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3 tips for driving year-round vacation rental bookings

Get year-round vacation rental bookings by updating your property listing, setting seasonal rates, and using Instant Booking and calendar syncing.

author
Matt Sartor

Delivering an exceptional guest experience year-round and adjusting seasonal rates to meet fluctuating demand can help you maximize revenue at your property from peak season to off-season. But there’s a lot to consider when it comes to attracting guests throughout the year. Simply setting and forgetting your pricing may lead to the occasional booking, but is unlikely to create sustainable success for your property.

 

Instead, we offer tools and resources to help you create a compelling property listing and position your vacation rental as an ideal choice —regardless of the season. Read on for tips to unlock year-round booking success.


Optimize demand with seasonal rates


Setting competitive seasonal pricing can help attract seasonal travelers to your vacation rental, fill gaps during the off-season, and maximize your revenue potential. Seasonal rates differ from your base rate and give you the flexibility to offer different pricing for specific periods of time — such as peak, shoulder, and off-season, holidays, specific events in your markets, and more. They’re a simple and powerful way for you to earn more and fill your calendar.


Peak season

High-demand period of at least 10 to 12 weeks, when most travelers book vacations. You can typically charge higher rates and require longer minimum stays.

 

 

Off-season

Slower season, typically when weather is less than ideal, with considerably lower rates. Guest stay lengths vary, so displaying nightly, weekly, and monthly rates is key.

 

 


Holidays & special events

Travelers plan trips around national holidays and school breaks, major sporting events, conferences, or festivals. This presents an opportunity to charge more and require a longer minimum stay.

 

 

Shoulder season

Time right before and right after your peak season. Rental rates may be lower than peak season, and lower minimum stay requirements can help fill your availability.

 

 


If you’re looking to optimize your vacation rental revenue strategy and drive more consistent bookings throughout the year, try setting competitive seasonal rates and use our MarketMakerTM tool to make informed decisions when setting your rates.

 

With MarketMaker, you can maximize your rental earnings by setting competitive rates that attract travelers year-round, including rates for peak rental seasons, major holiday weeks, and during large local events. MarketMaker delivers detailed market data to support your rate decisions — including traveler demand and availability — and is a great way to adjust and optimize your rates to account for seasonality and changes in the market.

 

Depending on your market, travelers may be booking several months or even a year in advance of their trip date, so it’s important to set your rates at least 6 to 12 months in advance. Really! According to our recent Path to Purchase research, vacation rental guests book their accommodations on average 83 days before their trip start date,** so the earlier you can get your rates set the better.

 

In addition to making sure your rates are set up in advance, remember to optimize your rates as seasons change and to keep your cancellation policies up to date. We also offer seasonal cancellation policies for hosts so you can offer your preferred date-based policy to adjust for seasonal demand and apply the right cancellation policy at the right time.

 

Adjust seasonal rates

MarketMaker delivers detailed market data to support your rate decisions.


Showcase seasonal amenities to attract guests


Capturing year-round bookings is a key part of hosting a successful vacation rental and growing your business, and, in addition to competitive rates, there are some easy updates you can make to your property listing to attract more guests throughout the year.

Even small guest experience enhancements can make all the difference, like:

  • Stocking your rental with seasonal sports equipment.
  • Providing a guide with local seasonal activities and popular spots.
  • Supplying warm blankets for cold nights and extra towels for pool days.

Seasonal headlines and descriptions


To position your property for discoverability and encourage potential guests to book with you, create seasonal headlines and descriptions and use seasonal keywords when listing your amenities. Sharing photos of your property and surrounding areas will also show guests what your property offers throughout the year. For example, appeal to warm weather travelers by highlighting features like your outdoor grill or attract cold weather travelers by showcasing features like heated bathroom floors.


Holiday-friendly language


You can also include holiday-friendly language in your listing to attract potential guests. Highlight holiday-centric amenities in your listing, such as a large family room perfect for opening gifts or an outdoor grilling area ideal for summer gatherings.

While certain aspects of your property may be highlighted depending on the season, delivering an exceptional guest experience should be consistent year-round. Don’t forget the items that matter regardless of the season — like a great coffee maker, a comfortable lounge area, and quality linens. And, to provide guests with a more immersive look at your property’s seasonal amenities, consider adding a virtual tour.

 

Update property listing



Use tools to quickly respond to bookings


Now that your content and your rates are set up to attract travelers, make sure you are staying in touch with every traveler that comes your way. Our mobile app for owners helps you stay connected to guests and manage your listing from anywhere. An easy way to increase your acceptance rate success is by responding quickly to travelers with Instant Booking and calendar syncing — partners who enable Instant Booking and sync calendars see 60% more bookings.*

Calendar syncing

With calendar syncing you can sync your calendars across multiple platforms and view all your reservations, high-demand dates, and local events in one place. This can help increase performance by presenting opportunities to adjust your rates while also preventing double-bookings.

 

Learn how to sync

Instant Booking

Instant Booking lets guests book your vacation rental instantly, without waiting for your approval — saving time and making it easier for them to book your vacation rental when they’re interested. When you offer Instant Booking, your listing appears in more searches and higher in the search results.

 

Set up Instant Booking

By positioning your vacation rental as a versatile destination for all seasons — and optimizing your rates strategy to match — you’ll be more ready to welcome a steady stream of travelers throughout the year.

A product graphic showcasing the instant booking app available to download from the app store and google play.
With the Vrbo owner app, you can manage your listing anytime, anywhere.

Take action

Log in to the Vrbo owner dashboard to update your listing and access tools that will help you unlock year-round vacation rental bookings.
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Headshot of Matt Sartor

Matt Sartor

Senior Director, VR Partner Success, Expedia Group

 

Matt is responsible for building strong relationships with Vrbo’s
top hosts and property managers. His teams deliver high-quality consultations that help our Partners provide exceptional travel experiences, all while improving their booking performance on Vrbo and beyond. Matt has spent nearly 20 years in e-commerce and SaaS building global customer-centric teams that collaborate effectively with product, engineering, marketing, and support teams, to keep exceptional customer experiences top of mind
for all.



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