Effective Gap Night Strategies: Maximizing Occupancy During Off-Peak Times
3 min

For property managers, the shoulder season can be a challenging period to navigate. While the peak season brings in a steady flow of guests and income, off-peak times are less predictable. However, that doesn't mean your properties should sit idle. Here are four expert-backed strategies to help you maximize occupancy and revenue during these less busy times.

Optimize Minimum Length of Stay and Booking Windows

To fill gap nights effectively, consider selectively reducing your Minimum Length of Stay (MLOS) requirements. This allows you to capitalize on shorter booking windows where they exist, without affecting the Length of Stay (LOS) for other periods. Fun fact: Over 50% of travelers on Whimstay are looking for two-night stays when searching within shorter booking windows. By lowering an existing three-night requirement to two nights, you’ll boost property views and bookings by getting your listings in front of this eager audience.

Offer Flexible Booking Conditions

Guests are more likely to book if they know they have some wiggle room. Offering flexible cancellation policies for bookings made farther out to gives guests the confidence to lock in their plans. You could even offer a full refund for cancellations made at least one week before the check-in date, for instance. Then, utilize tools like Whimstay to help get those canceled nights in front of travelers who are looking for stays closer to their departure date.

Leverage Dynamic Pricing and Distribution Channels

A dynamic pricing strategy can be particularly beneficial during off-peak periods. However, to reap the full benefits, you also need to optimize distribution channels to get the word out. Use platforms that allow you to publish to multiple channels at once, keeping all listings up-to-date and allowing you to stay nimble (and more efficient!) when it comes to seasonal strategy.

Customize Deals and Promotions Based on Property Type and Location

Not all properties perform the same way during the off-peak season. For one and two-bedroom units at lower price points, consider offering larger discounts to attract guests. Similarly, properties in hard-to-reach areas may require a longer discount window of 3-4 weeks to encourage bookings. Use analytics tools like AirDNA or and Key Data to gain insights into property performance and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Partner with a Last-Minute Booking Channel

A growing percentage of travelers are looking specifically for last-minute deals. Whimstay helps property managers to get their listings in front of a niche audience looking for last-minute bookings. You can easily sync your existing property management system with Whimstay to optimize your listings for last-minute travelers. This can be particularly beneficial for filling in those tricky gap nights during the off-peak season.

By integrating these strategies—and the tools that make them easier to implement—you can help ensure that your properties stay full and profitable, even during the off-peak season.

Ready to boost your last-minute bookings? Connect with our team today!

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