Outbreak of Covid-19 and mandatory confinements ordered by governments around the world are impacting the tourism sector and most importantly, the short-term rental and vacation rental industry. Although we understand how concerning these times are, the Coronavirus crisis is a temporary setback and we recommend to start preparing for when everything goes back to normal (hopefully soon!). If you’re going to stay home for the next few days, you can take advantage of this time to analyse your business and ways to improve. Here are several ideas to make the most out of these uncertain times.

 

1 – SANITIZE AND DISINFECT YOUR PROPERTY 

It’s more important than ever to clean your vacation rental thoroughly before and after every guest. The most successful way to avoid spreading the virus is to maintain a clean and disinfected environment. This means, disinfecting the entire house, including remotes, doorknobs, window handles, taps, stair railings, light switches, kitchen appliances, etc. Disinfect everything with the right products and be sure to scrub all surfaces. In addition, wash your linens and towels at high temperature at all times, and cover your bedding with mattress and pillow protectors. Keeping your vacation rental disinfected will protect your guests and your property from the virus.

 

2 – INFORM YOUR GUESTS

Let your guests know that you are aware of the virus and the actions you are taking personally to avoid your rental being contaminated. Provide them some safety tips on how to protect themselves.

 

3 – PROVIDE YOUR GUESTS WITH HAND SANITIZER

Consider buying hand sanitizers and placing them in your rental so your guests can protect themselves. Put the hand sanitizer right by the front door in the entrance hallway. This way, your guests will sanitize their hands as soon as they enter and leave the property.

 

4 – UPGRADE YOUR PROPERTY

Your rental should always meet the highest standards of comfort, cleanliness and convenience. In order to maintain high expectations, take this opportunity to review the quality of your vacation rental and make some improvements. Consider incorporating smart home devices into your vacation rental such as gadgets that will help you save on energy bills, improve your home security, and automate different day-to-day processes. For example:

 

SMART LOCKS

Keyless entry to your property by way of a smart lock is one of the most convenient upgrades you can add to your vacation rental. No matter the type of lock in question, a keyless entry system is a much safer option for short-term rental properties. In fact, over 70% of guests say they prefer having a smart lock in their vacation rental than traditional lock keys, in fear of losing them. First off, it allows guests to enter and leave the property without having to think about the logistics of who needs the key and when. Secondly, for those systems which use a key code, a unique number can be generated for each incoming guest or group ahead of check-in, facilitating a smoother arrival and departure process. Intelligent locks also help to prevent accidental incidences of travelers leaving the front door unlocked as they generally lock automatically on closure. Finally, it’s impossible for guests to lose the key or make a physical copy – guests and hosts alike can rest assured that no previous renters will show up on the property long after checkout.

VIRTUAL ASSISTANT

Turning your Amazon or Google product into a virtual assistant can be a great addition to a vacation rental home, as it can act as your guests’ very own personal concierge. You can easily program a number of different requests and pieces of information which guests can trigger with voice activation. This type of device can truly enhance the overall guest experience.

 

5 – LIST YOUR PROPERTY ON DIFFERENT CHANNELS

If you’re only using one online platform to advertise your vacation rental, consider distributing your listing across different OTAs. In turn, this will give your business more exposure and can generate more bookings. Many owners and managers choose to use vacation rental listing sites to complement the activity they’re already doing on their own websites. In fact, it’s a great way to get more guests looking at your rental and increase your bookings.

 

6 – IMPROVE YOUR PROPERTY DESCRIPTIONS AND PICTURES

Good descriptions, accompanied by high-quality pictures, can help you multiply your vacation rental reservations. Use this time to optimize the content of your website and your ads on external platforms. Describe your property in detail and mention all of the amenities and services you offer. Review your descriptions until you find the right way of defining the experience of staying at your property.

 

7 – CREATE AND / OR OPTIMIZE YOUR VACATION RENTAL WEBSITE

In addition to listing on other channels, now is the perfect time to get your own website for your vacation rental business. About 67% of travelers prefer to book on a branded website instead of a third-party site. What’s more, nearly 70% acknowledge that they are saving when making a reservation on a branded website. Having your own vacation rental website means not only will you save on OTA fees, but your guests will too and will be actually searching for your vacation rental online to beat these extra charges. Once you’ve got your rental website up and running, or if you already have one, include a note which informs your guests about the virus and where you stand.

 

Protect your rental, business, and guests with these tips.

Don’t let coronavirus disrupt your vacation business!

 

If you need help with these tips, don’t hesitate to contact us.