Going, Going, Gone.
The first thing ever sold on Ebay was a broken laser pointer. Not an auspicious start, but since then, auction sites have since taken off in an incredible fashion. A number of vacation rentals are now using the opportunity to use the popularity of these sites for auctioning off stays in their properties.
Unsold weeks should be unfathomable. Either through specialist sites or through social media, we look at the options you have for auctioning off time in your property.
Having an un-booked week coming up is the perfect time to do this. Your property may end up being booked for less than the usual price but if this is a week that was going to go empty anyway, this is still revenue gained. And, with the right promotion you could drive up your price. It will also drive traffic to your site and your social media.
There are also specialised sites that you can use for this very purpose, but they charge a fee. Why not try using the power of social media or your own website to promote these? The key will be to generate enough buzz and and excitement before the event. Numerous posts with all of the details and engaging images will help to create excitement and give you enough potential customers to make this viable. You will need to be very clear and exact, for example if your auction is for any week in the year or just a specific date. It is probably too spontaneous to be used for business travel or exact holidays but having this as an occasional promotion could recapture some lost revenue and also provide some great additional benefits.
Generate Views and Excitement
An interesting new feature or promotion is the perfect chance to reach people with your marketing and social media. A truly original campaign is going to capture the imagination of your audience and bring new people to your site and social media pages. You might not see an instant return on your investment. But - if your products and service are consistent in quality across your site then people are likely to remember your site. A chance visit to your page because of an interesting auction may turn into a booking six months down the line.
Turn Wasted Inventory Into Revenue
If the property is currently empty, auctioning the upcoming weeks rather than offering weeks far in the future could get them booked. Even if your property is auctioned for less than your usual weekly price, any revenue gained is better than letting your week go unsold.
Unique Selling Point
It can seem that every business offers great properties from a slick and professional website. Providing the basic standard now longer seems enough for the vacation rental industry. New businesses are going to have to offer something special to separate themselves from the pack.
Implement Weekly or Monthly Auctions
People that don’t win may book another property on your site. If people know when to expect an auction then it will generate traffic and views to your site. As there can only be one winner, it stands to reason that some people will go away disappointed. If you know the times when your auction generates the most traffic then you can use this time to offer other promotions or push other properties.
Reach New Customers
Finally, the variable and interchangeable outcomes of your auctions will mean that you have the opportunity to reach a much wider spectrum of customers. Some may have been put off by price or having to book well in advance. Now, you never know who will book your property through an auction and could reach a whole new section of the market.
Vacation auctions could be an interesting way to put an end to unsold to weeks. Do you think your customers need more certainty when booking accommodation or will it create a market in spontaneous bookings?
Would you be open to trying this?