Off-season Rental Property Management Tips for Building Business
Most short-term rental property managers have an off-season or slow season. During this time, fewer guests check-in, so there’s not as much pressure and long to-do lists. Why not use this time to catch up on some business development? These off-season rental property management tips may create more repeat customers and strengthen important relationships.
Off-season Rental Property Management Tips: Things To Do Today
Email past guests
Managers who have a database of previous customers and guests have an opportunity to strengthen relationships and increase repeat business. First, ensure the list is up to date with emails, phone number and address.
Once the list has been updated, create an e-blast or letter to email them. Many sites offer templates for users, and these templates may include logos, different colors and branding. Canva, just one example, offers templates for logos, email, letters, social media and invitations.
Next, design a custom piece that reminds guests of the rental home, their experience and maybe a deal to book at a later date. Examples include a repeat customer deal, extended stay discount and last-minute booking price. Everyone loves a good deal.
Send thank you notes
Current and upcoming guests also enjoy feeling appreciated. Take time to send a handwritten ‘thank you’ note that includes the rental information and a coupon from a local business. To extend it further, some managers choose to create ‘thank you’ baskets with locally sourced goodies.
The off-season offers a chance to gather materials and connect with business owners who may want to participate. Area businesses to consider include restaurants, tours, equipment rentals, grocery stores, breweries and entertainment venues.
Reach out to referral network
Many property managers also have a large referral network that include real estate agents, contractors, developers, lenders and other rental homeowners. Use time to reconnect with a few who have lost touch. Send a friendly check-in email, set a coffee date or schedule a virtual chat.
Situations and issues change daily, so they may appreciate the note and a reminder of the property management services available in their area. In addition, these contacts may have other referral contacts that lead to more business.
Plan a virtual event
If individual notes seems like a daunting task, host a virtual event for all referral partners. Plan an event that lasts from 1 to 3 hours, and provides updates about the short-term rental property management industry, current services, new programs, cleaning procedures, and other relevant topics.
These events may occur anytime of day. Schedule it around a BYOB (bring you own breakfast) or an evening event with adult beverages or hot chocolate. To add some local flair before the meeting, ship a snack, beverage, or branded merchandise attendees can use during the event. The key is to bring everyone together, discuss rental property management topics and make new relationships.
Pro tip: Don’t forget to advertise your event through email, phone calls, and social media such as LinkedIn or Facebook. Both sites support private groups that help guests feel like this meeting is exclusive.
Schedule deep cleanings and maintenance
The off-season also provides a way to catch-up on deep cleanings and maintenance. Homes that have less occupancy in the off-season could use a deep clean that includes washing curtains and covers, baseboards, vents, shampooing carpet, replacing rugs, cleaning fans, ovens and grills, etc. Read more helpful cleaning tips by experts.
On the maintenance side, pay attention to appliances that need an upgrade, broken blinds, dishes, utensils and cookware that needs replacing. Have the HVAC serviced, run wash cycles on the dishwasher and washing machine, check smoke detectors, install smart home devices, switch to digital locks, and address maintenance issues that appear in reviews or feedback.
These efforts may pay off when bookings increase and guests see all the improvements made to enhance their stay. Plus, an updated home should attract a higher rate versus one that needs improvement.
Spruce up décor
While assessing cleaning and maintenance to-dos, take a look at décor. Start in each room and evaluate throw pillows, wall art, duvet covers, couch covers, lamps, furniture, floral arrangements and trinkets. Pay attention to things that collect dust and/or fingerprints.
Does anything look outdated, used or clashes with the rest of the rental? If so, it’s time to replace it. Guests don’t want to walk into an outdated space or sit on dingy furniture. In addition, updated wall art provides another way to support the local community.
Want to stand out from other rentals? Buy a couple of pieces from a local artists or have them paint murals. Search for coffee table books, souvenirs, framed prints and signed replicas. Adding these touches help guests feel like a part of the community while promoting local business and culture.
After building client relationships and all updates have been made, it’s time to offer a discount. While many travelers stay in a rental for vacation, others are coming for special occasions, business and health-related trips. Then consider the last-minute trips, seasonal events, holidays, snowbirds and people who just need a change of scenery.
Tailor each discount to a person’s situation, so they feel noticed and heard. For example, offer a ‘change of scenery discount’ or ‘healthcare special’. Instead of visiting once or twice a year, guests may stay three to five times a year. That could mean a big difference in off-season revenue.
Is it time for a change? Decide if it’s time to hire a rental property manager and benefit from other services.