The virus known as COVID-19 has caused uncertainty for rental property owners in every part of the world. From dealing with businesses opening briefly, only to be forced to close yet again, to unclear guidelines, conducting business as usual has become an ideology of the past.
Depending on your region, perhaps your short-term rental property was allowed to reopen but may become subjected to closing again in the near future. Possibly, you have not been able to reopen your short-term rental property at all and are gearing towards doing so.
No matter the scenario, whether you own a comforting bed and breakfast, or a luxurious leisure rental, evidently you have concerns and wish to reopen practically and efficiently. Here are 7 steps for reopening your short-term rental property:
1 – Choose a Realistic Reopening Date
Although you may be ready to maximize your profits and resume business as normal, keep in mind that you must choose a realistic reopening date for your short-term rental property. Keep the following in mind:
- Be sure that your date is far enough in the future to notify your previous and re-0ccuring guests.
- Pick a date that will allow you to finish your previous obligations.
- Ensure that your reopening date brings existing vacancies and future bookings together.
After you have selected a reopening date for your short-term rental property, the next step is to use marketing to notify potential tenants.
2 – Find a Marketing Strategy that Works for You
Identifying which marketing strategy works best for your short-term rental property is crucial. Keep in mind that you have the opportunity to expand your target audience by including:
- remote workers yearning for a change in scenery,
- travelling essential workers,
- people who are ready to resume their travel routine, as well as
- skeptics who simply wish to test the waters.
Showcase the best features of your short-term rental property so that the ideal potential guests see the benefit in choosing your property instead of another.
Once you have decided which marketing strategy is the best for your short-term rental property, you should consider your pricing.
3 – Devise Flexible Pricing Options
Under normal circumstances, especially during peak season, the typical rule of thumb is to opt for the most lucrative pricing option for your short-term rental property. To bring your short-term rental back to its normal functionality:
- Try implementing flexibility with your terms and pricing to successfully secure your first few bookings.
- If your property requires booking for at least 5 days, a week, etc., try shortening the length of time required per stay.
- Use extras to your advantage, such as discounts, welcome kits, and other bonuses and incentives.
- Modify any other existing pricing rules and regulations that may benefit from flexibility.
Once your pricing options are flexible and accommodating, you should work on bringing your website up to speed.
4 – Make Sure Your Website is Current
Because your possible guests will have questions and concerns about your reopening, modifying your short-term rental property website to include a section for “Travel Updates” or “Reopening News” would be wise. You could use the section for the following:
- Answering FAQs,
- Keeping guests informed on current statistics,
- Relaying information on tentative reopening plans,
- Or interacting with guests so they may contact you directly.
5 – Make Sure Policies are Up-To-Date
Because the aim is to increase your target audience, you must be certain that you can accommodate each of your guests practically upon arrival. Evaluate the following and make changes if necessary:
- Booking protocol,
- Cleaning expectations,
- Check-In/Out policies and procedures,
- Team readiness, or ensuring that your employees are aware of how to interact with guests safely (if/when applicable)
You can also post reminders around your short-term rental property to help your guests practice the best habits for safety and cleanliness.
To assuage the woes of your guests even further, you could even post video footage of your short-term rental property cleaning methods to your website or social media.
6 – Provide Incentives
Put yourself in the shoes of a potential guest. If you were about to book your short-term rental property, what extras would you most enjoy indulging in? After all, guests love feeling appreciated.
Using instant gratification with incentives can work wonders for you. Consider attracting guests with the following:
- Food or restaurant vouchers,
- Discount codes and coupons for local businesses
- Discounts on local shows and entertainment
- A first come, first serve a welcome basket
Once you have a few rewards in place for your potential guests, the final step is to be sure that you are following legal guidelines with your cleaning methods.
7 – Be Sure To Clean Thoroughly
You want to be sure to thoroughly clean your short-term rental property not only for sanitation purposes, but to protect yourself and your future guests. The CDC provides guidelines to assist with deep cleaning and COVID-19 prevention.
Be sure to remember the following when preparing your short-term rental property for reopening:
- Staff, guests, and any other persons who enter the property should wear a mask (and even gloves). Have extra masks available.
- Do not transfer cleaning products from one home or property to the next to avoid possible cross-contamination.
- Keep from spreading small particles by refraining from shaking your bedding and linens.
- Know the difference between disinfecting and sanitizing:
- Disinfecting – Removal of 100% of germs
- Sanitizing – Reducing germs until medically safe
Many normal business practices must be adjusted due to the unexpected spread of COVID-19. If you are ready to reopen your short-term rental property, be sure to strategize on how to accommodate your potential guests.
In short, when reopening your short-term rental property:
- Choose the best opening date.
- Market effectively.
- Provide flexible pricing.
- Be sure that your website and policies are current.
- Give incentives.
- Clean thoroughly.
By implementing these tips, considering the needs of your potential guests, and following the recommendations given by the experts of the CDC, you will be fully prepared to reopen your short term rental property.