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Welcome to 2020. This was supposed to be the year of Airbnb, but COVID-19 shook the world and turned Airbnb and everything else up-side-down. This was supposed to be the year when Airbnb went public. The year when bookings would continue to grow exponentially. The year when Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, would become the latest Silicon Valley billionaire. Yet, 2020 has been anything but the ‘Year of Airbnb’ – in fact it’s been quite the opposite. Airbnb has had to raise additional capital to stay afloat, they have seen bookings drop 80%, they cut $800mn USD in marketing efforts, and delayed their IPO; some are even saying they might not survive this whole pandemic (LINK).

On the surface the short term rental space looks to be doomed as cities, states, and countries continue their lock-downs and stay at home orders… But is it? Or do we just have to be savvy and proactive? During this time when travel to Denver International Airport’s passenger count is down 94%, our (Simplify Renting’s) occupancy is nearly 90%; ~3x Denver’s market average… How? 

We made cleanliness our top priority. We pivoted and marketed toward a different guest profile (no longer were we seeking travelers looking to indulge in 420 activities, checking out the craft beer craze, or our exploding restaurant scene, instead we focused on those guests who were most affected by the pandemic – first responders and families). Last, we placed a huge emphasis on pricing optimization.

Some may scoff at the thought of us trying to get guests into our units, but the reality is we are PROUD of our efforts as we have hosted many guests over this time period – including first responders who didn’t want to endanger their loved ones, partners who wanted to self isolate because they exhibited COVID-19 symptoms, mothers/fathers who wanted away time from their family, and countless other guests that weren’t travel related. 

Over the years we self-proclaimed us as Denver’s premier short term rental property manager, but over the course of the past 2 months Simplify Renting has proven we ARE Denver’s premier airbnb property manager. Occupancy rates from the start of stay-at-home orders in Denver (March 11) through the end of April. 

While some landlords and hosts may second guess the short term rental space, I think Airbnb’s future is bright and amazing things will come out of this pandemic and those property managers who are able to be nimble and pivot toward the opportunities will come out on top.

***If you are in the Denver Metro area and are a current airbnb host who is looking to up your game, increase your revenues, or just off-load your work to someone else – we are here to help. If you are renting out your home/unit as a longer term rental and want to realize larger profits via short term renting – we are here to help. If you are just curious about short term renting – we are here to help.