Are you always busy during peak season? Getting lots of calls, reservations, and requests but find yourself worried when offseason arrives?
This is a common problem that some owners like you have with certain properties in tourist areas like Whistler.
You may be making a significant amount of money for the rest of the year, but then lose out when your property stands vacant.
This doesn’t have to be the case, and it isn’t for me.
Do you want to learn how to harness the off-season to gain more rental bookings?
Read on for knowledge of how to prepare, and invite guests the right way, to give you more bookings than ever!
After all, you want your calendar to be full all the time, right?
1. Identify offseason and ideal guests
Do you have your record of customer personas?
Well, research is always essential for property management, and this situation is no different. I always start with this, because it can get confused with a low season.
In low season, there are usually some guests, but in an off-season, demand will disappear entirely.
I can sometimes use similar strategies for both, but it’s important that I know exactly when the least demand is.
Then, I can identify the type of guest I need to attract for rental bookings – which will usually be different to high season.
For this, I need to know what events are happening in the area or if there are any patterns in guests who have stayed before, and what kinds of activities are available nearby.
2. target your rental Property to ideal guests
To attract guests on weekends, my off-season promotions include special offers such as an extra night for free.
The price stays the same, but demand stays up. If there is an event or nice restaurant, I offer discounted tickets or a meal – the restaurant would appreciate the business, too.
If couples want one of my properties that have several bedrooms, I can close one temporarily. Fewer guests are better than no guests.
I might lower my prices, but I always keep an eye out on events, other rental properties and hotels to check demand. If I underprice, I lose money and devalue my property.I can keep it high if the weekends are in demand, but I could lower the minimum stay length to three nights. This flexibility is essential.
3. Advertise to your ideal guests and keep it sharply targeted
The importance of having an off-season marketing strategy cannot be underestimated, and making sure people are aware of my great offers is the last step.
There are many ways to get the word out, but I’ve found that a great way is to contact previous guests.
I already have their details, and they already know me, so it’s much less effort than explaining from scratch – I just reintroduce myself and tell them about my new offers. This also works well for guests who enquired about staying, or who booked and later canceled.
I also encourage previous guests to refer their friends, by offering something in return. Depending on the guest, it could be chocolates or a discount on their next stay.
Here are more ideas you can try:
- My listings or website reflect off-season activities and offer and make sure I keep them up-to-date.
- Updating the calendar is an excellent way to rank my property higher.
- Writing promotional blog posts to share on social media.
- Promote previous customer experience on Social Media.
I consider Whistler’s website as a compelling example of this – it can attract guests to stay or nearby BC visitors from Vancouver.
Property management is just as, if not more, essential during an off-season. Off-season promotions and marketing strategy – identifying, targeting and advertising to potential guests make all the difference to the number of rental bookings I get – and you can get, too. These are our team’s routine for all our Whistler rentals. Check out our Whistler rentals here.
How about you, do you have other ideas that you like to share? Drop them in the comments below.