Attracting vacationers during the summer months is often not a problem. However, ensuring the profitability of your short-term rental during the off-season can require more effort and strategy. Find in our article 10 tactics to help you do it easily.
Low season vacation rental bookings: 10 tips to attract travelers
For most vacation rental owners and managers, it is easy to fill your vacation rental during the high season. However, during low or shoulder seasons, bookings can be more volatile. It would be a shame to lose out on bookings and have a scattered booking schedule.
To help you get the most out of your vacation rental, we offer 10 tips to boost your off-season rental business, generate as many bookings as possible and boost your occupancy rate. If this is done successfully, your rental income and occupancy rate in the off-season will increase.
1. More favorable booking conditions (flexible cancellation, length of stay and pricing strategies)
To attract more renters during the low season, you will need to offer more favorable booking conditions and flexible cancellation in your listing. For example, reduce the minimum number of nights (2-3 nights instead of a whole week in high season) to facilitate shorter bookings and extended weekends, which are often popular with groups of friends or couples.
Let’s talk about rates now. Start by adjusting your seasonal pricing to offer more attractive and competitive prices than in high season. You can use a dynamic pricing manager like Pricelabs or Beyond to best calculate your prices based on your competitors, seasonality and one-off events.
Smoobu guides read further are as follows: “Airbnb cancellation conditions” and “How to calculate the price of your vacation rental“.
2. Adapt your ad to the seasonality
During these slow seasons, make your listing come alive. Revise the title (e.g.: talk about the fall season, holiday season, etc.), change the photos (e.g.: view from your balcony in fall and winter), rework the text of your listing to reflect the fall months for example and thus give future travelers the opportunity to view themselves in their next vacation out of season.
Don’t forget to mention local activities that take place during the off-season, festivals, fairs, popular concerts etc… This will help create a desire and a need to book with you.
Smoobu Complete Guide: Find out in detail how to adapt your ad to the seasons.
3. Be strategic with the listing of facilities and activities
You can also propose facilities and activities adapted to the low season by highlighting them. As far as facilities are concerned, play on the emotional response guests will have to your rental: sauna, jacuzzi, fireplace, equipped kitchen, board games, garden etc. in order to seduce your potential guests.
For the activities, bet on what your location has to offer: beautiful walks in parks or in the countryside, cultural activities, sports nearby etc.
4. Focus on your former guests
First of all, focus on your former guests. If they were delighted with their stay with you, they will be delighted to come back even if only for a short stay. Send them special invitations by email with a special rate reserved for them. Offer them to refer relatives (family, friends, colleagues) at a preferential rate and, to thank them, offer them a discount on a future stay or a welcome basket.
5. Business travel and workation: prepare your rental
Business travelers are also an excellent source of off-season renters. Traveling professionals need year-round accommodations and can help you fill your off-season. To attract them, think about adjusting your offer by proposing particular equipment (e.g.: an equipped office corner for working remotely, a powerful wifi, a printer…). Also think about offering the possibility to arrive late or even 24 hours a day thanks to the autonomous entrance and the key boxes to facilitate their access.
You could then see these professionals come back frequently or spread the word around them.
6. Expand your target audience
You can also target adults without children in your communication. For example: seniors or adults traveling for a hobby (birdwatching, hiking, golf, surfing, etc…). These tenants do not have the constraint of school vacations and often pace their travels according to the periods conducive to their activities and outside school vacations.
Once again, adapt your listing to show that everything is done to welcome them with their hobbies, especially by providing heavy or complicated equipment to be transported by vacationers (e.g.: surfboards, golf caddies, etc.).
Smoobu Guide: Discover the right target audience for you vacation rental.
7. Offer your rental for a shooting
Another option for seasonal rental owners is to rent out their accommodation for filming movies, short or feature films, commercials, etc. Of course, this is more suitable for large houses or atypical accommodations, whose character is undeniable.
Do not hesitate to contact production companies to propose your services, it can be very profitable and attractive too. You will easily find them on Google by searching for “offer filming location”.
Be creative to stay attractive in the low season.
8. Offer promotions
Regularly propose attractive promotions whose format varies: last minute offer with entry to such and such an attraction included, 15% discount during such and such a festival, a discount for long stays etc… And above all, highlight these promotions in the title and text of your ad, on your own vacation rental website, and why not in your photos.
Smoobu guide: Discover the different types of Airbnb promotions.
9. Rely on packages
Create “package deals” that you only offer during off-peak seasons. Offer “gastronomy” themed weekends in partnership with a local restaurant… Add a “romantic” getaway in a nearby spa…
Be creative, combine your rental with your partners’ offers to propose a unique experience at a preferential rate. Look to “gift sets” for inspiration!
10. Study your visibility options on rental platforms
Carefully study the visibility or highlighting options offered by the listing sites. This is the time, in the off-season, to invest a little on your listing to appear at the top of the page and thus make yourself known more easily. Combine several of the tactics seen here to give even more weight to your message!
Smoobu Guide: Find out in general how to generate more bookings for your vacation rental.
A Channel Manager to manage your short-term rental in low season
Whether it’s the summer or winter season, you need to manage your vacation rentals efficiently. With Smoobu, you can manage multiple listings published on booking websites and synchronize your booking calendars in real time to avoid double bookings. But that’s not all! You can also adjust your rental rates from a single interface, automate your communication with your travelers and connect your different services.
Take advantage of a free 14-day trial and take your rental business to the next level!
Table of Contents
- 1 Low season vacation rental bookings: 10 tips to attract travelers
- 1.1 1. More favorable booking conditions (flexible cancellation, length of stay and pricing strategies)
- 1.2 2. Adapt your ad to the seasonality
- 1.3 3. Be strategic with the listing of facilities and activities
- 1.4 4. Focus on your former guests
- 1.5 5. Business travel and workation: prepare your rental
- 1.6 6. Expand your target audience
- 1.7 7. Offer your rental for a shooting
- 1.8 8. Offer promotions
- 1.9 9. Rely on packages
- 1.10 10. Study your visibility options on rental platforms
- 2 A Channel Manager to manage your short-term rental in low season