Ah, fall: The season of warm drinks and crisp air is upon us. For all of its merits, the beginning of fall is bittersweet as many vacation rentals across the U.S. close up shop for the winter. An exciting summer season has come and gone, and that steady stream of income you’ve enjoyed over the warm weather months is drying up.
But not so fast.
While most vacation rental business owners see the off-season as a slog they merely have to survive, it doesn’t HAVE to be that way. There are many ways you can continue to book up your rental long after peak season has passed. By taking advantage of the benefits of off-season travel, you’ll be sure to attract fall travelers on the hunt for a memorable autumn getaway.
The Benefits of Off-Season Travel
Traveling in the off-season offers a variety of benefits for vacationers. Fewer crowds, lower rates on airfare, greater availability of accommodations, plus unexpected opportunities for adventure all make the off-season an attractive travel option, especially for the budget-conscious.
While making money in your slow season may seem like an impossible challenge to overcome, attracting off-season travelers is 100% possible. All it requires is a little creative thinking.
The Top 6 Things Fall Travelers Will Love
Marketing to off-season travelers doesn’t have to be a huge stretch. It just requires knowing what these travelers are looking for in a listing. We’ve compiled a list of the top things fall travelers love so you can continue to enjoy that vacation rental income all off-season long.
#1. Discounted Rates
Hello, flash sale! If there’s anything a fall traveler loves, it’s scoring a deal on their accommodations. It’s most likely why they prefer to vacation during the fall in the first place. Consider running a limited-time-only rate or reducing your rate for extended stays. Updating your listing with cheaper rates (especially if they’re only good for a limited time) will attract people who are looking to land a sweet deal in the off-season.
#2. Unexpected Experiences
The cornerstone of the vacation rental industry is providing guests with an experience they’ll never forget. And just because it’s your low season doesn’t mean you can’t offer an unforgettable experience to people who are traveling during this time!
Highlight the local seasonal activities happening in your area. Is it whale watching season in your beach town? Does your city have an incredible music festival no one knows about? Maybe your area has an amazing swath of antique stores waiting to be conquered. Think of all the great yet unexpected things that happen near you outside of high season, then advertise them in your listing and across your social media channels.
#3. Exclusive Perks
Who doesn’t love a good perk? Stand out from the crowd by offering an exclusive perk such as free tickets to a local festival or pick-up/drop-off upon arrival and check-out. Offer a laundering service for extended stays. Or a Postmates giftcard good for a meal delivered to their door. Get creative! Offering a great perk might be the final selling point for off-season travelers.
#4. Fall-Ready Amenities
Part of the appeal of fall is the cozy autumn amenities: gathering around a fire, snuggling up in sweaters, sipping on hot beverages (or a seasonal beer). Cash in on the fall vibes by turning your vacation rental into a go-to fall getaway spot with seasonally appropriate amenities such as:
a fire pit in the backyard
a hot cocoa or apple cider kit
an array of cozy blankets and scented candles
A welcome basket filled with s’mores ingredients
Think of fall-themed ways you can get your listing ready for autumn. Easy upgrades like these will entice fall travelers looking to soak up everything this snuggly season has to offer.
#5. Fall Holidays, Events & Activities
Between football games, Oktoberfest and Halloween, fall is the perfect time to capitalize on the exciting seasonal holidays, events and activities that people are seeking out during this time of the year. More fall-themed activities could include trips to local wineries or apple cider mills, a day of pumpkin picking at a nearby pumpkin farm, apple picking in an orchard or hiking to see the beautiful fall foliage in your area.
When you include these fall-themed holidays, events and activities in your title listing, the more likely travelers will see you on a vacation rental website or app. According to Learnbnb.com, your chances of being seen increase 70% when you provide more contextual clicks in your listing title. Plus, having a recently updated listing allows you to stay relevant on the platform you’re using. Remember, the more relevant you are, the more likely you’ll be to show up in a search.
#6. Traveling with Pets
If you normally list a pet-free rental during peak season, allowing travelers to bring their pets with them in the low season could be a successful way of securing bookings you otherwise might not get. For one thing, you’ll appeal to a growing number of travelers who are searching for pet-friendly accommodations. Secondly, you might be few and far between tenants, which will allow you to do a deep clean after a pet has stayed on your property. If you’ve ever considered allowing pets on your property, now’s the time to try it out and reap the benefits in the process.
Don’t Let the Off-Season Slow You Down
Autumn can be a magical time, even for your vacation rental business! By offering discounted rates and creating a unique experience for your guests, you’ll be sure to capture the attention of travelers in need of a fall vacation. With a little strategy and creative thinking, there’s no reason why this fall can’t be your busiest off-season ever.
Fall is the perfect time to make sure that your vacation rental home has no gaps in insurance coverage. Contact an expert today to discuss your options! [consultation button]