Overall, I’m pretty happy with my vacation rental rates and the amount of bookings I get. While I rent out my home year-round, I typically have a ski lease during the winter months, which leaves the spring, summer and fall open to short-term renters. My long-term rental runs from early January after the Christmas and New Year’s vacation through April. That leaves me with May through December for short-term rentals.
I wanted to go through and compare my rates to my competitors. A couple of questions I’m hoping to answer through this process are:
- Are my rates competitive with the market?
- Am I typically over, under, or at par with what my competitors charge?
- Should I change my rates this year?
The first thing I did was search HomeAway, FlipKey, VRBO, Craigslist and a few property management companies for similar properties. My home is a 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath, 2 story with game room and hot tub. While it’s not ultra-luxury, it does have decently high-end furnishings and modern appliances. I found 10 properties – some near my property in Truckee, but some further south in Tahoe Keys and near Heavenly.
Are my rates competitive with the market?
Next, I mapped out their rates next to mine on a spreadsheet.
Am I over, under, or at par with my competitors?
When I compare all of the 10 competitors to my home, my rates seem to be on par with my competitors and most of the time come in slightly lower than average. December is the exception, where my rates jump above the competition.
Now, if I look at just those rates near Truckee, the same holds true. I come in a bit lower than my competition, but jump above in December.
Should I change my rates?
Looking out for 2013 I just have a few weeks booked, but I typically have a shorter booking window – approximately 1-2 months. Because I'm satisfied with my current vacation rental income, I’m going to hold rates steady for now but know that I’m armed with more information should I decide to make any changes moving forward. Since I know that my rates are typically higher in December, I also have a little more flexibility to offer an early booking discount as the season nears.
Was this exercise helpful? What did you learn about your rates when you compared your vacation rental to your competitors?