2020 may have seen a dramatic reduction in global travel, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but other areas of the property market soared. Throughout the year, the short-let sector weathered the storm incredibly well. Keep reading to find out how they remained popular and how they will fare in the new year.
Holiday letting companies and property owners within the domestic holiday short-let market, with properties in traditional leisure and rural locations, have seen their highest booking rates this year. This increase has come as a direct result of global travel bans put in place to reduce the spread of the virus.
During the first lockdown in April, speculation was made about the impact the travel restrictions would have on the one billion trips people made each year. Around this time the World Travel and Tourism Council estimated that should the pandemic continue only a few months, it could be responsible for a $2.1 trillion revenue loss, in addition to job losses. With international holiday figures down, more people looked closer to home for a holiday.
Regardless of the pandemic, people still have an appetite for travel, and with the added stresses and pressures from COVID-19, many were desperate for a change of scenery. Therefore, more people than even looked for private rentals and self-catering options over hotels and resorts, allowing them to remain socially distanced with their household and support bubble.
As we near the new year, it has been suggested that these trends will only continue, as international travel has still got a way to go before it returns to its previous levels. As more people become accustomed to private, spacious, accommodation, many will continue to choose these short-term lets over hotels and resorts.
This shift in people looking to go on holiday and what they need from their accommodation is great news for property investors in the leisure markets.
The phrase ‘staycation’ has grown in prevalence over the year, and looks set to stay in 2021. With consumers needing to stay local in order to comply with coronavirus restrictions, people are embracing domestic travel. Even as international travel begins to increase, more people are aware of what the UK has to offer and the great range of destinations you can choose. Moreover, with tier restrictions looking to change at short notice, holidaymakers will be looking for last-minute breaks, nearer to home.
With as many industries as possible, encouraging their workforce to work from home, people’s perception of their working environment is changing. People have had to adapt and quickly; leading many to realise that it is quite possible to set up an office anywhere. With a ‘wherever I lay my laptop’ mantra, the UK holiday season is no longer restricted to the main school breaks.
Instead, many are taking mid-term breaks to help them cope with the situation for a change of scenery and perspective. And, their office simply comes too! For this last-minute getaways, short-term lettings are ideal.
In order to ensure your short-term let is benefiting from this increase in demand, there are a few things we would recommend.
Safety and Quality Assurance
The very first efforts to combat the coronavirus was focus on cleanliness and the importance of washing hands. When it comes to holiday lets, the properties cleaning routine is now paramount. There has been a razor-sharp focus on the standards of cleanliness, safety and quality assurance of rental properties.
Breezeway has revealed that it takes around 25 minutes longer to clean a short-let property; as the pandemic continues, customers will be demanding more rigorous methods in order to feel safe. Ensuring your property is effectively cleaned and managed will set apart your portfolio for those whose standards are below par.
In addition to stricter cleaner regimes, some properties are now embracing state-of-the-art technology to reassure guests and reduce the amount of contact they have with yourself or your management company. For example, to help encourage frictionless stays, some property investors have installed keyless entry, occupancy monitoring, and software that helps property care and operations, such as a digital team scheduling, quality control software and cleaning protocols (Property Investor Today).
Perhaps this may be something to consider moving forward into 2021?This year has been unprecedented, to say the least; however, the short-let market is evidence of the wider property market. It has changed and transformed over the months, and has record booking figures to show for its efforts. For property investors, it can be a difficult market to succeed. But, with the right team behind you, it can be extremely lucrative. Check out Nicholas Wallwork’s YouTube video on having a dream property team to help you with your property development: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g11zCKoUueo.