Marketing Your Vacation Rental

Think ahead! Enter your availability and pricing for next year

Written by Elizabeth Weedon
5/5 - (7 votes)

Even though you may be celebrating the end of THIS rental season, it’s never too early to think about next year.

Many vacationers are still basking in the glow of vacationing in your area this summer, and they are planning where they want to stay when they return.  Why wouldn’t you at least indicate your availability and pricing on your listing? You can always block off specific weeks to reserve them for past guests or your own family if that is a concern. But why lose potential early bookings needlessly?

Some interesting facts to consider

  • Reduced exposure: Without pricing and availability posted on your listing, its exposure is significantly reduced to vacationers, who have the option to search for listings by date and price.
  • Keep pace with your competition: Many homeowners already have their pricing and availability posted – don’t let your competition beat you out.
  • Increased likelihood of getting top dollar: We all know that last-minute vacationers are usually looking for a bargain. People looking early, on the other hand, rarely try to negotiate for a lower price.
  • Opening your calendar does NOT affect your repeat tenants: Homeowners are often TOO generous with their repeat guests, allowing them excessive time to reserve their return stay and with no commitment as late as January. What you might do instead is pencil in “their week” for next year soon after their departure this year. Then, if/when you receive an inquiry for “their week,” you can confirm with them and even ask for a deposit at that time. Often we hear of cases where homeowners have reserved a week for a past guest whose plans change and the homeowner has turned away potential bookings.
  • You can always change your mind: Not sure of what your own family’s plans are or whether your past tenants plan to return? It doesn’t matter. Enter your pricing and availability, and then block off any dates when necessary. And if you receive an inquiry in the meantime, explain that you cannot commit to the new folks for that week yet, and promise to let them know when you can. It’s likely they won’t wait around for your decision, but they might.

You may still in the throes of this season – or enjoying a much-needed respite after this rental season’s finally ended.  But if you haven’t already done so, don’t procrastinate and take a moment to enter your pricing and availability for next year. It’s worth it!

Note: Needless to say, if you allow your listing to lapse at the end of the rental season, you will not be able to take advantage of any early bookings. Read more about The advantages of advertising year round.



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 managed my family's rental home there since the mid-1980’s. I’m passionately devoted to the Vineyard – and to WeNeedaVacation, which I credit with enabling me to hold onto the special property that has been in our family for nearly a century. An enthusiastic member of the WNAV Homeowner Support Team, I endeavor to keep my finger on the pulse of the Cape and Islands vacation rental industry so that I can provide homeowners advice about how to ensure their booking success with us. With owner Joan Talmadge, I am also responsible for editing and writing much of the text on our website, our monthly newsletters, and Homeowner Blog posts.