Peak season is just around the corner for many property managers. While it’s an exciting and usually very lucrative time when short-term rentals have the potential to generate a large portion of their annual income, it can also be stressful. You’ll have more bookings to manage, more guests to keep happy, and, therefore, more turnovers that must run smoothly. With that in mind, we’ve created a list to help you prepare your short-term rentals for maximum revenue, great guest experiences, and a successful workflow ahead of the peak season.
When is peak season?
Your property’s peak season depends on a number of factors, including your destination and nearby attractions. For most, bookings tend to increase in the summer months, as the weather is warmer and families can take trips during school vacations. However, for snowy or mountain areas, the peak season will fall during winter.
10 ways to prep a short-term rental for peak season
1. Increase marketing
Now is the optimum time to up your business’s promotional activity. In doing so now, you can ensure your short-term rentals benefit from the increased market demand during peak season. Research what your competitors are doing and ensure you’re up to speed on guest trends, so you can tailor your marketing for maximum guest appeal.
2. Update listings
Once you’ve drawn potential bookers to your website, or an online travel agency (OTA) listing, the goal is to secure their booking. Increased supply is making the sector more competitive, so you may wish to adjust your rates based on the local average to avoid turning away potential bookers. Other ways to maximize guest appeal for improved conversion rates include updating listing descriptions to include any upgrades you’ve recently made to the property, and adding high-quality photographs. To meet guest expectations on arrival, ensure all images are as recent as possible.
3. Reach out to past guests
When it comes to short-term rental promotion, don’t forget the power of previous guests. Reminding past visitors of their great experiences at your properties through a friendly email may not only encourage repeat bookings (especially if you offer them a special discount) but it could also lead to referrals.
4. Modernize your rental
Are you witnessing low bookings but aren’t sure why? Maybe it’s time for an upgrade. The months before peak season present a great opportunity to modernize your short-term rental property. This could be as simple as a fresh coat of paint or a declutter. Or maybe your property could benefit from some new appliances or furniture. Whatever it is your property needs, taking these steps now can boost appeal before demand peaks — as long as you remember to upload photos of the new look!
5. Upgrade your tech
Many guests now expect the same comfort and convenience that they have at home. It’s believed the number of general households using smart home tech has more than doubled between 2019 and now, suggesting that upgrading your short-term rental tech can help appeal to guests. Meet rising guest expectations by investing in solutions such as smart thermostats and keyless entry systems that create a seamless guest experience. An added bonus is that these technologies will also improve your operational workflows. Win-win!
6. Prioritize safety
Update your short-term rental’s safety, especially if you have more amenities used in the warmer months, such as a pool. Before the rush begins, walk through your property and visually inspect the building for hazards, check fire extinguishers, and replace batteries in smoke or carbon monoxide detectors to keep your guests and your business safe.
7. Deep clean
Now is the perfect time to have your short-term rental deep cleaned. Doing so can help to highlight any maintenance needs, such as a faulty appliance or wobbly chair, enabling you to get your property in top shape before footfall increases. It may also be worth taking the opportunity to complete those less frequent but necessary tasks, such as changing the air filters in your HVAC for optimum performance.
8. Automate tasks for efficiency
Prepare your team for the busy season by automating repetitive, day-to-day jobs so they can focus on purpose-driven tasks. Installing property tech solutions, such as water sensors, HVAC systems, and smart locks, allows you and your team to regain this valuable time while giving you greater control and visibility over your property.
9. Safeguard your property
With a higher footfall of guests during the peak season, it’s important property managers put steps in place to protect their assets. While guest screening helps to minimize bookings from those with bad intentions, property managers can now go one step further to ensure the safety of their properties and their reputation within the community. With a plug-and-play noise monitoring solution, you’ll be made aware of disturbances in your rentals immediately, allowing you to minimize damage from unsolicited parties or complaints from neighbors.
10. Focus on the guest experience
A five-star guest experience can create loyal customers, encourage guests to spread the word about your property and business, and even improve conversion rates. A short-term rental data provider found a correlation between high-rating reviews and higher occupancy levels — so take the necessary steps to ensure their stays run smoothly or even go the extra mile and offer them perks like an early check-in.
A few small adjustments or upgrades can be the difference between winning and falling behind in the very competitive short-term rental landscape we’re currently experiencing. Property managers can make the most of increased guest demand during the upcoming summer peak season by maximizing property appeal and setting operations up for success with these top ten tips.
Looking to attract extended stay guests to your short-term rentals? Read our three top tips here.