When Prime Minister Rutte announced the Corona virus measures for the Netherlands in mid-March, the number of bookings on Nature.house fell sharply and the platform had to look for an innovative way to get consumers to book a stay. The solution was found in the form of a new service: a contactless stay.
Robert van Veen of Nature.house : “The number of bookings at nature.house fell sharply in mid-March, but it never completely dropped to zero. The Netherlands did not have a full lockdown and staying at home was not mandatory. The concept of nature.house where you book a cottage far away from the masses, a house close to nature, turned out to be one of the last remaining options to get away from it all in the Corona period.”
Fearful for booking a stay
“We definitely also noticed that people were very reluctant to book. That's why we thought about how we could make it as safe as possible for potential tenants to book a house. This is how we ended up with offering a 'contactless stay'. In addition, there is no direct contact between the tenant and landlord,” says van Veen
Introduction contactless stay
An initial survey among the landlords immediately showed enthusiastic responses from the landlords. As a result, Nature.house decided to add 'contactless stay' as an option to the platform. "With this, we offered people the certainty that they could go on holiday in their own safe bubble", says van Veen.
Financial processing also contactless
In case of a contactless stay, the key will be put in a pre-arranged place. Breakfast, which is sometimes provided by the landlord, is hung on the front door, for example. A walk-through of the stay is held virtually or there are sufficient instructions at arrival. In addition, the financial processing of the contactless stay is not an issue because of the cooperation nature.house has with Online Payment Platform, the partner that facilitates their payments.
Robert van Veen: "Even before the Corona crisis we used Online Payment Platform. By using Online Payment Platform for payment transactions, there is no need for physical contact between the tenant and the landlord. That was very convenient for the 'contactless stay' and enabled us to introduce the service quickly".
75% of landlords offer a 'contactless stay'
The new 'contactless stay' service is a great success. By now, 75 percent of landlords in the Netherlands also offer their holiday home contactless. Robert van Veen of Nature.house: "From the second week of April we noticed an increase of traffic on our website. When Prime Minister Rutte announced the first eased corona measures on 21 April, it seemed that the visits on our website were instantly converted into bookings. At the same time we also received 700 to 800 registrations from new house owners who registered with Nature.house".
Four times as many bookings on the Dutch market
Meanwhile, Nature.house has more bookings than ever. Robert van Veen: "In the depths of the Corona crisis we could never have imagined that this would turn out so well for us in the end. Thanks to our existing concept and by thinking carefully about how we could respond to the new needs of consumers, we now even have 4 to 5 times more bookings than last year. We never thought we'd grow like this."
Also increasing booking numbers in Europe
"At first we only saw those extra bookings for the Dutch market. On our European platform Nature.house, the bookings took off a bit later. We think that people who orientated themselves wanted to wait and see. After the Corona measures have eased in those countries, we discovered similar behaviour of bookings in Germany and Belgium, which are 4 to 5 times more than last year. We continue to offer our 'contactless stay' service to make sure that people who want to enjoy in the safest possible can book a stay which is far away from the masses".