Tips for Last Minute Bookings
Spring and summer are just around the corner, and with it comes the inevitable scramble to fill those prime summertime weeks. While many visitors book their getaway months in advance – and especially those who have been coming to your vacation destination for years – more and more are waiting until the last minute to reserve a stay.
The reasons for this phenomenon are truly varied. Some guests hope to score a last minute discount, while others simply can’t plan their vacation time until weeks or even days in advance.
But regardless of the underlying reasons, obtaining those last minute bookings can be a tricky feat. How do you let potential renters know you have vacation rentals available? How can you avoid mass discounting? And how can you keep your homeowners happy?
There are a few tips and tricks that vacation rental providers can employ to help ensure those remaining weeks get filled. If you’re in the midst of the last-minute-scramble for summer bookings, then consider these easy ways to help those last summertime weeks get filled.
Create Targeted Email Campaigns
Many companies send emails out to previous guests announcing specials or promotions, but the more detailed and targeted your campaigns are, the more effective your marketing will be. Tools like Rental Insight can help you create super-specific potential guest lists based on an unending number of filters to really grab attention. For example, if you have past guests who stayed in oceanfront three bedroom homes who haven’t rebooked, you can send these folks an email with your similar properties that are still available. Try doing the same for pet friendly guests, private pool, specific weeks and events, (like Independence Day), and more to demonstrate to guests that you have exactly the home(s) they are looking for.
Examine your Pricing
Research-based tools like the Price Point Tool can help find gaps in your summertime weeks, and help you identify homes or seasonal weeks that may not be up to snuff. For example, if all of your 6+ bedroom homes are rented except for one or two properties, then it may be an indication that the property or properties in question are not priced correctly, are lacking in amenities, or are otherwise not desirable for potential renters. Do a little research before the season begins, as well as after, to pinpoint any potential problems on a house by house basis.
Get the Word out in a Big Way
Your web presence is your best advertisement for your company, and if you still have availability, your website and social media accounts are easy – (and budget friendly!) – vehicles for getting the word out. Create a headline banner or advertisement on your homepage announcing your summer vacancies, or feature available homes on your social media sites on a regular weekly or twice-a-week schedule. (Bonus – your homeowners will love it to!) By marketing to the folks who are already your fans, you’re directly telling your potential customers that yes, there are still vacation rentals available.
Everyone wants a full summer, and with a little research and smart marketing, you can maximize your weeks for the summer season. Have questions about Rental Insight, Price Point Tool, or any of our marketing tools? Then just contact us, and we’ll be happy to show you how to ensure 2018 is your most productive year yet.