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Season winding down, what to do what to do


#1

Well, this has been our longest season yet, but I think we’re finally going to have a break mid January. (This because we haven’t had a new booking inquiry in two weeks. That usually signals the end of my season, though maybe Christmas messes with that equation.)

I usually shut down the listing from mid November to mid April.

I’m usually exhausted by November, but this year i’m not. I kind of want to keep the room open (maybe take a week to repaint, but not 3 months).

I’m curious, hosts who have a slow season and stay open:

How long do you take off to reset the space, or do you do it fairly evenly through your slow season, doing bits in between bookings? Is there a reason it works better for you that way, whichever way you do?

Do you lower your rates? If so, is it a %? Or based on what other hosts are charging? Or the minimum you need to cover your costs?

I noted someone else said that during the slow season they dropped their price but increased the minimum nights required.

Despite having done this for 5+ years, I don’t have any slow season experience, so I have to do some research to see what my neighbors are charging.

I allow instant booking and occasionally same day, so i’m curious to see if I get more last minute bookings… or just crickets for the next 3 months.

Anyway, thought I’d throw this out there in case anyone has clever advice for staying booked through the slow season often enough to not feel silly.

My high season is 4-5 bookings/ month, average 3-4 nights (So… 18-20 nights/month). I’d like to continue to host 10 nights/ month. More if I drop my prices a lot.

Also, knocks on wood it looks like I just might make Superhost. I’m curious if that changes how often i’m booked or guest expectations.

Would love commiseration on that, as well…


#2

We definitely have a High Season and Low Season here. High Season (now) I charge $95 per night, and Low Season (May to October or November) I charge $65 per night. Low season is also when we block out a couple weeks here and there for our vacations etc.


#3

This can work. You can offer guests a discount when they book a stay for 3, 7 or more days.


#4

We had really planned for a vacation this year but the Dow says otherwise.

I keep the flame burning by assuming very long stays during slow months on a direct basis with superior pricing.

Doctor on rotation and grad school students by semester are great. Internationals and immigrants also like our digs.

That’s not for everyone, but slow periods are good for brand building by getting involved in Civic functions.

And it’s also a good time to work on those repairs and upgrades!


#5

Only August (our last month winter) do my bookings really drop off so that is when I close up shop and go on a holiday. Also a good time to arrange major works.


#6

My prices haven’t changed much, I hover around 65/ night. For January, I’ve dropped it to $55. I might lower it to 50, but then increase minimum nights to 4. I’m trying to get $500/ month, I think, though that metric may change.


#7

Slow season is Summer in Phoenix, so as you can see below I blocked July & August, painted the guest house, did a few upgrades, and then left town to beat the heat. It was a much needed reprieve. December and January ‘19 are booked much more than I expected as the season usually started kicking in later February.


#8

Here in Seattle, our slow season is about November through February. This year, I dropped my prices, but raised my cleaning fee and opened up one-night stays to try and make up some of the difference. In peak season, I might make as much as $150 a night, and in winter, go as low as $50 a night, with an occupancy rate at 80% or higher.

When I was in my first year of hosting, I thought I took a tenant during the slow months. We’d discussed it being short-term, but she was a good tenant and handywoman around the house so she ended up staying about a year-and-a-half.

You might consider renting to a traveling nurse via Craigslist or Furnished Finder.


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