Before jumping into a list of recommendations, let’s take a moment and try to understand what is actually going on in the Vacation Rental sector.
COVID 2019 has only been affecting the industry for around 2 months, but it feels like ages. I also believe that we have all assumed the changes, and we can more or less all figure out what the future will look like. Just in case you miss a point, let’s recap what you can expect the future to look like. We will address some important points to take into account whether you decide to continue the business or decide that you are ready for a change and leave.
First and foremost, the Vacation Rental market has 4 main segments – Urban, Holiday, Mountain & Ski. The recommendations in this article are mainly for these 4 areas, but especially for vacation and mountain as the season is about to start.
If you decide to remain in the business, good news, the business itself will change a lot, and there are several measures you should take into account.
Vacation rentals are essentially a human activity based on Hospitality and Services, but now more than ever you need TECHNOLOGY to prepare and adapt as soon as possible to the new requirements, protocols, and market needs. Here is the list of the 12 most IMPERATIVE things you need to see (call it your checklist) to evolve and adapt.
After COVID these fundamentals will be market requirements, and your early investment and evolution will help you to be one of the most advanced companies in your area.
I will make a short-list of points and over the next two weeks, I will deliver more details on each point one by one. There is simply too much material to cover in one article without losing reader interest.
- Booking Rules: Expectations have changed, so you need to get adapted to the new market rules.
- Fully Automated Houses: Unattended check-In and check-out (Digital Keys and Electronic Doors), Interact with your properties, and get full control of expenses, etc..
- SEO: Website visibility.
- New services: Mainly delivery and provisions.
- Insurance: Time to take care of any investment including holiday cancellations.
- Protocols: All sorts of Protocols available and the ones you need to implement, Reception protocols, Cleaning Protocols, Check-in, Checkout (electronically), etc.
- Legal requirements: Get ready to update your own disclosures & contracts.
- Synergy and Cross-selling: Network and cross-sell with Industry partners and competitors, it is time to join forces with Sector colleagues and help each other selling properties.
- Local instructions: Recommendations, tips, advice. The more information, the better.
- Loyalty and/or Rewards program: Offer rewards on every booking, maybe a discount of 20% for future bookings.
- Renew all your listings and Descriptions: Provide 3D tours or Floor Maps, give as much information as possible. New Pictures, update Interior Design, etc. Everything must look new now, no old pictures. Renew or die.
- Renew your Software to get updated: Perhaps a new Website, New Apps, use technology to your own benefit. The fewer resources you may have, the more you may need technology.
I would love to have some comments on this and follow-up articles. It is always interesting to exchange ideas and share them for the benefit of the community.
When we founded Vacation Rental Safe Harbor, our idea was to distribute and share tips and ideas to help Property Managers face and solve most of the COVID 2019 issues.
We are getting fantastic feedback from you, our readers, and lots of information from the sector. Thank you very much for your contributions and feedback.