The vacation rental industry (like so many others) has been impacted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Fears of exposure to the virus, social distancing guidelines, and restrictions on travel have led to a drop in short-term holiday rental bookings.
To provide some perspective, in 2018, more than 14 million tourists stayed in vacation rental homes in Florida. And half of Osceola County’s $60 million in annual tourist development tax revenue comes from vacation rentals.
Knowing how to promote short-term rentals during a pandemic helps today’s homeowners maximize the value of their Kissimmee holiday homes in an uncertain economy.
Highlight the Cleanliness and Safety of Your Home
Guests have changed their expectations about a vacation home’s cleanliness as a result of COVID-19. More people are focusing on cleanliness and safety rather than price when booking a short-term rental.
The Vacation Rental Management Association, Vacation Rental Housekeeping Professionals and rental booking sites such as Airbnb and VRBO have instituted new cleaning guidelines in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Taking the steps to clean, sanitize, and disinfect your property is key to promoting your holiday home during a pandemic. You need to let potential guests know that you’re taking cleanliness (and their safety) seriously.
Include your cleaning guidelines on your listings, website, and social media pages. Let people know you’re setting aside additional time between guests to clean your home thoroughly before they arrive.
Accommodate Last-Minute Changes and Cancellations
A sharp increase in COVID-19 cases can cause governments to bring back restrictions on travel and gatherings in public spaces or businesses.
These and other factors can cause guests to cancel reservations at the last minute. So allowing guests to cancel bookings without a penalty can attract more renters to your Kissimmee vacation home.
Short-term rental hosts should be flexible with their cancellation and refund policies. Prospective guests are more likely to book a stay at your home when you eliminate or minimize their financial risk.
Update Your Marketing and Pricing
Restrictions on international travel have increased the number of people taking local holidays. Travelers don’t want to deal with airports or the quarantine requirements needed to travel abroad, making local destinations a more attractive holiday option.
As a result, you may need to adjust your marketing to reach people in your surrounding area. Focus on local rental listings, online forums or groups and social media advertising to let others know about your holiday home. You might want to promote your property as the perfect “work from home” retreat. Ensure you have a dedicated work space with a comfortable office chair and dependable WiFi connection.
Consider adjusting your pricing to attract more rental bookings. Don’t feel you have to slash prices, as that may harm your business in the long-term. Instead, adjust your prices in line with what your competitors are doing. Offer special amenities and discounts based on the number of days your guests reserve or the dates they choose to stay in your home.
Highlight all the benefits of your Kissimmee vacation rental home. Free parking, cleaning supplies, and discounts to local businesses are features that can appeal to guests.
Being mindful of the needs and concerns of guests is essential to promoting your vacation home during a pandemic. Making it easy for them to book, change, and cancel their reservations can help you reach more visitors in an uncertain market. Emphasize your cleaning protocol to give prospective guests peace of mind about staying at your property.
Team Donovan helps today’s investors of Kissimmee holiday homes get the most out of their vacation rental properties. If you’re interested in buying or selling a home in Central Florida, contact us at (407) 705-2616 to learn what makes us different from our competitors.