What Vacation Property Owners Can Be Doing During The Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted lives and plans all over the world over the past twelve months. It has particularly affected the tourism and hospitality industry – many hotels and vacation properties have not been allowed to open, or have been affected by travel restrictions stopping would-be tourists from being able to travel.

 

Of course, this means that many owners of vacation properties have been sitting, twiddling their thumbs for most of the past year and for the foreseeable future while the pandemic passes. They may be understandably worried whether their business will even survive and if it does, how they can entice the tourists back when it is safe to do so.

 

Here, we look at some of the things that vacation property owners can be doing during the pandemic to make the best out of their time. 

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Make sure the property is up to scratch

 

While your property should always be up to code in terms of fire safety and is hopefully always in a good condition for tourists and short-term tenants, we all know how easy it is to let some general maintenance issues slide when you have customer after customer booked in. It might have been a while since you have had the gutters cleared out, or that HVAC repair that you have never quite got around to. Use this time now to get the professionals in – safely – and do all the jobs that need doing to make it safe and pleasant for your guests.

 

Redecorate and refresh

 

If you have got the financial means to do so, use this time to redecorate your vacation property and look at giving it a new lease of life. This can be as big or as small as you want – a lick of paint in all of the rooms, or ripping out the kitchen and bathroom and putting new ones in. It could be as simple as putting up new curtains and pictures or replacing that carpet which has seen better days. You should also be giving it a deep clean, particularly given the current circumstances. Disinfect everything, hire a carpet cleaner to clean the floors, and give everywhere a really good going over while you have the chance.

 

Set up your own website

 

Sure, third-party booking websites such as Expedia and Air B n B are great for helping you to get bookings, but as well as taking a cut of your money, they also can be restrictive. Set yourself up a website and enjoy the freedom that it can give you with bookings. You can use your own booking system, you are not limited by the number of photographs that you can use and are not competing directly with other local properties. It also, if done properly, can pish you right up the search engine results, particularly if you work with a local SEO expert. 

 

While no one wants this crisis to carry on any longer than it needs to, there are things that vacation property owners can do to make the best out of their time without business.

Planning For The Future

The COVID-19 pandemic has got many of us thinking about the future and what it may hold for us. With an astonishing amount of deaths caused by the illness, it has made people realize that they are not invincible or mortal and that at some point, we will need to make plans for what happens when we are gone and what we leave behind for our families. 

 

Here, we look at some of the things that you may want to think about for the future.

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Make a will

 

You need to think about writing your last will and testament so that your loved ones and the legal authorities know precisely what you want to happen when you have passed and who is to have what. You may be sitting there asking ‘Well, How Do I Make A Will?’, and what it entails. 

 

A will is a legal document that lays out what is to happen with any properties or assets that you own, guardianship of your children should that be needed and the person who is to carry out your wishes after you die. Unless you own lots of property and assets, a simple will is all that is needed, but it is still important to seek proper legal advice. A solicitor will know all of the ins and outs and the latest guidance and rules. This can save a lot of unnecessary heartbreak for your loved ones in the future.

 

Talk about your funeral wishes

 

It sounds a bit morbid, doesn’t it? However, it is important to talk to your family about your funeral wishes before it comes to the point that they have to make those decisions themselves. Do you want to be buried or cremated? Do you want to be buried in a specific spot or have your ashes scattered anywhere in particular? Some people even go as far as choosing the music that they want to be played at their funeral and choose their coffins! You may also want to consider setting up a pre-payment plan so that you can pay for it all before you die, taking one less stress away from your family when it comes to that time.

 

Discuss what happens if you become too ill or incapable of making your own decisions

 

It is estimated that around one in 14 people over the age of 65 will suffer from dementia and one in six over 80. Sadly, this cruel disease, along with many other conditions, can take away your ability to make decisions regarding your care and your finances. You need to know what you want to happen should you get to this point – who will take over and make decisions on your behalf? To do this, you need a living will, a power of attorney and medical power of attorney. 

 

Thinking about the future can be a little scary, especially when we consider the fact that we are not going to be around forever. However, by thinking about it, talking about it and planning for it, we can take much of the stress away not just from ourselves, but our families and loved ones too.