The total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024 is gearing up to be an event of epic proportions. If you are a vacation rental hostin the path of totality, you have a golden opportunity to capitalize on the expected surge in demand for accommodations. In this blog, we'll explore upcoming trends and why vacation rental hosts need to update their pricing strategies. Spoiler alert: We found that most vacation rental managers with rentals located in the eclipse path are currently losing out on revenue due to underpricing.
With the sudden influx of travelers, it's important to stay on top of your game and prepare ahead of time. Using our extensive database full of vacation rental market data and insights, we can identify a few early trends and recommend how to update your strategies for maximum bookings and revenue. With this data, you can anticipate demand and set appropriate prices, maximize your profits, and gain a competitive edge.
Top Short-Term Rental Markets for the 2024 Solar Eclipse
The total solar eclipse will span large portions of North America and will be the first total solar eclipse visible from the contiguous United States since 2017. As a result, it's already generating plenty of buzz among astronomy enthusiasts – and they are already looking to lock down their short-term rental stay. Of the locations along the path of totality, these are a few of the most popular short-term rental markets for guests looking to book a stay to watch the solar eclipse:
- Dallas, TX
- Austin, TX
- Little Rock, AR
- Indianapolis, IN
- Western Upstate New York, with locations in Niagara Falls & Rochester
- Cleaveland, OH
- Aroostook County, Maine
Vacation Rental Hosts are Potentially Undervaluing Their Rentals
Of the markets listed above, we’d expect to see that average daily rates (ADRs) are increasing for dates on and around the eclipse. However, we’re not seeing the increases we’d expect. In Indianapolis, for example, short-term rentals are only averaging 23% higher ADRs. Dallas and Cleveland are seeing a 10% increase in ADRs, and Austin is only seeing an 8% increase.
Average daily rates for vacation rentals in the path of totality should increase significantly during the lead-up to the eclipse and around the time of the event itself – due to high demand coupled with the fact that many travelers are willing to spend more for a unique and memorable experience. As a vacation rental host, you should be looking to capitalize on the increased demand and maximize your profit margins by setting appropriate rates for your property.
💡 Pro tip: Keep an eye on your market to ensure that you are not underpricing your rentals. Hosts and managers not using a dynamic pricing solution like Beyond might be leaving significant money on the table. This huge event is already being mispriced by a lot of vacation rental hosts – don’t be one of them!
Larger Rentals Are Booking Up Faster
Another trend we noticed in the data was that larger homes with more bedrooms are booking faster. In Indianapolis, we see that 6 bedrooms are already at 10% occupancy a year out from the eclipse date. Similarly in Austin, 6-bedroom rentals are at 13% occupancy. In Dallas, 5-bedroom rentals are already at 25% occupancy.
💡 Pro tip: If your vacation rentals are on the larger side, 4+ bedrooms, ensure that your pricing strategy is up to date to avoid undercharging.
Update Your Pricing Strategy & Don’t Lose Out On Revenue
If you are located in one of these markets, or any market in or near the eclipse path, you need to ensure that your pricing strategy is updated. Otherwise, you’re leaving money on the table. Here are a few tips:
- Update your pricing for far-out dates: The eclipse is about a year out. While it can be beneficial to have calendars open as far out in advance, be cautious and make sure that your prices are not set too low. You should have a premium in place for far-future (9+ months) dates to ensure that guests are paying a premium to secure a booking that far in advance.
- Keep an eye on your market: A big takeaway from our data is to monitor and stay very responsive to how the market is performing in the lead-up to the eclipse. Keep an eye on occupancy rates, ADRs, and other indicators to competitively price your listings. Travel trends will continue to shift, so your pricing strategy should as well.
- Stay updated automatically with the right revenue management solution: It can be challenging to stay up to date with your market and constantly adjust your pricing. Instead, save some time and take the guesswork out of your revenue management strategy with a solution proven to make you more profitable. After switching to Beyond, property managers and hosts that were manually pricing or using a rate manager tool in their property management system (PMS):
- Improved their average daily rates (ADRs) by more than 10%
- Increased occupancy levels by 23%
- Which translated into a 35% increase in revenue per available night (RevPAN)
The 2024 solar eclipse is shaping up to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience that's guaranteed to draw millions of astronomy enthusiasts and curious travelers to the path of totality. As a vacation rental host, it's essential to plan and ensure that your pricing strategy is set up to maximize profits during this surge in demand. With the right revenue management solution in place, you can make the most of this remarkable celestial event and set your business up for success in the years to come.
See how much more revenue you can make with Beyond!