Peak season is already the busiest time of the year for vacation rental owners, but is it possible to earn even more during that period? The answer is yes! By implementing various strategies, you can make peak season more profitable than ever before. Fill your calendar and earn more from each stay by putting the suggestions below into action.
- 1 When Is Peak Season?
- 2 Strategy #1: Run an Audit
- 3 Strategy #2: Increase Your Efficiency as a Host
- 4 Strategy #3: Enable Self Check-In
- 5 Strategy #4: Instate Minimum Night Stay Policy
- 6 Strategy #5: Use Dynamic Pricing
- 7 Strategy #6: Add Last-Minute Discounts
- 8 Strategy #7: Open Your Calendar Early
- 9 Strategy #8: Keep Your Fees Low
- 10 Strategy #9: Revamp Your Listing
- 11 Strategy #10: Add Seasonal Updates
- 12 Strategy #11: Market Your Rental Effectively
- 13 Strategy #12: Plan Ahead
- 14 Main Takeaways
When Is Peak Season?
When is the peak season for your vacation rental property? It depends on the location. There are some beach locations where peak season lasts the entire year. Others are more popular in the summer and during spring break. Meanwhile, the mountains tend to be busier during the winter, but some areas receive plenty of visitors in the spring and summer as well. Desert locations tend to be busiest from the winter months through May.
You can determine when peak season is for your rental by looking at previous data. There are also vacation rental analytics programs, such as AirDNA, which can help you sift through data and uncover patterns in pricing and demand.
Strategy #1: Run an Audit
If you want to earn more during peak season, it’s important to see where you’re currently lacking. Run an audit of your vacation rental business shortly before peak season begins so that you can determine what needs to improve. Make a few changes before the new influx of guests and watch your reviews improve, potentially leading to additional bookings.
Strategy #2: Increase Your Efficiency as a Host
To prepare for peak season, you’ll need to increase your efficiency. You’re only one person, so, unfortunately, there’s a limit to what you can do on your own. Depending on how busy you expect your vacation rental to be, you may want to consider automating some of the admin work or even hiring a property manager to take a few responsibilities off your hands.
An easy way to automate is to ensure you have a smart lock so guests can check themselves in. This means you’ll no longer have to drive to your rental every time a new guest arrives. Using software for property management can also help by combining your calendars from various listing sites, automatically responding to guests, and posting scheduled social media posts.
Strategy #3: Enable Self Check-In
As mentioned in Strategy #2, one way to earn more during peak season is to enable self check-in. This way, you can accept bookings even if you can’t go to your vacation rental in person and welcome your guests. A smart lock allows guests to let themselves in using a specific code, and there’s no key for them to lose or accidentally take home with them.
Strategy #4: Instate Minimum Night Stay Policy
One small adjustment to your house rules that can make a huge difference in your earnings during peak season is to instate a minimum night stay policy. By requiring a minimum number of nights per stay, you can avoid having one- and two-night bookings spread throughout the week. Filling your calendar with short stays prevents other guests from booking a stay for the full week, which would be more profitable for you. Therefore, a minimum night stay policy ensures you’ll only get bookings for longer periods of time.
Strategy #5: Use Dynamic Pricing
During peak season (and throughout the entire year), it’s wise to use a dynamic pricing tool to help you set your daily rate for maximum profits. Your rate should fluctuate depending on local events and demand for a rental property in your area. Many Property Management Systems allow you to set a base price or minimum and maximum price, and then they use various data to set prices for you within that range. This is a great way to maximize your profit for each guest.
Strategy #6: Add Last-Minute Discounts
If there are fast-approaching unbooked dates in your calendar during peak season, it’s a great idea to offer a last-minute discount! This can increase both your occupancy rates and your revenue. A discounted stay brings in more money than no stay at all, and savings are hard for guests to pass up. This is especially true when they’re looking for a last-minute place to stay while attending an event. If you have a discount, they’re more likely to choose you over the competition.
Strategy #7: Open Your Calendar Early
In order to cater to those guests who like to plan ahead, try opening your calendar as far in advance as possible. Many travelers like to book their stay ahead of time so that they don’t have to scramble to find a place as their vacation grows closer. You can even add an early bird discount for those who schedule their stay at least six months in advance. Be sure to send out an email to previous guests inviting them back and letting them know about your early bird discount!
Strategy #8: Keep Your Fees Low
When potential guests are choosing between multiple vacation rental properties, they don’t just look at their daily rates. They also compare the fees between various properties. Some vacation rental owners keep their nightly rates low by adding on multiple fees. However, guests are sure to catch on to this, and nobody wants to pay a $300 cleaning fee. Being more upfront with your prices, rather than sneakily upping the price by adding fees, is a better strategy.
Strategy #9: Revamp Your Listing
Before peak season, take a look at your listing and ensure it’s updated and accurate. Does it have high-quality photos, a well-written description, and a full list of amenities? Does it preemptively answer guests’ most frequently asked questions? Be sure to showcase your vacation rental property and show guests why they should choose to stay there!
Strategy #10: Add Seasonal Updates
Giving your property a seasonal look with a few tweaks to the decor can be an effective way of drawing in more travelers during peak season. Depending on the season, you may want to add more of an airy, summery vibe to your property. Or, if it’s wintertime, add small touches to make it feel warm and cozy. Bringing in elements reminiscent of the surrounding nature helps to immerse guests in the experience of the area.
Strategy #11: Market Your Rental Effectively
If you want to be successful during peak season, you’ll definitely need to put some effort into your marketing! Not only should you list your property on multiple hosting sites, but you should also ensure that your social media presence is well-maintained. You can market your property on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to appeal to a wide range of potential guests.
Another way to market your vacation rental property well is to always reply to messages promptly and provide great customer service. Remember, you’re not just the business owner, but you’re also providing an entire experience to a paying customer. It’s imperative to be friendly, helpful, and respectful at all times.
Strategy #12: Plan Ahead
Of course, the best way to be prepared for peak season is to plan ahead as much as possible! If there are any big projects that need to be done at your vacation rental, time them appropriately. The worst time to put in an inground pool or replace the flooring throughout your property is during peak season.
You’ll also want to stock up on all of the extra supplies and amenities that need to be replenished in between guests. This includes things like cleaning supplies, bathroom toiletries, and coffee and tea.
It’s wise to commit to deep-cleaning your vacation rental property two times a year. Ideally, one of these deep-cleaning sessions should take place shortly before peak season begins.
You’ll want to start planning your peak season pricing early on; in fact, as soon as one peak season has ended, you should be planning for the next one!
Here are our top 12 strategies for earning more from your vacation rental property during peak season:
- Run an audit to identify and improve on the weakest parts of your vacation rental business.
- Increase your efficiency by automating processes or hiring a property manager.
- Enable self check-in with a lockbox, smart lock, or keypad.
- Start requiring a minimum stay, so you aren’t stuck with scattered one- and two-night bookings.
- Use dynamic pricing to maximize nightly profits.
- Add last-minute discounts to fill your calendar.
- Open your calendar early and add early bird discounts for guests who like to plan ahead.
- Keep your fees low since potential guests compare both nightly rates and additional fees.
- Revamp your listing before peak season begins; ensure it’s updated, accurate, and enticing to guests.
- Add seasonal updates to immerse your guests in the experience of the local area.
- Market your vacation rental through your own site, various hosting sites, and social media.
- Plan ahead as much as possible for success during peak season.