One of the most important aspects of renting your holiday home is how guests will arrive.
While some old-fashioned ways of doing business still exist in certain locations, times are changing and guest book habits aren’t the same as they were. Flexibility in departure and arrival dates is key to bookings in competitive markets.
This article will outline some of the important things to remember when you are setting up your check-in/check-out procedures for your vacation rental.
Do Not Restrict Check-In Hours – Offer 7-Day Check-In To Your Guests
Many vacation rentals in Truman Annex in Key West used to have strict rules about bookings. This included check-in and check-out days. Many rental properties required that guests check in on Saturdays. The host can enjoy this flexibility as they are only required to be available for one day per week.
It is, however, a sucking experience from the guest’s perspective.
You may be catering to only a small number of guests by limiting the check-in/check-out times. You’ll lose important bookings if your check-in/check-out times don’t meet their needs. When planning their trip logistics, guests have to manage work schedules, flight times, and many other commitments.
You will offer a 7-day check-in and check-out, so you can accept bookings beginning (and ending) any day of the week. Even if a 7-day check-in is not feasible for your business, more guests will be accepted the longer you keep your property listed.
To Increase Your Audience Base, Set Appropriate Minimum Stays
The old-fashioned check-in/check-out day rules were very restrictive about how long guests could stay on the property. If guests had to book in weekly increments, it might be easy to manage your calendar but you are missing out on a lot of travelers who may want a 10-day vacation but cannot or won’t stay for two weeks.
To Fill In Gaps, Reduce Your Advance Notice And Make Last-Minute Bookings
Many last-minute bookings can be made for shorter stays. Last-minute bookings play a vital role in the post-covid tourism industry. In some markets, they are the fastest-growing segment of bookings. You should reduce the minimum notice required to secure bookings during this volatile time. This means that you accept bookings as close as possible to check-in day without compromising the quality of your service to guests.
Property managers can benefit from strict Saturday-to–Saturday bookings. It is easy to manage a maximum of four bookings per calendar. However, if you say “check-in any time, 3 nights minimum stay”, then there are hundreds of booking periods that can be made in the same month.
In highly competitive markets, it is possible to fill empty nights by making shorter or last-minute bookings. You can offer lower rates depending on the market and fill in gaps in your calendar.
To Balance Guest Appeal And Profitability, Calculate Your Cost-Per Book
To determine the right stay requirements, calculate your cost per booking (or “arrival price”) and see how it affects your profitability. This means you need to calculate how much each guest’s check-in costs, such as cleaning and staffing. Consider how many nights each guest must stay to make it profitable.
By calculating how much each arrival will cost you can better budget for unbooked nights or the higher overheads that come with frequent check-ins. You can adjust your prices to be profitable while still appealing to guests.