There are some common challenges that are faced by almost all vacation rental managers and owners, and one of those challenges is booking weekday reservations.
The very nature of a vacation rental tends to see travelers booking mostly for weekends and popular holidays. So, how do you get more of those coveted last minute vacation rental bookings that will increase weekday reservations at your property? You might think that in order to increase weekday bookings you have to slash your weekday rates, but that’s not necessarily true! All it takes is a little bit of creativity. We’ve put together some tips to help.
Tips to increase weekday bookings for your vacation rental property
Consider higher weekend rates or offer an extra night at a discounted rate. One common strategy employed by vacation rental owners and managers is to increase weekend rates rather than lowering weekday rates. Or you may want to consider a strategy of offering guests the option to stay an additional night or two for a special reduced rate. If they don’t take you up on this offer at the time of booking, be sure to remind them when they check-in. They might be enjoying themselves so much that an extra night for a discounted price might be music to their ears.
Carefully think out your minimum night policy. Most vacation rental managers and owners don’t like the thought of one night minimum stays because of the amount of work required to clean units in between guests. However, it might be worth a try to test out this practice during weekdays to see if you can get an uptick in bookings as a result. If you’re concerned how you will stay on top of coordinating with housekeepers after these short stays, consider implementing a software with cross-channel calendar synchronization or leverage cleaners and maintenance services that integrate with your software. You may find this is exactly what you need to avoid double bookings and manage third party services.
Know your audience. Think about the people who would be booking weekday trips to your property and create offers for them. Think about what would entice these types of travelers to stay with you and create packages that would appeal to their interests for a weekday getaway. Try reaching out to local businesses to pull something together for these groups…perhaps concerts, winery tours, food tastings, etc.
Leverage your mailing list. If you’ve been collecting email addresses of guests and keeping track of when they book with you, use this information to reach out via email. Reminding your email list that you have much to offer during the week (and perhaps offering special limited time discounts) might be enough to lure them to your vacation rental for a last minute vacation rental booking.
Reach out to locals. There’s still so much merit in the old fashioned art of in-person networking. Reach out to people who could help connect you with folks coming into town looking for rentals through the week. Real estate agents, insurance agents, office managers who book out of town travel…take some time to reach out to people like this who may just have a regular need to give their clients and colleagues recommendations of where in the area to stay. You may even wish to host an open house for these individuals to come out and see for themselves what you have to offer!
Create your own event. Would your vacation rental property lend itself well to host art shows? Book launches? Wine and cheese events? Or even an intimate concert? Think outside the box and if you have trouble filling your weeknights with travelers, think of different ways you can earn revenue from your short-term rental!