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  • Writer's pictureJulie Fergus

Be Ready to Bounce Back after CV-19

Do not sit idle during this forced downtime if you own a vacation rental. While business might be sidelined for an undetermined amount of time, you should be prepared when the faucet turns back on.

7 Items / tasks to do now:

1. Website. If you do not have a website yet, you MUST create one NOW. It does not have to be fancy or completely detailed; start with a simple landing page to get started. There are many options so create and publish a website on your own. I personally use Wix. I find it very easy to use. Click here for an article with links to the top ten website builider choices. There are vacation rental website platforms to choose from also, for example Futurestay. The platform for website building isn't the most important choice; the important choice is to choose one. Here's mine.

2. Photography. Now is the time to make sure your rental photos are the best they can be. You don't need to hire a professional photographer, but you do need to take professional looking photos. My suggestion is to buy a digital SLR camera and a tripod. This is the best way to capture the best shots. Do not use extreme wide angle lens. You want your spaces to look authentic. I use a Nikon D5500 with 18-55mm lens. (This may not be a current model.) Here is a good blog post with before and after examples.

3. Logo. While you don't need a logo, it is a way to differentiate your rental from those that don't have one. A logo can then be used for note cards, business cards, and of course, on your website. I used DesignContest to create logos. There are many options out there. Just Google "logo design contest".

4. Printed Materials. While it might seem that business cards are not necessary, the cost to have them printed is inexpensive making it a worthwhile expense. Note cards are also inexpensive, and make for a nice way to leave a note for incoming guests, or to mail to guests if you get their address. I have used Vistaprint for business cards, note cards, t-shirts, and mugs.

5. Update your OTA listings. Update descriptions to reflect the "new normal". Describe your property's best features. Be certain to complete all parts of the OTA's listing format categories.

6. House Cleaning. At this point, it should be obvious that your vacation rental needs to be clean. Take the down time to launder all bedding. Replace bedding that might look a bit worn or dated for fresh appearance. Clean behind and under furnishings. Go through cabinets, and bathroom vanities; purge, organize, and clean them.

7. Social Media. If you haven't' done so already, create a Facebook page for your vacation rental. This could be your "website", but I don't recommend it. It should be in addition to your website. Definitely create an Instagram account for your vacation rental. Share different images on the platforms. Link your social media to your website.

It is important to stay positive, productive, and proactive during this uncertain time. Make the most of the this time.

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