There is still work for you to do in your vacation rental business even when the summer break is over and the kids have gone back to school. You might suppose that fewer people are taking vacations and that fewer reservations will come in. You simply need to get used to this ‘quieter’ time.
Due to varying local seasonal demand, every vacation rental has a separate low season. A beach vacation rental is likely to be less in demand in the cooler winter months, but a ski cabin in the mountains may consider the warm summer months to be off-peak.
Your responsibility as a vacation rental owner is to determine precisely when your low season occurs and to adapt your off-peak marketing approach accordingly.
Check out these eight crucial suggestions to learn how to increase those crucial bonus reservations during the off-season.
1. Modify off-season costs
In the off-season, hotels and airline tickets both experience price drops, so your vacation rental should too. When visitors are looking for a holiday, your vacation rental will blend in by adjusting to the present situation.
Make sure your pricing level is appropriate for off-peak reservations. If there is already a lot of interest, you don’t want to lower costs on weekends, but charging too much can prevent people from even looking around.
So how do you determine off-peak prices? When setting rates, keep in mind that you don’t have to rely exclusively on your judgment; instead, start by analyzing the competition. Look at vacation rental websites and listing sites for properties in your area to see what your rivals are providing, or use Google to quickly identify other vacation rentals close by. You may also evaluate the price per night of staying in a nearby hotel during that time of year by using internet travel agents.
2. Reduce the number of nights you require as a minimum
In addition to changing the price, you’ll also need to lower the required minimum number of nights during off-peak travel. For instance, if your vacation rental has a minimum stay of seven nights, reduce it to two or even let visitors stay for just one night.
Increasing inquiries can also be achieved by loosening up your booking conditions. Maybe a few tourists want to take a weekend trip? Or perhaps a quick trip?
3. Present Specials
You might discover that you’re able to fill far more of your calendar than you initially imagined by providing your guests with added-value bargains like three nights for the price of two or a whole week for the price of four nights. Additionally, you might provide a percentage in a discounted offer, like “at 30% off.” Travelers will find it more tempting because they will know they are receiving a better value this way. Additionally, it’s a fantastic method to promote your holiday rental.
A good reason to get in touch with previous clients or follow up on inquiries that didn’t result in bookings is special offers. After all, everyone enjoys a good deal!
4. Select Potential Visitors
Analyze your previous reservations to identify the types of visitors that prefer an off-season vacation. It can be senior citizens looking to avoid the tourist hordes of the high season, loving couples seeking a quiet fall weekend, or energetic adult groups looking to engage in outdoor activities without the summer heat (or winter snow!).
How can you make your home appealing to these visitors after you know who your off-peak target market is? Consider this: couples are hesitant to reserve a six-bedroom family vacation home because they feel they are paying too much for all the extra space. Therefore, think about blocking off the majority of bedrooms before re-posting your holiday rental as a one- or two-bedroom house at a more reasonable price.
5. Recognize public holidays.
Remember that there are vacation days available during the off-season. There are public holidays across Europe, even if they vary from nation to country. Many people take advantage of this opportunity to travel.
For instance, in the UK, from October through November, students receive two weeks’ vacation from school. It takes place in 2019 from October 18 through November 3. Families frequently travel abroad during this time to enjoy a break with their children. As a result, your high season occurs during your low season.
Thanksgiving is a time for family to get together and celebrate in the US. Over 50 million Americans traveled abroad to celebrate Thanksgiving the previous year. If your rental has a huge living space, a complete kitchen, and other amenities that can accommodate a large family, it will be at the top of travelers’ lists. Additionally, before October 2nd is the ideal time to reserve a vacation rental for Thanksgiving, per statistics made public by HomeAway. Make sure your vacation home is prepared for this holiday in advance.
6. List the Benefits of Staying at Your Property for Visitors
Give visitors a good reason to go, and more crucially, a good reason to stay in your vacation rental property. Include nearby activities that visitors can enjoy, such as hiking, mountain biking, or enjoyable, family-friendly activities like pumpkin picking! Offer your customers fantastic restaurants, bars, theaters, bowling alleys, etc. if you are located in a city or area with few things to do.
Look out for upcoming local events and festivals in your area; be creative with this one! Does your community celebrate Oktoberfest? Regardless of what you decide, you can bet that someone is seeking the ideal spot to stay. When promoting during the off-season, be careful to include these.
7. Update both your website and vacation rental property
Use this opportunity to consider your company and evaluate its performance. Did you receive the anticipated number of reservations? Why not, if not? How can you get better overall and in time for the upcoming peak season? Conduct a year-end evaluation of your vacation rental. Whether you need to renovate, acquire new furniture, or simply add fresh décor, make the most of this opportunity by renovating your vacation rental property.
Promote amenities that your out-of-season visitors would find appealing. Consider photographs of the outside with autumnal foliage or a small dusting of snow, and of the interiors with a warm log fire, spice-scented candles, a variety of board games and novels, a wreath of leaves on the door, or hot chocolate simmering on the stove. Don’t forget to place scarves and caps by the front door and cozy duvets in the bedrooms.
8. Begin preparing for the upcoming season
Prepare for the peak season throughout the off-season. Visitors will begin looking for their holiday rental in the fall if your property—for example, a cabin or a ski lodge in the mountains—has a high demand in the winter. Keep in mind that some visitors might choose to spend Christmas somewhere festive and covered in snow. Take advantage of the opportunity to prepare everything and promote your property.
On the other hand, some visitors might want to spend Christmas somewhere warmer because it might be chilly there. Find additional ways to entice visitors to choose your location in the winter if your vacation rental is a beach house and the high season is in the summer. Perhaps they would prefer to spend Christmas by the sea or, more generally, vacation somewhere warm and sunny.
When it comes to handling the busy season for your vacation rental, preparation is essential. Any task you can finish beforehand will lessen the load you’ll have to manage when the time comes.