How to Boost Off-Season Bookings for Vacation Rentals

November 19, 2019

Do you find the off-season daunting? For many property managers and rental owners, when bookings are slow to fill, anxiety levels may start to rise. Thankfully there are common sense ways available that can help boost your bookings and lower your blood pressure! You can help create an uptick in guests by first, recognizing when your low-season is and second, by utilizing these three ways to help bring your guests to your door.

Top 3 Ways to Attract Guests and Increase Bookings in the Off-Season

What does your rental listing need to usher in guests when bookings are dwindling? Quality rentals that stay successful during low seasons focus on:

• Pricing for Off-Peak Traffic
• Marketing to a Seasonal Demographic
• Incentivizing for Slower Seasons

1. Pricing for Off-Peak Traffic

Seasons change and so should rental prices. In off-peak seasons, you’ll need to decrease your booking prices. But before you drop prices, make sure you take into account the amount of interest your listing is generating. If you’ve found your rental is receiving quite a bit of interest despite it being the off-season, the rental price may only need minor adjustments to acquire bookings. First, before deciding on a price cut or hike:

  • Seek out your competitor listings.
  • Compare hotel bookings or vacation home rentals with your own.
  • Create a fair but appropriate rental price for out-of-season bookings.

2. Marketing to a Seasonal Demographic

Being successful during your rental area’s off-season takes a little extra research. What guest demographic enjoys your rental listing most when bookings are slow? How did your particular rental appeal to their vacation requirements? Was it the pricing? Were there local events that drove certain groups of people to your specific rental? Consider adding or highlighting features on your website that will attract off-season vacationers who’ve booked you in the past.

You may not think that off-peak rental periods are the best time to acquire new renters. If so, it might be time for a rethink session! If you can offer lower pricing and you offer a desirable location with high-end features that welcome new guests to “come and stay awhile” in the off-season, you could inspire vacationers’ loyalty. Returning guests help carry rental profits through low booking seasons.

3. Incentivizing for Slower Seasons

You know you have a quality rental ready for guests to enjoy. Now what? It’s time to provide a hook, some kind of unique feature that will catch their attention. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, just thoughtful. Vacationers want to feel like they are on a vacation! Give them a spa-like experience by having free slippers waiting for them when they walk in–or snow boots for a winter getaway. Is there a fire pit nearby? Leave a S’more or hot cocoa package!

It can be a lot of fun imagining up one-of-a-kind features that will appeal to honored house guests. You can really “wow” them by leaving them fun local gift packages (maybe recruit local shops for donations and offer free advertising in exchange) to invite them into the community and encourage them to explore the area.

Why not welcome guests into your community by informing them of the local events they can attend? Share a link on your site or leave a list of activities in the area for your guests to peruse. They’ll love to know that while they could spend all their time relaxing indoors, there are other alternatives. Unique specific-to-the-community activities like art shows, festivals or concerts are attractive to world-weary tourists.

Your off-season can quickly become “on-trend” for vacationers seeking their perfect getaway. By personalizing the vacation rental experience, you can boost your bookings and your pocketbook!