In this almost post-pandemic economy, we’ve all felt the labour shortage - especially in the holiday lettings industry. A new analysis of staff shortages by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has predicted that 205,000 Travel & Tourism jobs will remain unfilled by the end of this year (2022). The staff shortages we are all experiencing are not isolated to just the UK, but across the U.S., Spain, France, Italy & Portugal, the numbers are looking equally bleak.
The labour force we were all accustomed to pre-pandemic may not return, so holiday lettings agencies need to rethink labour to respond to these changes.
How did the Holiday Lettings Industry Get Here?
There are a number of factors as to why there is a shortage of labour, but the number one is a shift in workforce mentality. Hospitality and service jobs have often been undervalued, and these types of jobs had unique challenges to face during the pandemic. As a result, a lot of workers are leaving these jobs in droves in favour of roles that offer more flexibility and significantly favourable pay packages. The second, and more so in the UK than elsewhere, has been Brexit and the profound impact this has had on foreign nationals' ability to continue to live and work in the UK. The hospitality industry has been the hardest hit, and so has the holiday letting industry.
Coupled with rising inflation, many holiday lettings agencies are challenged to employ and retain good staff. The reality is that the labour shortage is here to stay. Price increases are the obvious way that property managers and hosts can adapt, but there are better and more creative solutions they can employ.
What Holiday Letting Agencies Can Do About the Labour Shortage
Increase Retention Efforts
The simple and most straightforward answer is don’t take your house cleaners, guest services employees, security professionals, or any other employee for granted. If you have good staff, find ways to retain them.
Besides raising their wages, think about offering more benefits or incentives. Job seekers today are also looking for more flexibility in their working day, so, where you can, find ways to be more flexible. Promoting your employees is another great retention effort, and it’s a win-win for your business. You get to retain and uplift your best employees for your growing business instead of spending time and resources hiring for those higher-level positions.
Automate Your Business
Over the last two years, far from shrinking as other industries have, the holiday letting market has seen a boom in business. Now, due to rising inflation and the labour shortage, many of us are facing this growth with reduced staff and resources.
With the right strategies and processes put in place now, it is possible to overcome these challenges and keep your business growing. Automate as much of your business as you can. Guest communications are a great place to start. Think about sending automatic emails and texts to your guests with welcome information, check-in instructions, and check-out guidelines. These automations can deliver your message quickly and succinctly, and reduce the need for you or your staff to spend their time communicating the same message over and over. There are a few great options built specifically for vacation rental property managers, like Breezeway or Operto, that offer time-saving, easy-to-implement solutions.
Improve Efficiency with the Right Tech
Don’t run your business from a spreadsheet or disjointed sources. Instead, find the best software for your business that will improve efficiency and help you run your business with a reduced staff. Property management systems (PMS) are built specifically for vacation rental businesses and will help streamline most aspects of your business.
And when it comes to pricing, don’t spend hours planning out your rates. Instead, find the best revenue management tool for your business. A great tool should take any guesswork out of pricing, allow you to easily tap into market trends & performance, and save your team hours of time. Let this tool do all the heavy lifting for you.
With the ups and downs of the market, we know it’s difficult to keep up and learn how your business needs to respond. At Beyond, we aim to be your best partner in revenue management strategy, helping you make the best decisions for your business.
Not using Beyond or new to dynamic pricing? Get all your questions answered and even see what Beyond can do for your business by contacting us.