At the beginning of lockdown, the headlines discussing the impact of COVID-19 upon our Airbnb assets were conflicting. Some told of mass cancellations and overly-cautious visitors triggering a great loss in their popularity, while others discussed the coming boom of staycation popularity. As a reader, it was incredibly confusing: what was going to happen?
As we make our way out of lockdown and the UK slowly begins to recover, we see that the latter is proving to be true. Staycations are rising in popularity. Many residents remain cautious of long-distance travel, even brief jaunts to Europe, and some have more financial caution, making an in-land holiday the ideal way to relax while still feeling responsible during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For those hosting Airbnb spaces, this means that they should be prepared to accommodate travellers visiting with the pandemic in mind, appealing to them with the assured comfort of a clean and safe experience. It can also mean giving your visitor an escape from the reality of coronavirus gloom. For example, some alternative properties, such as those in yurts or old train carriages found in forests and on hillsides, are seeing greater demand as people look to leave urban density behind. As isolation ends, there seems to be a wider sensitivity to crowds that holiday-goers wish to satisfy. A quiet log cabin in the country can do that much better than an apartment block in the city.
Safety and Cleanliness
As always, it is important to ensure your property is diligently cleaned. However, there are now additional measures that should be taken to allow your guests to feel totally comfortable. Offering sanitisers and hand-wipes is a small gesture that will demonstrate you are seeking to minimise their risk and maximise their comfort. Be sure to wear a mask and gloves when greeting visitors too as being totally cautious will be appreciated more than appearing casual.
A fundamental quality of a good host during a pandemic is regular and attentive communication. Ensure that your guest expresses all concerns before committing so as to avoid any surprises. And, during their stay, be sure to make yourself ready to answer any questions or concerns that might arise.
Relearn Your Area
Astute knowledge of your local area is always appreciated by guests looking to live like a local or get the best experience from your community. Now, however, hosts must relearn their areas. What businesses remain open? Are there any changes in public transportation? These types of questions are increasingly common in the wake of our lockdown. Guests will be disappointed if they discover certain attractions are temporarily closed after they arrive.
Be conscientious that not all businesses update their websites immediately and that your local shop may stick a sign in the window before updating their social media. So, be sure to keep up-to-date with your area on behalf of your guests.
Give Yourself More Time
An on-going issue of the resulting lockdown is that many services become unexpectedly delayed, such as deliveries and transportation. It is obviously in your financial interests to turnover guests more quickly, however, when surprise delays occur, the extra time to facilitate a situation is far more preferable.
Give yourself more time than usual between guests to ensure that you are able to fully clean and accommodate new arrivals even in the face of surprise incidents.