Peak season is the most important time of year for vacation rentals. It doesn't take much to convince travelers to visit the area. However, it does not also mean, you can take a break and relax.
The peak season is when a large flow of tourists book your property resulting in amounts of annual profits made. It is also the time when you'll need to invest more effort in promoting the property as well as managing the increased bulk of incoming reservations and bookings. At the same time, peak season is the most stressful and hectic time for property managers and vacation rental owners.
With that said, for the vacation rental business to grow and improve performance, especially during the peak season, this article will help and guide you through:
Peak seasons vary depending on the factors of your property such as the location, region, country, popular local activities and so much more.
For example, if your vacation rental is located on the beach, your peak season will naturally fall in the summer months when there will be an increased demand of tourists enjoying the hot and sunny weather but if it is located by the snowy mountains, your peak season will likely be ski-goers and fall during the winter months. Though again, peak season varies according to other factors like special holidays or events that attract travelers to the area.
With that said, it is crucial to know when your peak season falls so that you could use that to your advantage by preparing in advance like offering special holiday discounts, etc. before the event happens.
But of course, there are locations and tourist hotspots where the peak season is filled with overflowing tourists throughout the year and if that's the case for you, the best marketing strategy is to reinvent and find new ways on how to market your vacation rental proactively and creatively.
The main goal is to stay on top of the other competitors in the area by adapting to the different seasons whether it is offering special services or making most of the exclusive offers to the guests.
Just right before embarking on peak season, be aware that your property needs to stand out from other competitors in the area, and the best way is to do a little competitive research. Keep an eye on your competitor and their strategies, check for regulations that may apply to you, review your guest's feedback and analyze how the business is currently performing, and so forth.
Once you've analyzed and reviewed everything, make the required changes such as adjusting your nightly rates, taking new photos of the property, etc. in order for the business to thrive. Keep in mind, the key to any improvements for your vacation rental is preparation and by any means, if that means offering an incentive or buying some small extras for the property, then why not?
Right before the peak season, take the opportunity to reach out to your past guests by sending out a newsletter or personalized attention-grabbing email reminding them of the pleasant and comfortable experience they had at your vacation rental. More so, you can also take this time to promote your vacation rental to past guests by offering incentives such as special discount offers.
Keep in mind, past guests are the best tool for referrals that could lead to potential travelers looking for a unique and unforgettable experience.
During the peak season, the to-do list seems to never end which can be overwhelming. Though, keep in mind, in order to gain as much as possible from the peak season, property managers need to be efficient as possible by simplifying the processes and cutting down inessential time through automating tasks.
The key to performing efficiently is by automating vacation rental property management tasks during peak season. Some of the tasks that can be automated include sending out automated messages, reviews, cleaning and maintenance, etc.
Besides that, installing smart locks can simplify the check-in and check-out process which saves time. And if you choose to welcome guests and provide them a tour of the property, the best alternative is to hire a person or get a virtual assistant like Alexa or Google.
Furthermore, getting a channel manager like Hostaway will help manage bookings such as removing the risk of double bookings, mitigating cancellations and etc. Keep in mind, a channel manager synchronizes all of your listings in different channels and simultaneously updates any changes in all of your calendars.
It is crucial to respond to guests' queries as soon as possible. Let the guests know that you are there for them, care for their wellbeing, safety and needs and that you are there to help if any issues arise during their stay. At the same time, provide guests with a set of house rules in advance to help answer guests' concerns or questions that will actually save you a lot of time.
Moreover, during peak season, it is understandable there is an overwhelming task that is required to do before the guest arrives. Therefore, make sure that the listing, description, and pictures are as clear and precise as possible to avoid commonly asked questions by potential guests.
To avoid last-minute tasks, gather all the needed information and prepare everything before the guest's arrival to ensure that guests have the best and most comfortable experience throughout their stay. To do so, put together a welcoming basket, a welcome note, a welcome book, copies of the vacation rental agreement, special treats, etc that your guests will need and appreciate.
Apart from that, in advance, plan your personal responsibilities like welcoming the guests personally, cleaning of your short-term rental in the gaps between guests' stays, when there is an available time slot and so much more.
It is important to first go through the vacation rental checklist and see if the basic amenities provided meets the expectation of the guest's needs. Also, a great idea would be to read through your past guest feedback and see if you can accommodate and adjust amenities in your vacation rental for guests to feel valued.
Moreover, if your target guest is business travelers, go the extra mile and add an ironing board or an automatic drip coffee maker. And always ensure to stock important amenities or add amenities that are most valued by guests at your property and adjust your vacation rental checklist accordingly.
When booking vacation rental properties, guests expect high standards. With that in mind, cleanliness is of utmost importance, just as the same as performing a deep cleaning of your own home. Hire professional cleaners or a cleaning service to help you do a thorough cleaning at your vacation rental that will focus on areas that are hard to reach as well as ensuring the property is well-cleaned and maintained.
Also, don't forget to do an in-depth cleaning of any outdoor areas, walkaways, or paths clearing away leaves and other waste.
In preparation for the peak season, deep cleaning will not just cut it. Impress your guests with quick renovations by replacing outdated, worn/torn, or broken furniture. Give a fresh new look and character to the property by giving walls a fresh coat and replacing old decors with a more new or modern distinctive style.
After refurbishing, don't forget to replace the photos and update your listings accurately.
Always ensure to check if the property is safe and secure with a vacation rental safety checklist. More importantly, every 30 days, inspect fire extinguishers. Replace batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide. Inspect your vacation rental's heating and cooling system, fireplace, roof, and gutters ensuring they are in good working condition, especially on peak seasons.
Also, consider switching energy-efficient bulbs that will save costs and ensure to check appliances if they are in good working condition.
Due to the overwhelming growth of vacation rentals, it is important, especially during the peak season to strategize at standing out from the competition such as offering a special welcome, adding extra services, special offers, or even emphasizing on niche/type of travelers in order to attract better reviews. Doing so will allow receiving more bookings.