Repairing Damage and Asserting Your Strength in This Volatile Industry
As this novel pandemic sweeps the globe, all industries across land and sea suffer economic turmoil from business closures, travel bans, and shelter-in-place mandates. So how is Coronavirus affecting the once-booming travel and tourism industry?
Well, for lack of better words, deeply. This all-encompassing pandemic has now hit one of the most affluent industries of all- travel and short-term vacation rentals. Compared with just a few short months ago, when travel was thriving more than ever, we now see a swift and insurmountable hit to the nearly 8.8 trillion-dollar global GDP enterprise. Yet, interestingly enough, the majority of the damage has been done oversees.
The ensuing economic damage already felt by rental owners, tourism business, influencers, and travelers alike have caused many to seriously question the future prospect of the short-term rental industry even after the crisis moderates.
With so much misinformation, skepticism and fear surrounding the tourism industry, we thought it helpful to provide real information on the American short term rental and tourism industry to foster a bit of clarity, hope, and preparedness going forward.
Here’s the reality: At I Think An Idea headquarters, phones are ringing off the hook.
That’s because business is booming. Well, the short-term rental business at least. We’ve seen an influx in visitors and a demand for online booking at an unprecedented rate that supersedes anything we’ve witnessed over the past five years working alongside this industry.
Understandably, you may be thinking, how the %#&%! is this possible?
Good question. Let’s examine what’s really going on.
Benefits Born Out of the Crisis
While there have been some serious losses experienced by those in the vacation rental and travel industry, there have also been quite a few silver linings. For example, during the initial months of COVID, there was an abundance of free time available to make physical improvements to existing rentals. There was finally time to deep clean, tackle time-consuming projects, remodels, and upgrades owners had been putting off for months or even years. For many homeowners, it was the first time in years they were able to update and redesign their rentals to bring them into the modern moment. This time spent improving interior spaces and exterior landscaping helped elevate short-term rentals and addressed the need for modernizing short-term rentals. Creating a social media-worthy rental experience was key. By taking advantage of the unusual downtime, those improvements were able to happen and increase the value to properties across the country. What’s more, many green, eco-friendly (and cost-effective) home improvements were made to rentals, addressing the current demand for eco-conscious housing. This all led to heightened interest and collective opinion surrounding U.S. short term rentals and luxury villas for rent.
It Ain’t All Bad
Though some rentals experienced a significant loss of business over the past six months, many are starting to reemerge stronger and more booked out than ever! Because international travel is a non-option for most, Americans are staying stateside and choosing to explore new cities and national parks that have reopened to the public. This has generated a much-needed rise in American tourism, increasing traffic to U.S. rentals, and feeding American incomes. And while this is a positive outcome, it also means an increase in national competition within the short-term rental industry. Marketing your little slice of heaven has become more difficult in the past few months, meaning now is the time to invest in SEO Digital Marketing more than ever.
At I Think An Idea, we work with a number of rental companies and short-term rental owners to improve their business and generate leads through digital marketing. A great example of our expertise in this field is shown through our experience working with one of our luxury rental clients from Palm Springs, Legacy Villas. We were able to take their acquisition to unbelievable heights. With a 69.7 increase in users over the course of one year, we drove traffic to their site and social media accounts, increasing their bookings and growing their online business dramatically. We worked with Legacy Villas to improve their organic traffic and increase their SEO rankings by a large margin.
Rental Reputation Management
Based on the few months of booking discrepancies as a result of the virus, you may have to repair some damage done to your rental reputation by disgruntled bookers. If your google reviews, comments, and rankings have turned negative in recent months, you may need to start looking at your options. Luckily, you can work with a confident SEO agency to strategize and carry out a comprehensive reputation management strategy. After all, your reviews, word-of-mouth marketing, and online reputation are one of your most valuable assets. A hit to this, and your entire client base and client trust could crumble underneath you. By working with an SEO agency such as I Think An Idea, you can safeguard your rental from the impact of bad reviews and begin to repair any damages incurred. Reputation Management is a vital asset to any rental business, one that should never be overlooked or neglected.
What Precautions are Rentals Owners Taking?
If you’re like the majority of rental owners, you may be wondering how you can safeguard yourself, your team and clients, and your rental during these unprecedented times. The main solution to keeping everyone safe and everything healthy is to maintain a solid hold on cleanliness and sanitation. Here are a few simple yet effective measures you can take to decrease the risk of contagion and help stop the spread of COVID 19 within your rental:
- Continue to deep clean your rental before and after guests stay.
- Advise travelers who may feel sick to stay at home and forego renting from you.
- Provide sanitizers, fresh soaps, and deep cleaned linens, and towels for your guests.
- Offer single-use plastic gloves for clients to use during grocery outings.
- Ensure thorough interior cleanliness and consistent deep cleaning of your home/unit.
- Work with a competent cleaning crew that understands the severity of the virus and therefore takes extra steps to clean and disinfect your rental after each stay.
- Schedule each booking with increased in-between time for cleaners to enter and leave the rental without the chance of guest interaction.
- Control your bookings and scheduling so as to decrease the chances of run-ins between clients, cleaning crew, and manager.
- Insist your hardworking cleaning crew has adequate safety gear, masks, and protection while working to remain risk-free and safe.
Understandably, with an influx of marketing and booking services moving online, your rental can easily get lost in a sea of short-term stays. That’s why it’s important to work with a local SEO agency to get your listing back on top and ranking high in your area. Driving traffic to your listing is no easy feat. Work with a great digital marketing company like I Think An Idea to stay competitive and generate a wealth of clients to your rental!