Let me start you off with a few juicy stats:
- 30% of bookings on vacation rentals happen 6+ months before check-in
- This number is even higher for larger rentals with many rooms
- Guests that book more than 6 months in advance give statistically better reviews to their hosts.
What do these 3 numbers tell us? Simple: The 2020 season for the northern hemisphere has already started! 🚀
If you have a short-term rental in a large metropolitan area you are probably unaffected by seasonality. If however your rental is at or close to a summer resort, and you usually only have guests during the summer months, then you’re probably part of the large group of hosts that are affected by seasonality. However, there are many misconceptions that might cause you a significant loss of income, and this is what we will try to clear up today. Let’s look at them one by one:
Misconception no1: I only get bookings during the summer months
Many people think that just because their properties are next to the sea, they only get bookings during summer months. However, many people book properties off-season either because they prefer peace and quiet, or because they are looking for better prices. Either way, if you are only open for 3-4 months of the year, you are probably losing out on many, many bookings. And by the way, most off-season bookings are better quality than high season bookings (better behaving guests).
Misconception no2: My calendar should be open when my home is open
Oh boy, this is wrong in sooo many ways. The fact that your home is available from June to September, does not mean that bookings will happen during this period! Most bookings happen many months in advance, and 65% of Hosthub customers already have bookings for summer 2020! Your calendar should be open all year round, no exceptions! Anything else is just a sad loss of precious revenue!
Misconception no3: I only need calendar sync during my high season
You can try, but you won’t be happy you did 🙂 If your calendars are open, you need to sync them reliably to avoid double bookings. Even though most of your bookings will happen in the 3 months leading up to the check-in date, a very large percentage happens 4,5,6, or even more months ahead. We save hundreds of customers from double bookings on off-season periods, and not just during the high season. It’s much easier than you think to get 2 bookings during the same time for similar dates, and you need to be protected by a service like Hosthub that will make sure you never get a double booking.
Misconception no4: Last year’s rates are fine for next year
You might not know this, but hosts that update their pricing at least every year increase their revenue on average 30% compared to hosts that do not update their pricing. The main reasons for this are A) frequent price updates signal to channels that this is an active rental and help show the listing higher on search results, and B) there are many opportunities to charge more during events, holidays, conferences, concerts so you always need to be on the lookout for events like these that will allow you to uptick your prices and gain more revenue.
So, are you prepared for the 2020 season? Here is a quick checklist to make sure you don’t miss out on that juicy revenue!
- Make sure your calendars are open on all your channels
- Try out one new channel every year, you might be surprised
- Do some research and update your next season prices
- Lower your off-season prices to attract some offseason guests
- This is the time to evaluate your user feedback from last year and fix broken stuff and add missing amenities and facilities
- Maybe it’s time for a much needed renovation? Think about it.
- Update your property photos and listing content
- If you don’t have your own website to sell directly and avoid channel fees, maybe it’s time to consider it. We can help.
- Set up early bird promotions. This will help you get early bookings that could fund your renovation or buy those amenities your guests have been asking for.
- Maybe you can rent your home long-term until next season? In many cases, this provides a steady income that is higher than the short-term income you would get during off-season periods.
As always, our team is available 24/7 to help with anything you might need. Just click the chat icon on the bottom right of the screen and ask us anything!
Hosthub Team 💚