Short-term rental hosts are banding together and launching their own direct-booking websites in an effort to diversify their business after years of mounting frustration with Airbnb and other short-term rental providers.
Some of these websites were already in the works. But many hosts have recently prioritized their own direct-booking websites after a turbulent past two months, as the coronavirus pandemic spurred widespread cancellations and many grew unhappy with Airbnb’s reimbursement policies.
Although these independent websites lack the consumer base that comes with a large service such as Airbnb, they give hosts more power when it comes to how they brand and market their properties. Direct-booking websites also offer hosts an avenue where they can rent their properties to guests at a cheaper price while generating a higher profit than they can when a middleman such as Airbnb is involved. Additionally, they offer hosts more control over situations where guests request refunds, cause damage or complain about a property, according to numerous short-term rental hosts who spoke with CNBC.
Hosts who choose to build their own websites gain more control over their business, but also a lot of new work, say hosts.
They have to set up their own payment systems, draw up their own rental contracts, and maintain their website or find someone to do it for them.
Despite the drawbacks, hosts say having their own website is just another tactic to diversify their business and reduce their reliance on Airbnb and other booking sites.
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