For vacation rental hosts looking to maximize bookings and drive up revenue, there’s an annual, months-long event that deserves your attention—college football season.
With the recent release of most of the college football schedule, savvy short-term rental hosts have an opportunity to score big. If you're in a location near a popular college football program, here's why focusing on the spikes in demand during college football games can be a winning strategy.
The Growing Popularity of College Football
College football is experiencing a surge in popularity, with passionate fans willing to travel and pay premium rates to support their favorite teams. For short-term rental hosts in college towns or smaller cities where these games are hosted, tapping into this market is a smart play. The key statistics paint a clear picture: college football games bring the crowds, and with them, the demand for accommodations soar.
The Competitive Edge in College Towns
Unlike one-off events like the Super Bowl, college football season spans several months and includes multiple high-stakes games, translating into numerous opportunities to fill your rentals. For instance, an intense rivalry game can push local occupancy rates to near 100%, with the potential to command prices up to ten times the standard rate. This isn't just a shot in the dark; it’s data-driven, predictable, and lucrative.
Scoring the Right Pricing Play
However, touchdown-worthy pricing requires strategy and foresight. Year-over-year (YoY) changes in college football schedules and fluctuating rivalry matchups mean that demand can significantly vary each weekend. Monitoring the market a year ahead can help you identify and block "speculative guests" seeking to book at lower rates. Tools like Beyond can provide a combination of data forecasting and human insight to set the right prices -- not to mention we have a few die-hard football fans on the team who are always on the pricing offense!
In this data-rich field, it’s essential to leverage both technology and team expertise. On top of our algorithm, our analysts (like Daria, an FSU fan, sorry!) take all the schedules, match them to the hyper-local neighborhoods that have seen data in the past. Algorithms set the pricing, but game-changing insights come from analyzing rivalries and increasing prices for those unmissable games.
Rivalry games are season highlights that promise a significant influx of visitors—and potential guests—for your rentals. Examples of such high-tension face-offs include:
- Ohio State vs. Michigan (11/30/24)
- Auburn vs. Alabama (11/30/24)
- Oklahoma vs. Texas (10/12/24)
Accommodations in regions affected by these games are gold mines for hosts on game weekends.
A Case Study: Notre Dame's Impact on Vacation Rentals in South Bend, Indiana
Take South Bend, Indiana, where Notre Dame’s football games heavily influence occupancy rates. Last year, matches against the Buckeyes and the USC Trojans were the main attractions. This year, while Notre Dame will face the Trojans away from home, other games such as those against the Cardinals and Seminoles are already attracting early bookings.
The dynamic nature of college football events makes it challenging for hosts to keep up with changes and capitalize on opportunities. This is where bringing a partner like Beyond into your huddle can change the game. Beyond provides the technology and expertise to anticipate market trends, making sure that you’re always ready to welcome the wave of college football fans looking to secure their game-day homes.
As vacation rental hosts in the increasingly competitive short-term rental market, ignoring the college football season could mean missing out on substantial revenue opportunities. Using vacation rental data and dynamic pricing to understand and respond to these events can help you secure the winning touchdown in short-term rental success.
Remember, while the Super Bowl has its merits, the diverse and prolonged college football season packs powerful potential for savvy vacation rental hosts. Don’t let this chance to outplay the competition slip through your fingers!