Airbnb renter hopes bookings will pick up as Mississippi reopens


PEARL, Miss. (WJTV/AP) – In typical times, people would be traveling for graduations or planning family vacations by booking hotels or an Airbnb.

People who rent their properties are seeing a big drop in bookings. For some, it’s hitting their bottom line. Cindy Crane, who is an Airbnb renter, said she lost $3,000 to $4,000 in a month.

“I’ve had someone from England cancel and someone from France. I’ve had some horse people cancel, several people who had just traveling plans from point A to point B cancel, and I’ve probably missed dozens of booking because of the virus just because people are on lock down and quarantine. They don’t know. They’re scared. So, people aren’t traveling like normal and that makes up a lot of my business,” explained Crane.

She relies on the income of her three properties. Crane said just because the bookings have stopped, doesn’t mean the bills have.

“I still have a mortgage. I still have utility bills. I still have to pay Mr. Eugene to cut the grass. So, all my expenses continued even though my income was cut drastically.”

Crane said she’s learned new ways to keep her guests happy and safe.

“I’m actually going to incorporate in my listing that we’re going to use an o-zone machine to clean and assure them that were going to use disinfectants. We’re going to do more like a deep cleaning after every visit, more than just once a month.”

Crane hopes as businesses start to reopen in Mississippi, her bookings will also start picking up.

Recently, Airbnb laid off 25% of its workforce due to the coronavirus. In a letter to employees, CEO Brian Chesky said the company is letting 1,900 of its 7,500 workers go and cutting businesses that don’t directly support home-sharing, like its investments in hotels and movie production.

He said Airbnb expects its revenue to drop by more than half this year. Chesky said departing employees will receive at least 14 weeks of their base pay.

U.S. employees will continue to receive health care coverage for a year; in other countries, employees will keep their health coverage through the end of this year.

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