Vancouver Airbnb host turns COVID-19 pandemic into opportunity

One Vancouver Airbnb host is turning COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic into an opportunity even as other short term rental operators are scrambling to stay afloat amid mounting cancellations.

Cammy Wang is marketing her Airbnb listing at 6950 Yew Street as a “Quarantine Getaway” [1]

“In the ever evolving Coronavirus crisis, we have become acutely aware of the need for people to practice social distancing,” Says Wang on the listing. “We’ve heavily discounted our standard rates for families/groups arriving back to Vancouver from abroad to do so. We hope you enjoy the comforts of this cozy home as we all try to flatten the curve.”

Her four-bed five-bath heritage home, usually rented at $357 per night, is available for just $122 nightly in April.

Wang dropped out of commercial banking to run short term rental operations full-time earlier this year after her listings earned a staggering $105,000 with a 90% occupancy rate.

While Wang is listed as the unit’s host, Vancouver short term rental licence for the property is in the name of an “HSIU-CHING LIU”.

Only primary residences are eligible to be listed as short term rentals under Vancouver’s short term rental bylaw.

Airbnb updated the platform’s “extenuating circumstances policy and the coronavirus (COVID-19)” on March 19 allowing guests to cancel any reservation made on or before March 14, 2020, with a check-in date between March 14, 2020 and April 14, 2020 and get a full refund.

Some short term rental operators are scrambling to find long term tenants as bookings disappear while others are temporarily shuttering their operations as they fear for their own health and safety.

“We have closed our Airbnb till mid April at this time, the responsible thing to do for the safety and concern for our communities health and safety,” host Sylvia Stark said. “After all, cities and towns are shutting down everything. We are giving full refunds.”

References   [ + ]