Thanksgiving is upon us, the final Thursday in November and traditionally, the starter pistol for the run up to Christmas. With just one month to go, it’s never too early to think about how vacation rentals could become a perfect Christmas gift. Unfortunately, you can’t put a ribbon on time in a vacation rental. But, there are ways to market time in your property for Christmas. Giving someone the gift of a stay in an a vacation rental could become a great new holiday trend that your friends and family will truly enjoy.
But how do you start getting people to consider giving vacation rental holidays as gifts? For some, the idea of booking somewhere, involving lots of emails and locked-in dates is too much of a hassle in a busy time of year. Receiving a weekend in an amazing property may lose its appeal if you have to organise flights and time to get to Hawaii the next week or lose out. You can change this perception by making things as easy as possible and promoting these gifts as giving someone great accommodation when and where they want it.
Today we discuss some of the ways you can promote and present vacation rental stays as gifts for Christmas.
The Element of Surprise
An obvious problem with giving stays in a vacation rental as a gift is knowing when people are available. A thoughtful gift could be spoilt by the recipient not having the time to stay in the property on the dates you booked. Could you provide flexible dates in certain months? Or sell full weeks that can be taken at any time that your property is available? There are ways to get round this problem. You could offer a choice of weekends that people can then take when is best for them.
Another option is to sell gift vouchers for your properties. This would let people choose the perfect time and location for them. They would also be able to choose the property that suited them best. These could then be booked according to your normal availability process. You could offer set cash amounts that can be used as discounts toward longer stays, or vouchers for nights, whole weeks or weekends. Many companies already offer vouchers all year round and use them as a great way to fill weeks in mid-season.
Gifts are designed to be opened and you can't wrap up a confirmation email. If you produced cards or professionally printed images from your property then you have a product that instantly says ‘gift’. If it is aesthetically pleasing and conveys the thoughtfulness you intend then it will help to bridge the gap between vacation rentals and traditional gift ideas. Most people will struggle at some point with finding the right gifts, so use your website and social media to promote your properties. Why not create a blog post with your top properties?
Spread the Word
If you offered gift vouchers or promotions on booking your properties as gifts to your regular customers you will be rewarding their loyalty and generating new business. If they decide to give one to a friend or family member then you will reach more people. People that use and enjoy your business will be able to share their positive experiences with their friends and families that may not encounter your business otherwise. This is the ultimate good review.
Promoting vacation rentals as Christmas gifts is likely to become more widespread as the popularity increases and trusted, global brands emerge. It is a great way to bring in extra bookings and earn some customer loyalty to your business.