COVID-19 has changed the hospitality industry – if not forever, at least for the time being. Airlines, hotels, and vacation rentals are all having to cope with massive changes in order to keep both their guests and their staff safe.
These changes are coming about not only because of the highly transmissible coronavirus, but also because without them, travelers aren’t likely to feel confident about venturing out to places where they have little control over their surroundings.
So as a vacation rental host, you may be asking yourself what you should be doing to not only give your guests peace of mind when they stay with you, but also what you should be doing to drum up more business.
Here are 7 Airbnb coronavirus tips to help ensure your potential and confirmed guests that you’ve got everything covered.
Airbnb Coronavirus Tip #1: Update your listing description.
Chances are you were already planning to do this (or already have), but it’s still worth listing in our tips. The point we want to make here is to be mindful of the language you’re using in your listing and to use specific key phrases.
1. Add the words “sanitized” or “sterile” to your vacation rental listing name.
Yes, we’re completely serious – this is not going overboard; it’s the bare minimum. Whatever cute name you had before can stay, but adding these words will help you immediately stand out from part-time side hustlers that aren’t using their Airbnb listings as a major source of income or treating them like true businesses.
While you’re at it, you might even want to throw in “COVID-19” or “coronavirus” with your “sanitized” or “sterile” to really beef up your new headline.
2. Add a “sanitized” phrase or sentence to the top of your listing description.
While your title definitely needs an update, your actual description could do with a reassuring facelift, too.
Guests are on the lookout now for every hint that you’ve meticulously turned over your vacation rental after previous guests have checked out. There’s no better way to put them at ease than to repeat yourself for good measure.
At the top of your listing, be sure to highlight that you’ve either “sanitized” or “sterilized” your home from top to bottom. You don’t have to get crazy-detailed if that’s not your thing; a single sentence should do the trick.
Need some help with this? Copy our sanitization message below and paste it into your listing:
**COVID-19 SAFETY UPDATE** This home is professionally sanitized and all high-touch areas are thoroughly sterilized between stays. We take the safety and health of our guests very seriously.
You can embellish if you’d like – check out this listing in San Diego for an example – or simply leave the message as it is.
3. Add a photo to your Airbnb listing detailing the turnover cleaning process and keep it close to the lead photo.
Here’s another no-brainer: The more you can do to reiterate you’re taking COVID-19 and effective sanitization and sterilization seriously, the more confidence your guests will have in you as a host.
While it’s true that people are visual shoppers and will be looking for the right words in your listing, they’re going to be even more impressed if you can literally show them what you’re doing to ensure their safety.
To make this super easy, we’ve created a downloadable graphic in the MaidThis COVID Resource Center for you. Just pop this into your photo lineup and you’ll be good as gold.
Airbnb Coronavirus Tip #2: Make some COVID-inspired changes in your home.
In all seriousness, your preparations and marketing shouldn’t stop at your listing updates. It’s imperative that you make some changes or additions to your home and how you run your business (for better or for worse, unfortunately).
We’re not suggesting you go out and buy a sanitization fogger for yourself (though you could do that and possibly write it off on your taxes next year) but there are a few small-ish things you can do.
While you’re in the process of updating your listing, you might want to also make mention of the things you’ve done to make your vacation rental more COVID-safe.
4. Switch your main door locks to keyless entry options.
Cut down on guests needing to use actual keys (and you having to disinfect them after every checkout) or touch much of your entry door by adding keyless entry locks.
Some locks are designed in such a way that guests can enter codes with their knuckles rather than their fingertips, further protecting the deadbolt system from becoming a new home for COVID virus particles or your guests picking it up from there.
5. Deck the halls with disinfectant. (Fa la la la la, la la la la)
At this point, no amount of hand sanitizer is too much. If you can manage to get your hands on enough, put hand sanitizer and/or sanitizer wipes in every room of your home. While it’s still a bit hard to come by in some places, you can still purchase bottles from a few major retailers.
Additionally, consider adding a portable disinfectant stand by the door so guests can sanitize their hands the minute they walk in. Even if you’ve installed a keyless deadbolt, guests should clean their hands as soon as they can.
This is a habit we’re all getting the hang of, so by putting a sanitization station immediately inside the entrance, you’re helping create a new habit and protecting your guests and ultimately your vacation rental. Put a photo of this in your listing pictures to market it along with your downloadable cleaning graphic.
6. Display your Airbnb turnover cleaning checklist.
Give your guests the ultimate peace of mind by leaving a copy of your cleaning checklist. Seeing exactly what goes into a turnover cleaning will help them better understand the amount of care and attention to detail you’ve put into ensuring their safety and comfort.
Download and print out the COVID-19 Cleaning Checklist provided by Airbnb from the MaidThis COVID-19 Resource Center and leave it on the kitchen counter or in another obvious spot in your home. Your guests will appreciate it and may even go as far as to mention it in their review.
7. Air out your Airbnb between guests.
While the norm pre-COVID may have been to stack as many check-ins and check-outs back-to-back as you could muster, now the opposite is true.
Airbnb Official Guidelines recommend that you leave your home vacant for 24-72 hours between guests to help eliminate viruses. If you can, open windows to help circulate fresh air. Make a point to mention all of this in your updated description, too.
While it’s true that we’re all heading for a “new normal,” this isn’t the end for Airbnb hosts. As travelers gain more confidence and begin learning how to better protect themselves as they move around the globe, things will get better.
The best way to ensure your success is to make changes now, whether big or small. The more you can do to reassure your guests by using these Airbnb coronavirus tips, the more likely you’ll be to bounce back quickly and finish the year on a high note.