Once the kids are back to school and the leaves start falling, it’s also an unofficial end to the “high season” for short-term rental owners. As many families plan their vacations around when the kids are out of school, it only makes sense that vacation rentals are more in demand during the summer months.
What do you do to combat the off-season slump? Here are few tips you may not have considered.
Re-stage your home for photos
Give your home a warm, inviting feel with new photos for the fall and winter months. Add fall-themed décor, such as pumpkins, mums planted around the property, etc. This could appeal to couples looking to escape, or retirees who avoided the summer crowds around vacation destinations.
What’s happening nearby could help secure bookings
Does your town have any fall festivals or tree-lighting ceremonies closer to the winter holidays? Use these in your online listing headline to draw attention. Add a line or two to your property description about the events coming up.
Offer “promotional” pricing for your low season
This is not to suggest that you drop your price so low that you’re losing money just to get bookings. That makes no sense—instead, look at pricing of comparable homes near you and position yours slightly below.
Check out some other pricing strategies you can use to maximize bookings year-round.
Email former guests to generate referral buzz
Referral business is a great way to keep the bookings coming. Stay in touch with former guests via email on a regular basis. Quarterly messages are a great way of reminding former guests of your property, and gets them in the mindset of their next vacation. Maybe they have other friends or family who are thinking of vacationing. Why not stay at your property? Keep your guests coming back, even when it’s not peak season.
Plan some “off time” for updates
While the idea is to book year-round, the off-season is a great time to perform upkeep on your property. Make the needed updates once busy season is over, and then you’ll really have a reason to re-stage your photos, update your listing, etc. Keeping your listing fresh will also help you get noticed!