Maximizing Rental Occupancy Rates: Strategies for Off-Peak Seasons 

Industry Insights
Maximizing Rental Occupancy Rates: Strategies for Off-Peak Seasons 

The year’s peak vacation seasons offer plenty of opportunities to grow your short-term rental business. Yet, at the same time, the fall and winter months will undoubtedly be slower, meaning they can adversely affect your annual profit margin as a result. 

In order to keep your rentals occupied and your business generating money all year, it’s important to modify your marketing practices during these off-season weeks. To that end, below are some helpful strategies to increase the appeal of your off-season vacation rental property:

Minimize or Omit Minimum Stay Requirements

You’ll find that most tips that apply to busy rental seasons won’t be as effective during the off-season, also called shoulder season. Therefore, in order to promote your low-season vacation rental, you’ll have to take additional steps to meet the needs or interests of off-season travelers. And that includes reducing the number of nights you require quests to stay. 

You might find even more success by removing these requirements altogether. Take advantage of travelers who might only spend a night or two in the area as a means of keeping your rentals occupied.

Offer Lower Nightly Rates 

Whether it’s really the off-season or you’re experiencing shoulder season vacation rental dips, you’ll want to do something to keep your occupancy rates high. 

In addition to reducing or outright removing minimum stay requirements, consider offering lower nightly rates. Whether travelers are passing through the area as part of a greater trip or intentionally looking for vacation accommodations in your area, lower rates will help you attract new guests and increase off-season bookings. 

Check the rates for competing short-term rentals in your area. If you can offer a rate that’s slightly lower than these, you’ll gain a larger share of the off-season market. Some of those nightly guests may even become recurring guests come the usual vacation season if they have a positive and cost-effective experience during these off-peak times.

Tempt Past Guests With Off-Season Deals

Bringing back past guests during the off-peak season is an excellent means of keeping your rentals occupied while helping you encourage repeat business. Offer a special discount to past guests during the off-season period. Often, people will take advantage of it, even if they hadn’t been planning to vacation at that time of the year up until receiving it.

Emphasize Off-Season Attractions Near Your Rentals

Marketing for other businesses in your region can help you maximize occupancy rates during the off-season. If there’s a winter festival or another off-season attraction in your area, use your social media accounts to spread awareness. 

Travelers will need a place to stay if they want to join in on these experiences. And if you’re already offering an off-season reduced rate, you can mention the discount in these posts for further incentivization. 

Amp Up Your Social Media Marketing Campaign

One particular short-term rental marketing tip that you’d likely use during the busiest time of the year may still be effective during the off-peak season. And that’s spending more time on your social media marketing strategy. Even though you might have fewer guests during the off-season, your online followers are still out there. 

Creating new posts will keep your brand and short-term rental business relevant in the minds of your followers. Make posts that highlight the appeal of your accommodations and the businesses that remain open throughout the year, such as restaurants, entertainment, and shopping centers that are local favorites, to encourage off-season visits.

Emphasize That Your Off-Season Vacation Rental Is Cozy and Warm

Even after the holidays come and go, there might be personal reasons that keep people from traveling. The cold temperatures and reduced sunlight make for some of the biggest, keeping people inside and dampening their mood.

You can combat these issues by sharing more information about your rentals. Take more pictures of your rentals to share in your online marketing ads and social media posts. Show people that they will experience a luxurious, cozy, and entertaining stay.

Behind the scenes, it’s important to keep up with property maintenance when you want to market your rental for the off-season. Conduct semi-annual HVAC tune-ups, check for air leaks in window and door frames, and make sure your fireplaces are in good condition. Maintenance might not be glamorous, but it will help you provide a warm and enjoyable guest experience year-round.

Enjoy Property Protection All Year

Safely offers renter screening services and short-term rental insurance to help you reduce your risks of damage and loss. We’ll keep you covered no matter the time of year, allowing you to focus on keeping your rental properties occupied. Contact us today to learn about the services we offer to vacation rental property managers.

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Amanda is a licensed insurance agent and the Vice President of Sales at Safely and has been with the company since 2021, leading new client onboarding and client initiatives. She is especially proud of her team’s efforts to successfully drive down annual churn to 3% with a trending net revenue retention rate of 130%. Outside of Safely, you may catch a glimpse of Amanda playing a nurse on TV, prepping for her next art show, or on a date with her husband of 16 years.

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