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Debi and Rob vs the Pandemic

Hosting Your Home - Airbnb host stories

Release Date: 06/16/2020

Debi and Rob vs the Pandemic show art Debi and Rob vs the Pandemic

Hosting Your Home - Airbnb host stories

Debi and Rob talk about the pandemic and how it has affected their lives.

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FabStayz and Drag Queen take over Portland! show art FabStayz and Drag Queen take over Portland!

Hosting Your Home - Airbnb host stories

We had an AWESOME photo shoot in Portland, Oregon directed by FabStayz founder Robert Geller, featuring airline flight attendant Danny Lee Cabrero as drag queen “Liquor Mini”, named after the little booze bottles on planes. It could not have been more fun! Robert was working on a publicity campaign for FabStayz and wanted it to be fun and attention getting. It worked! Danny visited 10 locations dressed in flight attendant drag, and photographer Carlos Camarena caught it all. The greater Portland area, with its supportive trade organization Host2Host, is the principal launch city for...

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HYH-52  “The Airbnb Way”  with author Joseph Michelli show art HYH-52  “The Airbnb Way”  with author Joseph Michelli

Hosting Your Home - Airbnb host stories

What company comes to an author’s mind after writing bestsellers about Starbucks, Zappos, Mercedes and Ritz-Carlton?  Airbnb! Joseph Michelli became highly interested in the company and authored a book "The Airbnb Way".  Joseph identifies the ways in which Airbnb engages with customers and builds brand loyalty.  He includes both the view from inside the company and the view from the individual hosts who provide hospitality to millions of travelers each year. “The Airbnb Way” is a unique publication that is overdue - few businesses have been as disruptive as Airbnb and much...

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STR Advocacy Done Well - with Mark Rockwell show art STR Advocacy Done Well - with Mark Rockwell

Hosting Your Home - Airbnb host stories

STR (Short Term Rental) Advocacy interview.

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FabStayz LGBTQ listing site, with Robert Geller show art FabStayz LGBTQ listing site, with Robert Geller

Hosting Your Home - Airbnb host stories

Debi Hertert of the Hosting Your Home podcast talks with FabStayz LGBTQ Listing Site founder Robert Geller, about his exciting, new STR platform. Robert has 10 years of experience with his gay travel company "Outings and Adventures".  Through his personal Airbnb hosting experience and Airbnb travel, he saw a real need for a travel platform that would be respectful and safe specifically for LGBTQ travelers.  He's inviting hosts to register, with the agreement that those hosts will be allies of LGBTQ travelers and make them feel welcome.  Robert listed some impressive statistics...

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HYH-49 Meet Tyann Marcink! show art HYH-49 Meet Tyann Marcink!

Hosting Your Home - Airbnb host stories

Debi Hertert talks with her friend and colleague Tyann Marcink about how Tyann got started in the vacation rental hospitality business, and the many hats that Tyann wears.  The two spoke in October, 2018 when Tyann participated in the .  So listeners will find a wealth of information about vacation rentals, coming from a person who has now spent 10 years in the business and who teaches it in  bootcamp workshops.  Tyann is also the Community Ambassador for  the TouchStay Digital Guidebook product for short-term rentals.  Right after this interview, Tyann...

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HYH-48 Next Door to Mexico show art HYH-48 Next Door to Mexico

Hosting Your Home - Airbnb host stories

Debi and Rob stay with brand-new Airbnb hosts in Bisbee, Arizona, with the border of Mexico within sight. It was a delightful visit and great to see new hosts being instantly successful.

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HYH-47 Guests with Guns show art HYH-47 Guests with Guns

Hosting Your Home - Airbnb host stories

Airbnb Hosts love what we do - the hospitality, meeting travelers, interacting with happy people, and showing off our places.  There are problems, ranging from rude guests, messes, animals, noise etc.  But physical safety isn't a common part of the experience. This episode addresses two incidents around the same time in Portland involving guns.  No one was physically hurt, but this is a good lesson about people who don't see guns as part of their world, and people who don't see the world without guns.   0:00 – 4:00 Introduction and discussion about the upcoming...

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HYH-46 “Smart Phone Photography” with Kati & Brian Greene show art HYH-46 “Smart Phone Photography” with Kati & Brian Greene

Hosting Your Home - Airbnb host stories

Kati and Brian Greene are two long-time travelers who produced an eBook of interviews with vacation rental industry “thinkers and do’ers”. Now, they have created a structured video course, teaching smart phone photography to vacation rental owners. There are good reasons to use professional photographers, but there are also good reasons to learn to take our own pictures to manage property updates and pictures of surrounding neighborhoods. Those pictures have to be good enough to blend in with the other professional pictures on our listings. And, it turns out, they can! 0-3:30 Debi...

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HYH-45 HYH-45 "Kim Boaz: Back to Basics Bookkeeping"

Hosting Your Home - Airbnb host stories

Kim Boaz is the owner of Back to Basics Bookkeeping in Portland, Oregon.  Debi Hertert from the podcast “Hosting Your Home” talks with Kim in this short, upbeat interview.  Many short-term rental owners who use Airbnb, VRBO, or their own website don’t consider their businesses to be large enough to warrant professional bookkeeping or CPA support.  Listeners who frequent Facebook groups such as the Portland Area Airbnb Hosts know that questions constantly arise about occupancy taxes, income taxes, which IRS schedule to use, what are legitimate expenses etc.  And...

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The pandemic and short term rentals in Oregon.

In mid March, 2020, the Coronavirus pandemic began impacting short term rental reservations in Oregon.  Airbnb saw its global reservations drop like a rock.

For three months, the pandemic has basically eliminated the STR market.  Debi and Rob Hertert of Hosting Your Home use this episode to talk about how the pandemic is affecting them personally and other hosts they know. Debi and Rob are very concerned about the small towns on the Oregon coast.  The  towns are desperate for money but cannot sacrifice the health of their citizens.  Visitors can partially mitigate this conflict by spending most of their time at the vacation rental or outdoors.  They can wear masks and distance themselves when patronizing businesses.

When hosts look at their Airbnb income reports, they look at graphs that have mostly dropped to zero.  Those who depend on the hosting income are in a very difficult position.  The more debt on the home(s) the worse the problem. And in the pandemic environment, the home sharing type of listing sadly disadvantages hosts who share space within their home; neither party is likely to want to share the same space. Debi mentions Host2Host, the nonprofit trade association that serves the host community in Oregon. Host2Host now uses Zoom for weekly "virtual coffees" and for monthly educational meetup webinars.

The myriad of financial victims is spelled out in countless other articles but Debi mentions here the groups known as "DMOs", or Direct Marketing Organizations.  These include Travel Portland and Travel Oregon among others.  They are (were) funded by a tourism tax that is levied in addition to occupancy taxes.  So the far reaching travel marketing that brings tourists to Portland and Oregon isn't happening at anything like the previous levels.  Portland uses the STR occupancy taxes to fund affordable housing. That has also dropped to near zero for the past three months.

It all seems like too much.  But - as Brian Chesky, Airbnb's CEO, said recently on an outreach call,  people love to travel.  They are reluctant to travel right now, but they will travel again.  It will definitely come back if hosts - and Airbnb - can survive beyond the downturn.

Just before we recorded this podcast episode, the civil unrest beginning with Minneapolis flamed into being and is cause for all of us in the hospitality industry to improve lives, lessen burdens, and share opportunities.  Debi is going to try her best to learn more and share through Hosting Your Home.

Links:

Host2Host.org  is the Oregon-based nonprofit trade association serving STR hosts. Membership is open to anyone. You can hear about how it was created:  Host2Host is About to be Born!

Airbnb's new cleaning protocol is a big change for STRs.

Airbnb has over the years worked on inclusion. Their latest effort is  "Project Lighthouse"