The vaccine rollout is ramping up across the United States, and we’re finally starting to see light on the horizon. You’ve likely seen events being scheduled in the latter half of the year, or heard friends starting to talk about vacation plans. For many, it finally feels safe to start planning all the things we’ve put off this past year. This massive wave of vaccinations will be quickly followed with another wave — vacations.
A new Airbnb survey showed that travel was the most missed activity over the past year. This summer will undoubtedly see a sizable influx in vacation bookings, but there's one big difference from past vacation seasons — fewer people are booking hotels or resorts. Airbnb reports that reconnecting and traveling safely are the leading reasons for wanting to get a vaccine. Guests are far less interested in cruise ships, amusement parks, and crowded resorts.
According to Airbnb, the most missed travel has been visiting family and friends. The survey also revealed that 56% had plans to travel domestically, compared to just 21% with plans for international travel. Additionally, many people plan to avoid flights altogether and travel by car.
And the data reflect this shift in behavior: before the pandemic, domestic travel accounted for about 52% of Airbnb’s total business. Now, it accounts for 80%. There's a seismic shift happening in the industry and vacation rental owners are well-positioned to come out on top.
Scott’s Cheap Flights surveyed its two million members, 83 percent of whom said they planned to make two or more domestic trips in 2021
So how do vacation rental owners make sure they take full advantage of this evolving opportunity? Here are three suggestions that we think will make the difference between a good and great vacation season:
Remote Work Amenities
With a surplus of vacation hours and a cultural shift toward remote working, guests are seeking a change in scenery. Your guests may want to blend their vacation time with remote working, allowing for an extended stay. Amenities that were once nice-to-have are now must-haves for the work-from-home guest, such as reliable, high-speed Wi-Fi and a comfortable workspace.
As we noted in our recent blog, rentals that provide a comfortable, well-lit office space with conveniently-placed power outlets will be extremely attractive to prospective guests, and those that include a monitor, a mouse, and extension cords for guest use could be one way for owners to go the extra mile.
Guest expectations for cleanliness have been understandably heightened over this past year. 60% of property managers report implementing more stringent cleaning policies, and for good reason: Vrbo now allows renters to filter listings by cleanliness ratings — ratings that are determined by previous guests. This trend is likely to continue well past 2021.
An access control system becomes surprisingly important for a clean rental property. Managing cleaning services can be easier than ever with software that allows you to send self-expiring access codes to simplify entry to your property, while you track access history in real-time. Managers get the peace of mind that comes with being able to monitor when cleaning was completed at each property, and guests never deal with awkward and unsafe overlaps with cleaning crews.
Contactless Self Check-In
The pandemic has made safety and privacy more important than ever. Guests no longer want to deal with key hand-offs or in-person introductions. Airbnb finds hosts who add self check-in will earn 13% more over those who don’t. Just as important, hosts save time and money by streamlining their booking process and making property access hassle-free for their guests.
Equipping your rental with smart locks will simplify the access experience for your guests and increase their sense of safety and security. Whether you manage one vacation rental or many, consider investing in a universal access control platform like RemoteLock, which can be integrated with booking software like Airbnb and Guesty to automatically issue entry codes to a new guest once a booking is complete.
Vacation bookings are coming and hosts need to gear up for a busy second half of the year. Right now is the perfect time to reinvest in your properties, as well as your management tools. The right access control software can play a crucial role in providing a safe and secure experience for your guests. RemoteLock makes it easier than ever to remotely control and monitor your properties from anywhere, and eliminates the guesswork of knowing when cleaning is completed or when guests arrive.
Ready to explore the transformative capabilities of a universal access control platform? Contact RemoteLock today to see how our solution can work for your business.