Sometimes, it's easy to get discouraged and feel like you're not making any progress, as if you're going backwards. I'm going to give you some context for what's happening...
1. There are definitely more owners and more inventory.
With the popularity in Airbnb’s rising, in terms of both guests and owners, there is more competition to work against. This will mean you’ll have to put more effort and intensify your strategic plan to stay at the top of the listing sites and above your competitors.
It’s actually not as difficult as it sounds, especially if you’re already an established vacation rental. You’ll just have to keep an eye on your competitors to see what they’re doing. Make sure you reach out to your guests and have them leave a review. And really leave a lasting impression whether that’s with your customer service skills, your welcome package, or your amenities.
2. You have to rise to the top and really knock people out of their socks.
You have to have something that's so exceptional because people are really looking for an experience.
PRO TIP: Put yourself in your guests' shoes. If you were to go on vacation and stay in a vacation rental, what thing or things would really impress you?
~ Would it be the photos of the curated decor that feels both comfortable and stylish?
~ Would it be the proximity to local attractions?
~ Would it be the champagne, flutes, and towels laid out nicely by the hot tub?
Give them a place that’s more than just somewhere to lay their heads.
Then, be sure they know how you are different, more special than the competition. Take evocative pictures. Write captivating paragraphs.
3. There are seasons, there are waves, and there are ebbs.
I did a Case Study not long ago, with Part 1 and Part 2, because I was highly concerned that I hadn't had the following weekend booked. It was a Wednesday, and I didn't have Friday or Saturday booked. Good news is I ended up booking all of them except for one night. So, out of four, I had three booked, but then, a few days later, I got six bookings in 24 hours!
So, all it was for some reason was people were distracted. You never know if it's something on the news, a big football game, or something else. There are so many things that can influence when people actually decide to book.
Pro Tip - It’s really important that you have your game on in January and February because this is the time when people are planning their yearly vacations. Imagine this... the holidays are over, it's cold in much of the U.S. and Canada, and people have new vacation days that they can play with. "I know!" they think. "I'll book a vacation so I have something to daydream about!" That is when a high number of long-term bookings occur (a week or longer).
We've talked about this before where we're seeing tons of last-minute and short bookings, but when people are ready to say, "This is what I'm going to do with my week or two of vacation," oftentimes, January and February are when they book. So, make sure you are ready for high booking season!