pricing vacation rentals for holidays and events
January 21, 2022

Pricing Vacation Rentals for Holidays and Events

Setting pricing for vacation rentals for holidays and events seems like basics 101. Successful vacation property managers can always rely on high bookings and excellent revenue for major holidays and popular local events. But it’s important to keep an eye on this pricing strategy, so we’ve put together these five tips for pricing your vacation rentals for holidays and big events. 

While some people (including vacation rental homeowners) may be tempted to hike up the price and leave it at that, leaning into your dynamic pricing strategy, utilizing data, and keeping your calendar flexible can maximize the return even more. 

Here are a few tips for pricing your vacation rentals for the biggest events of the year. 

Learn from Last Year’s Data

It’s easy to assume that major holidays automatically mean high occupancy and ADR. This may lead some to decide to leave their rates for holidays and events as well as the minimum/maximum stay requirements the same as the year before. But as we always say: Just because something worked last year doesn’t mean it’s going to work the same way this year. 

Data—both authoritative and third-party data—is an invaluable tool in this instance. It can help you understand how your vacation rental property management company did individually and how the vacation rental industry did as a whole. You can then make minute adjustments to this year’s rates calendar to capture more bookings for holidays and events. 

Observe Your Booking Curves

While you’re in there looking at data, check your reservation build, or how many bookings were made for a particular event date or holiday and when. As an example, if you saw that listings had incredibly high occupancy for Thanksgiving of 2021 in February of that year, then your prices were way too low. But if you had low occupancy rates for Thanksgiving as early as October, then the properties were priced too high. 

vacation rental rate chart

Check the Event Dates and Adjust

The time of year that an event takes place is just as important as the event itself and can be an added factor in pricing your vacation rentals for major events. Sundance Film Festival, for example, usually happens in late winter and is an already peak vacation season for Utah. It would make sense, then, that your prices account for both of these events at once. 

Always double and triple-check event dates to make sure you aren’t increasing your prices unnecessarily. COVID-19 impacted many of our most beloved local events, either postponing them or making them virtual. The last thing you want to do is add insult to injury to high prices for an event that is no longer happening. 

Setting up alerts for events is important to ensure that you are pricing based on the most recently available information.

  • Create Google Alerts based on keywords for your market
  • Subscribe to event websites to get the latest updates
  • Utilize the Chamber of Commerce or other local association calendars to get accurate information

Under Occupancy? Go For Those Last-Minute Bookings

Collecting all of this information will help you price your vacation rentals for holidays and big events—and even capture more spontaneous travelers!

Even if you have high occupancy rates for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas three to six months in advance, there’s no harm in filling in the gaps by dropping your prices and lessening minimum stay requirements to capture potential guests who decide to travel closer to the holiday. This strategy also works well for smaller, drive-to events that draw in a more local crowd. Sure, you may get some bookings several weeks in advance for these events, but more than likely you’ll capture more spontaneous visitors if your prices are competitively low. 

Review Your Work – On Your Own, With A Pricing Tool, Or With Expert Guidance

Reviewing, testing, and measuring the results of rate setting can be a difficult, time-consuming task, especially during busy times of the year like holidays or around major events. For those not using a pricing tool, it’s imperative to review your booking tapechart in your PMS so that you keep ahead of occupancy lags, or for bookings that are at a lower rate than what the competition is booking.

If you are using a pricing tool… it doesn’t mean you set it and forget it. For these critical high revenue nights, it’s important to monitor and ensure that you are priced correctly and building reservations that are pacing towards full occupancy and optimal ADR.

Not using a pricing tool yet? Then why not reach out to an expert for a little extra guidance? The revenue management experts at Rented can help! They work alongside your team to adjust your prices in a way that makes sense for your listings and your market. And with the help of the Automated Rates Tool, Art, you can make pricing changes in bulk with just a few clicks. Reach out to the Rented Team to see how we can help you price your vacation rentals for holidays and major events today.

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