We’re now well aware of the far-reaching consequences of the coronavirus pandemic on the short-term rental industry. Property managers around the world are faced with an inevitable influx of booking cancellations. While it may seem like the only option is to brace for impact, now is the time to be proactive.
With this global crisis putting the world somewhat on pause, it’s critical to consider new strategies for preventing future cancellations and ensuring that canceled bookings aren’t entirely lost opportunities.
Here are some key strategies for making the most of current cancellations and mitigating the risk of future losses.
Targeting the right customers
Short stay rental market for the tourism during this crisis does die out, however, to whoever actually needs an accommodation whether its due to quarantine, border closure or city lock-downs. Those guests generally tend to seek for a longer reservation and that is what we should target and attract.
Make it appealing
Put highlights in your listing profile photos: sanitized property , enough toilet paper rolls, masks provided, grocery shopping, or fast wifi, playstation 4 and games provided. something to let these guests know it is comfy for a long stay by a glance .
Increase long term discount and lower daily prices. Not from 5% to 8% weekly or monthly discount, we are talking about 10-20 % discount or more. Remember empty property would not make a dime for you.
Change it to flexible refund policy.
At this stage, we should worry about if we have any guests left , not what if guests cancel before they come. Guests want more protection toward themselves , give them what they want. Don’t forget to highlight this in your listing profile picture to let guests see yours is better than others.
Make the move first
Focus on the bookings you still have in place to limit the damage before guests even have a chance to completely cancel their reservations. Given that travel regulations are tightening, it’s likely that you’ll experience more guests seeking to cancel, so it’s important to be proactive before they do so.
For guests with bookings in the next 3-4 weeks who are likely to cancel due to COVID-19, try reaching out with offers designed to avoid outright cancellations and secure future business. For example, ask guests if they’d like to reschedule their reservation — and to help seal the deal, include a discount that guests can use when booking new dates.
The best way to remain proactive and offer guests effective solutions is by keeping a finger on the pulse of what’s happening in our industry as a result of coronavirus. To make sure you’re always on top of the cancellation policies of the OTAs (online travel agencies) your properties are listed on, refer to these helpful links:
- Airbnb’s Cancellation Policies
- com’s Important Information on Coronavirus
- HomeAway’s Coronavirus Cancellation Policies
- Vrbo’s Coronavirus Cancellation Policies
There are new policies and news updating on daily basis. Some of them are critical to help hosts get thro this Crisis.
Seeking for help from management agencies or management system
The way short stay managing agencies work is no income no commission. Especially with Optinest, during the COVID-19 crisis, we offer list your properties first then charge later to lower the cost for owners to see if it works.
Guesty as a property management system is also worth mentioning. They are able to list your properties on multiple platforms syncing messages, payment, prices , tasks and help hosts to communicate with platforms. During the dark time, they have been helping a lot of agencies and hosts to stay on top.