The COVID-19 outbreak has affected many industries. Unfortunately, the vacation rental industry is among the most harmed. But don’t despair. Here are some great vacation rental marketing tips for keeping your business up and running during the pandemic.
Vacation Rental Marketing Tactics for Handling the COVID-19 Scare
The best course of action during critical times like this is to adjust your business strategies. This means being flexible and adapting to the current situation. Focus on attracting guests who are able to travel and cater to their needs. And, of course, don’t panic! This situation is only temporary, and implementing new strategies can help you be ahead of the curve when the crisis passes. Here’s what you can do to keep a steady income during this tourism slowdown.
The best way to attract more guests is to offer discounts for specific days of the month. This is a great way to motivate travelers to make reservations. Promote special offers and discounts across all social media channels and include them in your vacation rental listing title and description.
If your guests set their minds to cancel the reservation, offer them to move the dates for some time later this year, or to book the same dates in 2021. Give them a loyalty discount if they decide not to cancel.
Adjusting your pricing strategy is of utmost importance. This doesn’t mean that you should reduce your prices drastically just to attract more guests. If you rush and lower your prices significantly, it may cause more harm than good for your vacation rental business. Monitor your competitors’ prices and be ready to adapt.
Lower minimum stay
Consider lowering your minimum stay to encourage more guests to choose your rental for their weekend getaway. This is necessary for your business at the moment. Given the situation, guests are more likely to plan a weekend trip to isolate and relax, away from all the stress.
Switch to the flexible cancelation policy
Offering flexible cancelations is a must during the pandemic. The current situation brings a lot of uncertainties and guests need this flexibility to help them with their decision. If you have a strict cancelation policy, switch to the flexible one – you can always switch back when things go back to normal.
Promote your rental is risk-free
Keeping your vacation rental clean and disinfected will not only help prevent the virus spread but also encourage guests to book with you.
Promote your rental is risk-free, deep cleaned, and disinfected. Include this in your listing title and description. Mention that you’ve enhanced your cleaning routine and equipped your rental with alcohol-based hand sanitizers for your guests.
Having a cleaning checklist at hand can make this enhanced cleaning routine a lot easier. This way you can be sure that you’ve covered all areas of your vacation rental, and thoroughly cleaned them.
Showcase your unique amenities
Think of the amenities that can improve your guests’ comfort while staying at your vacation home. If you have a well-arranged outdoor area, promote it as a perfect place to isolate and stay connected with nature. Create a comfy remote-work space to encourage those who are looking for a rental property to change the scenery from their home office.
To help your guests relax and forget about the current situation for a while, equip your rental with online entertainment options, provide board games, a video game console, etc. These unique amenities will attract more guests, so be sure to mention them in your listing description.
Update your listing
Keep your listing title and description up to date to generate more bookings. Mention all special features of your vacation rental – everything that can encourage guests to book with you during these difficult times.
Rearrange decorative items, refresh your interior design according to popular trends, and take new, quality photos to update your listing. Revise your description and mention your unique amenities. Explain how your vacation rental meets the specific needs of your potential guests.
Don’t advertise your rental as “quarantine-friendly” or “COVID-free.” It goes without saying that you mustn’t use the shortage of essential items to lure guests. And by all means, do not encourage guests to ignore recommendations from the local or national health authorities.
Reach out to past guests
Get in touch with your past guests via email and offer them to book your rental for a special price. Use vacation rental email marketing to promote your special offers and discounts, and encourage past guests to return to your place.
Consider creating coupon codes for your vacation rental website to share with other promos and discounts on social media. This will increase the visibility of your vacation rental business and help travelers find you and book with you.
Expand your target audience
Another great vacation rental marketing idea is to expand your target audience and adapt to new guest requirements.
Market your rental to domestic travelers
Focus on attracting domestic travelers with vacation rental marketing plans shaped to the needs of staycationers. Promote everything that guests will need during their staycation. Advertise your rental on the most popular national channels to attract locals and domestic tourists.
Make your rental family-friendly
Childproofing your rental and offering entertainment for kids of all ages will make you a favorite among guests who travel with their families.
Create a safe space for kids, offer a list of indoor activities for the family bonding time, and improvise a kids’ corner – a spot where kids can safely play. Offering entertainment for children will encourage parents to choose your rental since they won’t have to think about how to entertain their kids.
Consider welcoming pets
Now is the time to make your vacation rental pet-friendly and welcome guests who are traveling with their pets. A spacious backyard can be the selling point for many travelers planning a trip with their pets.
Promote your rental property as a place where people can enjoy their staycation with their furry friends. If necessary, spell out specific rules regarding pets inside.
For an exceptional guest experience, make toys & treat basket. This warm welcome will awe pet owners and make their furry friends very happy.
Social Distancing: Manage Your Business Remotely
If possible, consider managing your vacation rental business remotely. Fortunately, as a vacation rental owner, you have the opportunity to avoid physical contact with guests by investing in a few smart gadgets. Automate check-in and checkout with key lock boxes, smart locks, and/or electronic locks. All guest communication can be done via the Internet, as well as the coordination of cleaning, if you work with a professional cleaning service.
Investing in vacation rental management software is the best option to handle all of the above with one software, from a distance, and be in full control of your business.
Navigating your vacation rental business during the COVID-19 pandemic is challenging but it is not impossible or undoable. Follow these vacation rental marketing tactics to keep your business running during these critical times. Keep in mind that the crisis will be over soon, you just need to temporarily adapt and adjust your strategies. Keep working hard and you will see the results when things go back to normal. Stay safe!