Encouraging last-minute bookings at your vacation rental property is a great way to ensure that you are consistently booked year-round. Cancellations, a poor economy and off-season slumps can lead to fewer bookings all around, so giving potential renters extra incentive to book last minute could be the ticket to drawing in more travelers.
In addition to last-minute trips that unexpectedly spring up, budget travelers and special event travelers to Colorado often wait until the last minute to find accommodations because they are seeking out special deals. Offering your rental property at a discounted rate or with a special offer is a much better alternative to not having anyone at your property. Follow these tips ensure smooth sailing with last minute bookers:
- Make Specials Stand Out: Put special deals in the headline of your property rental description so that it catches the eyes of those browsing booking website listings. Even if someone was not planning to stay in a particular area, your offer could sell them on the location, and your rental property.
- Offer Incentives: If you are not particularly thrilled about deep discounts for open weeks, you can offer other incentives to sweeten the last-minute deal. Offer a gift card to a well-known local restaurant, a gas gift card, or free passes to a nearby amusement park or attraction. Travelers will love the extra mile you are going by making their vacation more enjoyable.
- Up Your Response Time: When last-minute travelers are searching for accommodations, every minute counts. Be sure to check your email and phone messages often so that you don’t miss out on an inquiries. Chances are that if you hesitate in responding, the last-minute traveler will move on to another property.
- Be Prepared: Always keep your vacation rental stocked with enough toilet paper and other offered toiletries so that you won’t be caught off-guard by a last minute booking. Also make sure that the house is cleaned immediately after each renter leaves so that the house will be ready for any new renters to come in at any time.
- Be Guaranteed Payment: The only way to receive guaranteed payment last minute is to accept credit card payments via a secure site like PayPal. Avoid Western Union transfers, cashier’s checks and money orders. You can also have your housekeeper or property manager collect cash from a renter if this is agreed upon ahead of time.