The global pandemic has taken a toll on many businesses, causing the need for change —both positive and negative.
One of the many industries that took a nose-dive is the vacation rental and hotel industry. This industry suffered a hit with everyone looking for more sanitary and cleaner spaces to lay their heads or hole-up during the lockdowns.
It has taken some time for guests to be persuaded that vacation rentals and hotels care about their health and safety (as well as their businesses). Many measures have been put in place to ensure that guests feel safe enough to lodge in Airbnbs and similar vacation properties.
These measures also had to be in line with the laid down COVID-19 sanitary principles to truly convince guests. Because of this ‘new normal’ where people need a contactless form of communication to conduct business dealings for their health & safety, new ways are being developed to adjust accordingly.
What COVID-19 means for Vacation Rental Properties
To properly manage your vacation rental post-COVID, it’s essential to understand the significance of the pandemic on your business.
Cancellation of Bookings
Guests will be more inclined to cancel bookings if they think that the rental property is not safe enough to meet their sanitary needs. Travel bans and restrictions will also contribute to more cancellations than ever before.
No more short term vacations, conferences, concerts, etc., this will lead to a decline in booking rates.
Rental hosts also will need to comply with local stay-at-home orders to not err on the side of the law. This may lead to the cancellation of appointments with prospective guests.
Sanitary Measures on Double-Time
As it stands, convincing guests that a rental is safe and virus-free is tough. Vacation rentals will need to employ professional cleaning services to ensure that their property remains germ-free for cleanliness-conscious guests.
Many of these services have sprung up to assist Vacation rentals to offer guests 24/7 hygienic standards during their stay.
Some positions will become redundant
People are looking to stay away from other people to ensure that they are as far away from the virus as possible. This means that not all employees will be necessary now, such as those who directly meet with guests.
Unless they have other responsibilities outside meeting with guests, they may have to go. New technology springs up daily that can do the same job effectively. This is also wise to help cut the costs of running the business.
Insurance becomes a priority
With the many cancellations you may have to deal with, the necessity of a functional insurance and cancellation policy becomes paramount.
There are also instances of theft and damages issues to deal with. There will be a need for businesses to be backed up by strong vacation rental insurance. This will help to cushion the effect of the pandemic and any other damages that may spring up in this period.
6 tools to help you manage your vacation property post-COVID
Armed with knowledge about the pandemic’s effects and significance on your business, you need to step up your game with game-changing management tools. These will help you to run your vacation property in ways that are tailored to fit the times we are in.
Here are 6 of them:
1. Book with Lodgify
Contactless bookings are all the rage in these times.
Everyone is looking for the least amount of contact with other people that may put them at risk of the virus. You should not leave your business behind in this regard. You, too, should offer your guests the opportunity to make bookings on a vacation rental booking engine.
This is one of the opportunities Lodgify offers. With this tool, you can fully automate your business and save the time of having long discussions with guests before deciding to book.
You also get property management software that handles details like your calendar, booking rates, payment process, and lots more. You can build your business website on Lodgify so that you get direct bookings without having to pay a commission to a metasearch engine.
Lodgify also helps you connect to top channels and sync your rates and reservations across any rental software you list your property on.
If you’re not sure about the amazing benefits for your business, you can do a 7-day trial, no card details necessary.
2. Stay clean with Properly
Cleanliness and hygiene are very important, even more so at this current time.
If you’re yet to learn anything during this period, this is a good place to start. No guest will be willing to book your rental without an assurance that their safety and hygiene needs will be put first.
Guests want to know that there is a structure in place that makes sure you sanitize and disinfect your rental before opening up for the next booking. Thankfully, there are now housekeeping tools for vacation rentals that prove to guests that you maintain cleanliness and hygienic protocols.
One of such tools is Properly. Properly helps rental owners maintain their brands’ standards across all their rental properties. It manages your team in ensuring that housekeeping and maintenance meet your required standards.
With these measures in place, potential guests become satiated that properties are disinfected before their arrival with the proper WHO guidelines.
Properly offers you the organization your team needs and the education on how to properly carry out these housekeeping duties. Even better, it offers real-time feedback from the field with a system of record to show for tasks carried out.
3. Beef up security with Nest Cam and Nest Hello
While it is important for your property to be safe, the guests need to feel safe too.
Hiring security may not be the wisest choice at the moment. But what if you had a chance to keep an eye out on your property even if you were away? Security cams will do that for you.
Installing some security cameras outside your property will help you keep an eye on and ward off criminals. Nest Cam by Google helps you keep a continuous record of everything going on in the perimeter of your property for up to 30 days straight. It also functions 24/7.
It records the whole video footage for you and alerts you if it spots an individual close to your building. Nest Hello, on the other hand, is the new way to keep an eye on your front door. It’s a doorbell technology that alerts you about who is at the door. It shows you everything at your doorstep, from a person to a package on the floor.
4. Use Google Meet for Interviews
While you are letting a few staff go, some relevant hands still need to come onboard.
Your safety is also quite important. You wouldn’t want to have to go through talking with so many potential employees to make a choice. A virtual interview can do the job seamlessly too.
Many apps now allow for interview sessions via a video call; Google Meet is one example. You and your employees or potential employees can hop on a video call for a quick semi-formal chat or disseminate motivational information as necessary.
It’s easy to use and straightforward too. Conduct business as usual as if you are right there with them
5. Allow self-check-in with PointCentral
You would understand what it feels like to hang around waiting to hand over keys to guests who check-in in the middle of the night. Even if it’s not a bother, think about the safety risks you’re taking.
With the future that smart locks bring us, this can become history. What if we tell you you can now allow your guests to check themselves in whenever they arrive? Brilliant, yes?
PointCentral is an automated keyless entry and technology for smart homes. You no longer have to worry about keys because you can operate your locks directly from your phone once you install the tech.
6. Get insured with SUPERHOG
This tool helps you get familiar with your guest before they show up at your door. This greatly reduces some unforeseeable risks that you otherwise wouldn’t have detected.
It helps verify the authenticity of guest identities through the site to ensure that you know exactly who you are going to do business with. It helps to build trust and reduces cases of fraud.
The good thing about this tool is that it also verifies your authenticity to help guests trust you and decide quickly if they would like to rent your property. The icing on the cake here is, any booking through this site comes with the backing of damage protection for the host.
As a vacation rental owner, folding your arms and wishing that things go back to normal will be a silly move. The world is fast adjusting to the post-Covid period, so should your business. With the above tools managing your business should become a walk in the park.
Getting used to having things done automatedly might take some getting used to, but its returns will surely be worth your time.