The low season can be tough. A long period of nearly no revenue is a huge stress on any person, and on any business.
Wouldn’t it be great to achieve 30-40% occupancy through the low season?
Well, this is what your local top performing properties are achieving. And it’s not through magic.
Travellers are flowing through your area all year round, including the low season.
It’s just a matter of getting your property in front of them. And this is what the booking sites are achieving. Don’t believe us? Start watching the top search ranked properties in your area.
For one quick second, we're going look at an typical user experience on the booking sites.
So in our example, a traveller goes onto Bookabach. They type in their destination, the dates, the number of people, then they click search.
That traveller is then shown a list of properties available during those dates. On Bookabach and Airbnb, those properties are shown in order of their search ranking.
So in the low-season, who shows up in that search list? Well, it’s any top search ranked properties who’re empty during those dates.
Do you follow?
The properties who’ve earned a top search placement... are shown first on search results… whenever they’re “vacant” during the dates searched.
So in the low-season, guess who’s getting the exposure to travellers.
Because just like on Google, it’s the top search ranked properties who get the business. Why?
A traveller on the booking sites will make a shortlist of 2-4 properties that meet their criteria. Then they’ll book one. This all happens very quickly...
Very often that traveller won’t have made it halfway down the first page of their search results before making a decision.
So, where do you rank on the search results? Room for improvement? Well then download our Holiday House Growth Guide. It’s only a 5 minute read. And it contains the most time-effective ways to boost your search placement on the holiday house sites.
This is the non-miraculous, rock solid foundation of any holiday house business.
It’s one simple change that could drastically improve your life...
You take 50% of the entire booking fee, at the time the booking is made. This realises a good chunk of your huge high-season take into the low-season.
Of course this doesn’t work on Airbnb. Airbnb takes the full amount off the customer at the time of the booking. Then they make money off of that money. Then they pay you after the guest has been and gone to your property. Bad luck.
However this technique is a must-do for HolidayHouses, Bookabach and all the hotel-style booking websites at your disposal.
If you’re not doing it because you think it will scare guests off, then think again.
In many parts of the world hotels take 100% payment at the time of booking. Nobody cares, they book anyway. People just want to make a decision and be done with it.
And in NZ a huge number of holiday house properties are using this payment rule.
You need it in your business.
Long-term bookings during the low season are often achieved through word of mouth.
But there is a limited ability to put yourself in lady luck’s way by using features available on the booking websites.
Is it worth the effort?
Well, Airbnb’s 2016 report shows that 1% of bookings taken on the platform were done using it’s long-term pricing feature.
Which really is a bigger number than it looks, when you consider how many days each of those bookings represents.
How do you use the long-term pricing? What sites does it work on?
The best site for long-term stays is indeed Airbnb. On the platform you can set weekly or monthly pricing.
Airbnb’s long-term pricing integrates with their search feature so by listing your property, you put yourself in front of people specifically searching for that kind of accommodation.
On HolidayHouses you can set specials, that guests see when they look at your property.
And on Bookabach there is currently only a “buy X nights, get 1 night free” option.
Our recommendation for both HolidayHouses & Bookabach is that you simply add mention that fact that you’re open to deals, near the very top of your property description.