rental Management

Airbnb decided to fully refund guests despite its hosts’ cancellation policies. Some hosts now considering petition for a class-action lawsuit.

Airbnb Helped Change My Life

Literally within a matter of minutes Airbnb’s decision to fully refund guests had a massive impact on my team, my clients, my community, and of course my life.  We have two sets of clients to keep happy as property managers. We have our homeowner clients who own the property. And then our other clients, which are our guests.  Our mission at Elizabeth Maora, LLC is “Providing exceptional client and guest services.”  It’s always a balancing act. However, when your mission is clear it does make some decisions easier.

I built a pretty cool short-term rental business all because Airbnb became mainstream. This allowed me to pivot from a corporate engineering career, to building a hospitality business.  We are in an urban vacation rental market which is unique in and of itself.  I’m grateful that Airbnb and VRBO allow us to offer amazing properties to folks who want hotel alternatives. Or, folks who don’t want to stay with friends or family. About 85% of our bookings come from Airbnb. While we’re super appreciative of that, we also have been working on our own branding.  Which any business should be doing.

Airbnb Helped Build My Business

We get all the perks that Airbnb offers. An amazing platform to upload info. Easy access to list properties. They even process all the payments. And let’s not forget, they’re 85% of our bookings. The list of perks goes on and on. While I’m not always happy with Airbnb, especially some of the resolution outcomes (from let’s just say less than desirable guests that have caused issues in our properties), at the end of the day they are a great partner for us.

They took a very controversial stance in choosing to offer full refunds for the COVID-19 pandemic.  Normally Airbnb allows the host to choose the cancellation policy, not this time.  And I stand behind their decision 100%.  I’m in hospitality because I love hosting folks, I wouldn’t have a business if I didn’t have guests.  I want guests to remember Elizabeth Maora, LLC as a team that was on their side during this unprecedented time in world history.  This is not an easy situation for anyone, our clients are on board and they understand.

There is a class-action lawsuit petition going around for hosts to sign. I’m not going to bite the hand that feeds me by signing it. Knowing this COVID-19 is affecting absolutely everyone, it seems crucial to think long term and have compassion in this moment. Whether your business has tanked, or your business is flying high right now.  I’m here for the long haul, so let’s keep our chins up. Remember where and how we started, or what Airbnb has meant to our businesses. Now is a time to stand together for everyone’s benefit, not to tear each other down in fear. Our industry will boom once again when this is over.

1 comment
José Vázquez

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1 Comment

  • Adam
    March 27, 2020, 2:11 pm

    I don’t think that anyone is arguing that for the customers this was a good thing, and a great example of customer service, but from the PR perspective and general perception is is Airbnb who are the heroes, so I really hope that your guests remember your brand for any future trips, but my feeling is that they will remember Airbnb not Elisabeth Maora LLC.


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