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What to Do When a Natural Disaster Hits Your STR Rental Business (EP 311)

It’s never fun to think about worst case scenarios. But for Airbnb hosts, it’s important to have an idea of what you might do should the worst happen. And there are few things worse that having a natural disaster hit your STR.

Peter Counsell is the Superhost behind Clyde River Cottage, a STR in Nelligen, New South Wales, with its own private jetty on the river. Peter also coaches new hosts on getting started in the STR business and optimizing their listings, and he builds personal websites for hosts looking to expand their reach beyond the Airbnb platform.

On this episode of Get Paid for Your Pad, Peter joins me to share his difficult experience during the devastating bushfires in Southeast Australia. He explains how the fires are affecting his business, what Airbnb is doing to help hosts in his position, and how the disaster is likely to impact tourism in the area. Listen in for Peter’s insight on how he might use his STR property during the recovery process and learn what to do should a natural disaster hit your STR business.

Topics Covered

The devastating bushfires in Southeast Australia

  • 1M acres in six weeks (two full states)
  • Caused by extreme drought + lightning strike

Peter’s harrowing experience with the fires

  • Evacuated three times before leaving area entirely
  • Highway closed, followed fire engine to Ulladulla

How the fires are affecting Peter’s STR business

  • Cancellations as fires got worse, no new bookings
  • Smoke and highway closings make travel difficult

Airbnb’s process for helping hosts in the fires

  • Team in place to contact guests for Aussie hosts
  • No cancellation penalty for guests or host

Peter’s advice for hosts in natural disasters

  • Waive fee for cancellation (return 100% of deposit)
  • Request that Airbnb waive fees for guests

How the fires will impact tourism in the area

  • Known for beaches, nature and wildlife
  • 1B animals killed + bushwalks burned

Peter’s insight on the long recovery process

  • Charge realistic prices, allow one-night stays
  • Stay in touch with potential guests

What Peter might do until the area has recovered

  • May be good time for upgrades to space
  • Offer STR for recovery workers to stay

What we can do to support Peter

  • Travel to SE Australia (quite safe, still much to do)
  • Use his website building or coaching services

Peter’s best tips for aspiring Airbnb hosts

  • Read Get Paid for Your Pad, listen to podcast
  • Model STR on your WHY + ideal guest avatar
  • Work to get good reviews right away

Connect with Peter

Clyde River Cottage

Clyde River Cottage on Airbnb


Peter on GPFYP EP129

Airbnb Open Homes

Divi Themes Software

Get Paid for Your Pad: How to Maximize Profit from Your Airbnb Listing by Jasper Ribbers and Huzefa Kapadia

STR Legends Mastermind

Email jasper@getpaidforyourpad.com

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