Looking to the Fall – How to Generate Interest in the Off-Season
Regardless of where you live in the country, it’s likely that you have informal vacation seasons.
Destinations along the coastline tend to have waves of visitors in the summer months, when the beaches are at their most enticing, while mountain locales may see traffic pick up in the winter, when snowbirds arrive for the exceptional skiing and snowboarding.
But regardless of your vacation destination, as a resident, you are well aware that the beauty of your locale doesn’t fade away when the prime visitor season is over.
This is exactly why there’s always an opportunity to boost your reservations – and your potential income – throughout the year. Visitors who prefer a lack of crowds, sales at local shops, and a generally quieter atmosphere may actually prefer your destination in these off-season months, when rates are attractive, and the crowds are long gone.
So with fall just around the corner – a time when reservations tend to slow down for multiple vacation destinations – how do you make the most of your off-season? What’s the best way to attract new visitors to your area, and boost the length of your rental season?
It starts with these ideas and tips that will help generate interest in the off-season, and which may create a new, albeit smaller wave of visitors to enjoy your locale all year long.
Get your homeowners on board
Many homeowners may winterize or shut down their homes for the off-season, so the first step is to see which of your owners would be interested in keeping their property available to rent throughout the year.
The Survey Tool can be a big help in this endeavor, as you can create forms that both explain the potential benefits of a longer season, and which encourage homeowners to sign up for off-season bookings. This is a good first step in lengthening your season, too, as you will know off the bat what your inventory will be for potential guests.
Find your selling points
What is it about the off-season that makes it distinct and special? Certainly, there is a lack of crowds and traffic, but chances are there are other selling points to consider when marketing this distinctive time of year. Does the fishing or watersport conditions improve? Is there gorgeous fall foliage, or an abundance of unique festivals? What about other events that may attract a certain demographic, like concerts or art shows?
Obviously, the first step is to find out, and the second step is to spread the word. If you use ResMail Pro, you can include these events in your Calendar of Events, which will automatically be included in emails to visitors during this off-season timeframe, if you so choose.
You can also use social media, your website, blog posts, and other online mediums to let folks know that just because it’s the off-season, there’s still plenty to see and do.
Target your current guests
One of your best audiences for marketing the highlights of your off-season is the folks who already know and love your destination. So reach out to your current and past guests, and let them know that a second vacation during a quieter time of year is well within reach.
If you are a ResMail Pro user, you can use your Departure 1 or 2 emails to promote your destination in the off-season, especially if you offer additional enticements such as partial week rentals or lower, off-season rates. If you use Rental Insight, you can create targeted campaigns to folks who have stayed with you before, letting them know about upcoming events that may not fall within the normal vacation season. Targeting the guests you have is easy, efficient, and cost effective, and is a great way to get people on board with the beauty of your destination, all winter long.
Growing your off-season clientele doesn’t happen overnight, but can be an effort that increases bookings year after year. So when your off-season rolls around, document how fantastic it can be! Take photos, videos, and write blog posts about unique off-season activities, and share on your website and social media platforms. Use the Survey Tool to ask guests about what they loved during their fall / off-season stay, and share those responses with the public.
By creating buzz about how great your destination is without the crowds, you can generate interest in your destination well after the prime vacation season is over.