While renting out your vacation home in the summer may be a no brainer, you may be missing out on a lucrative stream of income letting it sit vacant during the offseason.
Vacation rental properties are a $23 Billion business in the U.S., the equivalent of more than 20 percent of all hotel room revenue, according to a study this year by PhoCusWright, a Sherman, Connecticut based market research firm. Considering that a high percentage of foreclosures across the country have been vacation and second homes, those beleaguered owners may find a revenue-boosting life raft through offseason rentals.
While vacation rentals may provide a source of steady income in the summertime, the travel market is down during the winter, particularly in regions that are not suitable for winter sports such as skiing.
But you may be able to lure travelers to your vacation home in any season bytrying the following tactics.
LOWER THE PRICE
One common, and costly, mistake people make is failing to price their vacation home according to the season. Depending on location and the type of vacation home you have, your property may command top-dollar in the summertime and but fail to attract winter travelers at the same price point.
Some properties the opposite is true. Scout out some other properties on the market that are nearby your property and let that guide you to set your price according the seasonal trends.
REDUCE THE MINIMUM STAY
Vacation rental properties often have a minimum stay attached to renting the property. Some properties require that guests book the entire week. If you’re looking to rent out your property during the offseason and are struggling to fetch patrons, considering lowering your minimum stay. By
allowing people to stay for three nights or a long weekend, you’ll cash in on budget-minded travelers or those looking for a quick getaway.
PARTNER WITH LOCAL BUSINESSES
When you rent out your vacation home, local businesses can benefit from increased traffic in the area. Call your local restaurants, ski resorts, marina, water parks, amusement parks, movie theaters and arcades for discount or free coupons to add to your vacation package. Tell those businesses how often you have renters and how many people tend to visit per vacation. It can develop into a relationship that supports the both of you, and one that will add to the appeal to your property.
INCREASE AND UPDATE ADVERTISING
Though you may be tempted to cut back on advertising when there’s less money coming in from your rental properties, the slow season is the time to ramp marketing efforts up. As they say, you have to spend money to make money. If you’re struggling to rent out your property, chances are your property isn’t visible to potential guests. Consider some different advertising avenues and post your property on different services to increase your visibility.
Another tip would be to update your postings to make your property more enticing specific to the offseason. Emphasize winter-friendly amenities such as a fireplace, jacuzzi or hot tub. If you have these features, make sure that’s front and center in your advertisements because it’s something
people are looking for. While you wouldn’t boast a fireplace in the summer rental, it might be the cherry on the top during the winter.
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
It’s always easier to craft an effective sales pitch when you understand your customer. Because school is in session, winter travelers are typically singles or couples with no school-age children – with the holidays being an obvious exception. Some don’t like huge crowds, so a rental home that provides a measure of seclusion may be appealing to them. Likewise, if you allow dogs, many times you can attract travelers who are having difficult time finding a cation property that will let their pet stay with them.
CONTACT YOUR PREVIOUS SUMMER TENANTS
Vacation-goers who have already stayed at your vacation rental will be easier to market to than total strangers because they’re familiar with your property, the surrounding area, and you. Contact them and offer a special winter discount for making a return trip. Let them know you offer “friends and family” rates. Even if they’re not interested in taking a winter vacation, they may just know someone who is.
LET MINNESTAY ACCELERATE YOUR OFFSEASON VACATION HOME RENTALS
When it comes to renting your vacation home in the offseason, go the extra mile to create an outstanding experience for the guest. By following the tips detailed here, you’re boost your ability to rent out your vacation property and increase your revenue.
Partnering with a top rated vacation property management company will take the hassle out of all these marketing and off-season projects to obtain the highest occupancy possible. Not only in the offseason, but we can also help you maximize your profits during the peak season.
Contact Minnestay today to see what they can do for you.