Last Minute Deals A Big Draw for Travelers

Amy Sept —  August 13, 2013

Stack of fall leaves. "Fall" on flickr, by Mo Riza. (CC BY 2.0)If your fall reservation calendar isn’t as full as you’d like it to be, there’s good news: travelers love last-minute deals and vacation home renters are no exception!

According to the Vacation Rental Managers Association (VRMA), value for price is the number one reason why people choose vacation rentals over other types of accommodation.

And the better the value, the more likely they are to book: more than eight in ten travelers who say value is a top priority say that savings and last minutes deals are motivators that work.

What does this mean for your business?

If you already have a way to connect with past guests and other intrigued travelers – an email distribution list, for example – it’s significantly easier to put a deal together and spread the word. Unexpected emails have prompted 25 percent of travelers to book a trip.

If you haven’t cultivated any particular means of staying in touch, promoting a deal on your website, in your headline on listing sites, or running something like a Facebook ad are among your options.

But first, you need to figure out what sort of last minute deal is going to be a good fit for you. Here are a few examples:

  • Piggy-back on upcoming attractions. Is there an upcoming festival, conference, or long-weekend that coincides with your availability? Check out our advice on renting your home during local events.

  • Put together your own Groupon-style deal. Offering a limited time package or discount might be the great deal or urgent offer. There are logistics you’ll need to consider, but it can be an effective way to generate buzz and earn attract reservations.

  • Offer a special deal for your biggest fans. Are there people who return to your property whenever they have a chance? Reward their loyalty and offer something special that’s exclusive just to them, valid only during a particular period of time. To make the pool of people bigger, extend the offer to their friends and family, too.

How do you attract reservations when bookings temporarily drop off? Share your advice in the comments section below!

photo credit: modomatic

Amy Sept

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Writer and marketing pro Amy Sept is a regular contributor to the MyVR blog, to help answer your vacation rental marketing questions. Say hello via Twitter or Google+.
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