In a previous post we discussed the current rise in gas prices. Although gas prices have dropped slightly, a few cents in the past few weeks, the market for vacation rentals is still feeling the effects of expensive oil. Americans are still planning on utilizing the concept of “staycations”. The shift has a great opportunity for vacation rental companies to capitalize on people looking to save on gas prices.
A few ways that vacation companies can make the most of these high prices is by offering their renters ways to avoid the gas pumps. One great way to do this is to market the local public transportation in the area around the properties. Most locations and tourist areas have excellent public transport that allows people to move easily throughout a city while maintaining a budget. An example of using this to your benefit would be to provide a welcome package that includes maps, fares, schedules and possibly a complimentary bus pass. By showing potential renters that there is no need to fill up the tanks for local transportation, renters will be more inclined to come.
Another similar method to attract customers is to focus on attractions within walking distance of your properties. You can also utilize a shuttle service to drop customers off at areas with many attractions in a walkable distance. For example, many beach properties have lots of attractions within walking distance for customers to enjoy. In addition, lets say there is a mall or shopping complex that that is too far away to walk to. However, in the area of the mall there may be several other attractions which the customer could then walk to. This would be a great way to save on gas money for the tenant. Again, these are great ways to show your customers that they can truly save on their gas budget to enjoy more attractions.
Lastly, gift cards are a great way to draw in customers. By including packages for gift cards for gas for multiple night stays, the consumer will see yet another way to avoid the high gas prices. In today’s economy, people are not willing to sacrifice their vacation time, they are merely trying to avoid the high prices of gas. If you were to offer $50 gas cards for your tenants to use, they will see this as another means to save their budget and enjoy more of their vacation. Giving gas gift cards to customers is a great way to show them that you are there to help them make the most of their vacation.
Any of these three tactics would be attractive for a potential customer and, if gas prices do not drop soon, these tactics will help you pull in those vacationers looking to avoid high fuel costs. At Barefoot, we are constantly trying to discover new means to attract potential tenants. If you have any ideas or thought on our strategies, leave a comment below.