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.
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 gotten 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 on 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 that 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 push 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.