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  • Writer's pictureJulie Fergus

Life After Lockdown

Updated: Jul 12, 2021


Those months of lockdown were difficult for many. Vacation / short term rental owners likely thought it was tragic. One of our rentals caters to wedding guests; and once the weddings were getting canceled our whole summer of reservations evaporated in an instant. Wedding guests were once gold, because weddings rarely get canceled and reservations are made 8-12 months in advance.


Our other rentals that are for summer travelers exploring so much that our area has to offer; just went dead. I know most of you experienced this as well. Fortunately, our rentals bounced back and people are traveling again. I hope that is the happening for you as well.


I do see some challenges ahead for quite awhile. Business travel and travel to cities is going to take some time to recover, or may evolve into something different as urban tourism evolves and business travelers alter their strategy.


Since my rentals are in vacation areas I can only speak to that type of property and guest. I focused on updating photos and descriptions and wrote blog posts looking forward to summer. On Instagram and Facebook I shared photos of past summers in an effort to offer hope that vacationers could once again come back to our beautiful area once the stay at home orders expired.


In the VR and STR Facebook groups there was a post about the "new" guest welcome basket which had hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and masks. I thought that was sad and depressing. I choose not to go that route. Instead I greet guests as I have in the past; with freshly made baked treats from a local bakery.



My properties are stocked with cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer, I don't feel it is welcoming to have it as a gift basket. I have also learned meeting my RV rental renters that travelers are already stocked with wipes, masks, and sanitizers. So I am certain that my vacation rental guests are doing the same (I don't meet them in person as I do with my RV rental).


My belief is that properties must be impeccably clean now (I had the belief before). Guests must feel safe in your rental and have their worries eased once they step inside. Since I personally set up my rentals for guest arrival, I do a final wipe of high touch areas and I use a bleach foamer cleaner in the sinks so that their is touch of fresh cleaning product in the air. We used to avoid that before, but I think it will communicate to the guests that the property is clean and they as owners we care.



Once vacationers get a taste of freedom I think there will be a rebound in straight-up vacation rentals in drive-to "tourist" areas.


Tips:

Stock properties with cleaning products - have products in the kitchen and the bathrooms.

Have hand sanitizer at sinks.

Welcome guests with something edible.

Have fresh flowers near your entry or welcome basket area.

Make sure your property is clean, clean, clean; and that it smells fresh for real (not with a plug-in freshener)


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