This article will not be very scientific oriented. Those are just my thoughts about re-opening and what is important to keep in mind. And there is never enough of reminding!
I can imagine that majority of self-catering accommodation were closed and just few of them were operation on a limited bases (at special circumstances the accommodation could provide the service). Moreover, not everyone wanted operate on a limited bases as they would need to invest own time and human resources to get all premises ready which can become costly and time-consuming and not bringing enough of revenues.
Whenever you have a break from your job (any kind of job), you might become nervous and thinking how to get back to your routine, what to do first, if you have not forget about anything… similar as being a new employee in the office.
Here is my summary what I think you should do before re-opening and slowly go back to the jobs. Well, it will not be slowly as it will be super busy time for few months!
1. Deep clean
After months of having spiders having a party at your property, it is a time for a swop and sweep them away. Do your usual cleaning routine how you were used to do, just look out in more details. This is the moment whey you actually get time for a reviewing the property inside-out.
When you are in the kitchen, do not clean just the surfaces but check all the drawers. Do not forget about microwave or ovens, put a cleaning products for a dishwasher and washing machine. When cleaning a dust, this time dust off every bulb and light and actually check if all the bulbs are working. Do not forget the bathroom vents too!
Cleaning the floors is essential and usual part of the turnover cleaning. With being a busy property, there is not always time to move sofas, beds or other furniture. But this week you have many hours on hand – get this job done and clean all the dust behind the heavy pieces.
Last is bedding & towels – as my husband is saying “When I want to get the best nigh sleep there has to be a fresh bedding”. Have all your bedding freshly cleaned and ironed, fluffy towels should be white without any stains.
2. Review your cancelation policy
You were waiting for such a long time and then the guests call you that they have to cancel due to…self-isolation, Covid positive, bigger group than it is allowed to accommodate, etc. That is difficult one – should you refund your guests from that reasons?
Make sure your policy is very clear before accepting the bookings. Communicate with the guests prior their arrivals and make sure all is working according to the plan. You can be flexible with your policy if you get some time in advance and not being told “we cannot come” one day before the arrival – it makes it nearly impossible to re-sell the dates. And of course travellers will be demanding the refund and you will end up arguing over the circumstances. Moreover, they can leave you a bad review which may affect your hard work and future bookings.
If your guests let you know in advance I am sure that you will be able to accommodate another group of hungry travellers due to high demand. Pass the clear message about the cancellation-flexibility to them when booking to prevent any dispute.
3. Prepare the list of opened businesses
It is very common guests asking questions about the area/restaurants/coffee shops/places of interests. Nowadays, the rules for business are changing and their re-opening date is linked to the government guidance. Market is definitely changing.
Some businesses will decide to stay close for longer time than it is needed if the rules create more problems, or the costs are simply too high for them to create a safe environment. Some businesses went into administration, but new businesses re-open.
Therefore, show how professional you are. Show to your guests that you really care and did your research and provide them with the right information.
4. Leave sanitising products at the property
Guests are very keen to travel and booked their stay with a vision they will be as safe as at home. After your enhanced cleaning is done you should provide your guests with all essential sanitising products for their safety. And it is also for a safety of your next guests and you/cleaners too after check-out.
Some places might decide to have a day break in between the bookings. It is entirely up to you but I think if you follow the enhance cleaning, leave the sanitising products for the guests to use you will be able have a same-day turnover.
5. Enjoy having guests back
The last but the most important – do not feel stressed but enjoy having the guests back in your holiday rentals. You can leave them a note, prepare some flowers or simply welcome them with a big smile on your face. Be positive and ready for a few busy months!