Finally, most of the world’s countries have removed all the pandemic-related travel restrictions. As people are eager to travel again, the demand for vacation rental properties is expected to skyrocket this year. In the new context, vacation rental safety has become a very important aspect not only for guests but also for property owners and managers.
By implementing the right safety strategy for each property and opting for the best security tools available today, vacation rental managers can keep guests safe while also protecting the properties they manage. In return, the managers who take vacation rental safety seriously can reap important benefits in trust, good reviews, and more bookings. Here are a few things you can do to keep your vacation rentals safe this summer.
Set Clear House Rules
While setting a few house rules for guests might keep some of them from choosing the vacation rentals you manage, laying a foundation for how each property should be treated will help you keep things running smoothly and avoid unnecessary complications. A few rules you might want to consider for your vacation rentals include, without being limited to:
- the number of guests allowed to sleep at the property;
- the way property damage will be handled;
- check-in and check-out instructions;
- safety instructions (e.g. guests should keep windows and doors locked when they’re out and at night);
- cleanliness, appliance, and utility guidelines;
- whether pets are allowed, including any breed and size restrictions, if applicable;
- neighborhood rules regarding excessive noise at night, parking, smoking in common areas, etc.
Opt for Self Check-In Technology
In addition to simplifying the check-in process for travelers and reducing your workload and operating costs, self check-in technologies can help you ensure vacation rental safety for both guests and property owners. Currently, there are three methods you could opt for in order to enable self check-in:
- Smart locks – In short, smart locks give you the ability to configure unique, time-sensitive access codes for each staff member and each new guest, so you can easily control who accesses the properties you manage. Since some products also provide detailed activity logs, you can find out exactly who’s entered a vacation rental and when. An essential aspect is that many smart locks fit over existing deadbolts, minimizing costs and disruption.
- Keypads – With a keypad, a guest or employee needs to type in a code in order to enter a vacation rental. Similar to smart locks, most keypads allow users to set multiple codes for guests and staff members.
- Lockboxes – As the name suggests, a lockbox is simply a locked box that contains a key. To get the key out, the guest or employee needs to enter a code to open the box and then use the key to enter the property.
Use a Reliable Guest Screening Solution
Handling bad guests can be especially challenging. Sometimes, it is better to avoid undesirable guests altogether in order to protect your business from unpleasant, even dangerous situations and potential financial liabilities. Luckily, a reliable guest screening solution can be of great help when it comes to selecting the right guests for the vacation rentals you manage. In a nutshell, guest screening software will allow you to protect your vacation rentals from costly damages, maintain good relationships with neighbors, and prevent different illegal activities, including fraudulent bookings and credit card fraud.
Choose Adequate Insurance
Insurance for short-term rentals is an important part of the safety strategy you should develop for the properties you manage. Although some vacation rental owners and managers consider insurance an unnecessary expense, it’s actually a worthwhile investment. That’s because it offers protection for all those involved, including guests, property owners, and property managers. Nowadays, you can find some great technology-driven insurance solutions, which provide the perfect combination of comprehensive guest screening and short-term rental insurance to deliver enhanced protection against claims resulting from different types of property damage and injuries.
Include a Damage Waiver Fee in the Nightly Rate
A damage waiver fee is a prepaid, non-refundable fee that vacation rental property owners and managers typically include in a vacation rental’s nightly rate to cover for accidental, minor damages to properties. In general, guests and property managers prefer damage waiver fees to security deposits. That’s because, unlike security deposits, non-refundable damage waiver fees tend to minimize the chances of conflicts.
Choose Essential Safety and Security Features
A few features that can help guests feel safe at your properties include carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, exterior security lights, and outdoor IP cameras.
Nowadays, smart property owners and managers are relying on smart solutions to upgrade their vacation rentals, improve safety and security, and enhance the overall guest experience.
If you’re looking for a complete lodging management software solution that can streamline front- and back-office operations for your vacation rental management company, look no further. Book a free personalized demo and find out how you can take control of your business today!