Well it’s the time of year up here in New England where rumors of snow are backed up by frigid mornings and mildly warmer days, most call it winter but I am lucky enough to call it hockey season. Now some may not see the difference between a winter enthusiast and a hockey fan but differences like this can distinguish your business from the rest. With the winter coming in, the rental market shifts drastically up here, and in any location with winter snow. So how does this resonate through with your business? Here are 8 ways to beat the winter with simple marketing tools
1- Change Pictures- Easiest call in the world to make. Have a set of pictures based on the season. If you’re looking to draw winter crowds to your vacation rental homes, it will be hard for them to envision if your pictures are of a green summery landscape.
2- Seasonal Description- If you change your pictures to match the season yet still describe the house with “beautiful beach property with enough private beach to wade in privacy” your potential guest may be confused
3- Proper Area Suggestions- I bet that beach nearby doesn’t have quite the same pull now as it did when the water was warmer. Update your offerings to accommodate what guests are looking for.
4- Refresh Your Website- Can’t afford to overlook this one, its huge. There is a lot of behind the scenes work in updating listing pictures and descriptions but if you fail to set the website up for seasonal visitors, you’re failing to set your business up for success.
5- Marketing- Utilize your email database and track your past tenants likes and dislikes. Here’s where I reconnect with my intro paragraph. If you send me an email to come ski at your resort, you’ve missed me. Send me an email based on my favorite hockey team’s proximity to your properties and you have a winning combination. It helps to have a vacation rental software that has a CRM system integrated. Market appropriately to save time and energy.
6- Seasonal Automated Responses- I’ve personally seen this one violated. You go through and take the time to set up your automated replies but forget to change them based on the season and the crowd you are trying to bring in. Something this simple is easy to overlook but can be a deal breaker.
7- Off Season Portals- If you have one season that is significantly weaker than the other, perhaps this is the time to experiment with portal partners. Giving up a percentage of income you would not otherwise have is still a win.
The beauty of these tips is that they can almost all be done with no noticeable change in your business needs. This is not a marketing restructuring, it’s a refresh! Take the time to use these tips and your off season income will grow right before your eyes. Too many companies simply accept that they have one strong season and an off season but that doesn’t have to be the case. By viewing your off season and shoulder season as more of an opportunity than a burden, your business has the opportunity to grow! With proper use of a CRM system and storing and learning your guests passions, you can levereage that information into sales.