The coronavirus lockdown is likely to have a long-term impact on PG/hostel businesses that have nearly come to a standstill. Therefore, you should have a well-thought-out plan for the post coronavirus world so that your hostel business recovers quickly and start running smoothly.
Here are some survival strategies that will help you overcome the difficulties that coronavirus brings:
Take Proper Safety Measures & Precautions
Taking proper safety measures and precautions mentioned below are necessary to ensure all your tenants that your PG is a safe place for them:
Keep Everything Clean and Maintain Hygiene
- Promote regular and thorough handwashing
- Wipe frequently-touched surfaces with disinfectant regularly
- Put hand sanitizers in prominent and shared spaces around the PG
- Always take temperature, assess symptoms and spray with disinfectant before anyone enters the PG
Protect Your Tenants
- Ask tenants to inform PG owner when they feel sick
- Make a separate room available for tenants who are showing symptoms
- Ensure your tenants are always wearing a mask when they are outside their room
- Offer disinfectant/sanitizers to tenants to clean their personal belongings
Educate And Train Your Staff
- Ensure your staff is wearing masks and gloves while doing their job
- Train your staff (housekeeping, security guard, mess) on disinfecting procedures and protective measures
- Ensure your staff is the cleaning and sanitizing food containers and utensils before use
Promote Social Distancing
- Ensure tenants and staff are maintaining social distancing (at least 6 ft.)
- Realign the beds in a room to ensure social distancing. (Eg: Turn a 4-beds room into a 3-beds room, 3-beds room into 2 and so on)
- Set up designated pick-ups inside or outside mess to discourage gatherings
- Set different mess timing for different groups of tenants to avoid gatherings
- Rearrange seating arrangements and bed sets to maintain social distancing
Restructure The Rent
Make peace with the low occupancy post-COVID-19 for a while!
You might end up losing potential tenants if you keep the rent high because the market situation won’t be great. Therefore, to attract new tenants, you need to adopt a new approach to set the rent based on occupancy, safety precautions your PG is taking, etc.
Tenants might struggle financially too. But you won’t tolerate losing money, would you? So for tenants who might not be able to pay rent on time, these alternate options can be used to collect the rent from them:
- Defer a portion of the rent temporarily.
- Use Security deposit as rent.
- Increase the time period to collect monthly rent.
Make cloud technologies your friend!
Thanks to technology, even a people-centric PG/hostel business experiences an increase in telecommuting. In fact, PG owners can manage all their PG completely without even being there. With cloud-based PG Management Apps, they are able to control all operations at any time from anywhere.
From tenant verification and documentation to collecting rent online to managing all PG expenses, these apps can do it all.
Prepare a report of your income and expenses
Time to bring your calculators out!
The post coronavirus world demands you to start doing a proper assessment of all your expenses and revenue now.
You will get a clear picture of where your hostel/PG stands financially after this assessment. It will allow you to plan ahead and make strategies accordingly.
Recheck Staff Requirements
We understand that firing people is a very difficult task for a hostel/PG owner but sometimes the situation demands it and then you have to what is right for the business.
The first option should be to cut the salaries of staff members. But if the situation gets worse, you have to make the tough call and let some staff members go. Keep the staff who needs the work the most and always look out for government directives and offer compensation if required.
Communicate Clearly with your tenants
Communication is the key!
Just like you, your tenants are also going through this pandemic. So just communicate transparently whatever issues you and your PG are facing with your tenants. They will cooperate and empathize with you as long as you are being genuine and are providing them with basic safety and necessities.
The world is still in chaos right now. Tomorrow is certain to be different and that’s why you need to start thinking about the future today. There are numerous ways to overcome those challenges and taking the actions above may help you return to doing your PG business as usual.