For weeks, Americans have awaited guidance on what they can and cannot do after being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. To be clear, it's a status most of the public has yet to reach. The coronavirus vaccine rollout has been slow, and to date, only about 18% of the U.S. population has gotten a vaccine.
But with the introduction of Johnson & Johnson's (NYSE: JNJ) one-dose vaccine, President Biden is now hopeful that any U.S. adult who wants a shot will be able to get one by the end of May. And that means the bulk of the population could very well have protection against COVID-19 by the time summer rolls around.
That's great news for the travel industry, which has been hammered by the pandemic. But if you own a vacation home or other short-term rental property, it also creates a real opportunity for you to draw in guests, especially in light of the CDC's recent announcement that fully vaccinated people can, in fact, gather indoors maskless without having to worry about compromising one another's safety.
The CDC even says that fully vaccinated adults can gather with unvaccinated family members, provided those who haven't yet gotten their shots aren't at a high risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Or, to put it another way, grandparents finally have the green light to hug their grandkids. And that could set the stage for a surge in family reunions this year -- something real estate investors could capitalize on.
Family reunions could make a huge comeback
For the past year, families have been forced to stay apart during the pandemic. At this stage of the game, many grandparents are desperately missing their grandchildren, and many siblings and cousins from different parts of the country are itching to gather under the same roof again.
If you own a vacation home, marketing your property as a family reunion spot could be an extremely strategic move. But you may need to make some accommodations to your property to allow for larger groups. These may include:
- Investing in extra beds or couches that pull out into beds.
- Stocking your home with air mattresses and cribs for younger children.
- Replacing some regular beds with bunk beds to fit more people into your home's bedrooms.
- Investing in more indoor seating -- extra chairs and a dining room table that expands.
- Buying more outdoor seating -- lounge chairs, benches, and picnic tables.
- Purchasing extra cooking equipment and kitchen supplies.
- Loading up on board games, card games, and other types of entertainment your guests can enjoy together as a family.
- Buying some toys for younger children, who may not be old enough to participate in a family charades tournament.
- Buying a projector so families can enjoy movie nights together outdoors.
- Installing a fire pit -- nothing enhances a family reunion like making s'mores.
On top of these enhancements to your home, you could even consider offering a special family reunion package, where you partner with a local craftsperson to offer guests customized T-shirts or glassware to mark the occasion. The possibilities are pretty endless, but if you're willing to get creative, you may find that you're able to command a very attractive rate for your vacation home this year if you bill it as a family reunion spot.
The Millionacres bottom line
The pandemic has taken an emotional toll on a lot of people -- people who may be willing to pay a premium to gather with family from all over the country. The more of an effort you make to position your vacation home for family reunions, the more revenue you're apt to enjoy.