Beautiful lodge and sunset view

In this article we highlight the things you can do now to make your online listings work harder so they are as attractive as possible to future post-Coronavirus guests.

1. Add future pricing

Although people are not booking travel or accommodation while current travel restrictions and social distancing measures remain in place, there is still appetite for late 2020 bookings as well as into 2021 as people look to the future and plan ahead. Our data shows that people are now booking up to three times further ahead, so having pricing set up for the next 24 months is absolutely essential to allow your vacation rental to be booked far in advance.

The TravelNest team is working hard to defer existing bookings during lockdown periods to future dates. Setting up future pricing helps us protect your financial position by offering more options to guests as we encourage them to defer rather than cancel their bookings.

2. Temporarily lower your pricing

As well as setting up pricing for the next 24 months, it is also worth thinking about how you can attract bookings by temporarily lowering your pricing. We don’t recommend offering huge discounts, but you could offer a percentage discount for a set period to encourage guests to book with you.

The TravelNest customer account allows you to add a discount of up to 40% to your pricing. Simply choose your discount and specify how long you want to apply it to your listings.

3. Relax your cancellation preference

After Coronavirus, travellers will be looking for more flexibility, particularly when it comes to a property’s cancellation policy. Channels also enable listings to be filtered by cancellation policy. We recommend going with the most flexible cancellation policy you can in order to attract bookings. 

With TravelNest, you have the flexibility to choose the level of cancellation flexibility that works best for your business. We apply your cancellation preference choice to all listings on all channels. However, it’s important to remember that cancellation policies do vary between channels – we provide detailed guidance to help you make the right choice for your business and your guests.  

4. Reduce your minimum night stay

We recommend setting your minimum night stay as low as possible as this ensures that your property will show up in the maximum number of possible searches. As restrictions gradually lift post-Coronavirus, traveller confidence will take time to cover. With this in mind, availability for short, domestic breaks of 1, 2 or 3 nights are likely to be in greater demand than longer stays.

5. Relax security deposit requirements

In the current climate, many guests will be wary about paying a large security or damage deposit upfront. If you do require a security deposit, we recommend lowering this as much as possible. Although some channels take the security deposit upfront as part of the booking process, wherever possible, we recommend asking for this to be paid on arrival instead. Requiring a large security deposit to be paid in advance may put some guests off from booking your property.

6. List on more channels

Boosting the exposure of your vacation rental to reach more guests should be an integral part of your post-Coronavirus planning. TravelNest can list your property on over 30+ top booking sites. We work with the biggest names in the vacation rentals business – our partner channels include Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, HomeAway, TripAdvisor, TUI, plus many affiliate and niche sites too.

The TravelNest customer account gives you the flexibility to increase the number of channels you list on at any time. Simply select additional channels and we’ll do the hard work building your new listings for you.

7. Update your photos and description

In a post-Coronavirus travel landscape, travellers are likely to be looking for a different type of vacation experience. Secluded, private properties in more rural, out-of-the-way locations are likely to see greater demand than those in urban areas. Be sure to play up these elements in your listings by updating your photos and written descriptions.

We recommend using photos that showcase the countryside around your property, and make sure you show off the best views from the property too. It’s also a good idea to update your description so that it describes the secluded and quiet nature of your property, where guests can get away from it all.

Photos can make or break your listing so it’s important to use the best photos you possibly can. Our channel partners recommend 24 high-quality photos of your properties Interior, Exterior, Lounge, Kitchen, Bedroom, Bathroom, Views and Key Amenities.

The TravelNest team are experts in listing optimisation – our recommendations are proven to improve the performance of your property on multiple channels and bring you more bookings. 

8. Update your cleaning procedures

Last but by no means least, when you do start receiving bookings again, it will be really important to provide guests with assurances that the property has been professionally deep cleaned before their stay. Our recent Vacation Rentals Optimism Survey found that property cleanliness is travellers’ primary concern. When asked which services and amenities would be most important post-Coronavirus, 83% said: ‘Professional deep clean before my stay’, followed by ‘Cleaning supplies in the property’ – rated as ‘very important’ by 73%.

We recommend updating your cleaning procedures to ensure that the right measures are being followed to prevent the spread of Coronavirus and other germs. Having a ‘Checklist of cleaning procedures‘ available to guests at the time of booking was also highlighted as ‘very important’ by 61% of our survey respondents. Give them peace of mind by updating your written description to include information about how the will be cleaned prior to guests’ arrival. 

Getting Through Coronavirus: A Guide for Vacation Rental Hosts

Get expert advice and tips from the TravelNest team to help you cope with the impact of Coronavirus on your vacation rental and plan for future success.