The entire world stopped when the Coronavirus pandemic hit. Airports shut down, countries locked down, and the travel industry took a major hit. Now, slowly, people are starting to travel again during the “new normal”. But the effects of Covid-19 are far from over. During this time, any decisions made by a homeowner regarding their rental property are going to make or break the bank.
The captain of a ship does not fight the wave, he rides it. A homeowner needs to learn how to effectively ride the economic waves of Covid-19. Reports of cases are like wildfires. In one state or county, they can flare up out of nowhere. People will understandably avoid the current hot spot. If your rental property is in an area known as a hotspot for cases, don’t worry. Eventually, the number of cases will go down and people will return again.
False news reports love to exaggerate the numbers. People listen to reports like those and base their decisions on them. Educate yourself on the correct information in order to tell guests when they ask questions, because they will.
A full refund is not always the answer to everything. Of course neither is holding a guest’s money hostage. Offer your guests other options such as moving their dates for no additional fee. Perhaps include complimentary pool heat for certain months. Guests will appreciate your flexibility in this regard.
A Happy Home is a Clean Home
You may have heard that popular saying numerous times. When your home is clean, your mind feels clear and it produces positive results. When a guest comes to visit you, you do everything possible to make sure they feel at home in a spotless house. This same desire needs to be prevalent during this pandemic.
The Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has produced guidelines for cleaning and sanitation in regards to Covid-19. Ensuring guests that you are following these guidelines will put their mind at ease. Certain management companies have actually placed 24-48 hr cleaning holds between each guest’s arrival and departure.
Practice contactless services. Install a keypad lock or lockbox and program it so each guest can enter a code to gain access to the home. If a certain issue arises, ask the guest if they would allow someone to enter the home to check on the issue. Make sure any staff entering the home are wearing masks, gloves and are constantly washing their hands.
Maintain or Be Blamed
If there is a period of time when your home is unoccupied, use that time effectively. Reduce any unnecessary expenses that you may have. Unplugging the appliances or turning off anything that could drain electricity is a good start. However, do not confuse reducing expenses to neglecting the home as a whole. Routine maintenance is not an option. Replacing any filters on time or fixing any leaks are a must to prevent any further damage on your home.
Bookings & Beyond
Hands down, vacation rentals are a more sanitary option than hotels. There are no common places such as elevators, lobbies, or pools. However, there will still be a reduction in bookings. Homeowners need to entice guests to book their vacation rental. One way to do this is by lowering the rates. Guests will generally pick quantity over quality, especially if they have a budget for their vacation. The rates will not be the same for every vacation rental. Location as well as size of the home will affect the rates tremendously.
Revenue Management Software
Don’t be confused in making decisions regarding productive rates for your home. There are tools such as revenue management software. Many companies & websites provide this specific helpful software but the goal is all the same. Revenue management software predicts consumer behavior by analyzing market data in order to optimize price & maximize revenue growth. In short, it compares your rental property with others in the area and shows you the current rate guests are booking per night. That way, you can choose a comparable rate that people will book and in turn increase your average bookings.
Even during the Coronavirus pandemic, you can effectively manage your rental properties. Providing good rates and a clean welcoming environment will increase bookings and guarantee returning guests for years to come.