New Year’s Eve is usually a time when friends and family gather for joyful celebrations. While there’s still a lot to be thankful for with 2020 coming to an end, this year’s festivities won’t be the same. With the COVID-19 outbreak still a concern, New Year’s will be shaped by the necessary restrictions to minimize another wave of the virus. However, there are still numerous ways for families to celebrate while respecting safety guidelines.
Because of the lack of public events and an overall fear of crowded places, this is a prime opportunity to rent out your vacation rental to a family that’s looking to celebrate in a different environment. By preparing your property for this special occasion, upselling any extra services, and ensuring the right house rules are in place, you’ll be able to find the perfect guests to host this New Year’s Eve.
Set Your Vacation Rental House Rules
While most guests have good intentions when it comes to accommodation, there are a few bad eggs that you can avoid by laying out the right house rules. By presenting your potential clients with what they can and can’t do before booking, you’ll be able to weed out unruly guests and save yourself a lot of stress.
Depending on where your property is located, there might be restrictions in place on the number of people that can get together from different households. Protect your community by staying updated on state regulations and enforcing these laws in your vacation rental house rules.
New Year’s celebrations can get loud, even when you’re just hosting a family. By making sure to communicate quiet hours and noise volume, you’ll lay the foundation for a peaceful New Year’s Eve.
When planning your vacation rental house rules, take advantage of free resources like this House Rules Template to guide you.
Clean and Decorate Your Property for New Year’s Eve
Even before the pandemic, travelers have always prioritized cleanliness and hygiene. This year, hosts must go above and beyond when it comes to sanitizing their vacation rentals. By following COVID cleaning protocols, you’ll ensure that your clients are staying in a safe environment.
Because it’s unlikely that guests will be out and about on New Year’s Eve and will instead want to spend more time inside, it’s important to pay attention to the details. We recommend using a cleaning checklist so that you don’t miss a thing!
A decorated or personalized vacation rental adds a nice touch to any visit. While there’s no need to exaggerate as you would with Thanksgiving or Christmas decor, doing things like setting the table with elegant gold accents can be a pleasant surprise for your guests. Take it one step further and prepare a New Year’s themed welcome basket. This gift can include a handwritten welcome letter, champagne, party hats, balloons, an assortment of cheeses – you name it.
Enhancing guest experience will not only lead to better reviews, but it’ll also increase bookings and the chance of returning guests in the future.
Prepare Family-Friendly Activities
A great way to create a memorable New Year’s for your guests is by providing games and activities that families can enjoy together. Whether it’s board games or karaoke, having some sort of entertainment goes a long way. Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Marshmellow Toss
- Scavenger Hunt
- An assortment of family-friendly movies
- Outdoor soccer or football
- Capture the Flag
- Muffin Decorating Competition
If you’re hosting a family with younger kids, you’ll win major brownie points if you include games appropriate for their age. By keeping the kids entertained, you’ll allow the parents to kick back and relax on their New Year’s Eve. For such a small investment, this type of consideration and attention to detail will make your vacation rental stand out significantly.
Advertise Your Vacation Rental on Social Media
Marketing your vacation rental year-round is crucial for the success of your business. However, the holidays and other special occasions might require an extra push. It’s likely that your guests are juggling several options for their New Year’s accommodation, so your online presence might very well be the factor that leads them to choose you over your competitor.
Mark Your Presence on Social Media
If you haven’t already, create an account for a social media platform that suits your target audience. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, or even Tik Tok, these platforms can transform the number of bookings you receive. By keeping your profiles up-to-date, you can communicate special offers and highlight what makes your vacation rental unique.
For special occasions, you can even consider investing in paid ads. It’s an affordable strategy that drives in a lot of traffic and exposure with very little effort. During a season where potential clients are being bombarded with promotions, targeted ads can do wonders!
Update your Vacation Rental Website
Having a personalized vacation rental website is the perfect way to be in full control of your business. That said, if you already have a website set up, New Year’s is a great incentive to update your already existing content.
Upload new professional photographs from the holiday season, add information on family-friendly activities that respect COVID-19 safety guidelines, or even upsell your business by offering extra services like a private chef.
If your vacation rental business doesn’t have a website, now is the time to get started. By using a channel manager that allows you to build your own website with impressive templates, you’ll be able to sync your calendars and bookings across different channels into one centralized platform. If you’ve increased prices for New Year’s Eve, you can make these changes on all the platforms that your vacation rental is listed on directly from your channel manager instead of having to spend hours doing it manually. This computerized and automatic system will avoid any human error that may lead to double bookings or even cancellations.
Get in Touch with Past Guests
As a vacation rental owner, your goal isn’t just to drive in new guests. Many hosts miss out on the potential of returning guests, which can be achieved by offering an overall great service and keeping in touch once the trip is over.
New Year’s is a great opportunity to continue building a relationship with guests who have rented from you in the past. By keeping in touch, even if it’s just once a year, your vacation rental will be at the top of their mind when booking their next holiday.
While your guests will appreciate a simple greeting, consider offering a discount code for repeated bookings, birthdays, or anniversaries in order to encourage their return.
Write a message or email
While the easiest and cheapest way to contact your past guests is through email, there’s a chance that your message will get lost among other content. Give it a try and if you notice that you’re not receiving any responses, it might be a good idea to complement it with another form of communication.
Give them a call
A phone call is the most personal and intimate way to get in touch with your past guests. That said, we recommend doing this if you’ve already established a concrete relationship with them so that your efforts aren’t seen as intrusive.
Send a holiday card
There are few things more heartwarming than a handwritten holiday card. Wish your past guests a happy holiday and always make sure to include a personal note. If you don’t have time to send a traditional card, you can always create an e-card!
Inform Yourself on Airbnb’s Global Party Ban
With the second COVID-19 wave in action, Airbnb has decided to protect its hosts by banning unauthorized house parties and large gatherings on New Year’s Eve in parts of North America, Western Europe, and Australia.
Guests who lack a history of positive reviews must comply with a two-night minimum in entire home listings. Airbnb will also require guests to agree to their Parties and Events Policy. If guests break these rules, legal action may be taken. Furthermore, the company will provide guidance to hosts on ways to prevent unauthorized parties and a virtual command center to help with any issues.
With this New Year’s Eve initiative, Airbnb hopes to promote responsible travel and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Prepare for Next Year
Once the holidays are officially over, take advantage of the hard work you put into preparing everything by analyzing what went well and what didn’t. Which social media platform performed the best? Was there anything missing that could have improved your guests’ visit? By thoroughly studying how this year went, you’ll ensure an even more successful holiday season next year!