Yesterday, July 9, I received an email from a homeowner concerned that she hadn’t rented her home for the July 6 week, so it is sitting empty all this week.
After commiserating with her, I proceeded to do a little investigative searching on our site. I selected a specific region of the Cape and conducted a search for rentals still showing this week as open. There were many — in fact, there were more than five times as many listings with availability for this week than for the week of August 3.
Why was this, I wondered
My theory is that because July 4 fell on a Thursday this year, many folks had a 4-day weekend and thus planned to take their week-long vacation at another, later time during the summer. Traditionally, the second hardest week of the summer to book is the week that contains the 4th of July. This year, however, because of the 4-day weekend phenomenon, this week immediately following the holiday week seems to have suffered.
Which is the hardest week of the summer to rent?
Why, it’s the last week of August. Kids are getting ready to return to school, so demand plummets and inventory is way up. As of today, there seem to be more than 11 times as many available rentals for the last week of August as there are for the first week of August.
What do we recommend to our homeowners?
“Tier” your pricing. In other words, offer the more difficult weeks to rent at a slight discount. If you have the last week of August booked, good for you. If not, you should consider lowering the price – now, before it’s too late. In fact, many owners set the price for that week lower than the other summer weeks from the get go. And check your pricing for the last Saturday in August. Have you entered your high, early-August price there, despite the significant drop in vacationer interest after Labor Day?
If you have lowered your price, be sure to let vacationers know! You can post an Owner Special highlighting a discount, and, as of a month prior to the available week, you can post a Last-minute Availability Alert. And, by all means, keep your calendar date stamp current so that vacationers will know that they can trust your calendar’s accuracy. For more information on these, see the Help & Support Page.
Do you have any other ideas for promoting those difficult-to-book weeks?
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