Are you an Airbnb host, Vrbo host, or a vacation rental manager and finding slow business lately? Maybe your property is falling behind its usual bookings…or worse yet, it’s not getting booked at all.
According to Beyond's vacation rental data, short-term rental bookings are down 15% compared to the same time last year. If you are feeling a slowdown, you are not alone.
We know these times can be extremely challenging for anyone in the industry! But never fear: we’re here to help guide you on what to do when bookings are sparse.
In this guide, we will discuss practical steps you can take to revamp your revenue management strategy, increasing occupancy rates and maximizing revenue.
Step 1: Upgrade your property pictures and descriptions
The first thing potential guests look at when browsing vacation rentals on Airbnb, Vrbo or other short-term rental platforms are the pictures. You need attractive, high-quality images with inviting descriptions of the rental to showcase to potential guests. Make sure the descriptions also accurately exhibit the amenities, location, and events happening in the area. Pro tip: Invest in good lighting to highlight the best features of your property.
Step 2: Review your pricing
Price is a primary factor that influences most guests' booking decisions. It is important to price appropriately, so you are both reasonable and seasonable. Conduct research on what other similar properties are charging in your area, and make sure you are taking advantage of dynamic pricing for automatic, data-driven pricing.
Here are a few tips to ensure that your dynamic pricing is set up correctly:
- Unblock your calendar: A common error that we see hosts and property managers make when using dynamic pricing is blocking their calendars. Review your calendar and make as many days available as possible as soon as possible. If you’re blocked out for months, Beyond cannot optimize as effectively.
- Review your Base Price: Setting the perfect Base Price can be tough! If you’re having trouble, be sure to utlise the Base Price Helper in Beyond. We created the Base Price Helper to help you kickstart your pricing strategy on the right foot. And if you’re having any further trouble, always feel free to contact support! Our team can take a look and make recommendations for your listings.
- Review your Minimum Price: Setting a lower Minimum Price allows for more fluctuation and optimization for more bookings. Here are a few tips to consider when setting your Minimum Price.
Step 3: Improve customer service
Excellent customer service can make all the difference when it comes to rentals. Make sure to communicate promptly and professionally with potential guests, addressing any questions or concerns speedily and honestly. During the guest's stay, offer support to make the trip stress-free, such as information on nearby attractions and restaurants or contacts for maintenance requests.
Step 4: Ensure your strategy is aligned with your market
Do you have a minimum stay rule applied to your property that is out of line with your guests’ booking preferences? Are you not offering common amenities that your competitors might offer? And how do you know if your booking pace is aligned with your market? It’s time to level up your strategy and get a solid understanding of your market.
With Beyond’s Market Insights dashboard, you get instant access to insider knowledge about your market. Dive into 14 performance indicators, helping you to respond to market trends, such as whether your property's minimum stay is aligned with what guests typically look for.
Step 5: Offer value-added amenities
Providing little extras can set your property apart and make guests feel more comfortable. For instance, provide essential items like snacks, toiletries, coffee, and tea. You can provide beach towels, toys, and chairs with your beach house rental. These small thoughtful gestures may not seem significant, but they can make all the difference in your guests' experience, resulting in positive reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations.
Go a step further: Find out amenities that your competitors typically don’t offer and see if it make sense for you to add to your vacation rental. This can help you stand out from the crowd, increase your bookings, and even charge a higher nightly price.
Having no bookings as a vacation property rental manager can be frustrating, but there are several things you can do to boost your occupancy rates. Use these tips as a starting point towards increasing your rental bookings, leading to higher occupancy, profitability, and guest satisfaction.
An effective revenue management strategy is key to increasing occupancy rates and maximizing revenue. Learn more about how Beyond’s revenue management system can unlock more money for your vacation rental.