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AirBnB, VRBO, vacation and executive rental news and issues in Victoria


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#301 Mike K.

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 07:50 AM

AirBnB does not really want you to search for anything other than the city or region you're staying in. It's all map-based once you select your region.

 

And most travellers do not wish to reveal too much about their visit when they're travelling, not that they're hiding something, but because they don't necessarily want to be discounted by the host. Say, if they're coming for a concert, they'll say "a weekend visit." I would imagine that if they're coming for a hospital visit they are unlikely to want to get into the specifics with the host.

 

Ensuring you're only renting to family members of patients at the Jubilee is going to be very tough, unless you state in your description that the rental is purely for individuals seeking proximity to the hospital. But then, what would stop someone from claiming they are especially with your low-low-low rate of $80/night for a full suite?

 

I think you're doing a great thing, but because you can't get onto a list handed out by the hospital, you can't market ONLY to your intended target.


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#302 JoshRH

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 07:54 AM

I don't know how they'd get here other than personal vehicle, from up-Island locations.  You'd be surprised, most people figure it out, have friends pick them up, stay with relatives etc.   I'm sure few come down by Greyhound.  The people that would be using Greyhound are the least likely to be those able to afford a 15-day hotel or Air BnB stay. It's mostly all friends and family working things out.  I can not recall any member of my family ever booking a hotel to visit a hospital patient, in all my life, here or in England.

No, I wouldn't be surprised, I work in the healthcare industry in Victoria. I think you would be surprised. 

 

Maybe you should let Councillor Coleman know that his concerns are unfounded, because based on your anecdotal experience, almost every in-patient visitor has their own car, knows the area well, and has a friend or relative they can stay with on short/no notice. 


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#303 JoshRH

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 07:59 AM

AirBnB does not really want you to search for anything other than the city or region you're staying in. It's all map-based once you select your region.

 

And most travellers do not wish to reveal too much about their visit when they're travelling, not that they're hiding something, but because they don't necessarily want to be discounted by the host. Say, if they're coming for a concert, they'll say "a weekend visit." I would imagine that if they're coming for a hospital visit they are unlikely to want to get into the specifics with the host.

 

Ensuring you're only renting to family members of patients at the Jubilee is going to be very tough, unless you state in your description that the rental is purely for individuals seeking proximity to the hospital. But then, what would stop someone from claiming they are especially with your low-low-low rate of $80/night for a full suite?

 

I think you're doing a great thing, but because you can't get onto a list handed out by the hospital, you can't market ONLY to your intended target.

I think that because I'm offering a discounted rate for hospital visitors, it affords me the right to verify the intent of the stay, and I can't imagine anyone with a genuine need refusing to verify in favour of paying twice as much for comparable amenities. I wouldn't need specific information because I certainly wouldn't be cross-referencing it, but a couple minutes of conversation on the phone is enough to root out anyone trying to bullshit me. 


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#304 Mike K.

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 08:17 AM

Yes, absolutely, you have every right to request that only those with a legitimate hospital-related trip apply and then vet anyone who does apply.

 

Good on you for doing that. I would be happy to write an article for Citified about your rental, if you'd like, and that might get you some traction.


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#305 JoshRH

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 08:25 AM

I think I need to make some amendments to my insurance policy first, or lease the suite back to myself and be creative in how I label these limited-duration stays. My CoV business license might need some adjusting too. I'll keep you posted. 


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#306 spanky123

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 08:27 AM

I have stayed at local hotels many times when visiting friends at hospitals. I also know of many people who travel for surgery and their families stay at hotels or B&B. In many cases those stays are covered by insurance or the Government. You could probably charge a premium for something right next to Jubilee or VicGen

 

I have used Airbnb many times. It is not uncommon for people to ask details about visits. If you don't want to answer questions then that is fine.



#307 spanky123

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 08:27 AM

^^ You don't need a CoV business license anymore :-)


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#308 JoshRH

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 08:37 AM

I have stayed at local hotels many times when visiting friends at hospitals. I also know of many people who travel for surgery and their families stay at hotels or B&B. In many cases those stays are covered by insurance or the Government. You could probably charge a premium for something right next to Jubilee or VicGen

 

I have used Airbnb many times. It is not uncommon for people to ask details about visits. If you don't want to answer questions then that is fine.

Some in-patients arrive with family by fixed-wing (and sometimes even rotary), as well as ground transfer by BCAS or private transfer companies. And just because the patient is from the island, it doesn't always mean family is. Some family will come by ferry, but a lot fly in from out of province, or from remote communities up-island or around BC. And you're absolutely right, insurance will sometimes cover the costs of travel/accommodation, but for those without insurance, the last thing they need after expensive travel costs is trouble finding affordable accommodation. 


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#309 Mike K.

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 08:52 AM

Yes, and it's an issue Councillor Coleman raised. It will be interesting to see how many other homeowners follow in your footsteps if they see a market.

The problem with offering a rental that requires spontaneous booking is you won't benefit from having people book days, weeks or months in advance. Unless highly marketed as a rental for hospital visits, you may lose out as the number of bookings might be too low to make up for your expenses. On the other hand, to market properly you'll need to be licensed. It's a bit of a catch-22.

What's your zoning allow currently? Transient or residential, or both? On-street or off-street parking?

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#310 JoshRH

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 09:03 AM

Yes, and it's an issue Councillor Coleman raised. It will be interesting to see how many other homeowners follow in your footsteps if they see a market.

The problem with offering a rental that requires spontaneous booking is you won't benefit from having people book days, weeks or months in advance. Unless highly marketed as a rental for hospital visits, you may lose out as the number of bookings might be too low to make up for your expenses. On the other hand, to market properly you'll need to be licensed. It's a bit of a catch-22.

What's your zoning allow currently? Transient or residential, or both? On-street or off-street parking?

 

Mulit-family residential with off-street parking.

 

I have off-street parking for 5 vehicles, but I'm going to see if the City wants to split the cost of installing an 8 car-underground garage so I can put up a multi-unit lane home in my existing parking space.  :D


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#311 spanky123

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 09:21 AM

Airbnb has a calendar that you can use to manage your bookings. It also allows you to set discounts for weekly or monthly rentals.



#312 dasmo

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 09:48 AM

 

 

However, STR websites are calling this type of pre-existing rental the “shared economy” to sell their quite different concept to cities.

These websites claim that home owners should have the right to do whatever they want with their property — but that’s a fallacy. When someone has purchased in a single-family or multifamily zone, they have accepted the rules of that zoning. They do not have the right to turn their home into a motel (transient zoning), a restaurant, or a factory to the detriment of everyone else in that zone.

 

Worst of all, the growth of short-term rentals has pitted neighbor against neighbor, with neighborhood organizations joining forces to fight STRs. Some cities are calling for stricter STR regulations or outright bans

 

Those who support STRs speak of the financial help it has provided and the interesting visitors they have met. STR hosts say they provide lower-cost accommodations than conventional motels and hotels. Well, hotels and motels pay taxes and employ millions of people. They are required to meet public-safety laws, including fire exits, sprinklers, and habitability. Unregulated STRs are not currently subject to these provisions, and many “hosts” would like to keep it that way.

 

The real estate industry needs to take a stand to protect residential zoning laws against STRs. Without this protection, property values will decline and cause neighborhood stress and disruption. Real estate agents will have another obstacle to overcome in marketing properties and could expose themselves to liability. Saving our communities and protecting our property values is the mission of our industry.

http://realtormag.re...ng-neighborhood

 

Interesting to note that not all Industry insiders are for this STR boom....



#313 Mike K.

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 11:18 AM

AirBnB-evolution-of-accommodation-in-Victoria.jpg

 

City of Victoria open to “evolution of accommodation” as AirBnB puts down roots

http://victoria.citi...uts-down-roots/

 

Short-term vacation rentals popularized by the AirBnB.com website have surged in numbers throughout the capital region, forcing local legislators to consider regulatory regimes governing the start-up industry.

 

But to some Victorians, the parallels with a similar situation from 20-years ago may awaken a sense of vacation rental deja vu.

 

“People forget that the region encouraged bed-&-breakfasts in the run-up to the Commonwealth Games,” says City of Victoria councillor, Chris Coleman.

 

Victoria found itself in a bind prior to the 1994 sporting event as thousands of visitors and athletes were on the verge of descending onto the capital region with hotel inventory insufficient to house them all. The solution? B&B vacation rentals. [Full article]


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#314 dasmo

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 11:38 AM

Nice article Mike.... In the end I agree with Coleman. Need to level the playing field and deal with it. A ban is not the solution that is for sure.

#315 Mike K.

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 12:32 PM

Thank you, I appreciate that.

 

I opted to forego the mention of AirBnB's around the Jubilee as it didn't quite fit into the flow of the piece. If Josh ever wants to touch on that issue at another time for a piece I can include both Josh's commentary and Councillor Coleman's.


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#316 spanky123

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 01:10 PM

Very good article Mike.

 

If Coleman is waiting for all the munis to agree on a tax structure then that is just a deferral in my opinion. Airbnb has said that they will charge and remit whatever taxes a muni wants and it doesn't have to be the same everywhere. Do Victoria and Saanich hotels pay the same taxes now?



#317 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 01:29 PM

Do Victoria and Saanich hotels pay the same taxes now?

 

I think so.  Not that there are many hotels in Saanich.


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#318 spanky123

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 02:20 PM

Looked it up. Saanich does but Esquimalt and Sidney do not. Under current Provincial rules, you would not collect tax if you have less than 4 units offered for rent anyways.



#319 Mike K.

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 03:07 PM

Thank you, Spanky.

I think what Coleman wants is to have the province step in a force some sort of legislation province-wide, but I'm pretty sure the way things are going the City of Victoria might move on its own accord, but creating the necessary framework for legislation and oversight won't happen overnight.

My sense is, and this is purely my own opinion, is the City wants to deal with the marijuana issue first, be it regulation or a mechanism through which they shut the operations down or limit them in some way. Then they'll look at vacation rentals. And then who knows how much teeth regulation will have beyond charging a tax or fee with each booking (which AirBnB is setup to do).

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#320 LJ

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 07:21 PM

 

I think you're doing a great thing, but because you can't get onto a list handed out by the hospital, you can't market ONLY to your intended target.

Is there a list handed out by the hospital? If there isn't, should there be? How do you/would you get on the list?


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