Be Strategic Not Panicked
I have seen a lot of knee jerk reactions (myself included) that I personally believe people will regret a few months from now. Though no one has a crystal ball, I have to believe that we will get through this. Therefore, I have temporarily adjusted my strategy on a home by home basis.
- Personally, I did/do not feel comfortable welcoming just any guest right now- especially with a shelter in place order in Nashville. Therefore, we updated our policy to outline exactly what guests are welcome during this time. Read the policy we posted on our Southbound Stays website.
- I was familiar with extended stay (30-90 day stays) laws and legalities because we already have a dedicated home for this. For our smaller homes, I was able to implement these policies rather quickly. Thus far, we have rented 1 of our 3 studios this way and are actively working on the others.
- I have decided to hold my pricing (and in some cases increase it) but increased my weekly and monthly discount to attract the types of guests and stay types we’re looking to welcome during this time. Though I have seen some experts suggest lowering rates dramatically, I personally do not feel this is the right move for any of my homes.
- I also extended my minimum stays to 2 and 3 days for stays that are 15 days out and 7 and 30 days for stays that are further out. While this may sound crazy, I would rather keep my calendar clear except for longer bookings right now. I explain why under marketing.
- With these changes, I needed (and still need in some cases) to adjust my content to focus more on the audiences and stay types I am trying to attract during this time. For instance, instead of focuses on walkability to restaurants and shops, I am shifting to distance to hospitals and proximity to outdoor activities. Pro tip: be sure to save your old content to switch back eventually.
- I have added a travel for any reason policy option to my rental agreement, listing and all guest messages to help protect my future guests and myself for cancels.