In light of the Coronavirus pandemic, many vacation rental owners are left wondering what will happen to their revenue this summer. What is supposed to be busy season is unusually quiet. We tuned into HomeAway’s recent webinar “Prepare for Travelers Looking to Book,” and put together this list of ways to increase summer bookings based on their findings:
Create a flexible cancellation policy.77% of HomeAway’s surveyed travelers said they are more likely to choose travel accommodations with flexible cancellation policies. A moderate policy is ideal with a 100% refund within 30 days of cancellation, and a 50% refund within 14 days of cancellation. If you want to be really accommodating, you can offer a relaxed policy of a 100% refund within 14 days of cancellation, and a 50% refund within 7 days of cancellation. Be sure to highlight your cancellation policies in search filters and in your header to increase your bookings.
Up your cleanliness AND be sure to share your updates.HomeAway found that 51% of travelers are paying more attention to cleanliness standards of bookings, and 82% of travelers find cleanliness information helpful . In our blog post “Post-Coronavirus Essential Actions for Your Vacation Rentals,” we highlight ways to make sure your vacation rental is completely disinfected. Once you have a new policy in place, be sure to share it in the property description, in the onsite property information, and on door hangers, signs and checklists. Also, ask guests to mention cleanliness in their reviews.
Offer and advertise free parking.26% of HomeAway’s surveyed travelers said they are more likely to drive to their destinations rather than fly. Cater to the drivers by offering free parking at your rental.
Although this is a crazy time, stay positive. HomeAway found that 70% of travelers are still willing to stay in a vacation rental this year.