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Maximizing Vacation Rental Occupancy in the Middle of a Global Pandemic: The Secret to our Record-Breaking Performance in 2020

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11 Dec 2020

When the pandemic hit in March, the travel industry was filled with uncertainty and many surprising moments. With government restrictions on rental companies in South Carolina and other states, flights grounded, and travel plans canceled, we did not predict that in the middle of 2020 we would break records for bookings and revenue for our homeowners.

While the quick turnaround in bookings was unexpected, it also did not come as a surprise to us. How did we manage to not only weather the storm but also thrive in this uncertain year?

We bring you the answers below:

1. People want a change of pace and scenery

First and foremost, quarantine mandates and work-from-home policies have led to people and families seeking out private vacation rentals right now. And when it comes to our vacation rentals, guests know they can count on arriving at a place that is professionally cleaned and safe. We give them the flexibility they need in these uncertain times, and the reassurance that we are taking every step necessary to keep them safe. Consumer confidence in our well-established vacation rental operations has been key.

However, our record-selling performance goes beyond guest sentiment.

2. Dynamic Pricing

Dynamic pricing has become our key to successful revenue performance. We are adjusting rates daily based on extensive vacation data and our past experiences. This market analysis, along with dynamic pricing, allows us to remain competitive even in uncertain seasons, and by using this data we’re able to fully maximize revenue throughout the year. When it came to COVID-19, our Dynamic Pricing algorithm was key in assessing the rapid changes in the market and adjusting prices accordingly, in real time, to meet the demand for private rentals on Hilton Head Island.

So with people throughout the country searching for properties to shelter in place, and our algorithm adjusting prices based on demand, we set to apply our laser-focused approach to maximizing bookings and marketing costs.

3. Robust Marketing Initiatives Throughout the Year

When it comes to marketing vacation properties, there is no peak or off-season. With our robust, ongoing marketing initiatives, we were able to continue marketing homes and staying top-of-mind in a time when guests were daydreaming about taking a vacation as stay-at-home orders were issued. When travelers gained more confidence in their travel plans and were ready to book private homes, we harnessed the marketing data we have built year over year through Facebook and Google Advertising. The results were record-breaking Cost-per-Bookings and reservations for the rest of the year, which allowed us to remain competitive and maximize revenue for our homeowners even in the middle of a pandemic.

But it is the people of Hilton Head Island and those who make our team, the selling point in our record-breaking performance this year.

4. Hands-on Property Management Teams

Dynamic Pricing and advertising algorithms are only one piece of the puzzle, and this is where our human element has proved so powerful in a challenging year. While our Dynamic Pricing was adjusting in real time to maximize earnings based on supply and demand, and our marketing efforts were laser focused on people who were most likely to book a vacation home on Hilton Head Island, our team of Vacation Experts was fully focused on meeting the needs of homeowners and guests. With the creation of our “Back to the Beach” program, and our enhanced cleaning and safety protocols, both guests and homeowners received the hands-on support and added the layer of confidence they needed and deserved.

This is why what makes us different makes all the difference in the world. From our unique local perspective and hyper-personal team of Vacation Experts to our razor’s edge marketing efforts, we create a vacation experience tailored specifically to the needs of our guests and homeowners. One that they can trust will not only meet, but surpass their expectations, even in the midst of a global pandemic.

Interested in becoming a partner? Visit https://www.vacationcompany.com/partner-with-us to learn more and apply to our program. We look forward to hearing from you!