COVID-19 | Uplisting's Response & Guidance

Mar 13, 2020

We are living in unprecedented and challenging times. There's no way to sugar coat it, the travel industry is taking a monumental hit and it looks like it's going to get worse before it gets better. In times like this, we look for stability as we weather out the storm.

Stability

Business as normal

Uplisting is and always has been a fully remote team. More than remote, most of us work from our own homes. It's very much business as usual for us. It almost feels odd as we continue as normal amid so much disruption.

We’re in this together

Unlike a lot of companies, we’re a private, fully self-funded business. We’re not at the mercy of investors and shareholders who might have a short-term outlook. We’ve built Uplisting on solid foundations and have grown sustainably and organically. We’re able to live by our mantra of working for you.

We at Uplisting very much see ourselves as your partners, not just customers. If you think we can implement any quick wins to add value, please share.

Here to help you

We focus on a relatively small number of members in comparison to some larger players. This means we will help you one-on-one if we can, and if you need.

We are official software partners with Airbnb, Booking-com and Homeaway/VRBO. We have direct access to their team. If you are feeling particularly impacted or concerned, please let us know and we will reach out as much as we can.

Helping you generate additional revenue

The next few months may be challenging. We’re working hard on solutions to help you generate more revenue now and in future. These include:

  • 3D Secure Booking payment links
    Take direct bookings and send your guest a secure link for payment. Booking payment links are already available.
  • Direct booking pages
    Guests can book direct with 0% commission (coming in a couple of weeks).
  • Booking upsells
    Automated upsells to guests like early check-in and late check-out.
  • Direct guest marketing
    Solutions to drive more bookings directly from guests.
  • Leads as a Service
    As the dust settles there will be opportunities to grow. We can help you find home-owner clients.

Our recommendations

1. Update your clients

Transparency is key in times of uncertainty. Check-in with your clients to show them you are proactively monitoring and putting measures in place.

A few points you may want to implement and share:

  • Educating staff and taking precautions.
  • Working remotely where possible.
  • Relying on self-check-ins (ie. not coming into contact with guests).
  • An explanation of how your business and their properties are being affected.
  • How you are combating high cancellation rates and reduced demand.

2. List your properties on Booking.com and VRBO (HomeAway)

If you are not already listed on Booking.com, consider it. 30% of bookings on Uplisting are generated on Booking.com but only 56% of listings are connected to it.

VRBO (Homeaway) only charge 5% commission when you are connected to an official software partner like Uplisting. They charge 10% normally.

3. Cash is king. Protect your cash flow.

Consider taking payments directly (via credit card) for Booking.com and VRBO (Homeaway) bookings. We normally advise against this as the extra admin is not always worth it, however, in these circumstances, cash flow may be critical.

You can automatically process credit card payments by connecting your Stripe account to Uplisting. VRBO (Homeaway) bookings are always paid directly to you (when using Uplisting) and you can request Booking.com provide guest credit cards too (again, Uplisting can automatically take payment for you).

4. Add comforting wording to your listings

Consider leaving properties empty for 1 day between bookings to allow time for any surfaces to neutralise and put potential guests at ease by implementing and updating your listings with wording such as deep cleaned and self-check-in.

5. Think about the positives

Entire property short-term rentals are much more appealing than busy hotels filled with international travellers.

Please reach out to us if we can help.

Vince Breslin

I'm one of the founders at Uplisting and am obsessed with helping property managers solve problems and grow their business. Join us at Uplisting and we'll do whatever we can to help.