What to do with Your Holiday Home in the Low Season
Wednesday 13th November, 2019 by Host & Stay
Owning a holiday home can be very profitable – if you get it right. There has been an unprecedented leap in profitability over the last couple of years, so the demand is definitely there. So much so that short-term rentals are projected to have generated over 160 billion dollars since summer last year to the end of this year!
However, it isn’t always plain sailing. There are a number of vulnerabilities within the industry. The main problem, which can be seen across the travel sector as a whole, is seasonality.
Having a holiday home which is vacant during the low season can do a lot of harm to property management companies. Even if the property is fully booked during the high season, it’s important to work towards occupying the low season too.
How to gain year-round profitability for your holiday let:
#1 Pricing, Pricing, Pricing
One important factor why people may pass on a stay at your holiday home is the price. The demand for holiday accommodation decreases between November and March, so the prices need to adjust to match this.
Of course, it’s important to strike a good balance. By increasing your prices during peak seasons and reducing them in the low season, you’re managing your demand effectively. But just remember to keep it realistic.
At Host North Yorkshire, we price on a per night / per stay basis with flexible lengths of stay. By doing this, we’re able to maximise your occupancy and revenue.
#2 What’s Going On?
It’s worth taking a look at what’s going on in your local area. Is there a festival taking place or a music event which will draw in a big crowd? If people are visiting your town or city for something in particular, make sure you reflect this in your pricing and marketing.
By marking important events in your calendar, you can manage the demand and increase your bookings – which is vital in the low season.
#3 Cater for Business Trips
There is one type of traveller who trips throughout the year. Whether it’s beautiful sunshine or frosty temperatures, the seasonality concern isn’t applied to people travelling for work.
It’s important then to make sure your short-term let appeals to these individuals. Make sure your holiday home provides Wi-Fi and a decent work area. It’s also worth investing in a good coffee machine because this will be a real bonus, not only for those visiting for work but for most guests staying at your property. Your competition intensifies as the pool of customers shrinks, so make your holiday home as comfortable and appealing as possible.
#4 Interiors Matter
Your interiors play a crucial role during the low season. When the weather is dreary, your space needs to be special enough for people to want to stay inside. On your listing, make sure your holiday home looks cosy and inviting as this will pique your potential guests’ interest for a winter getaway.
Professional photos will highlight the features of your holiday home and make your property stand out. If you have a log burner, fire, hot tub or free-standing bath, make sure these are captured.
#5 Make An Offer They Can’t Refuse
You’ve nailed your pricing, but you still aren’t seeing a huge uplift. Why? The truth is people aren’t usually looking for holidays during the low season. If they do find themselves on a booking site for the low season, they sometimes don’t spend long enough to notice your amazing prices or deals.
That’s why in addition to pricing, you should reach out to past guests as well as friends and family to gain more interest. Offer promotions and discounts for certain dates which are exclusive to them.
By actively seeking interest, you’re more likely to see bookings in the low season.
#6 Be More Flexible
During the peak season when your occupancy is booming, you can afford to be stricter when it comes to guest rules. However, when bookings are quieter in the low season it’s time to consider the reasons why people may not be booking.
If your minimum number of nights are high, think about reducing them. Some people will want one or two nights away, rather than 4 or 5. If your property isn’t pet friendly, maybe it’s time to welcome four-legged friends over the winter months. This can make a huge impact as lots of travellers look to travel with their dogs.
If you’re dealing with homeowners who are strict with their terms and conditions, take the time to explain why they need to be more flexible and how this can affect their bookings during the low season.
Lots of businesses are at the mercy of weather changes and holiday dates, but with the right plan of action, you can fill your vacation rentals with happy travellers up to 365 days of the year.