Nevertheless, of what part of the world you are in, chances are the same, you’ve got a high season and a low season. And of course, who doesn’t love the high-peak seasons? Low seasons are ideally challenging - a make or break of a vacation rental property. Therefore, it is best to determine what your off-season is and plan ahead to attract potential bookers and increase revenue.
Moreover, off-seasons are the quiet time of the year but that can be advantageous as many vacationers do prefer to browse at bookings that are not crowded and at low prices that will possibly increase your direct bookings. With that said, let’s look at the tops tips to driving off-season bookings:
Increase repeat guests
Minimize your minimum night stay
Launch a campaign
Tie up with local businesses
Run discount offers and promotions
Meet the seasonal requirements
Run Remarketing Ads in the off-season
Ramp up your social media activity
Implement an off-season pricing strategy
The first step is to identify which downturn starts each year and plan steps ahead at preventing a slow season by outlining the months and factors causing it.
With that said, seasonality is the major factor of tourist inflows during specific periods of the year including:
One of your best marketing assets is your guests depending on the guest experience, may it be new or repeat guests. They are like an investment that gives a good return and the more investment you put in, the more returns you receive.
With that said, give your guests a reason for them to go on a holiday and more importantly to stay at your vacation rental. Include nearby activities such as hiking, pumpkin picking, etc. suitable for everyone. And if you are at a location where there are not many activities to do, offer guests the best restaurants, cinemas, shopping centers, bowling alleys, etc. in town.
Additionally, find out what are the local events and festivals around the area and create activities or offer a guest at your vacation rental something unique for them to look forward to during the low season.
Lowering your minimum stay while adjusting the prices is a great way for guests to stay for even just a night or two. By doing so, it helps appeal to travelers who would like to go on a weekend getaway or a last-minute trip.
If you have any ideas for a campaign that would help drive off-season bookings. Well, great! Think of ideas that are out-of-box or unique that will generate pages of PR coverage.
The most commonly popular campaigns are contests. With that said, suggest not simply giving away merchandise on social media or via a third party. Also, make sure your objectives are clear. Set your KPIs and ensure the campaign is enhanced to make sure you reach them.
Events are a great to drive revenue for your vacation rental such as upsell extra services such as rooms, café & restaurant services, entertainment per se during the off-season.
Scope out the area for local events and activities or even create partnerships with event sponsors and set offers for anyone who are present or taking part in the event. Doing so will help attract more guests from all over.
Partner with local businesses in promoting your vacation rental that will help benefit both businesses during the off-season.
Approach local companies by promoting your vacation rental for their events, seminars, meetings, etc. that will potentially drive bookings or create a stable income as business events are repeated yearly.
Additionally, offer services to your guests without the need for booking a room such as enjoying the bar & restaurant at low prices or the use of a pool, and so forth. It’s always great to make the locals welcome and special that last further in the future.
Who doesn’t love discounts or a flash sale? Offer guests discounts like a book for two nights and get one night free or include a percentage in a discounted deal such as 30% off. This way it attracts budget or last-minute travelers, young vacationers, families, and business groups with discounted bookings.
Also, another great way to spike your off-season bookings is running a flash sale- cutting down the prices of your booking for a short period via social media or channels to encourage as many bookings as possible.
Think about what makes your vacation rental bloom during a peak season and use that to your advantage by re-creating it during your off-season. For example, if your beach property does not attract guests during the monsoon season, consider having pool parties instead.
Additionally, attempt guests by adding features to enhance their experiences. For example, in summer, swimming pools, outdoor seating, and picturesque gardens will be a great benefit to your booking. The same applies to winter bookings by going the extra mile. At the same, during a rainy day or bad weather, you could add features like indoor games, wood-burning stoves in keeping guests occupied.
Furthermore, another tip for hosts to boost their experiences is adapting to attract all-year-round holiday bookings through updating images on your listings in keeping with the seasonality that will spark your potential guests’ imagination.
One of the most beneficial techniques to promote your vacation rental during the low season is to run Remarketing Ads to potential bookers who have recently browsed your site. That way, you can lower your rejection rates and close more bookings.
At the same time, after bookers leave your website without any action, it still reminds them that you offer a better deal compared to other competitors in the market increasing your booking just by displaying mind-blowing discounts or deals offered in the ads in the off-season
During the off-season, grow other aspects of your vacation rental business such as the use of social media by engaging with potential and existing guests, increasing activity, and building a social media strategy that will drive sales to your vacation rental.
Consider charging less during the off-season to encourage bookers to book at your vacation rental. Though, make sure low-season prices appeal enough at lean times of the year or get your pricing level right for off-peak bookings. You do not want to lower your prices on weekends especially if you know you are at full capacity but at the same time not price potential guests high that could drive away from a booking.
With that said, pricing is set not only according to your judgment but also through what other competitors offer and perform. Also, consider factors like past booking prices, the number of guests, guest’s stay preferences, location, climate, holiday, and so forth to create an effective pricing strategy.