5 Ways for Urban Australian Property Management Companies to Draw Bookings This Fall
Throughout COVID-19, travellers have favoured short-term rentals in less-densely populated locations, leading to many hosts in those areas enjoying their most profitable quarters yet. With COVID-19 cases down to nearly zero in Australia and interstate borders open across the country, domestic travel is booming, but urban property management companies are still struggling to capitalise on this market the way their counterparts in more remote areas have. As travel slowly returns to normal, here are 5 ways for urban hosts to draw bookings this fall.
1. Implement flexible booking policies
Uncertainty was the theme of 2020 and it will continue to mold consumer habits until COVID-19 is far behind us. What that means is to draw in guests, property management companies need to pull out all the stops when it comes to accommodating their needs, including instating generous cancellation and minimum night policies and accepting bookings on shorter notice.
2. Diversify distribution
According to a recent report on Australia’s short-term rental market, 50% of the country’s inventory is promoted exclusively through Airbnb, which, while a critical channel for the distribution of short term rental listings, is far from the only one. To reach more travellers, urban hosts should diversify their distribution to the other major OTAs as well as a branded booking site of their own in order to cater to the growing book direct demand.
3. Target business travellers
With offices reopening across the country, the resumption of business as usual is likely to follow, accompanied by the much-anticipated return of corporate travel. This is good news for urban hosts and as such, they need to make every effort to attract this consumer base, primarily by promoting their accommodations’ proximity to major corporate hotspots as well as spotlighting their comfortable workspaces. Hosts may also want to proactively reach out to companies who’ve had employees stay with them in the past, letting them know their properties are available and perhaps even at a discounted rate for return guests.
4. Practice innovative marketing
With popular attractions reopening, city-based property management companies need to take diligent measures to ensure their rentals are where those visiting these sites are choosing to stay. Of course, hosts should highlight nearby attractions in their listing descriptions as well as listing titles in order to catch potential guests who are searching the booking platforms using attraction names as keywords. But property management companies serious about success can take it further, partnering with the popular tourist spots closest to their properties. This can mean offering mutual discounts or advertising their listings on the websites of local museums and exhibits and is a sure way to grab the attention of the consumers who plan to travel to the area.
5. Prepare for travel bubbles
Though property management companies need to double down on appealing to domestic travellers, currently the only viable market, they must also keep a watchful eye on international negotiations and the establishment of travel bubbles. With talks about opening the skies for travel to and from both New Zealand and Singapore, companies must prepare to invest heavily in targeting consumers in those locations through region-specific campaigns. Those with plans in place to jump on new traveler markets as they resurface will reap the rippling rewards of being among the first to welcome international guests into their properties.
Property management companies based in urban areas may have gotten the short end of the stick as far as COVID travel is concerned, but with domestic travel in nearly full swing and international travel bubbles back on the table, there are certainly measures they can take to boost occupancy as we await worldwide travel recovery.