Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced he will be reviewing the self-contained accommodation market on 9th July to make the decision as to whether it will be safe to resume operations.
Ahead of this, the Welsh Government has already said people can start booking holidays in self-contained accommodation from 13th July onwards.
It’s hard to anticipate demand; supply will be high as all short-term accommodation has been closed, and nightly rates are likely to be increasing to help make up for losses.
But with the entire of the UK desperate for a break and a change of scenery, now is the time to review your prices, listings, marketing photos, and cleaning arrangements.
Exceptional Travel Notice
The British Government are currently advising British nationals against “all but essential international travel”.
Though some countries will now accept British holidaymakers, some are enforcing 14-day quarantines, and it’s likely you’d be kept in quarantine for 14-days upon your return to the UK.
Building an additional 28-days into your holiday isn’t going to be possible for many. In light of this, it’s possible more people will choose a “staycation” instead.
Swansea Licence Scheme
Swansea Council have confirmed with me directly that they will immediately cease the requirement to obtain a licence for accommodation as soon as the restrictions on travel are lifted.
Currently, the Council require short stay landlords to obtain a license for each short stay they want to accept. Fines for accepting a short let without a license are unlimited.
Enhanced Cleaning Protocols
As you can imagine, cleaning and sanitisation are the most important elements of providing short-stay accommodation now. Airbnb has introduced a set of overarching, standardised guidelines for cleaning and sanitisation. The guidelines are informed by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Trade & Tourism Council (WTTC).
All hosts should familarise themselves with the new protocols as soon as possible, and ensure your cleaning providers are fully trained in them.
In order to comply with the guidelines, there will be a window of 24 hours at the end of each booking where no-one can enter the property. Hosts should review their minimum nightly stays with this in mind.
Airbnb listings should also be updated to demonstrate that Enhanced Cleaning Protocol training has been undertaken by hosts. Once completed, Airbnb will amend the listing with a badge to show you will be conforming to the new protocols.
Decluttering your property of unnecessary ornaments, board games/toys, cutlery and crockery will certainly help keep your cleaning costs down and keep the risk of coronavirus at a minimum for your guests.
As you may know, I began working with Pass the Keys last year to bring professional property and resource management to the short stay market in Swansea. We are currently finalising our COVID-19 cleaning protocols with our providers and getting our hosts’ properties ready in anticipation of the 13th July opening date.
Guests are understandably concerned about needing to make unexpected cancellations.
In line with guest expectations and advice from Airbnb, we have amended our cancellation policy from strict to medium. We have been advised by Airbnb that making this change has seen an increase (around 3 times as many) in bookings in Continental Europe.
Hosts should bear this in mind, too, when updating listings.
Looking for a Short-Stay Property Management Expert?
With all the new guidelines coming into play around cleaning, managing a short-stay property is going to be even more challenging than before, and the risks to your cleaning team (or yourself if you do the cleaning), your guests, and our local communities are going to be far greater.
I’ve been working really hard with Pass the Keys HQ in London to ensure all our protocols are at the highest possible standard, whilst also maximising your occupancy and your income during the next few months.
As a full management service, we’ll take care of your listing, and provide 24/7 guest support, linen, and consumables. We’ll also take care of maximising your occupancy though dynamic pricing algorithms and expert calendar management.
Don’t worry about how you will get through the next few weeks – give me a call and we can do it all for you.