We’ve touched on the subject a number of times since the pandemic started: People are foregoing living in cramped cities and are branching out into rural areas to answer the number of problems that have arisen because of the virus. This has led to a number of short-term rental companies to shrink operations in order to save money where they can.
But there are a couple that has been able to keep their heads above the water during this market crisis. Sonder, a short-term rental operator giant, and privately-owned operator, CorpHousing Group, have gathered more urban properties during the pandemic than their competitors.
Sonder has not only been able to fundraise amidst the pandemic but has added hundreds of properties to its inventory and is expanding throughout Europe and the US.
The company is also cutting out non-hotel-licensed properties in New York and San Francisco in reaction to being barred from allowing stays shorter than 30 days.
As for CorpHousing Group, the company has announced doubling the units it operates since the beginning of the pandemic and is looking to continue this growth, moving forward.
It has accomplished this by taking up the properties that have been abandoned by competitors downsizing to make ends meet during the pandemic.
Other strategies have been to focus on luring in people traveling during the pandemic, like nurses and other essential workers. CorpHousing worked directly with nurses to accomplish this while Sonder offered a 40% discount to traveling nurses as an incentive. Also, because of this, guests would stay for longer periods of time.
Getting more desperate to beat back the pandemic, CorpHousing Group took out a Paycheck Protection Loan instead of laying off its staff. Sonder has too many employees to qualify for the loan, and had to lay off or furlough a third of its staff.
In regards to leasing, Sonder offered a clause to its leases that allowed renters to pay a lower cost during a recession. CorpHousing Group chose to sign revenue-share agreements with landlords in the place of leases.
The two companies, one privately owned and one investor-backed, had found a number of ways to beat back the issues that have arisen from the pandemic, putting them in a position above competitors like Airbnb once the COVID-19 virus is finally defeated.