Guests will pay more for special events and occasions, so don’t miss out on opportunities to apply special rates to your vacation rental. Take care not to over reach though.It’s a fact that some people will pay extraordinary special rates for extraordinary experiences. Some are willing to part with $250,000 on the promise of an unforgettable Virgin Galactic ‘space flight’. Others will spend $83,000 a night on a fabulous stay at the world’s largest luxury hotel suite, The Royal Penthouse Suite at the President Wilson Hotel in Geneva, Switzerland. And there are foodies ready to pay around $1200 for dinner for two at the exclusive, traditional Kitcho Restaurant in Kyoto, Japan.
Budgets may not stretchBut, let’s face it, most of our guests are on a budget – and it doesn’t stretch that far! If you’re lucky enough to own a vacation rental property that’s close to the location for a big event or celebration you should be able to count on extra income from special rates if you approach it in the right way. Upping your rates for holidays and seasonal events is fairly straightforward but some big events can be a little tricky and will require some marketing nous if you are to fill your vacancies. You might imagine that if you had a property within striking distance (pardon the pun) of the annual Super Bowl event that you could almost name your price. Not so, according to Skift.
Expected to make thousandsA number of owners in that advantageous position were recently left with egg on their faces, as we say here in the UK, when their special rates were over ambitious. In the San Francisco Bay area where the Super Bowl 50 was held in February, some were expecting to make thousands of dollars over the weekend of this major sports attraction. But some of the most expensive rentals were finding no takers. Like Katrina Johnson with a four-bedroom, four-bath home to rent in Santa Clara, walking distance from Levi’s Stadium, where the game was played. Having overhauled her home in anticipation of the event and turned each bedroom into a master suite, she could not find a taker at her special rates of $10,000 per night. In spite of including attractive extras such as a car service and personal chef. The moral here is clear: take care not to overprice your special rates so that everyone loses out. Most guests are prepared to pay more to attend special events and celebrations. Sometimes considerably more, depending on the drawing power of the occasion.
Avoid being over optimisticSo how do you avoid being over optimistic with your special rates?
- First off, find out what other comparable properties are charging and set your rate in line with that. If you have a special advantage over competitor properties – perhaps you’re closer to the event, or enjoy a better view of it – you should charge extra. But be sure to emphasise your advantage as potential guests may be weighing one offer against another to find the best value.
- Ask friends what they would be prepared to pay. If they think what you’re charging is outrageous, they will let you know.
- Be prepared to drop down if the event is approaching and you’ve had little interest. Money off can be a big draw but if you think you have correctly priced, hold your nerve for the last minute takers.
- You could always send out a promotional email to previous guests offering them an attractive discount to this very special event.