Your vacation rental company is a flexible business. It can generate income from a surprising number of different sources. Learning how to use big events for vacation rentals can increase your short term rental bookings. It can create a whole new stream of regular income for your business.
The UEFA Euro 2020 football competition is a prime example of a booking opportunity. This event will have matches in 16 locations throughout Europe. You could be lucky to have property rentals near one of these locations. If not, there are hundreds of events out there that can help you increase your bookings.
We spoke with a few property managers to find out how they currently use events to promote their vacation rentals. We are sharing their insights with you! So you can learn from their direct experiences, save yourself some time and give it a go!
Use Big Events For Vacation Rentals And Attract More Guests
When a guest attends an event, their priority is the event. They want to go there, relax and enjoy it. If they can stay in the right accommodation as well, it will make their trip away even more memorable. If their experience is good enough, they may come back again in future or recommend you to their friends!
What Types Of Events Need Accommodation?
There are all types of business and leisure events. It can be anything, from a Boat Show, a World Of Warcraft gaming event, a festival in the countryside, or a sporting event (as with the property manager above). The list is endless.
Eric in Glasgow gave this list of events, that have attracted guests to use his accommodation,
“Large music concerts (Pink, Take That, Stone Roses, Coldplay), other music/dance events (Piping, Irish Dancing Championships, Dancing on Ice, Strictly Come Dancing, Disney on Ice), Sporting events (Celtic and Rangers home European matches, Scotland home matches), Large conferences (Jehovah Witness conference, medical conferences)”.
Here is a useful website for significant events throughout Europe and a website that covers sporting events in 2020. Also, contact your local concert venues and theatres. They can advise what activities they have planned for 2020.
Offering The Right Accommodation
So, how do you know what is the right accommodation for your guest? It can depend on the event itself. But if you are clear about what you can offer guests, it will help them to match up the accommodation with their event quickly.
One Spanish property manager we interviewed said his properties were close to an annual triathlon event. They usually have two different types of guests stay for the event. These were spectators and participants in the triathlon itself. Xisco from Mallorca explained,
“We make our guests feel comfortable by providing areas for athletes to leave their bikes and equipment”.
He added that they “offer different welcome baskets, and if guests want to pay for food, we offer local food and a super-healthy alternative that the athletes love”.
The property manager has also been able to create lucrative “add-ons”. They cleverly offer massages to the participating guests after they have completed the triathlon.
How Do You Prepare Your Vacation Rental For Big Events?
We were curious to know how property managers prepared their accommodation for events. Or if there was anything else that they took into consideration. Eric in the UK, said,
“We do not make any special allowances based on events. It is important that guests receive the same standards throughout the year. If anything we increase our efforts to return properties to the standard they were at pre-event as large traffic tends to have an impact on the look of the property”.
This response was very insightful and worth bearing in mind. Guests expect the same standards regardless if there is an event or not. If you want to use local events for vacation rentals, extra guests will mean extra work to get your properties ship-shape again. But you can arrange this ahead of time, so you are prepared to tackle the cleaning straight away.
Managing Your Availability For Events
Leveraging big events as a property manager can be a juggling act. Bear in mind that some events will always be very popular. You need to make sure that you have the availability to match the demand. But also make sure that you still have space for your regular travellers. One property manager explained,
“Big events in Glasgow don’t generally require any additional marketing. The accommodation tends to sell itself. If anything we try to slow down the numbers of bookings we receive for event periods otherwise you have no availability for normal travellers. It is purely a strategy thing which works for our business.”
It is a delicate balance. But handled correctly, you can still benefit from two different types of travellers. You can also use a vacation rental software to manage your bookings and make it even easier for you.
Use Big Events For Vacation Rentals And Become A Networking God Or Goddess
Your properties can benefit from the buzz of an event. Capitalise on the online interest by producing content that will appear in search results.
If you have a blog, you can blog about the event and add your accommodation in the article, just like in this example. You can mention it on your FB and Twitter accounts. If you are feeling adventurous, you can create a short video showcasing your property and put it on YouTube. Many people will search for videos if it is a big event, and your accommodation video will come up in the search results.
Don’t be shy to contact the event organisers themselves and suggest to “buddy” up to help advertise each other.
If you haven’t done it already, you can reach out to your local tourist information office. Ask them to supply you with a list of the annual events in your area. Use this opportunity to tell them about your accommodation. They can add you to any information they have for guests seeking accommodation.
Friend Discounts And Special Offers
Guests attend events that are of particular interest to them. As part of the “experience”, they will want an accommodation that matches the event and their expectations. Most guests will accept that finding accommodation for an event can be difficult. To counter this, they will budget for higher accommodation costs.
Monitor your competitors’ rates, then adjust your prices accordingly so that you are competitive in the market. Use the event name in any advertising and make the pricing sound attractive.
You can use the event name with your “special offer” and consider offering “Bring a friend” discounts. Guests like to travel to events with family and friends, and your offer might convince them to book with you.
Use these tips from real property managers to help increase your bookings. Start using the next event near you to help grow your short term rental business and attract repeat clients.
Leveraging big events as a property manager can help you find more guests and put your properties firmly on the vacation rental map.