Since we started four years ago, Breezeway’s mission has been to help managers deliver exceptional property care and services to their owners and guests. As COVID-19 impacts and disrupts the vacation rental and travel industry, delivering exceptional property care requires managers to double-down on their housekeeping and maintenance protocols. Ensuring that strict hygiene standards are met and communicating how properties are maintained is critical for instilling confidence and trust in guests and owner clients.
Below are some insights and best practices we’ve compiled from the leading vacation rental managers we work with. We encourage you to view the linked templates and customize these guest, owner and staff messages, to communicate your preparations and property care during this uncertain time.
Communication to Prospective Guests
Even though the current global health situation is impacting bookings, managers need to prepare their business for when the dust of COVID-19 settles. As social distancing and travel advisories subside, guests will first explore vacation options that advertise a safe stay. Rental properties that are professionally maintained can be marketed as so, showcasing the high quality care that is taken prior to each guest arrival. Managers can instill more confidence in prospective guests by communicating the extensive sanitation precautions taken at each property. For example, if you are consulting and implementing guidelines put in place by the World Health Organization, CDC, and EPA, you should publicize these cautionary measures. Such messages can be communicated in blog posts, text messages, landing pages, and website banners.
Communication to Incoming and In-House Guests
Disorganized communication can lead to unanswered questions, delayed maintenance jobs, negative reviews, and unhappy guests. Customer service is a core competency in the vacation rental business, and the expectation for proactive guest communication becomes heightened in times of uncertainty. In a typical busy season (under normal circumstances) we’ve found that proactive guest messaging and transparency can reduce guest complaints by 75%. By actively reaching out to guests, you can inform them of your COVID-19 protocols, outline the steps you have taken to clean and protect their stay, and open the path for communication and in tandem trust in your business.
Communications to Owners
On average, homeowner clients are aware of only 20% of the work that managers devote to their property. Amidst COVID-19 though, many managers have seen an uptick in owner inquiries. Similar to the case with guests, owners want to feel reassured by knowing the housekeeping precautions being taken, and that you are going above and beyond to protect their asset. This is an opportunistic time to demonstrate the full value of your professional property management services. Reports on number of visits to the property, amount of time spent on cleans, number of requirements per clean, and number of housekeeping issues reported will impress owners and remind them that they are in good hands.
Communications to Internal Staff and Service Providers
While communication to your guests and owners is critical, so is internal communication amongst your team. COVID-19 serves as an opportunity to rededicate your teams best practices to make sure housekeepers, employees, and contractors are all on the same page and understand exactly how to perform their work at each property. Streamlining your communication procedures and monitoring progress in real-time eliminates 75% of internal questions. Instituting a communication plan keeps everyone on the same page, reduces internal headaches, and builds trust amongst your team.
While it has always been important, the emphasis on cleanliness and quality of physical space has never been stronger in our industry. Keep your guests, owners, and team informed of your housekeeping programs so they feel safe, secure, and resourceful during this time. For more information and resources, visit our COVID-19 Resource Page where you can find communication templates, FAQs, and more.
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