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12 Months Later: What We’ve Learned a Year after Lockdown, Part II

Earlier this month we shared some of the lockdown lessons of the past year.  This is the second part of the article: we learned so many lessons we couldn’t fit all of them in one article!

Longer Stays

While short term rental guests no longer book stays weeks and months in advance (very often they are making bookings just days in advance) when they do stay, they are staying longer.  Often the reason for these longer stays include being closer to loved ones, the ability to access nature, the chance to have more space, or the chance to save money.  Hosts might consider opening up longer stay windows than they have offered in the past to cash in on this new demand.

Remote Workers

Airbnb reported that of those guests who are booking longer stays, 60% were working or studying during their stay, and of those, 65% reported Covid-19 was a factor in their decision to book a longer-term stay.  In a previous newsletter we’ve discussed creating a friendly space for remote workers to get their work done.  These statistics back up the necessity to do that.  Hosts should be willing to look at their space with new, “remote worker” eyes to see what can be changed or improved in order to attract more of these bookings.

Simplify

Part of the charm of some short term rentals might have been the knick-knacks or books that you were free to examine and play with.  But with the enhanced cleaning protocols introduced by Airbnb and other platforms, these fun bits of flavor for your listing might be an extra cleaning step for you and something your guests might avoid.  With so much concern for surfaces and cleanliness, consider removing from your listing some of the items that are more difficult to sanitize (like the cute teddy bear that perhaps sat on the bed, welcoming guests).

Offer Sanitary Supplies

In the past hosts have enjoyed offering some small welcoming treats, be it some snacks or beverages.  These days guests might appreciate some hand sanitizer or masks.  No need to dump the treats!  Just make sure to add a few additional items that people might need to comply with the health rules in your locality.  No one would have ever guessed masks would be part of welcome gifts to a guest, but these days, it’s a simple and thoughtful addition.

Be Extra Sensitive to Guest Concerns

The last twelve months have taken a toll on people unlike anything they may have experienced in their lives.  There’s no way for you as the host to know what this year has meant to your guest.  What you do know is that they are seeking refuge and comfort with you.  Remember that whatever your own personal views are regarding the pandemic and the rules of your locality, your goal is to make your guests feel welcomed and safe.  Don’t downplay concerns that they may have regarding health and sanitary conditions, but go the extra mile to understand their points of view.

Remember that the most successful hosts have paid attention to trends and changing guest demands in order to continue to attract visitors and earn revenues during this time.  Is there an item you would have added to our two-part series?  Reply to this email and tell us!

This article originally appeared in our Guest Book newsletter.

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