The Ultimate Vacation Rental Last Minute Deal and Discount Campaign

Nov 3, 2018

Vacation Rental Last Minute Deal and Discount Strategies

   

Do you find yourself scrambling to get vacancies filled? Don’t know where to turn or what to do to market your properties and get heads in beds? We’ve got you covered. Here is the ultimate, best last minute deal, vacation rental campaign strategy to get those hard to earn bookings. This is a great resource to use and refer to again and again as you head into the low season or when vacation property owners find themselves with a sudden rental vacancy, the top rental owner performers have a campaign ready to launch at a moments notice. Don’t let yourself scramble by slashing prices in desperation without carrying out a few steps to ensure you are working smarter and more efficient, almost guaranteeing you bookings.

WHY DOES THIS CAMPAIGN WORK?

This Vacation Rental Last Minute Deal and Discount Campaign works because it puts into production the hard data available on the internet, your own guest statistics, and creates a campaign that you can freely share with your last minute guests to get them used to your regular patterns which allow them to be ‘on deck’ to book last minute deals that they prefer. Once you put it into practice and apply it to your vacation rental business it becomes an easy to follow cycle. You will build up a list of last minute and special deal contacts that you can call upon to help you fill your vacancy. Use this campaign and it's strategies in concert with your vacation rental listing sites to ensure you maximize your last minute efforts, by utilizing the Special Offers page, and short-term ads for increased exposure.

ANYONE CAN CREATE A VACATION RENTAL DEAL OR DISCOUNT CAMPAIGN

This 10-Step campaign is easy to follow but will take some extra time to set up the first time around. We've estimated that it will take a property owner about 190 minutes to set this campaign up. Once you have the templates created and the workflow charted out it will be a cinch to pull out at any time and will help to build your bank of repeat guests. We've added the timeframe for each step to help you understand how long each task will take to accomplish. 

GOALS OF THE LAST MINUTE DEAL CAMPAIGN

  • Well, this is pretty straightforward.... the goal is to get your vacancies booked and optimizing the vacation rental return on investment.
  • It’s a great idea to track when you have to discount your rates to get vacancies rented out so you can prepare for future campaigns in advance. Rentals are fairly cyclical and usually fall within the low seasons and the school year. For rentals in Florida, that means late August to January, with the exception of holidays.
  • This Campaign, as a result, will build a bank of last-minute guests that you can contact for future ‘pre-deal campaign launches’ to decrease your work by filling vacancies without even having to launch the campaign. 
  • Mapping out your Last Minute Deal Campaign can help you plan and budget in advance what you'll want to spend in advertising to increase your chances of booking the gaps in your calendar. Luckily at FLARBO there are free and low-cost options to help you increase your exposure.

LET"S GET STARTED ON LAST MINUTE DEAL STRATEGIES........

 

STEP 1 - IDENTIFY CAMPAIGN TIMELINE 

Time 5 min — Firstly, identify a comfortable time period for guests to make sufficient travel arrangements. That could mean anywhere from 2 weeks to 30 days for your average guest to coordinate travel to your property. Keep in mind where your average last-minute traveler is coming from and how they are getting to your property. This will help determine later where you advertise your special last minute deals and discounts.

STEP 2 - IDENTIFY YOUR OFFER

Time 30 - 60 min - Consider a pricing strategy with discounted rates or a discount percentage applicable towards the regular rate. If your listing site doesn't offer you a multitude of options to display your offer then consider advertising on websites that can meet the needs of your last minute special offer. Percentage discounts are a little harder for travelers to calculate mentally without visiting your rates section. This option may not be ideal. You may want to consider a different offer such as a package vacation deal. This could include free gift certificates to restaurants or local experiences, free sports equipment rentals included with the rental or free visit to a local event. A Reward program is a great idea but may not garner you a booking for the exact timeframe that you need to be filled.

  • Reduce Rates
  • Apply a Discount
  • Offer a Reward Program
  • Offer a Vacation Bundle Package

STEP 3 - IDENTIFY PRICING

Time 30 min - You can identify the perfect price point where you can pretty much guarantee a booking through past results. There is an abundance of new software apps that automatically help set pricing such as Vayoo and Beyond Pricing. You can also do an old-fashioned online research by looking at an abundance of listing websites and do an excel sheet of your direct competitors that carry the same large amenities and location where your property is located. Once you have done sufficient research decide on your offer price, set it and proceed to the next steps.

TIP! - Be careful using apps like Airbnb best pricing, the comparable variables may not match yours. For example, other rentals may not be adding in taxes versus your property rates which may include taxes.

STEP 4 - UPDATE LAST MINUTE DEAL/DISCOUNT

Time 30 min - Update your property listing on all advertised sites or by using a channel manager if you have one. This includes both the rates periods as well as the listing description text sections. Ensure you take the extra step to change the title of your listing to include a short blurb about the last minute deal/discount. FLARBO makes this process even easier with their special offer options. Special offers are currently free to advertise where owners have a special text field to use when advertising a unique last-minute deal or offer. This also helps FLARBO staff quickly identify the offer and easily market and advertise it. Once the special offer rate or discount is applied the property appears on the Last Minute Deals page.
  • update rates
  • update property listing title
  • create a special offer section

STEP 5 - CREATE A GRAPHIC PHOTO

Time 15 min - Take the extra step to create a graphic photo designed specifically for your vacation rental special deal. Ensure that the photo is clear, concise and utilizes your brand colors so that it is easily recognizable to your past guests. You can easily do something like this using software like PicMonkey or Canva. Use the graphic photo on your website if you have one and on social media platforms. Unfortunately, rental websites like VRBO and Airbnb don’t allow you to link your listing to your website, but at Florida Rental By Owners (FLARBO) we encourage owners to advertise their last minute deals and offers so that you can drive traffic to your website and convert at a higher rate. If your current listing site doesn’t offer this feature, consider listing on Florida Rental by Owners. 

STEP 6 - ADVERTISE YOUR SPECIAL OFFER

Time 5 min -  At Florida Rental by Owners (FLARBO) our owners currently have the unique opportunity to advertise their special offers for free and gain exposure on one of our most visited website pages, the Last Minute Deals Page. We also offer our paid subscribers the opportunity to utilize short-term advertising, at a reasonable extra cost, which also increases exposure. The Highlighted and Featured Ads were created specifically for the purpose of supporting our owners last-minute deal campaigns and getting vacancies booked. If your vacation rental advertising platform doesn’t allow you to do this maybe it’s time you subscribe to FLARBO. Check out our listing subscription offerings here.

STEP 7 - UPDATE PERSONAL WEBSITE

Time 15 min -  Upload your graphic photos and deal information directly on your personal website. Remember to clearly identify the price, and if it includes taxes, deposits, etc… Also, identify whether the deal applies to current reservations or only new ones to avoid issues with your reservations already on the books.

STEP 8 - WRITE A BLOG POST

Time 30 - 60 min - Write a blog post about interesting things to do and events happening in your area during your last minute deal period. Entice your guests to visit your property during this time. Ensure you remember to include a strong call-to-action within your blog article so that the guests understand the next steps. Make it easy for them to check out your vacation rentals and easily book.

STEP 9 - SPREAD THE LOVE

30 - 60 min - Send out your Special Last Minute Deal offer and your blog article in a newsletter to your contact list. Remember to re-send the newsletter to contacts that didn’t open it. Don’t forget to spread the deal out to a larger audience on all social media platforms like Facebook, Facebook Groups, Buy & Sell Groups, Instagram, PinterestTwitterLinkedin, etc.. If your Blog article is epic, consider outreach to syndicate your content on other blogs. This takes some legwork but could garner you a huge reach. Feel free to advertise your last minute deals on our Facebook Groups that are incredibly busy with traveler inquiries outside of our website. Just visit our Florida Rental By Owners Business Facebook Page, and choose the linked Facebook group where your property is located. Ask to join and mention your FLARBO listing to gain quicker access.

STEP 10 - REVISIT AND TWEAK

This final step is super important, especially if you are fairly new at this type of campaign strategy. After 7 -10 days, revisit your offer and decide if the price or package needs to be revamped or tweaked to attract guests. If you haven’t gotten any bites chances are you haven’t priced your property correctly or given your traveler enough opportunity to book and make travel and work arrangements. Follow the above steps again to ensure your offer is reaching the right audience and ensure that your vacation rental listing website is aligned with your goals. Florida Rental By Owners was "Built By Owners FOR Owners" we do everything in our power to help garner our owner's bookings.

KICKING IT UP A NOTCH

  • There are a lot of different combinations to work into your Vacation Rental Last Minute Deal Campaign, think outside the box and try kicking it up a notch by using video! A quick live Facebook video showcasing you, the host, in a great location, talking about their latest deals as well as enticing travelers to the area with information on local events is another great way to reach a larger audience. Consider using the same video with social media advertising like Facebook, you can even post that on our Facebook Groups that are active with travelers.
  • On your next pre-campaign launch, by having a list of last-minute deal contacts you might be able to skip the above effort and go straight to contacting these guests and book the vacancies immediately. Contact can be made as simple as a phone call or personal email to this group.
  • If you aren't sure how to apply the Special Offers and Short Term FLARBO Feature and Highlighted Ads contact us and we'd be happy to explain how you can get more exposure!

     

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