Marketing Your Vacation Rental

Marketing to last-minute vacationers

Written by Elizabeth Weedon
Marketing to last-minute vacationers
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19035-7A critical key to our successful marketing efforts at has always included looking at data, based on over 23 years of experience, and identifying vacationer trends. We have reported, for example, that right after the holidays, people start to plan their next summer vacation. While our web traffic certainly shows a huge jump a few weeks into the start of the year, January is not actually the busiest time on our site for vacationers.

The graphic below reflects the large jump in traffic at the start of the year, but it also indicates the steady growth in traffic that continues well into the heart of the summer.


While one might expect and hope that most vacationers are advanced planners, many of them are actually procrastinators!

How should you market your home accordingly?

If you do still have availability late in the booking season, here are a few tips in order to take advantage of the heavy traffic during the summer months:

  • Post a FREE Owner Special with any special offer you’d like. (See the link under the Manage Listing section in your Homeowner Center.) Owner Specials are eye-catching and can be posted at any time of year.
  • If you’d like to turbo-boost your listing’s exposure and your special offer, purchase a Last-Minute Availability Alert. Doing so enters your listing onto our Special Deals and Last-minute Availability page, which receives a ton of vacationer traffic.
  • Respond immediately to any inquiries (see our post about the best way to respond to inquiries), and, if the vacationer provides a phone number, call them.
  • Make sure your calendar is up to date! Many vacationers will sort by “Calendar Last Updated,” and you definitely don’t want to fall to the bottom of the list
  • Have your pricing set for as many upcoming months as possible. While the bulk of the traffic is related to people looking for a last minute getaway, many are looking for the fall, long-term, and even rentals for next summer!
  • Make sure your pictures are the best they can be – large, seasonal, and as many of them as possible.
  • Solicit guest reviews from your past tenants. Vacationers often tell us that they will move on to another listing if one doesn’t have any reviews, or if none of the reviews is from within the last year or so. Read more about the importance of guest reviews.

About the author

Elizabeth Weedon

Elizabeth Weedon - Although I’ve worked for since 2008, I’ve been a loyal homeowner on the site since early 1998, just a few months after the website was launched by the Talmadges. I grew up summering on the Vineyard and have managed my family's rental home there since the mid-1980’s. I’m passionately devoted to the Vineyard – and to, which I credit with enabling me to hold onto the special property that has been in our family since the 1920’s. An enthusiastic member of the Homeowner Support Team, I am particularly involved with our new listers, providing assistance with the sign-up process and advice about how to create the most effective listing to ensure their booking success with us. And, with owner Joan Talmadge, I am also responsible for editing and writing much of the content on our website, our monthly newsletters, and the blog posts. Email Elizabeth