What Is the Minimum Length of Stay (MinLOS)?
The Minimum Length of Stay is a policy that is normally used during a period of high demand after a period of low demand. If for example, a popular festival is being hosted in your town and you know that there will be a rise in tourists for a week, you could consider setting a minimum length of stay in order to regulate reservations and make up for the periods of low demand.
However, be sure that there is enough demand for longer stays. Having a minimum length of stay when there aren’t enough people interested in booking your vacation rental can be damaging to your business.
Should You Apply a Minimum Length of Stay to Your Vacation Rental?
Setting a minimum length of stay allows vacation rental owners to increase their occupancy rate during the slow periods that follow a peak season. However, if there is not enough demand and you end up losing bookings, this policy can drastically reduce your income.
MinLOS restrictions were highly useful in the days prior to the rise in popularity of online booking channels, but today, where a large percentage of bookings are made online, they are not useful for day-to-day usage. Here’s why:
First and foremost, this policy restricts your potential guests’ ability to book their stay according to their needs. Having to account for corporate policies is an inconvenience that will most likely send the potential guest running to your competitors.
You’re also decreasing your online visibility. By having a MinLOS restriction in place, any searches that customers make on online travel agencies such as Airbnb and Vrbo will filter out your property if the guests’ stay isn’t compatible. This decreases the billboard effect and can cost you valuable direct bookings in the long run.
What Is the Maximum Length of Stay?
The Maximum Length of Stay restricts the number of days a property can be rented. It’s useful when you know that your vacation rental will be able to sell at higher rates, during periods of high demand, and when discounts are being offered to guests.