We’ve written plenty of times before about the seasonal nature of the vacation rentals industry. As you’ll no doubt be aware, the period towards the end of the calendar year is a key time for many property managers, with many holidaymakers looking for a festive getaway or travelling to be with family at this time of year. Regardless of whether you’re celebrating or not, many property managers will be hoping to make the most of their Christmas vacation rental bookings.
But how exactly do you make sure your holiday season is successful? How do you make sure you attract guests over the festive period? And how do you provide a special and memorable experience for your guests to make sure they return? Read on for our top tips on how to get more Christmas vacation rental bookings!
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Make sure your calendar is up to date
Step 1 to getting bookings: Make sure guests can actually book your property! Far too many property managers forget to update their vacation rental calendar regularly, then find themselves either wondering why guests aren’t booking (because the calendar is closed!) or having to turn down or cancel bookings (because they forgot to mark the dates as unavailable). That’s why we argue that an accurate vacation rental calendar might be the most important part of property management. By ensuring that your property is marked as available, guests will be able to search and book on rental websites!
‘Tis the season – so set your seasonal rates!
Another of our common bugbears, setting seasonal rates correctly is key to capitalising on fluctuations and trends in the vacation rentals industry. You’re the best judge of your own market, so exactly how you do this is up to you. If you’re in the northern hemisphere, your beach property might need to be a little cheaper in winter to attract guests. On the other hand, guests will expect to pay a bit more over this period, especially around the holidays and New Year. If you’re in an area of low competition then you can afford to increase your prices a little for key dates. If however you’ve got plenty of opposition near you then being cheaper by just a small amount could be the difference between a guest booking with you or opting for your neighbour!
It’s not just about Christmas vacation rental bookings
Despite the title of this article, it’s not all about Christmas. Whilst it’s a really key driver for bookings this time of year it’s not the only thing happening. Thanksgiving, Diwali, New Year, Hanukkah, Tết, Kwanzaa and loads more key dates will be encouraging guests to pack their bags and travel, either to celebrate with loved ones or get away from the chaos! Take a look at key events in your area that you could use in your marketing – if you’ve got a particularly great local celebration then that is a really useful thing to mention in your description. Or why not take the other approach and look at where your guests are coming from. If you attract a lot of guests from the USA, why not update your listing to mention your property’s suitability for a Thanksgiving celebration, or reach out to previous guests with a special offer or discounted rates?
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Spruce up your listings
Taking great photos is always key to making your listing look fantastic. But great seasonal photos might be a good way to inspire those looking for bookings in the next few weeks. You can snap up those last minute Christmas vacation rental bookings by uploading photos of your property looking suitably Christmas-y! Perhaps deck your halls with a tree and some other decorations so that your guests can imagine spending their holiday period in your property. Don’t forget to mention in your description the cosy comforts you can offer to guests seeking a traditional festive retreat, whether that’s a snow covered landscape in Sweden or a blazing barbecue in Australia! Just remember to remove these from your listing when the season ends!
The holidays are special – so give your guests special treatment!
You might have a preferred way of doing things but during this period, the normal routine often goes out the window. Due to the seasonal changes to work schedules, flight routes and attractions, guests need a lot more flexibility around this time of year. If you only allow check-in on a certain day of the week, you’ll struggle to attract those guests who want a quick break during the slim window they’ve booked off from work. Perhaps consider relaxing policies on group bookings or reducing any extra fees you charge for additional guests to encourage families to spend their special time with you. You could even go out of your way to attract family guests by adding more child-friendly facilities (and making that clear in your listing). Make it even more enticing by welcoming pets – everybody loves a dog in a santa hat!
By following these tips you’ll be able to optimise your property for the holiday season and maximise your chances of getting more Christmas vacation rental bookings! No matter what you’re celebrating, that’s bound to lead to a very happy holiday for property managers!
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