3 Reasons Availability Gap Nights in your PMS are important
Keeping your guests and employees safe and healthy is your number one priority and has been brought more into the light due to COVID-19. To make sure that your homes are following sanitation and cleanliness standards, implementing availability gap nights might be required. This means that you are keeping your properties vacant between reservations to allow housekeeping to do their best job, as well as following recommended guidelines for the disease to die. Originally initiated by Airbnb, TRACK Hospitality Software implemented an availability gap night feature to create efficiency and ease while your property navigates through these ever-changing times. In this article you will learn the top three values of utilizing availability gap nights.
SafeHome Guildlines by VRMA & VRHP
VRMA, the Vacation Rental Management Association along with VRHP, Vacation Rental Housekeeping Professionals have created the SafeHome Act that is a set of guidelines for your VRMC to follow inlight of COVID-19. Your VRMC can become certified and represent the SafeHome logo to keep everyone safe and gain trust amongst travelers and owners. This campaign empowered members to adopt and execute safe cleaning practices that in many cases exceed those that were initially mandated.
On page 3 of the guidelines under Cleaning and Inspections, it states that your property needs to allocate extra cleaning and sanitation time between stays of guests. Two major factors that need to be taken into consideration include the amount of time required to disinfect high-touch areas which may not have been part of past routine cleaning, as well as allowing a certain amount of time for the nebulized virus particles to settle out of the air. The safest amount of time to wait between the stay and sending your housekeeping in is at least 24 hours after the guest has departed.
Avoid Double Bookings Across Channels
When your Property Management System has configurable gap rules that can be created and placed across unit, node, or unit type you have a better likelihood of avoiding double bookings on distribution channels such as Airbnb or VRBO who are mandating these gaps. Airbnb lead the charge requiring 72 hours between bookings, which did not last long, then on May 18th VRBO released their cleaning recommendations with a required checkbox to keep homes vacant for 24 hours after the last guest departure. If your PMS does not sync 2 way with Airbnb and VRBO, it will be a very manual and laborious process to follow these channel requirements.
Following State and Federal Regulations
From Florida indefinitely banning vacation rentals in early April to opening up county by county, or Maine opening up to instate guests only. You want to make sure your Property Management Software and homes follow all the regulations in place for your business to continue to operate. A large regulation that is taking place is availability gap nights. If you need to know the proper regulations to set your PMS up with, please visit this Airbnb resource guide.
How to set up Availability Gap Night in TRACK
For areas where gaps between reservation departures and arrivals are necessary Track is introducing availability gap nights. In configurations gap rules can be created and applied to a unit, node or unit type. This gap rule can be limited by date and specified as a number of nights in length. The availability of a property that has a gap rule applied to it will be extended on the beginning and end of existing reservations to maintain the gap between stays required. The availability gaps will be utilized both internally and on website and channels. Availability gap nights can be removed by disabling the gap rule.