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6 ways to keep your vacation rental booked year-round

With COVID-19 hopefully on its way out, we’re getting back to focussing on the usual, run-of-the-mill challenges facing short-term property management companies. One such challenge, particularly for those managing vacation rentals as opposed to urban listings, is drawing guests to your properties during low season. Fortunately, there are strategies hospitality companies can implement to bolster occupancy rates when they generally dip. Here are six ways to keep your vacation rental booked year round: 

1. Target business travelers

It’s true, year-round business travel is usually seen as the domain of urban property management companies, but with a little incentive, city-adjacent hosts can attract corporate guests as well. Apart from highlighting your listings’ proximity to major conference centers, detailing whether they’re just a short bus or train ride away, you can proactively reach out to nearby companies who may need to host partners or investors and offer them your properties at discounted rates. You can also capitalize on the growing bleisure trend, wherein travelers combine business with pleasure, by making it clear in your listing description that your property offers the best of both worlds.

Make your vacation rental appealing to business travelers

2. Market to life shoppers

One of the surprising benefits that emerged from COVID-19 was the demonstration that employees could successfully work from remote locations, a reality that has given people far more freedom when it comes to choosing where they want to settle as they no longer need to live near their workplaces. As more and more people embrace this opportunity and hunt for new places to lay down roots, vacation rental property management companies can offer their properties as a way to test-drive new locations. Reach this market by promoting your listings on real estate sites or in community Facebook groups and updating your property descriptions to include mention of relevant neighborhoods. 

3. Offer coupons to repeat guests

Each reservation presents a unique opportunity to create a long-term customer. After doing your utmost to wow your guests and make a lasting positive impression, be sure to store their contact details so you can keep in touch long after checkout and reach out with exclusive promotions. Among these should be enticing deals for dates that fall out during your low season. With the combination of excellent guest experiences and  hard-to-resist rates, you can plant the seeds for spontaneous weekend trips during a time of year when people may be less inclined to vacation. 

Offer coupons to former guests

4. Adjust your rates

Speaking of hard-to-resist prices, a sure way to attract guests during low season is to offer unbeatable rates that travelers know they’ll never see during more popular travel months. Use sophisticated rate strategies or a dedicated revenue management tool to ensure your prices accurately reflect demand and are raised and lowered to optimize both revenue and occupancy all year long. 

5. Regularly edit your listings

Every season brings new reasons to travel and it’s important to monitor those reasons and update your listings accordingly. If there’s an upcoming local event, for example, you’ll want to note your properties’ proximity to the venue in your description so that potential guests searching for places to stay near said event will be able to find your listings. Regularly adjust your listing titles and descriptions to present them as they perfect places to stay for travelers wishing to partake in nearby events throughout the year.

Note nearby upcoming events in your listing descriptions

6. Make your properties the destination

Another unexpected side effect of COVID-19 has been turning the rental into the destination. With the usual attractions closed to the public and people still itching for a change of scenery, property management companies with attractive in-home features and amenities have been successful in drawing guests. The lesson here is that even during rainy or colder months, hosts can attract consumers by simply placing a stronger emphasis on their in-home assets rather than nearby attractions. Transform your listings into the ultimate destinations with smart features and plenty of entertainment options, whether it’s a Netflix subscription, a pool table or a retro pinball machine.  

With the right combination of the above tactics, vacation rental managers can continue to drive bookings all year long, an outcome that will be well worth the investment as the industry recovers from the impact of the pandemic and travel returns in full swing. 

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