The unusual health situation we are experiencing has changed holiday habits. Besson Immobilier looks back at its 2020-2021 winter season in terms of rentals. We will come back to our sales department in a future article.
HOUSING OCCUPANCY RATE
This winter was marked by uncertainty. We had to constantly juggle and adapt to the various restrictions and quarantines in force. However, despite these drawbacks, the Christmas/New Year holidays went very smoothly and we are very happy with the occupancy rate, which was 90% during Christmas week and 100% for New Years week.
The traditionally quieter periods were requested for longer rentals or short stays. For the month of February, the occupancy rate of our rental properties was close to that of the Christmas period.
March and April saw many quarantines return for several regions of France and for Belgium, etc. As a result, the rentals were much quieter.
This winter, the Swiss rented property from our real estate agency in the highest numbers (50%). This was followed by the French (25%), due to the closure of their ski resorts. The remaining 25% included guests from Luxembourg, Belgium, Italy, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
We were forced to note the absence of rentals from our English and Belgian guests this year due to the restrictions. However, the increase in the French clientele and the fact that the Swiss clientele preferred to stay in the mountains rather than by the sea will have counterbalanced the virtual absence of the English, Belgian and Scandinavian clientele.
Overall, this winter we welcomed a lot of “new” customers, especially travellers who did not know Verbier and who are used to skiing in French or Italian resorts.
It was a great discovery for all these new holidaymakers, and despite the restaurants and shops being closed our guests all left with a smile and the desire to come back next winter.
MORE COMPLEX RENTAL MANAGEMENT
As mentioned above, we were never certain about the occupancy rate for the winter and very often the trend was reversed 1 to 2 weeks before the start of the holidays. Flexibility and adaptation were our season’s keywords. Lots of last minute cancellations took place due to the various restrictions and people testing positive before leaving.
Several properties experienced one or two cancellations before being finally re-let at the last minute. Many of our owners also had to cancel their visits at the last minute and we had to re-let their apartments.
TYPE OF RENTALS
Three- and four-room apartments were particularly sought after. We strongly felt people’s desire to get together with family or friends. Small accommodation options such as studios or two-room apartments were less popular for rentals.
This winter, we saw that Verbier remained an attractive destination despite the pandemic. Our customers found the well-being they hoped for on our ski slopes, on our trails or just by contemplating the view from the terrace of their accommodation.
We also noticed that requests for long-term or seasonal rentals have increased since teleworking has become widespread among many companies in the Lake Geneva basin. For this clientele, it was thus easy to benefit from incredible quality of life by living in Verbier while having the possibility of going to Geneva or Lausanne quickly once or twice a week. To be continued…
We are now focusing on the summer and autumn season, because we are committed to sharing this great time with our guests and new travellers. We are also keeping our fingers crossed that the Verbier Festival and the E-bike Festival can take place as planned.