Discount for vacation rentals

Find out which discount strategies you can implement to boost your rental business.

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To boost the occupancy rate of your vacation rental and avoid periods with no bookings and therefore no income, think about setting up promotions and discounts for your future guests. In this guide, you’ll find out which discount strategies you can implement to boost your rental business.

What is a discount?

A discount is a reduction in the initial price of a product, good or service over a given period. The aim of a promotion is to create a desire on the part of the consumer and convince him or her to make a purchase.

Psychologically, a discount will create a sense of urgency and may trigger a sense of lacking if the reservation is not made in time. Implementing promotions can be strategic for your rental business.

Why set up a promotional rate for your vacation rental?

As a vacation rental owner or manager, you have several reasons to implement a promotional pricing strategy at opportune times.

Offering discounts on overnight stays can generate a number of benefits:

  • Increase booking requests
  • Fill your booking calendar at slower or lower demand periods
  • Boost your revenues
  • Reach potential new customers (some of whom are looking for lower-cost vacation rentals)
  • Increase awareness of your short-term rental

As you can see, the benefits can be many..

When to run a promotion for your vacation rental activity?

In a vacation rental business, there are strategic times to offer promotions and discounts to your potential tenants.

In off-peak/low-season periods

In a seasonal rental year, you’ll systematically come across slightly less active periods when bookings won’t be rushing in. Analyze your historical data and identify your off-peak and low-season periods. Once you’ve done that, it will be easier for you to offer appropriate discounts to your travelers at key times.

For last-minute bookings

Once again, you may have a few days to spare between bookings. Sometimes this happens in the middle of the week, when travelers are less inclined to travel. This can be an opportune time to run a promotion and secure a potential booking for more flexible travelers.

Some travelers will be spontaneous and make last-minute decisions. They’ll be your prime target in this case.

For early bookers

In general, the earlier a short-term rental is booked, the better the property will be promoted by booking sites like Airbnb or

To help you anticipate future bookings, you can offer a discount to travelers as a thank you.

For long stays

Long stays can be an opportunity to offer discounts to your guests. Indeed, if the stay lasts several weeks, it may be strategic to offer a discount to your potential guest. This is something that some owners are already implementing on Airbnb, for example.

Long stays can be booked by business travelers, families looking to spend an extended vacation together, people passing through…

These long stays can help you fill gaps in your calendar.

For anniversaries/renovations

If you wish, you can also set up discounts to celebrate the anniversary of your business and plan a communication strategy around this event. This will allow you to establish your professionalism and demonstrate your longevity in the sector, while creating communication around this event.

You can also, if necessary, introduce discounts if you renovate your vacation rental and bring in new features. The effect is guaranteed!

What kind of promotions can you offer for your vacation rental?

Reduced rates

As mentioned above, you can offer discounted rates for bookings lasting several consecutive weeks. This can encourage travelers to stay in the same rental – yours – for longer, rather than changing during their stay. On your side, this means less effort and fewer entries/exits to manage.

One-off promotions/special offers

Once you’ve identified your off-peak periods, you can create discounts for these periods to increase your chances of generating bookings and continuing to develop your vacation rental business.

Promotional codes

If you have a direct booking site, social networking pages or effective email marketing campaigns, you could create a promo code to be copied at the time of booking, giving you a discount on the total price to be paid.

For example, you could name your promo code after the name of your short-term rental. For example: EnchantedGarden10 and offer a 10% discount.

Reward loyalty

Another promotional idea: reward the loyalty of your previous travelers. Sometimes, guests have enjoyed their short-term rental experience so much, they may want to come back.

In your communication campaigns aimed at your former renters, you can share a promo code with them so that they benefit from a commercial gesture. Who knows, maybe they’ll become regulars!

How do you communicate your promotions to travelers?

Offering promotions is all well and good, but how do you get the word out so that they reach the ears (and eyes) of your future prospects and turn into bookings? To do this, you’ll need to put an effective strategy in place:

Via booking portals

You can also broadcast your promotions directly on the vacation rental portals you use. Using the pricing calendar or other settings, you can directly apply promotions to defined periods or specific days, for example, and thus offer advantageous rates to your future guests.

See our guide to Airbnb promotions.

On your own direct booking website

If you use Smoobu and our Booking System/Engine, for example, you can set up length of stay discounts for your guests to take advantage of. These will then be visible on your own website via your Booking System.

Via your social networks

To share your promotions, consider publishing them on your social networking pages. Indeed, this is an excellent means of promotion. Whether on Instagram via a post in the feed or story, or on  , the message will reach some of your subscribers and potential guests..

Via your marketing campaigns

You can also share your promotional plans in your e-mailing/newsletter campaigns and thus take advantage of the opportunity to reactivate your network of former tenants.

To find out more about seasonal rental marketing strategies, read our guide.

In short: promotions are good for business

Implementing promotions at specific times is a simple tactic that gives you the best chance of generating more bookings, reaching new travelers and boosting your income, without leaving your rental empty for days on end.

Take advantage of your presence on this guide to discover Smoobu in action. Our Channel Manager makes it easy for you to manage your vacation rental on a day-to-day basis, while avoiding double bookings. Smoobu offers a free 14-day trial to test all features. There’s no obligation and no credit card is required.

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