It has been well documented that this Winter has already been historically snowy for the city of Boston. With potentially over a month left, BnB hosts in the city are feeling the pain. Snow storms are always a problem for hotels and BnB’s, but have seemed to fall even harder this month with mass flight cancellations happening almost once per week. Room rates are bottoming out, even on sites like Airbnb.
What can you do about it?
Having a strict cancellation policy is helpful for limiting losses, but also doesn’t make for a happy customer. There is a delicate balance to strike when it comes to these policies with the goal of being strict but reasonable. For instance, a customer booked one of our North End BnB listings for their employees a week ahead of time for a two night stay last week. This time period happened to fall right in the middle of two massive storms, but was actually a rather pleasant couple of days. Regardless, the guests decided to cancel due to the weather. If their flights were cancelled or the storms were falling directly during their stay, it may have warranted a full refund, but in this case we offered them a half refund based on our moderately strict cancellation policy. The guests understood and accepted their refund.
If you do happen to have guests during a storm, it is a great time to go above and beyond for them. Leave them hot cocoa and lots of blankets. A bottle of wine and some snacks would also go a long way to making a snowstorm bearable for out-of-towners.
Have any stories about your experience hosting in snowstorms in Boston? We’d love to hear them in the comments.