On today’s show, we’re talking about what you can do if you have a short term rental?

Short term rentals, like hotels, and most of the hospitality industry are suffering deeply in this era of social isolation. You might be used to a high nightly rate, similar to what hotels are accustomed to getting. On average, this revenue stream is higher than the traditional monthly unfurnished lease.

Today, very few people are traveling to take vacations. Only essential travel is being permitted. That means that unless you have a medical reason for travel, or perhaps repatriation to your home country, there is no reason to travel.

Upon return from outside the country, all citizens must undergo a mandatory 14 day quarantine. A quarantine in the same home together with others who have not traveled defeats the purpose.

Here’s the problem. The hotels are closed. Many communities have instituted rules that restrict short term rentals to only happening in owner occupied properties. For example, you might have a spare bedroom, or maybe an inlaw suite.

Where would someone who must quarantine stay? Where would someone who has potentially been exposed to Covid-19 stay?

Locally, health care workers who are on the front line of the Covid-19 pandemic need a place to call home temporarily, without putting their families at risk.

To that end, the folks at AirBnB are looking to help provide accommodations for health care workers who need a temporary place to stay. They have agreed to waive their fees for the first 100,000 bookings that match health care workers with a place to stay. Hosts can put their homes into the program, either a full price, at a reduced price, and in many cases for free.

The thinking is that any revenue is better than the alternative. The people at AirBnb have put together a comprehensive cleaning checklist for your cleaning staff. They’ve also assembled a recommended list of amenities that might be difficult for guests to source during this time of social lockdown.

This includes all the basics that someone might need for daily living. There needs to be enough towels, linens, pillows, for each guest. The kitchen needs to be properly equipped with plates and glasses, cookware; everything you might need for cooking should be on hand.

Make sure there is ample supply of paper products.

When it comes to cleaning, make sure your guests know about your enhanced cleaning routine. Guests will want to know about all of the additional steps you’re taking to reduce the spread of infection. So it’s a good idea to mention your enhanced cleaning routine in your listing description.

Now is not the time to be trying to squeeze every last dollar out of every booking. It’s the time to get anyone to stay at your property, even at a reduced rent to try and cover your expenses.

Another use of vacation homes is to protect more vulnerable family members. Let’s say that you have a family member working at a grocery store. They’re interacting with the public on a daily basis. They’re definitely at higher risk of coming into contact with the disease by virtue of being exposed to more people during the pandemic. Let’s say you have someone else in the home who is elderly, or perhaps immune compromised, you want to make sure that the vulnerable family member and the at-risk family member don’t cross paths during this pandemic. Isolating vulnerable family members in a second location can be a very practical way of protecting them.

All of these uses for Short Term Rentals can fulfill very real needs during this time of social need.