As a property manager or owner, your properties are competing with many other accommodations - whether it be other short-term rentals or traditional lodging. In this competitive and ever-growing marketplace, property managers and owners are looking to gain an edge wherever they can to generate more bookings.
Are you doing everything you can to maximize your occupancy rates?
Follow these seven tips to get more bookings for your short-term rental business.
How to get more bookings for your vacation rental properties
1. List on every channel
The best - and perhaps most straightforward - way to increase your occupancy rate is to add your properties to as many listing sites as you can. By doing so, you are ensuring that your audience size is maximized, increasing your chances of new bookings.
While adding all five major channels may not be a fix that is attainable in the short-run, set a goal for yourself to add a new channel over a few months. It’s a great way to diversify your portfolio and protect against risk. Plus, on average, MyVR customers typically double their revenue per property per month for each new channel they add.
2. Create your own direct channel
While it’s important to have your listings posted across major channels, don’t forget about one that is fee-free: your own! Publishing your own dedicated website is an important step in establishing your brand, and having a domain that you can tie all of your marketing efforts around makes for cohesive strategy.
If you’re not comfortable building your own website, there are plenty of providers out there who can help you, but it’s best to choose a website builder that specializes in short-term rental websites - and bonus points if it is integrated with your property management software (PMS). MyVR provides easy to customize, modern website templates that are equipped with a powerful booking engine.
3. Complete your listings with every amenity
It may seem redundant, but be sure to complete all of your property listings with every amenity you have to offer. To attract more bookings, it’s important that guests are informed about all your property has to offer.
4. Choose insurance as opposed to collecting security deposits
Most guests would prefer to pay a small, non refundable fee than a hefty security deposit. Deposits are a major barrier for guests that can force them to choose one property over another. Deciding to protect your properties with insurance rather than an old-fashioned security deposit will not only help you convert more reservations, but it will give your properties more coverage and save you the hassle of returning deposits.
5. Make sure your rates are competitive
If you want to learn how to get more bookings, make sure you aren’t priced outside of what your market can bear. For the most accurate way to price your property rentals, consider automating the rate-setting process by using a dynamic pricing tool. Beyond Pricing, Wheelhouse and PriceLabs are examples of sites that niche in dynamic pricing. These services automatically adjust your property rental rates based on supply and demand. MyVR users can tap into this option easily as our software integrates with each of these three providers.
6. Enable instant booking where possible
One quick fix that can generate more bookings is turning on the instant book option across channels. Many travelers want their reservation confirmed - much like a hotel - the moment they stumble upon the perfect place, and if you don’t have instant book turned on, they can’t do this right away. Instant book not only will entice more renters, but it will also help you be seen by more travelers, as it is a common filter on many sites.
7. Get more reviews
Travelers are looking through your reviews to justify their choice in rental properties. If you want more bookings, make it your goal to receive a review from every guest that stays with you. As your guest checks out, politely remind them how valuable positive reviews are to you and your business and ask them to leave one whenever they have a moment. If they haven’t left a review within the week following their stay, reach out to them again. Many people who frequent short-term rentals are glad to leave a review.
Employing these tips will help you improve your occupancy rates across inventory. To take your business to the next level, add property management software to automate your daily, repetitive tasks. Doing so will allow you to focus fully on improving your inventory’s performance and revenue.