Airbnb Hosting

Airbnb Hosts | Peak Season and How to Survive It!

Peak season is when you can really expect your Airbnb to be full and busy. It wont take much convincing for tourists to visit your area and book your listing. But, that does not mean you can simply relax for a season. Rather, this is usually the most stressful and busy time for vacation rental owners and property managers. Let’s learn how to survive it with as much down time as possible.

You’ll have to continue to invest just as much effort into turning your property and maintaining your 5-star ratings. While also dealing with the increased flow of new reservations and bookings. 

You will have to find ways to up your efficiency to enjoy the monetary benefits of your peak season. The never-ending to-do list that is always on your mind during peak season can quickly become overwhelming.

I’ve created some practical tips that you can apply to prepare yourself a little in advance, as well as to simplify your hosting life during the peak season.

When is My Peak Season?

The time period of your peak season can vary, depending on which country and area your Airbnb is located in. 

If you own a cabin surrounded by snowy resort mountains, your peak season will definitely be during the winter months of the year when guests plan for ski vacations. If your vacation rental is a house near a sandy beach, your peak season will be on the hot and sunny summer months. You may even have a peak season that lasts during the entire school calendar if your near a college.

Other factors that can lead to spikes in your booking rates are special holidays or events that attract travelers and visitors to your area. 

Mark these dates in your calendar in advance to prepare for the increased demand but also to use it to your advantage. You could for example plan special holiday offers and discounts for guests right before the event arrives. Your prices should be at least 20% -50% higher than your low season.

Contact Past Guests.

Contact Past Guests a few months before the peak season starts is when everyone starts dreaming of taking a holiday and planning their trip. When your 6 month ( or 12 ) calendar opens up, this is the perfect time to remind them what a comfortable and wonderful stay they had at your Airbnb the last time!

You can do this by scrolling through your messages and finding those past guests. This could also be a great opportunity to promote your vacation rental with a special second stay discount offer.

Something along the lines of this:

“Hello James, We loved having you and your family stay with us last summer, you were truly wonderful guests. The summer booking calendar has just opened for “Sunset Beach Oasis” and we wanted to give you a heads up! We would love to offer you 10% off if you booked again with us, just message me if your interested and I’ll send you the special booking price”

This gets them reminiscing about the great vacation they had at your Airbnb and makes them want to jump on a special offer before it gets snapped up by another guest. On the plus side, you’ll be welcoming past guests that you know are already great.

Prepare in Advance.

Preparation is key when it comes to managing your vacation rental’s peak season. Any task you can complete in advance will minimize the inevitable workload you will have to manage when the time arrives. Find ways to avoid rushing at the last moment and simplify.

Stock up on Essentials.

Simply buy in bulk. You don’t want to be running back and forth to the grocery store for marked up items like toilet paper and snacks for your guests. Join a bulk store like Costco and stock up on all the essentials you will need over the peak season. Items like toilet paper, water bottles and coffee will always be needed to survive your peak season.

Stay Super Clean and Sparkling.

A lack of cleanliness is one of the main reasons for guest complaints during the peak season. Don’t skimp on cleaning your Airbnb before the arrival of each new guest because it’s the busy season.

It’s a great idea to do a thorough deep-cleaning at least twice a year. Right before peak season makes for the perfect timing to delve into spring cleaning mode.

You should prepare a Cleaning checklist to avoid missing any areas around the property. Tick off each bullet point yourself or give to your professional cleaner to make sure everything comes out completely stainless and clean every time.

Speed up your Turnover Time.

Make your life easier and set your check-out at 11 am and check-in window at 3pm+. If guests need a later check-out or earlier check in they can simply request and you can try to accommodate when it’s possible. Any window less than 4 hours and you’re going to be limited to what you can plan in your free time. Don’t get caught washing loads of laundry before each guest it will take over your life.

Sheet sets: You want one on the bed, one in the wash and one (or two) handy and ready to go. If laundry gets backed up a day or so it won’t matter. The day your rushing to change and wash the sheets on time is the day a guest with a new spray tan checks-out and stains everything (yes this happened to us!) Have 3-4 sets of white sheets, 8 extra plush towels , 6 hand towels and 20 facecloths on hand. This will keep your stress levels from going up.

Face Cloths and Hand Towels: These will get the most stains, foundation makeup and mascara will tinge them at some point! Always use spray and wash on these stains before washing them, then inspect every towel coming out of the dryer for the slightest stain. Keep any stained towels in a basket until you have a big enough load to add a cup of bleach and let it all soak for an hour. Amazon face cloths they are only 50. each and great quality. You can use the impossibly stained ones as cleaning cloths afterwards without feeling too bad. Have a stock of towels waiting over peak season and you’ll have less stress.

Don’t Start any Renos in Peak Season.

This really goes without saying but If you’re thinking of painting the entire house or re-tiling the shower peak season is not the best time for that. Either postpone or speed up any projects that require keeping your Airbnb vacant– even if it’s only for a couple of days and you will maximize your occupancy and booking profits. Unexpected issues can always come out of the blue and extend the renovation process. In the worst case scenario, you may have to cancel a confirmed reservation at the last minute to finish up a job. Which would jeopardize your Superhost status. Always plan for major projects in the offseason when your booking calendar isn’t totally booked out.

Make sure to gather all of the needed information and prepare everything for their arrival with a Guest Welcome Book!

Communicate with Guests.

During peak season you should try to prevent commonly asked questions. You can achieve that by making sure your listing descriptions and pictures are as clear and precise as possible, and of course, having an easy to understand house guide/guestbook will be key to success! As a result, most of their questions and issues can already be resolved in advance with your house guide, which will save you a ton of time.

Being available for your guests by answering their questions asap is important. There are 4 key guest messages that you should have saved in your templates on the Airbnb app. These are your go-to every booking sequence of messages that every guest should receive to feel welcomed and know that their comfort is important to their host.

The 4 key messages that you will need to send at the right time for every new booking:

  1. Booking Confirmation = A friendly welcome message.
  2. 48 hours before arrival= Parking and Check in Instructions.
  3. During Stay = A touch base message ‘hope you are enjoying your stay’ etc.
  4. Morning of Check-out= Check-out time reminder and thank you message.

Messages should always be polite and welcoming and remember to change the guest’s name! Click here for free message templates you can copy and paste.

Now that you have learned how to streamline your vacation rental’s peak season it’s time to get to work and start preparing. Just follow these simple tips and !the peak season is sure to go smoothly for both you and your guests! Check out my book The Ultimate Superhost Guide which is part of a full bundle of goodies for Airbnb Hosts! There is even an editable welcome book, check out printable and Wifi Sign included!

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