Airbnb and short-term rentals feel affect of COVID-19

Posted at 4:27 PM, Jun 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-11 09:14:34-04

MCCALL, Idaho — Airbnb and other short-term rentals have noticed a decline in business since the shelter-in-place orders began.

A recent survey of over 1000 people found 47% of hosts say they currently don't feel safe renting to guests, while 70% of guests say they are presently fearful of staying at an Airbnb right now.

Guests fear that the rentals will not be clean up to the CDC's standards, but Airbnb added a cleaning guideline and checklist to its website for hosts to follow when preparing a rental for guests.

Content strategist Matt Zajechowski says it is still a good idea to inspect your rental after checking in.

"I would definitely recommend spot cleaning upon arrival, even if you looked on Airbnb and saw that they were doing these cleaning procedures. Ultimately, I think you should be comfortable. Understand you have the control over what you want to clean," Zajechowski says.

Shared items, such as silverware and sink faucets, should be given an extra wipe down to ensure they are clean.

Greg Catling manages an Airbnb in McCall, and he says he has taken extra precautions to make sure every common surface gets cleaned.

"We read through the CDC guidelines, basically, just making sure that everything is wiped down, providing extra face masks and gloves and things like that, just for guests to use," Catling says.

He also said that he saw a drop in guests around March, but with the state reopening, more people have inquired about renting the Airbnb.

"As soon as May started and they opened things up again, things really have ramped up to the point where you probably would expect if there wasn't a pandemic," Catling says.

Airbnb hosts say they expect to see a 44% decrease in revenue this summer due to guests staying home if COVID-19 is still present.