Running a vacation rental management company can be extremely profitable when you keep the cash flow coming in all year round. However, keeping vacation rental bookings steady throughout the year, including during the slow season, is often more difficult than it seems.
While every vacation rental management company needs to create and implement a customized strategy that works best for its own target market and location, there are a few ways to boost vacation rental bookings for all the properties you manage, regardless of the season. In this article, we’ll share a few expert tips on how to increase the occupancy rate of your vacation rentals even when tourists aren’t flocking to the areas where the properties are located.
Identify the Slow Season for Each Property
If you manage vacation rentals in different locations across the country, the first step is to establish when each property’s slow season occurs. For instance, the slow season for a piece of property located in Florida runs roughly from Jan through February, while a vacation rental located in Montana may attract fewer tourists from April through May as well as from September through November. If you don’t know exactly when the slow season occurs in a particular location, you can use our vacation rental management system to look at the historical reservation data per property. This way, you can easily determine when a specific vacation rental is more likely to get fewer reservations and develop a strategy to boost the occupancy rate during those months.
Use the Right Tools
An advanced lodging management system, like JANIIS, will make available a series of tools that could help you bring more guests to the properties you manage, even during the off-season.
As an example, our channel manager will allow you not only to promote your vacation rentals but also to update their rates, listing descriptions, and availability across all connected channels, including Airbnb, Vrbo, Expedia, Booking.com, Marriott Homes & Villas and many other OTAs.
In addition, our channel manager can help you increase your revenue. That’s because it offers an integration with dynamic pricing technology, which uses a series of complex algorithms to analyze market conditions and adjust rates in real time in order to help you fill vacant properties. In a nutshell, our channel manager and dynamic pricing tool will help you attract more bookings by setting competitive pricing in the off-season, offering discounts on unbooked days to encourage extended stays, and lowering rates to attract a higher number of last-minute reservations.
Another tool that you can use to attract more guests during the off-season is instant messaging. For instance, you could use this feature to invite previous guests back and offer them a discounted rate or a free night if they book a piece of property for specific dates. You could also put deadlines on certain offers. As an example, you could create a special offer and provide an extra free night or a 30% discount off the list price for the first night to the travelers who make a reservation within 24 hours after you have sent them the offer through our messaging tool.
Add More Value
Some lodging companies might never consider easing up on specific rules to get more bookings. However, offering guests more flexibility can go a long way toward filling your vacant properties. For instance, opting for a more lenient cancellation policy, removing the extra person charge, and reducing the minimum stays to just one night are just a few ideas you might want to take into account in order to get more bookings during the slow season. In addition, you could launch various package deals, which include a free dinner or complimentary food from a local vendor, a small tour of the area, or different activities nearby by partnering with local attractions.
Expand Your Target Market
Advertising your vacation rentals to appeal to more prospects is another great strategy to bring in more guests during the off-season. For instance, many people are now able to work remotely from different locations. You could easily attract remote workers during the slow months by providing high-speed WiFi, turning a room into a home office or at least creating a comfortable work setup, and revamping some areas of the property to offer them a few relaxing spots where they can unwind after a busy day.
As well, retired couples, who usually tend to avoid the peak season, might be interested in renting a vacation rental in a quiet place during the slow season. Additionally, tourists are more inclined to take their pets with them on vacation during the off-season when many tourist destinations are virtually empty. Since pet-friendly vacation rentals have a higher occupancy rate than those that don’t accept pets, you might want to consider allowing guests with pets in the vacation rentals you manage, at least during the off-season.
Regardless of the strategy you intend to develop and implement in order to get more bookings during the slower months, opting for a comprehensive and scalable lodging management system, like JANIIS, is the number one secret to boosting not only your occupancy rates but also your revenue and profit. To learn more about our software solution and the powerful technology behind it, sign up for a free personal demo today!