Christmas is over; 2013 is fast approaching and if you have vacancies for January, February and March, it’s time to get them filled. Unless you are blessed with a property in a year-round holiday spot, encouraging guests in the low season should be high on your priority list. Here’s a few things I am doing to get my places booked.
Change the photos on your website to winter scenes
People want to see a property as it will look in the season they are visiting. It’s tough to attract winter guests when all they are seeing on a listing is views of a beach or patio dining. Images of pristine snow on a rooftop or a view over a frozen lake on a sunny day are much more enticing to those looking for a winter wonderland break. Light a woodstove or propane fireplace before taking an indoor photo.
Create a winter wonderland listing
Add a section to your listings that describes your property in the winter. Let your potential renters know what is in the vicinity of your property – cross country trails, downhill ski information, toboggan runs etc. Make it attractive for people looking for winter breaks.
Shoot some video
Make a video showing what it’s like in the winter around your place. Rather than focusing on the property, show off some of the local area and give your guests an idea of what they can expect. Film your dog running down a snow covered country lane – dog lovers like to see how their pet will enjoy the place too.
Get connected with a local provider
Can you get together with a local company that offers winter activities? Perhaps a dog sledding outlet; a cross country ski instruction programme, or a snowmobile rental place? Work with them to offer your clients a weekend deal package that includes accommodation and the activity. These packages can be marketed through social media, forums and email marketing.
Promote an event
Check out festivals and events in your area. Perhaps there is a local theatre that does productions during the winter. Restaurants will occasionally offer gastro-events to encourage winter patrons so look around your area to find out if there’s anything on. We have a dog sled weekend in our local town and I’ve put my cottage on their accommodation register.
Get creative on your winter marketing and capture some attention using social media networks.