As summer comes to an end and the off-season is upon us, it’s tempting to get a bit lazy and cut back on our vacation rental duties. However, now that we’re reaching dead season, it’s even more important to stay active on our networks and build our brand in order to keep drumming up new guests even after summer is over and the kids are back in school.
Here are 6 easy ways to stay active in the off-season and prevent occupancy lulls.
- Reduce your price: Ok, this one’s a bit obvious, but less demand = cheaper supply. Matching your price to the time of year is a great way to reach budget-conscious travelers who deliberately travel in the off-season.
- Lower the minimum stay: While summer is the time of year for 1-week holidays, winter is a great time to get away for the weekend. You can pull in more guests by reducing your minimum stay to 2 or 3 days.
- Tell local businesses about your place: Just because summer is over, doesn’t mean everyone will stop coming to visit your town. Team up with local businesses like ski resorts, theatre houses, and music festivals so their guests can become your guests.
- Increase your marketing: It’s tempting to decrease your time and spending on your marketing plan during slow months, but this is exactly when you should be ramping up. The vacation rental owners that stay fully booked all year long are the ones with a strong brand and creative off-season advertising.
- Target the right audience: The frequent off-season travelers are often a different breed from the summer hoards. Target the singles crowd or couples without kids in school that are more likely to travel in the dead season. Snow birds welcome!
- Go back to the guests that know you best: The off-season is the best time to re-connect with former guests and welcome them back with open arms. The ones that loved your place last summer will love it even more with a “friends-only discount” and when the town is a bit quieter. Even if they can’t take advantage of your “special offer”, perhaps they know someone who can.
Just because the crowds are thinner doesn’t mean your occupancy rate needs to drop. Stay active on your properties, consistently work on your brand and stay connected with former guests to keep your place booked year-round.