How homestays stay afloat on COVID-19

Ever since COVID-19 outbreak, businesses, people and even countries took heavy hit. This is especially true for the travel industry, where Airbnb’s valuation halved earlier this year. As Airbnb is an intersect of the two market that got affected by COVID-19, real estate & travel. Here’s our analysis on what is going to happen in (at least) the next 12 months.

First World Hotel Genting
Image from Wikipedia

Impact to travel industry in Malaysia

As we have seen, international travels are very heavily affected. And countries who have previously lifted travel ban, have high chances to get themselves into the second wave of pandemic, making country officials to think twice before lifting any bans in the future.

As Malaysia have previously lifted domestic travel ban, we can now travel cross state with ease. However, as inbound tourism is still banned, hoteliers and home stay operators tend to lose millions of foreign travellers who travels to Malaysia every year.

We’ve seen dozens of home stays and hotels closed down, or they have to focus on other businesses to stay afloat, that includes monthly stays, cleaning services & others.

Impact on home stays & home sharing

As we have already know, there are about 50,000 hosts in Malaysia who share their homes for travellers to stay. Many of them, are on the commercial side, which means that they rent a house from the owner, renovate, and share it on booking platforms including Airbnb, Agoda, Booking and others, earning margin in between, or simply get a management fee from the owners when they help to manage properties.

Most hosts make a living on getting a share from renting out these homes for the owners, and when the pandemic hits. We see over at least 90%, if not all, of the bookings cancelled overnight. This heavily affects people who operate and work on this field, while relying solely on domestic travels only.

Airbnb booking schedule
Screenshot from Airbnb

We’ve talked to hundreds of hosts & owners on their take to stay afloat during this pandemic. Many of them accepted the fact that domestic travels is not enough to cover operation costs.

But what can you, and thousands of others, do during this pandemic to keep yourself afloat before it is a norm to travel again?

Are you going to move back into monthly stays, where you compete with other home owners and make rental that barely cover your instalment?

Or, are you looking for a better way out?

As we all have been through it, staying at home makes people go nuts. We’ve seen memes like this

Image from youtube
Image from YouTube

People are urging to go out, despite the fact that places are restricted and not as safe as before. We’ve seen people in bars, cafes, restaurants just like before, even with the restriction and guidelines in place. It seems social meetup is here to stay, even during the pandemic.

How can hosts monetise social & commercial activities?

As some hosts already found out that people are more likely to book a stay when your space is better equipped for gathering, which includes things like BBQ pit, board games, karaoke, swimming pools, etc. 

There are other things that can be done inside the property which includes meetings, networking, filming, parties and others.

Offsite meetings
Offsite meetings
House parties
House parties
Filming location
Filming location

Host your space for a purpose

With over thousands of searches every month on Chupspace, people are looking for great spaces to work, or simply to have fun. While hosts are struggling to make rent, why not try to list your space for a purpose?

We’ve opened up a new market for people who have a space or home, to share it for a few hours. Think your space like a gathering spot, where you can host small weddings, meeting, meetups, yoga classes and any other activities that only need a few hours of the space.

Your space can be shared in the morning for a simple meeting, and a photo shoot session in the afternoon. As people are using your space for small meetups, you can set restrictions on how these spaces can be used for

Anne W., Host in Kuala Lumpur since 2019

“Made RM7,500 in 3 days when I shared my house for filming on weekdays. It’s interesting to see how my space is being used and I always look forward to the next booking.”

– Anne W., Host in Kuala Lumpur since 2019

How space rental works?

As you have previously rented for a whole night, and have less worries on the charges, changing it to hourly rental may seem a little confusing. But it is worth it, especially when it helps to cover your idle days like Monday – Thursday, when you less likely to have bookings.

Sharing your space can be lucrative as you can charge more than you rent for stays. As some hosts may have concerns on the cleaning, you can always impose cleaning fees. But the best is to let the guests clean up after themselves, by imposing cleaning charges if the guests did not clean up. 

If your space is always used for filming, birthday parties or gathering, you can list it on Chupspace. We provide safety nets for hosts who rent their space at a RM50k insurance coverage, in case there are any damages during the booking.

Share your space

List for free, set your price, choose how and when you share


Chupspace connects professionals to creative spaces, while helping small business owners monetise their underutilised spaces by the hour.

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