Now is the Time to Market Longer Term Stays to Snowbirds
Written By Kathy Kappus
Take Advantage of the Senior Travel Season
When winter finally hits, your rental is prime real estate – and you may not even know it! Snowbirds are always looking for a great location where they can escape the cold and go somewhere for a few weeks or even months while they wait out the winter season.
Fall and winter are the premier seasons to for people to choose longer stays in your vacation rentals. Seniors have the time available to travel more.
How to Advertise Your Rentals During Senior Travel Season
You have plenty to offer, primarily if your rental is located in a warmer area of the country. Here are some ways to make your rental a hot ticket item for seniors traveling in the fall and winter:
- Market the Sparse Crowds: Is your vacation rental located in a premier travel spot? During the fall and winter, you know your tourist count goes down, which means those who rent your property will get to enjoy all the attractions and amenities more privately than they would in the summer.
- Discuss all the Great things in the Off-Season: Now you want to highlight what there is to do in your area during the low seasons. Whether it is a festival, unknown attractions that only open at this time of the year, best places to watch fall leaves, and even events that take place from September through March.
- Use Photographs of Couples: While creating these advertisements, you want to use images that include couples and people of a certain age being active and enjoying your region.
RedAwning Helps You Book Your Vacation Rentals for Seniors and Enjoy Long Term Renters
One of the key benefits of marketing your property for snowbirds is that you get longer stays. With a long-term contract in place with us, you do not have to worry about continually finding replacements for your rental properties during the off-season, and that means more profits for you. Let RedAwning help you get more renters during the off-season with our excellent marketing platform.
Booking.com is the #1 most visited online travel agency (OTA) which means getting your listings up and running there is imperative to increase your bookings and visibility. But, and you know where we are going with this… getting live isn’t enough! It’s imperative to optimize your content, utilize promos, and ensure your listing has the best opportunity to get in front of the most travelers possible.
The internet is a necessary evil whether you are managing five properties or 500 and succeeding in an internet era means mastering things like content optimization, foreign as it may sound. Properly implemented Google ads, SEO optimized web content, and updated calendars are all steps that will keep your rankings high, AKA ensure your listings show up at the top of a traveler’s search whether it be on Google, Booking.com, Tripadvisor and more.
Speaking of content optimization, when was the last time you updated your photos? Do you know what resolution you are using? What is your visual strategy? Visual content is your biggest opportunity to make your listings stand out. Studies show that online visuals have about 20 seconds to capture a shoppers attention. All the legwork you’ve done to get shoppers to your listing now relies on whether or not your photo content stands above the rest.
This takes time and dedication. RedAwning’s Account Management and Revenue Optimization teams work closely with Booking.com’s regional office to stay informed on the most effective strategies for driving bookings and increasing online visibility.
Here’s what you need to know about payment processing and validation. Booking.com does not act as the merchant of record. They are a fantastic vehicle for getting your listings in front of serious shoppers but the payment does not actually process through them so you are responsible for collecting payment and paying channel commissions and fees as needed. This may seem benign but you should also keep in mind the fact that you will be solely responsible for managing credit cards declines and chargebacks.
According to data collected by RedAwning in 2018, 42% of booking.com customers’ cards decline and this can mean trouble when your PMS system blocks off the dates or worse, when they don’t and customers who haven’t checked their email or bank account show up with luggage, pets with nowhere else to crash but your vacation home.
Payment validation and the manual process of reporting declined credit cards is extremely demanding, leaving you prone to error and wide open to Booking.com’s relocation fees. RedAwning has automated this process so declined cards are reported instantly. We act as the merchant of record and ensure only valid and completed bookings to make your life as easy as possible.
Even the most organized vacation homeowner has, on occasion found themselves double booked. Sometimes the PMS system is to blame or maybe you promised your vacation home to your mother and forgot to adjust your availability in time.
Booking.com is very strict about overbookings. When they do occur, you are always liable for the commission on the original booking, as well as the cost to move the guest to an alternative property. If your inventory is limited this can quickly lead to a hefty bill (we’re talking thousands) for overbooking charges.
RedAwning has an aggregation of over 140,000 properties in 10,000+ locations, way more inventory than an individual property manager alone, which comes in very handy when disaster strikes. We’re able to move guests to comparable properties more easily, resolving overbooking issues on your behalf. No other provider offers this service, we’ve looked!
So what are you waiting for, Contact RedAwning today to see how we can help get you listed and improve your Booking.com property listings.
Contact our rental professionals at 344-306-2210 to learn more about how we partner with your property management company or fill out our online form to get started.