Restarting A Holiday Rentals Business After Coronavirus

Last updated: 13 June 2023 Views: 1517
Restarting A Holiday Rentals Business After Coronavirus

One of the hardest hit industries during the coronavirus pandemic has been tourism and travel. The absence of flights and strict lockdown criteria have meant that holidays have come to a complete standstill, leaving hotels and rental properties empty, and businesses who are reliant on tourism struggling to make ends meet.

As the lockdown begins to ease across Europe and the rest of the world, it's possible to look forward to a time when tourism can resume, even if it occurs at a reduced rate. For owners and operators of rental properties such as those on Airbnb, this is likely to mean a period of adaptation, and measures to make people feel safe and comfortable while on holiday.

Provide travel arrangements

The lingering effects of coronavirus may naturally cause people to be wary of public transport, while the transport services themselves may also end up running at reduced capacity. This is obviously an issue for tenants who have to travel from an airport or train station. If your property is not within walking distance of a major transport hub, you may have to work harder to convince people to stay there.

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Where possible, it may be a good idea to lay on transport options that minimise the coronavirus risk. This could include arranging bicycle hire or car hire from your guests’ point of arrival, or pointing them in the direction of these services. The provision of easy private transport may also be useful for them to navigate the local area, making it more likely that they would take the trip in the first place.

Deep clean (and update your photos)

People will want to know that their Airbnb rental is as safe as it possibly can be. While it’s thought that the biggest risk from coronavirus is person-to-person contact and not catching the virus from surfaces or objects, it will still be prudent and necessary to clean your rentals as deeply as possible, and to make this evident to guests.

Restarting A Holiday Rentals Business After Coronavirus 2Aspects such as vacuuming, dusting and scrubbing may already have been part of your routine, however, you should consider cleaning things that you might not always address after every visit, such as sofas, door handles, windows, vents, and anything which might have been touched or used frequently.

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Most properties say that they do deep cleans, however, and this claim is not always backed up when you get there. The best way to achieve this might be to update your photos or videos of the rental between stays. While this might be a somewhat laborious process, being able to see the current cleanliness of the rental could be a factor in persuading people to stay there.

Highlight local attractions

It’s always good to provide some details of local attractions and amenities, but this will be especially true after the coronavirus. The reluctance to use public transport could lead people to stay within a smaller area within your town or city, and potentially avoid places which are likely to be busy. Adding details like this also shows that you care, and will help to convince people of the quality of the rental.

If you have a good knowledge of the local area, this would be an excellent opportunity to highlight the hidden gems such as restaurants and beauty spots, and provide tips for bookings. If you’ve been living in the area of your rental through the coronavirus lockdown, you probably have a better idea than anyone of how to protect yourself and where to go, and your tenants will greatly appreciate this.

Consider stocking the cupboards

Again, some people may be reluctant to visit crowded places after the coronavirus, and this may well include supermarkets or even restaurants. Your tenants may be ready to escape to a more scenic location, but may not yet feel comfortable dining out. It may thus be worth considering stocking your property with essential foodstuffs, to limit the amount of shopping that will be needed.

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This may be something you need to do some research into, or even something that changes on a case-by-case basis, as visitors from different countries or regions may well have different tastes. Where possible, you might want to offer this as an optional service in the same way hotels offer breakfast, and communicate with your guests in order to establish their preferences.

Provide cleaning supplies

While performing your own deep clean of your properties is vital, you may also want to provide ample supplies for tenants to use. This will give people a little added peace of mind, demonstrate your commitment to cleanliness and safety, and potentially reduce your own workload when cleaning up.

This might include antiseptic handwash for any bathrooms, kitchens and washrooms, and disinfectant wipes for people to clean these areas themselves. Additionally, you might want to provide some hand sanitizer or wipes for people to take with them when they leave the house, helping to ensure that they don’t get infected, or bring the virus home with them.

Have a contingency plan

The resumption of the tourism trade after the coronavirus (or as it winds down) may not be a smooth one. There are numerous things that could potentially go wrong, from a second spike in cases to sudden changes in policy. It’s even possible that tenants who come to stay in your properties may catch the virus while they are there, and would thus be forced to self-isolate - potentially overlapping with other bookings.

It will pay to be prepared for these eventualities, as much as it’s possible to do so. Above all else, you should closely follow the government guidelines in your area, as well as the advice of your listing platforms (e.g. Airbnb) where applicable. Both renters and rentees will need to be scrupulous in their application of the rules, and be prepared to act if they are breached, or if the worst does come to pass.

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There are still no guarantees about the resumption of tourism and travel, particularly with the coronavirus situation differing so much between different countries. With the potential for ‘staycations’ increasing, however, and some countries beginning to open up, it’s worth at least considering how you will restart your rentals business after the coronavirus. By planning and preparing now, you can be ready to take advantage of any sudden shifts in the rules.

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