Peak season is when you can really exploit your vacation rental business and won’t have to do as much convincing to get travelers to visit your area and book your property.
However, that does not mean you can just kick back and relax for a few months. On the contrary, this is usually the most stressful and busy time for vacation rental owners and property managers.
You’ll have to continue to invest just as much effort into promoting your property and maintaining your online reputation, while also managing the increased bulk of incoming reservations and bookings.
In short, you will have to up your efficiency, because only then you’ll be able to reap the desired benefits of your peak season.
That’s why we’ve listed a bunch of practical tips that you can use to prepare yourself in advance, as well as to simplify all the tasks you will need to attend to during the peak season.
When is the vacation rental peak season?
The time period of your peak season differs, depending on which country and region your vacation rental is located in.
If you own a lodge surrounded by snowy mountains, your peak season will likely be during the winter months of the year when guests go on skiing holidays. And if you own a vacation rental near the beach, your peak season will naturally fall on the hot and sunny summer months.
Other factors that can lead to spikes in your booking rates are special holidays or events that attract travelers and visitors to your area.
Mark these dates in your calendar in advance to prepare for the increased demand but also to use it to your advantage. You could for example plan special holiday offers and discounts for guests right before the event arrives.
What if the peak season lasts all year round?
There are however also some tourism hubs where the influx of travelers never really runs dry throughout the year.
If this applies to your destination you will have to reinvent your marketing strategy and find new ways to promote your vacation rental creatively. That means adapting to the different seasons, seeing as promoting for the winter or fall holidays is not the same as for the summer vacation.
If there are no big seasonal changes in your locations, you have to stay on top of other marketing opportunities you can make use of instead. Add value to your property by making the most of exclusive offers and special services that will set you apart from the competition in your area.
Prepare for the arrival of the peak season
Preparation is key when it comes to managing your vacation rental’s peak season. Any task you can complete in advance will minimize the inevitable workload you will have to manage when the time arrives.
Run an audit to track how your vacation rental business is doing
The moment right before you’re embarking on peak season is perfect to audit everything related to your vacation rental – monitor your competitors and changes in their strategy, re-check the regulations for vacation rentals that apply to your city, region or country and review the quality of your services based on the guest feedback you’ve collected so far.
Simply put, analyze how you and your business are currently performing.
Once you’ve reviewed everything, make the necessary changes to fill in the missing gaps.
For example, you may have to redirect your marketing strategy, adjust your nightly rates or take new pictures of your property for your listings and ads.
Don’t start any big projects
If you’re thinking of redoing the whole kitchen or digging a pond in the backyard, peak season is not a good time for that.
Either postpone or accelerate any projects that require a lot of working hours and will force you to keep your rental vacant – even if it’s only for a few days.
Unexpected mishaps can always come out of nowhere and prolong the construction process. Worst case scenario, you might even have to cancel a previously confirmed reservation at the last minute.
Instead, leave those major projects for the off-season when your booking calendar likely won’t be completely maxed out. Thus, this time is far better suited to renew, refurbish and rebuild since it won’t have as much of an impact on your occupancy and booking profits.
Benefit from past guests
Right before peak season is when everyone is thinking of taking a holiday and planning their trip. Provided you haven’t lost contact with your past guests, this is the perfect time to remind them what a comfortable and pleasant stay they had at your home before.
You can do this by sending them an email newsletter for instance, with a personalized and attention-grabbing subject. This could also be a great opportunity to promote your vacation rental with a special second stay discount offer.
If you’ve done your homework in the past and asked for reviews from your previous guests, you also won’t be short on positive recommendations in your favor.
Display the most recent ones on your website and prepare to catch the attention of any traveler looking for an unforgettable experience.
Prepare everything to welcome your guests
Make sure to gather all of the needed information and prepare everything for their arrival to avoid rushing at the last moment.
Plan the cleaning of your rental in the gaps between the stays of your guests, when there’s an available time slot. Also, stock up on everything your guests will need – a welcome pack, a welcome letter, copies of the vacation rental agreement, special snacks in case of any allergies, towels, toilet paper, etc.
Mark down their arrival times as well. Are you going to welcome your guests face to face? You should plan all of your personal responsibilities in advance.
Be efficient during the peak season
The never-ending to-do list that is always on your mind during peak season can quickly become overwhelming. That’s why you should cut down dispensable time and simplify processes and tasks as much as possible. This will keep your stress levels from going haywire right out of the gate.
If a task takes up too much of your time and doesn’t necessarily require your physical presence, leave it to technology.
Install smart locks to make the check-in and check-out process easier and quicker for you and your guests. They won’t have to carry a key around (a simple code suffices) and you won’t have to be there in person every single time to open the door for them.
If you still want someone to greet them and give them a tour of your property there are other alternatives as well. You could hire another person or get a virtual assistant like Alexa or Google Home and schedule it to welcome guests in your place.
In the thick of peak season, you probably won’t have as much time to be on your computer and manage everything related to your booking calendars and external channels. The simple solution to this problem?
Get a channel manager to synchronize all of your different channels and simultaneously update any changes in all of your calendars. Similarly, you can also prepare a number of automated email responses in case guests contact you to resolve a common question.
Don’t forget the clean up
Did you know that lack of cleanliness is one of the main reasons for complaints during the holiday peak season? Cleaning the property before the arrival of each new guest is part of the standard procedure.
However, it is also highly advisable to commit to a thorough deep-cleaning at least twice a year. Shortly before peak season makes for the perfect timing.
For this purpose, you should prepare a cleaning checklist to avoid leaving out any vital spots around the house or property. Tick off each bullet point yourself or hire a professional company to make sure everything comes out completely stainless and clean.
It might also be a good idea to make a separate list for all of the smaller cleaning chores that need to be done regularly in between each visit.
Stay available for your guests
Being there for your guests and answering their questions quickly is imperative. Even more so at first arrival and the beginning of their stay. Let your guests know that you care about them, their wellbeing and their safety and that you are willing to help them solve any emerging issues.
However, since there are already a million other things to do during peak season you should try to prevent trivial and commonly asked questions. You can do that by making sure your listing descriptions and pictures are as clear and precise as possible.
In addition, also provide your guests with a set of house rules for your vacation rental. As a result, most of their questions and concerns can already be resolved in advance which will save you a lot of time.
Now that you know how to make the most of your vacation rental’s peak season it’s time to get down to business and start preparing. Just follow these simple tips and the busy months of the year are sure to go smoothly for both you and your guests!