Greetings Peerspace Host Community,
On Tuesday, we held our first virtual host panel “Hosting In The Time of Coronavirus”. With over 600 attendees, this was our largest ever host community presence at a single event. Many thanks to our host panelists and our host audience for participating. We received over 100 questions during the webinar, but we’re unable to get to every one. We decided to group them thematically and post our answers here.
Stay tuned for updates on future host webinars.
MAY 12 WEBINAR QUESTIONS
Q: Where can I find the webinar if I want to replay it?
- If you registered for the “Hosting In The Time of Coronavirus” host webinar and were unable to attend live, you can navigate here to view the content on demand.
Q: Can you share links to the listings of hosts on the panel?
- Go to the webinar registration page. You will find a link under each panelist’s picture that leads to their Peerspace listings.
COVID FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
Q: What is PUA? PPP?
- PUA: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. The program provides support for Americans who are unable to work due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but do not qualify for traditional Unemployment Insurance (UI). Refer to your state’s website for more information about eligibility for self-employed, sole proprietors, and independent contractors. Example information for California residents. Here is a reference to find programs for your state.
- PPP: Paycheck Protection Program. This is an SBA loan that helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. The loan is available for self-employed individuals and loans may be forgiven under certain terms (discuss with your banker or accountant). Go to sba.gov to learn more or visit our PPP lender partner, Womply.
Q: Am I eligible for the PPP? Am I eligible for PPP loan forgiveness?
- We do not feel qualified to assess your eligibility for a PPP loan or its forgiveness. Please refer to sba.gov or contact our PPP lender partner, Womply, for more guidance.
- A number of hosts in the Peerspace community have successfully received PPP funding so we encourage you to reach out to the community for insights and assistance.
Q: What is the Womply link again?
Q: Can Peerspace provide guidance about whether or not it is legal to rent out my venue right now in my area? What types of activities are allowed? Can I book 50+ person events?
- Unfortunately, there isn’t a straightforward answer to these questions. Guidelines on essential activities are being issued at the state level, though counties and cities may have more specific rules.
- We are doing our best to keep track of changes that are occurring and hope to provide a resource for hosts in the future.
- However, we expect hosts and guests to inform themselves about what types of spaces can be rented and what types of activities are allowed in their areas before accepting a booking.
Q: Is Peerspace allowing bookings to be accepted?
- Peerspace is not stopping bookings from being accepted. We expect hosts and guests to inform themselves about the types of activities and spaces that can be booked legally in their area at this time.
Q: Once shelter-in-place is lifted, will Peerspace penalize host ratings if they need to cancel a booking or choose to turn one down due to safety issues?
- This is definitely on our radar. We do not want to penalize our active hosts for prioritizing safety above all else. The official policy details are being developed.
Q: What determines whether a booking will be rescheduled or cancelled by Peerspace during this time?
- During the pandemic, Peerspace may need to cancel bookings for safety reasons. We always offer guests and hosts the chance to reschedule for a future date. If you are worried that shelter-in-place ordinances might extend beyond your booking start date, we encourage you to reach out to guests proactively to discuss a rescheduled date in the future. If you receive notice that Peerspace canceled your booking but you have already agreed to other arrangements, please contact email@example.com to provide rescheduling information and we can assist you.
OTHER LEGAL MATTERS
Q: Hosting bookings could potentially expose hosts to liability if a guest argues they contracted COVID while in our venue. Does Peerspace have suggestions or plans to limit or remove this legal liability from hosts?
- This is a concern shared by business of all kinds. We are exploring this question for venue rental specifically but know that Congress is reviewing this question more generally due to the pervasiveness of the concern for many types of businesses.
Q: Are hosts legally allowed to require a statement of health from guests before their booking occurs?
- This is something Peerspace is looking into from a legal standpoint and we hope to provide updates in this area in the future. As always, it is important to consult with your lawyer for any legal guidance questions.
SAFETY AND CLEANING GUIDELINES
Q: How do we ensure that guests and attendees act in a safe manner to protect both guests and hosts?
- Best practices are still evolving as everyone learns how to live with coronavirus. However, there are a few themes that seem consistent:
- Set expectations upfront about the safety protocol you would like to see followed leading up to and during their booking to ensure everyone’s safety.
- Cancel if you or any of your guests are showing symptoms of COVID-19.
- Ensure social distancing is possible. Consider, for example, how many people can realistically be in your space at one time while maintaining a safe distance from each other.
- Masks are required whenever possible. Gloves are strongly recommended. Frequent handwashing is a must.
Q: What should my cleaning procedures look like between bookings and am I required to clean?
- Peerspace is continuing to monitor evolving guidelines for sanitation standards in similar industries including hotels, offices, and production studios. Our goal is to provide guidelines for hosts to reference as they develop their own cleaning process.
- Hosts are required to clean their space between bookings, a policy which has been in place for several years. However, hosts may elect to charge a Cleaning Fee for this service. Your existing cleaning process may require additional considerations in light of COVID-19, and it is now a best practice for hosts to document their cleaning process in their listings.
Q: Should cleaning be incorporated into my pricing or should I be using the Cleaning Fee?
- This remains your choice, though you should detail what your cleaning process is between bookings to attract guests.
Q: Are guests’ expectations that hosts will be providing PPE during their booking (masks, gloves, disinfectant, hand sanitizer, etc.)?
- Guests are expecting hosts to provide a clean, sanitized environment that allows them to safely complete their activity and adhere to social distancing wherever possible. For your own safety, providing critical PPE to your guests is a best practice. If you find that guests expect you to provide PPE, you can work it into your hourly rate as necessary. Some guests may provide their own PPE, but for everyone’s safety hosts should not rely on this arrangement.
Q: Should I require temperature checks for guests entering my space?
- We expect hosts and guests to adhere to safety standards that prohibit sick individuals from participating in a booking activity. We are looking for more guidance on what information can be gathered via a health check, and what hosts can require during a booking.
Q: Can Peerspace provide suggestions for safety information that hosts should follow or add to their listings and in their spaces?
- We plan to publish suggestions on safety for hosts to follow and publish in their listings and in their venue. We are evaluating guidance given by public health authorities as it evolves.
- In the meantime, we encourage you to review the CDC’s latest guidelines for reopening. We encourage you to develop your own standards and (legally permissible) rules for guests in your space.
Q: Are there new requirements for bookings that provide food or vendors that I should adhere to?
- Food safety remains an important consideration from a public health standpoint and vendors providing food services should be properly licensed and insured. COVID-19 does not change this guideline.
MARKETING SPACES TO NEW GUESTS
Q: Does Peerspace plan to showcase spaces that are best equipped to meet cleanliness standards or social distancing guidelines so they can easily be found by guests?
- In the future, we expect there will be base standards established by Peerspace that all hosts will need to abide by in order to accept bookings. Our team is thinking about the best way to call attention to your listings when details are provided about your cleaning process and/or social distancing guidelines.
Q: Should I decrease the price for my space or provide discounts to guests during this time?
- Pricing is an important factor in deciding whether to book spaces. Due to economic uncertainty the pandemic has created, it is certainly possible that guests will be more price conscious and seek out competitively priced listings. However, every host has cost considerations that go into providing a great experience for their guests, and they must factor that into their pricing. It is possible that your cleaning or other overhead may increase during this time. Every host should consider all aspects to make the right pricing decision for them.
Q: Are live-streaming, video conferencing, or other AV setups valuable for guests?
- We predict to see greater demand for hybrid remote/in-person activities where some guests are in attendance while others participate remotely.
- We believe that strong internet connectivity and bandwidth are the number one priority for hosts to consider in supporting these types of events. Do you have sufficient bandwidth to handle high definition video streaming while other online activities are occurring at the same time? Is it easy for your guests to connect via WIFI and/or wired connections in your space?
- In the past, some guests have sought spaces with dedicated video conferencing setups or AV setups used for broadcasting. We expect that this need may increase going forward.
- If you have made investments in Internet bandwidth, video conference, or AV equipment, we strongly recommend hosts showcase that in their listings as a differentiator.
Q: I am a new host. What can I do to get my first booking?
- We have created many resources for hosts to reference best practices for earning your first inquiry and converting it into your first 5-star rated booking. Although booking activity is currently far from its pre-COVID peak, these tactics will put you in a good position to capitalize as demand continues to return in the coming period.