COVID-19 Business Survival Guide for Short Term Renters

Hosts and property managers have seen a dramatic drop down in bookings since the US Government banned international flights from Europe which intensified after the estate of emergency was declared by President Trump.

Short Term Rentals and lodging companies are the most affected because of the coronavirus outbreak. Travel and mobility restrictions are causing a huge impact in the tourism sector, especially in Miami where many counties rely heavily on the industry. A majority of business owners are experiencing high levels of anxiety and stress for the lack of bookings and the increasing expenses on their business. 

During unprecedented times, remaining calm and working proactively to improve your business is the best thing can do to resist the quarantine. At Stratton Hospitality we have developed a “Covid-19 Business Survival Guide for Short Term Renters” to help the community to bring guidance and mental clarity to face the current circumstances.

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Covid-19 Business Survival Guide for Short Term Renters

Watch our webinar: Covid-19 Business Survival Guide for Short Term Renters.

Take Action on Your Finances

Taking action over your finances is key to guarantee your business stability and reduce the economic impact. Many owners acquired loans for purchasing or renovating properties and many of them are struggling to honor them. Larger companies have been forced to lay off their employees to reduce expenses.

Call your bank and apply for their relief policies

Luckily, the main banking companies have announceCOVID-19 Business Survival Guide for Short Term Renters relief policies for their customers which include loan deferrals, overdraft, and late fee waivers. To apply for those packages is simple. All you need to do is get in touch with your bank request special assistance.

Here’s a list of the main financial institutions that have publicly announced special measures.

Apply for a disaster loan assistance

Short Term Renters hurt by the coronavirus (COVID-19), may be able to get a loan through the Small Business Administration. SBA provides low-interest disaster loans up to $2,000,000 for alleviating economic injury caused by the disaster. Applicants must have a credit history acceptable to SBA and must show the ability to repay the loan.

Check all the requirements clicking this link. 

Reduce your costs

Since your income will reduce dramatically, this could be a good time to apply some austerity measures. Make a list of all your expenses and identify the most dispensable. One advantage is that some basic services will be waived during the quarantine. With this in mind, focus on your savings and your budget optimization. 

Rob Carrick’s finance tips amidst coronavirus pandemic.

Identify and develop your operating procedures

This could be an expanding time for your business and an amazing time for developing the operating procedures of your company. In your typical “day to day”, it is likely that you don’t have time to spare to review your operations, so this could be the time to do it. 

Identify the core tasks of your operating flow

Whatever business you owe, you will always apply some procedures that will allow you to deliver quality and timeliness. Some of them are indispensable to your business without whom your business might stop operating. 

Those are your main tasks! Documenting them and rearranging them will help you to scale your business when we come back to normality.

The operating flow bellow is the one we use at Stratton Hospitality. For each part of it, we have developed an operating procedure, a list of instructions that explains what it takes to perform each task. This way, we make sure everybody in the company has the knowledge to provide a high-quality service for our customers. 

Stratton Hospitality’s operation flow

Identify and adopt resources to help you integrate your SOP’s (e.g channel manager, contractors database, guest surveys).

Technology is useful when it comes to automating your business. A channel manager, for example, will help you to avoid double bookings or change your prices dynamically according to the season. Smoobu or 365 Villas are one of the most popular channel managers.

Many Vacation Rental Hosts only advertise their listings on Airbnb when out there are more than 54 platforms from which travelers book their Short Term Rentals. Research the ones that suit best for your business to gain more exposure. 

Data-driven decision making and planning

Making emotional decisions is pretty common during uncertain times, for this reason looking at your data is the best way to prevent you from making a decision you will regret later. At Stratton we recommend:

  • Closely monitor your Bookings & Cancellation data: This will help you to forecast your budget. When bookings are low you’ll probably purchase fewer products for your home amenities, which translates into savings and unnecessary expenses.
  • Bookings per property benchmark: Analyze which property is performing the best and focus your efforts on the ones that require more attention or have the potential to generate more income. 
  • Monitor Your Forecast, Budget & Cash Flows: Checking your accountability regularly will help you decide where to cut your budget or where to put your investment. 

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Conclusions:

Times are difficult for the whole travel and tourism industry. Remaining calm and resilient during uncertainty may be a challenge we haven’t faced yet.

This too shall pass and define our future self. “Healthy mind, healthy body” it all starts with our mind because it can be our biggest asset or liability.  

Times you never thought you’d go thru. Will take you places you’d never thought you”ll get to.

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