Try Before You Buy – A Vacation Rental Loss Leader Strategy

kidincandystore Capturing bookings for the low season is tough with a lot of properties competing for a smaller market. There are a lot of promotional initiatives you could test but the ‘Try Before You Buy’ idea may be one that could work for most owners in areas where guests have a shorter distance to travel. The promotion could offer a weekend or midweek rental in the low season with the deal being an amount off a summer booking if made within a certain time. Here’s a couple of examples:

Book a mid-week two night break in the fall and get $200 off your summer rental if you book before December 31st. Benefit from a discounted rate AND 2011 prices.

Try before you buy and we’ll pay your gas. Enjoy a three night stay for the price of two AND get a $150 gas card if you book a summer rental before December 15th.

This is a version of a loss leader pricing strategy and can work very well with people who are unsure about spending a large amount on a summer vacation.

Another ‘Try Before You Buy’ initiative is to encourage potential buyers to try out the area before they purchase. They stay in your place, and you provide them with maps and information on the surrounding towns and villages so they can do driving tours and check out the region. You could talk to local realtors and provide them with your printed brochure to offer to their list of potential buyers.

I’d be interested to hear of any other creative ideas for getting low season guests in the door.