Times have changed, haven’t they?
At the start of the year, 2020 really seemed like it was going to be something spectacular. Arguably, it has been, albeit for reasons no one could ever have imagined.
Like you, we’ve wondered what the long-term effects will be for the vacation rental industry and how other businesses have been faring. Thanks to Guesty’s recent “The State of the Short-Term Rental Industry Amid Covid-19” report, we have a better idea.
Here are the 3 biggest takeaways we noted from Guesty’s report.
1. Nearly all hosts have enacted more robust cleaning practices… and rightly so.
When a dangerous virus lurks in communities – especially one that causes a sickness like Covid-19, where some infected individuals may not even know they’re spreading it – there’s no such thing as “too clean.”
Hosts around the globe have gone out of their way to ensure their homes are not just clean but that everything is sanitized and surfaces are properly disinfected. In addition, hosts who have seen the most success haven’t been shy about the changes they’ve made: The newest “best practice” is to mention your cleaning and disinfecting in both your listing name and your description.
At MaidThis, we’ve done our part to ensure all the cleaners we match you with follow our Covid-19 safety guidelines and have created the Covid-19 Resource Center to help you communicate your cleaning changes to your guests effectively.
2. Hosts with the best Covid-rebounds are implementing more flexible cancellation policies.
Now, more than ever, flexible cancellation policies are king.
Leisure travel hasn’t experienced a hit like this in modern history. Guests are leery of booking stays they can’t be certain will come to fruition. Their reasoning for being cautious should come as no surprise: With the threat of more states reneging on their reopening plans and the possibility of further skyrocketing Covid case numbers, plenty of folks are unwilling to make plans they can’t easily cancel.
While you may not be willing to go with a fully-forgiving cancellation policy, the numbers suggest that any kind of cancellation is better than none. (Arguably, this has always been true.) As things can change in a flash these days, you’ll be more likely to see bookings increase if you give guests at least a week to change their plans.
3. Industry insiders expect short-term rentals to bounce back faster than hotels post-Covid.
While it won’t happen overnight, industry insiders like Guesty and hosts alike expect the short-term rental market to regain its stride in due time.
Social distancing is a big reason. Hotels make it nearly impossible for guests to distance well enough and avoid high-contact areas like elevators and lobbies. Offerings like free continental breakfasts have become a thing of the past due to the threat of community spread and there’s no telling how safe (or not) public swimming pools – both indoor and outdoor – can be if someone was unknowingly infected with Covid-19.
Short-term rentals make it easier for travelers to keep their distance. Whether they rent a place with a private pool or opt to prepare their own breakfast, there’s a sense of security in knowing there are no shared amenities at a vacation rental like there are in a hotel. This alone plays a huge role in guests’ peace of mind.
There are still many “unknowns” with this virus – not just from a scientific perspective but from an economic perspective. No one can say with certainty how things will continue and how quickly affected industries will recover and find sure footing. As we all continue to discover a new normal, we expect to see more positive feedback surrounding these observations and others like them.