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Judge, Jury, and Executioner?

Should short-let platforms such as Airbnb have the final say on who you rent your property to?

Can they dictate the rate of business activity when they choose, on an almost per property basis, and is this fair?

I was interested to come across an article today which spoke of 80,000 bookings in the UK being blocked by Airbnb due to guests being under the age of 25 and wanting to rent an entire house.

The article published by CityAM speaks of the steps Airbnb is taking to control and clamp down on parties during the covid pandemic.

Although I’m sure readers will agree in taking all steps to control the spread of this virus, is it fair to take control out of the hands of hosts and property managers, and to usher away anyone booking who might happen to be under the age of 25, wanting an entire house and lacking enough positive reviews?

Does this further highlight other executive decisions such platforms can make without consulting a major stakeholder, the PMs and hosts?

There are many right and wrong aspects with the decision that Airbnb made on your behalf, but I will leave that to you to comment on below or discuss internally, but one thing this will lead to is further diversification in customer acquisition endeavours by hosts and PMs.

Hosts and those alike will need to look for diversified platforms which allow them to engage with their end-user and make decisions about their own properties and who stays in them.

More and more hosts are now looking to see how they can increase the rate of direct bookings and not only increase margins but also make such executive decisions themselves.

With companies such as Superhog and Noiseaware, should it really be down to the platform to make decisions before consulting you and deciding who should or should not be allowed to stay?

Superhog Digital Trust platform - Airlinen Linen Hire

Albeit bookings of those who had fewer than 3 positive reviews is used as a metric to block such guests, but what if guests have not used Airbnb more than once before?

Airbnb has said it will roll out measures that include occupancy limits, quiet hours, and stricter rules on smoking and has already placed a 16-person limit on gatherings under one household. All great things and even greater that the host has control over this.

Patrick Robinson, Airbnb Director of public policy has said: “While the overwhelming majority of guests are responsible neighbours, we are committed to tackling potential issues of anti-social behaviour on the Airbnb platform.

So where does it all end and begin?

How can hosts and PMs have more control?

Channel managers play a vital role here as they allow the smooth management of multiplatform coordination and calendar management. Easy.

Further, providers such as Guesty, Rentals United and Lavanda enable easy guest management, CRM systems and workflow automation too.

Every responsible person will be an advocate for taking steps to control the spread of this virus and to cut short the time spent within a pandemic. However, we invite platforms to consult and share such decisions with stakeholders and essentially those that keep our sector going.

We are all interdependent on one another, especially during a pandemic that poses a threat to both our physical and financial wellbeing and therefore need to keep each other informed.