How to Score Last Minute Holiday Bookings

Written by: jess

If you find that your vacation rental‘s calendar has upcoming vacancies, you could be missing out on some serious revenue. With the holidays fast approaching, many travelers have their plans set in stone and are eagerly awaiting a lovely holiday break. Meanwhile, some travelers purposely wait until the last minute so they can snag the best deals around, and that could mean your rental property! We’ve compiled a list of some tried and true best practices to get your home booked at the last minute!

Use that Headline: When perusing a list of properties, travelers who are looking to snag a last minute deal have one thing on their minds: great value. By including a few words regarding your open availability for the holidays, or the fact that you’re running a special Holiday Deal, these travelers are more likely to book your property!

Reduce Your Rates:
Since it is last minute you shouldn’t expect to charge peak season rates, even if it is the holiday season. Offer 15-20% less than your typical rate or offer a free night if travelers stay for 3 nights. Be creative and be fair!

Include a Freebie:
To further entice potential guests into staying at your home for their last minute getaway, offer to include a gift certificate to a local restaurant, free with their stay! This is especially attractive to the chef of the household, as it will alleviate the stress of cooking for one evening.

Enticing Photos:
Your thumbnail photo is the perfect opportunity for you to grab attention to the fact that your home will make a charming setting for a family’s holiday getaway. Change the photo to a picture of your dining room table-set for a family. Or try inserting a smaller graphic in the bottom of your thumbnail picture that calls attention to your discounted rate. At the bottom of your photo, insert a graphic that reads “20% Off for the Holidays.” Happy Bookings!

Generating Rental Bookings with Incentives and Giveaways

Written by: Jeremiah Gall

It’s the week before Labor Day and summer is coming to a close. What do you do if you’re a property manager looking at a calendar of unbooked vacation rental units for the next month?

1. Slashing prices might bring in last minute renters. This is a popular choice among vacation rental property managers, with last minute discounts ranging from 10-20%.
2. Offer free or discounted activities through local services and area attractions.
3. Sweepstakes and raffle incentives.
Below we’ve included sample booking incentives that we’ve noticed, some of which are more appealing than others.

Twiddy (Outer Banks, NC): Rent for a Week and Receive a Free Jeep Rental ($800 value)

DeepCreek (Mt. Railey, MD): 20% Discount on Rental Price and Free High Speed Internet

SunRealtyNc (Outer Banks, NC): Free Fishing for 8 with Home Rental

GrandbyVacationHomes (Grandby, CO): Golf for 4 and Rafting for 8 with Week Long Vacation Rental

MountainChalets (Gatlinburg, TN): Book a Cabin – Win a Jeep (1 in 15,000 chance of winning)

If you have others to add to the list, please send them in via comments to this post.