In the vacation rental industry, shoulder season is a natural part of the ebb and flow of market demand. And that can be a good thing! A slower season gives you and your team a chance to reset your goals and make necessary updates to your workflow, your properties, and your software systems. Focusing on these updates during your shoulder season will set your peak season up for success with less stress and more time for what matters: giving guests a fantastic experience!
Analyze Your Guest Experience
Now’s the time to regroup with your team, debrief the previous peak season, and set new goals for your vacation rental management business. A key driver of that is the guest experience. Use data to calculate your average guest ratings. If you perform NPS surveys, now’s a great time to review the results with your team. You can also collect reviews with similar notes and present them as takeaways for the team.
This task doesn’t have to be a negative one. Take this opportunity to share with your team what went well and celebrate your successes. Were there team members called out by name in reviews as being particularly helpful, understanding, or accommodating? Why not give them a round of applause (and maybe ask them for tips)?
Plan Major Renovations and Maintenance
While peak season is excellent for your revenue, it’s not so great for your property. Expect additional wear and tear or (hopefully minor) damage after a busy season. Use the quiet periods to block off the calendar and give a property the TLC it deserves. Schedule regular maintenance like cleaning gutters and windows, lawn care and tree management, or refilling hot tubs and pools. Perhaps the home is due for a major update, like a new roof, a new water heater, or new flooring. Shoulder season is a good time to take care of that.
Shoulder season is also a great time to sit down with owners and make recommendations for updates and improvements to their property. Come prepared with a few select reviews from guests to show owners how they may earn even more by making a few changes to their vacation rental. Are the appliances dated and in need of replacing? What about the furnishings—sofas, dining tables, mattresses? You can also comp up some models of what the property could earn if owners added amenities like a private hot tub, built out a deck with an incredible view, or made the property pet friendly.
Add Smart Home Technology
Smart home automation like keyless entry, in-home assistants like Alexa, or smart thermostats is an update that can significantly impact the guest experience. Slow season is an excellent opportunity to research the different vacation rental automation systems, speak with reps, demo the products, and install your new gadgets.
Update Your Software Solutions
Use your market’s shoulder season to look for tools and solutions to power your peak season and streamline your processes. The more automated specific tasks can be, the more you can focus on the most critical aspects of your vacation rental management business.
Now is an excellent time to update your property management system to something robust with plenty of integration options and channel management capabilities. LiveRez’s PMS goes beyond your average property management system to include accounting, CRM, and operations solutions.