Since the outbreak of Coronavirus the short-term rental and travel industry have reported great losses globally. This virus has not only affected peoples health, but business too. Vacation property owners in Florida have been particularly badly hit.
It’s important to know how your Property Management company is dealing with the situation in the best possible way. This way, you know that when the time eventually comes for things to return to normal, you have planned effectively and are able to get the best outcome for you and your home.
Boost health & safety
Ensuring that your home is cleaned, sanitised and prepared for guests is not new.
However, your property manager should have introduced new, more stringent cleaning and sanitising activities in the wake of this global pandemic. For example, bleach-based cleaners are more effective than anti-bacterial cleaners.
Check with your Property Manager that care has been taken to ensure that all areas or items that many guests would touch, that would usually only be wiped down are now sanitised with alcohol-based wipes. This list should include TV remotes, light switches, appliances, door handles etc.
Ensure ALL crockery and cutlery are washed in soapy water (standard washing up liquids are effective) between guests and are packed away to prevent any accidental contamination.
Cleaning schedules should allow for one cleaner to be in the home at a given time, wearing mask and gloves and then the pre-arrival inspector arriving separately ensuring mask and gloves are worn at all times limiting any contamination during this process.
These should remain in place for the foreseeable future.
Book a deep clean
You can use this fallow period to your advantage and get your home and carpets deep cleaned and jet washing completed.
With these additional precautions taking place in your home, you can rest easy knowing that your guests and home is being maintained at the highest standard.
Stay in touch with guests
The situation remains very fluid, with advice being updated on a weekly, if not daily, basis.
During this uncertain time, it is vital to stay in touch with your guests who have booked directly with you, the owner. They will have many questions and may decide to stay or cancel their reservation depending on their situation. Stay ahead of any cancellations and notify your Property Manager so they can plan and amend their schedules accordingly.
For your guests who have decided to stay, it is a good idea to highlight your increased Health and Safety protocols so they feel comfortable and know that their well-being is your top priority.
How to respond to the inevitable cancellations
Given the current situation, it is inevitable that some guests will want to cancel.
With travel restrictions in place around many parts of the world, some will have no choice but to cancel their booking with you.
For your guests who have decided to cancel, the best solution is to offer them the option to amend their dates to later on in the year or in 2021.
Encouraging them to amend their reservation rather than cancel outright will help you to ensure your calendar is booked and bounce back again as soon as possible.
Marketing your Home
This is a very difficult time to market vacations in general due to the restrictions of flights and travel bans.
You will need to be sensitive to the situation, but also open to potential guests who you would perhaps not have had stay before. For example, you can take bookings for longer than 30 days, so looking for longer-term lets is one important way to keep the money coming in.
These potential guests may require longer stays, but lower daily rates. This is something you will need to discuss with your Property Manager and perhaps consider, should the opportunity arise, to ensure some occupancy in your home over the next coming months.
Communication is Key
Keeping the lines of communication open between yourself and your Property Manager is vital.
Ensuring you are informed at all times and answering any questions you may have is part of the value-added service your Property Manager should be providing. Working in partnership will ensure the best outcome for you and your home moving forward.