Valley vacation rentals are more popular than ever and with our cooler weather finally, within reach, the upcoming rental season could be the busiest yet. As a successful vacation rental homeowner, you’ve probably realized that many guests are looking for “a local experience” when they book a vacation rental in our beautiful desert.
When searching for places to visit and things to do, guests are bound to be inundated by the “top web hits” and not necesssarily the best, coolest, or even very “local” results. We’re sure your vacation rental guests will appreciate being alerted to the less “commercial” attractions.
For example, if your vacation rental is in the Gilbert area, the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch is an amazing place for your outdoor-loving guests to explore. The preserve offers nearly 5 miles of hiking and equestrian trails and winding walkways and is open from 530am until 10 pm daily.
Park entrance is free, but the preserve does offer guided tours every 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month, October through April, at a cost of $10 per person. Check out their website here!
Stargazing vacation rental guests, in particular, tend to fall in love with our wide open desert skies and may also be delighted to know about the Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory located at the Riparian Preserve. The Observatory is open to the public most Friday and Saturday evenings, from dark until 930pm.
Some sky-watching guests go as far as to plan their travels according to anticipated meteor shower activity (shhhh…I know because I’ve done that – and I know I’m not alone!) Meteor showers for the rest of this year are listed below – let your guests know! The weather should be perfect!
Orionids: October 2-November 7 (peaks the night of October 21st)
Leonids: November 6-November 30 (peaks the night of November 17th)
Geminids December 4-December 17 (peaks the night of December 13th)
Need more help with your vacation rental home? Moxie Girl is a leader in the care of vacation rentals in the Phoenix area, serving over 130 properties of all sizes, Valley-wide. CLICK HERE to find out if we can help you, too!
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Summer is upon us here in The Valley and if you own a vacation rental home in the Phoenix area, you may think business is a goner until September or so. Some vacation rental home owners even go as far as to “close” their rental properties until the end of summer. Big mistake! For more on those particular subjects, check out these informative Moxie blogs: “Summer Vacation Rentals – Moxie Girl Debunks the Myths” and “Boosting Summer Vacation Rental Bookings”!
While it may not seem as popular during the summer months, there are still plenty of bookings to be had by making your vacation rental home more available to road-trippers! Phoenix is a frequent stop for those traveling to the Grand Canyon and other National parks, San Diego and lots of summer music festivals and other events in the Southwestern U.S. – even Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point) Mexico.
As we highlighted in our ‘Boosting Summer Vacation Rental Bookings,” you will most likely need to make some adjustments to your pricing during the hot, humid months. Most of the best resorts in the Phoenix area offer their rooms at rock-bottom prices in the summer, because, well, they figured out long ago that’s the way to drive your business in the “off” season – and something is definitely better than nothing.
Look at the competition around the location of your vacation rental home and aim to keep your prices in check, keeping in mind these fancy resorts are also probably sweetening their deals with “packages” that you just may not be able to offer. Yes, we know it seems heart-breaking to list your stunning vacation rental at less than half of it’s winter value, but again, something is definitely better than nothing – and you have expenses pertaining to your rental property all year long.
Moxie Girl works with many vacation rental homes that have a 2-night minimum stay required and don’t usually offer last minute bookings. During the busy season, when throngs of visitors are making Phoenix their vacation destination, those policies are pretty standard and certainly don’t tend to deter bookings. But summer is a different animal – especially if you want to attract those road-trippers!
When an overnight in Phoenix is just a stop on the way to Disneyland, most folks are ready to roll first thing in the morning – having no intention of being here any longer than necessary, so a 2-night minimum may indeed have your potential guest scrolling on to the next AirBnb listing. It’s a good idea to, at the very least, lift your 2-night minimum Monday-Thursday nights since this is what the road-trippers will probably be most interested in anyway.
Since one-night-only road-trippers most likely want to get on their way in the early morning, you’ll generally have a few more hours to turn your vacation rental home than you normally would, which makes taking those last-minute bookings even easier!
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Phoenix vacation rental home owners often think it’s a good idea to just shutter their property and wait out the summer season – who wants to come to Phoenix in the summer, anyway? Actually lots of people DO come to Phoenix in the summer, even if they are just passing through on their way to cooler temps than we have to offer.
With our vast experience in the Phoenix area vacation rental home market, Moxie Girl can always be counted on for excellent tips for vacation rental home owners. We recently received an email from one of our valued clients, asking for tips to help her boost the summer bookings for her Valley vacation rental home – and we are happy to share our advice with you, too!
Here are a few things we’ve heard from our clients (vacation rental homeowners and professional property managers) whose properties in the Valley stay busy during the summer:
Use Multiple Rental Platforms
List your vacation rental home on multiple sites! Summer tends to have more road tripping guests and they use AirBNB a bit more than VRBO, so using at least both of these platforms to list your property “widens your net” for potential bookings.
Implement Active Tweaking
Rental platform sites all have algorithms that keep a secret eye on your listing activity and will boost more active properties to the top of relevant search results. Simply tweaking your prices on a weekly basis will help show the sites that you want your vacation rental to be listed higher than those of your competition!
Speaking of competition, keep an eye on prices of your competitors – both vacation rental homes AND hotels/resorts in your area. One of the biggest mistakes we see vacation rental home owners make is to refuse to drop their prices in the summer.
Yes, offering your $199-a-night-during-peak-season vacation rental home for $89/night during the summer sounds painful, but if the nearby five-star resort with an amazing water park is offering $99/night, and a competitor’s vacation rental home down the street is listed at $89/night, then your home, listed at $199/night will most likely sit vacant.
It’s also important to think about what a potential guest sees when they look at a vacation rental home listing with a WIDE OPEN calendar – they may second guess if they should book with you based on that empty calendar alone (trust us, it’s a whole social validity/psychology thing.) Consider taking a couple reservations each month at deep discounts to get SOMETHING on your calendar. Having at least a couple bookings a bit in advance should help you attract more bookings, at regular summer prices.
Another thing you may consider doing is to take “last minute” reservations – anything is better than nothing! If your vacation rental home calendar for an upcoming week is empty, drop the price and you may snag the budget road trippers!
Guests Are Guests
In our experience, lower prices do NOT equal lesser quality guests. The interactions that vacation rental homeowners or managers have with guests prior to arrival have far more impact than the nightly amount the guest will pay. Moxie Girl actually sees the most damage to homes when guests stay over 30 days because they really start to LIVE in the home.
Something is Definitely Better than Nothing!
To illustrate what busy vacation rental homes in the Phoenix area CAN do in the summer, let’s look at the 2018 summer season stats for three properties belonging to Moxie Girl clients. Please note that all three properties are professionally managed by local property managers – it really helps to specifically “tuned-in” to Phoenix summer vacation rental market.
Remember, NO bookings equals ZERO income for your vacation rental property. So, even if your rental home is only booked for close to half of the days in each summer month – and even at summer rental rates – that income will go a long way in covering the regular, monthly expenses that come with rental ownership. (Mortgage payments, HOA fees and utilities don’t go away, even if you do “close” your rental for the summer!)
Check out the number of nights BOOKED for each of these vacation rentals:
Be sure to check out our other blogs filled with even more helpful tips for a successful summer rental season!
Summer Vacation Rentals – Moxie Girl Debunks the Myths
Tips for a Successful Summer as a Vacation Rental Home Owner
Poolside Perfection – Chat with Chad Nikkel of Aquaman Pools
5 Sizzling Summer Tips for Vacation Rentals with Pools
Moxie Girl would love to be YOUR vacation rental specialist – just click for a FREE CONSULTATION!