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Guesty & friends: Highlights from our Sydney virtual meetup on Covid-19

We went online for our first-ever virtual meetup in Sydney, featuring a panel discussion led by experts in Australia’s short-term rental industry, including Peta Morrison and Rob Jeffress of ASTRA  (Australian Short-Term Rental Association), Joseph Leung of KozyGuru, Mitchell Sweeny of ShareCover, Toby Sconce of HomeAway and Guesty’s Yoav Tourel. Together, we covered the current and future implications of crises like coronavirus and the Australian bushfires, and how managers of short-term rentals can take the necessary precautions during these times.

Below, we’ll share some of the key insights that came up during the meetup.

Adapting to COVID-19

No one has a clear answer on how long the coronavirus pandemic will last — but what does that uncertainty mean for your business? 

To stay afloat and come out stronger from this difficult time, our panel suggests evaluating your budget and keeping your staff employed as long as possible, as they are vital to your business’s growth. Work on new marketing strategies, such as advertising your rentals as self-isolation properties for Australians stuck in condensed metropolitan areas. Efforts like these can also attract short-term bookings that turn into mid-term. 

Remember that above all, empathy is the best currency at this time, so be willing to provide refunds to international guests who cannot travel, or offer a credit for domestic guests so they can re-book with you once things are safer. Give your existing guests peace of mind by making it clear that you follow the highest-grade cleaning protocols and have taken all necessary precautions to keep them safe. 

Taking Action in the Face of Challenges

Now more than ever is the time to think outside the box for alternative solutions. Look into pairing with tools — like a pricing automation solution or a platform to streamline your operations — that will give you increased productivity in the areas your business needs it most. Having a flexible business plan that allows you to seek alternative solutions is key at a time like this. 

Standing Out From the Competition 

You may not have the inventory flexibility that hotels can offer in the case of something going wrong, but remember that you do have other advantages. Guests love short-term rentals for the personalized service and the “at-home” feeling, so make sure your marketing and branding speak to the level of hospitality you provide. Whether you offer online and offline support or high-quality amenities, there’s always something you can do to create a unique experience and entice guests to book your rentals. 

Have a question we didn’t get a chance to cover? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to! Thank you everyone for joining, stay safe and healthy!

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