We're in downtown Asheville, NC and we had all of our March and April bookings canceled (no big surprise). Since I wasn't going to be making any money from those months, I wanted to 'donate' them to the hospital for doctors or nurses who can't go home (if they live with an immune-compromised or elderly family member for example).
We were aware of the potential caveats: that our community might not want people from other communities bringing Covid-19 into the community (rightly or wrongly, that's another story). Or that the anti-STR folks may use it to bolster their hate arguments. But I do NOT plan to advertise this information. I just want to try to help take care of the folks who are going to end up taking care of us all.
I reached out to a few doctors in the area who said they'd circulate this info to their peers by word of mouth. I felt pretty confident we'd have takers before long. I have one set of married doctor friends who have a spare apartment and they are already living separately.
Editor's Note: Airbnb encourages hosts to do this – other examples of natural disaster -- but simultaneously never offers kudos publicly to the hosts who opt to offer their services free. This is a simple but important example as to how Airbnb squanders the trust of professional managers.
Fast forward a few days and we've gotten our first takers!
NOT through Airbnb, but through the grape vine. (It frustrates me no end that Airbnb claims credit.) We are renting out our condo for $150 to cover the cleaning cost, plus whatever the guests want to pay above that. Anything over the $150 we are giving to a local homeless charity. These dates were lost no matter what, and I did not feel right cashing in on misery. Hopefully we can earn some good money for local charities!
Update 1: I just heard from my cleaners that they are only taking $75, so the rest goes to the charity. Yea!
Update 2: The guests agreed to pay $600 for the stay. We are going to hold $25 to help cover some costs (cleaning supplies, laundry service, etc). With $75 to the cleaners, that means we will be donating $500 to the charity. Woot!
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