Four Ways to Encourage Last-Minute Bookings

Last-minute bookings have become a key component in the hospitality industry, essential for maximizing occupancy and revenue. Whether you're an Airbnb host or a property manager, encouraging these impromptu reservations can make a significant difference in your business performance.
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With events like the Super Bowl, sometimes hosts don’t secure a booking and they’re left wondering why. Pricing plays a huge role in which listings a guest chooses when making a last-minute booking. Arguably, pricing is the most important factor.

In fact, according to Webloyalty, 57% of consumers shop around to find the best deals and great deals, especially when it comes to spending large amounts of money on accommodations. For hosts who still do not have a booking for a big event in the area, don’t worry! There are still a few things you can do to encourage last-minute deals.

There are four schools of thought on your next action. You can either offer the best prices, use dynamic pricing to adapt to the exact dates of the upcoming trip, add a discount for those checking out guests from the room previous or the property previous, or update your listing to emphasize the proximity to the destination in question.

Additionally, consider highlighting features like free cancellation, which can be appealing to travelers unsure about their travel dates. If there is still high demand but you haven’t secured a booking for the stay dates, then it may be time to consider changing your approach to cater to last-minute travelers looking for accommodations.

Encourage last-minute bookings by providing the best price for the night with lower fees.

Ways to Encourage Last-Minute Bookings for Short-Term Rental Listings

Stimulate Guests with Discounts

While discounts and price reductions are effectively the same thing, one appears as a lucky day for the consumer, and the other casts questions on the quality of the product or service. Sometimes, your listing, be it a hotel room or an Airbnb property, may not be the first a potential guest chooses to book when activity increases in the area.

Leveraging Last-Minute Deals: How to Stand Out During High-Demand Events

Hosts in Inglewood, for example, saw a huge surge in hotel bookings as Super Bowl Sunday rolled into town. But, critically, not every available room or hotel was booked for Super Bowl weekend, so how do you ensure that yours is one of the properties or hotels that wins a reservation?

Creative Incentives: Offering More Than Just a Room

Well, instead of looking at discounts as a compromise, view them as a strategy to save on fees and attract travelers looking for last-minute hotel deals. Keep your regular price, but offer an additional night for 50% off.

This could be especially appealing for travelers looking for cheap last-minute hotels. You might stimulate a reservation that you otherwise would have missed out on, as travelers often hunt for great hotel deals that enhance their trip without breaking the bank.

Enhancing Listing Attractiveness: Tips for Boosting Last-Minute Reservations

Consider updating your listing to show availability for each night, highlighting the proximity to popular destinations or events. This can be a game-changer for guests comparing deals on hotels or rooms for their upcoming trip.

Additionally, presenting attractive deals for last-second bookings can help your listing stand out, especially when travelers are comparing options with the hotels’ deals.

Optimizing Your Approach: Effective Use of Discounts and Deals

You can learn more about how we advise our users to employ discounts here, ensuring that your hotel or property is appealing not only in price but also in the value offered for each stay, whether it’s a last-minute flight layover, or a planned destination trip.

Hotels try to provide a better price discount strategy than an airbnb at the same city.

Lower Your Prices

Of course, this is not advice that any host wants to hear. As a pricing software vendor, we would only ever recommend a pricing reduction if the data backs it up. However, if you’re not using a dynamic pricing service, then your prices for your room or property might be the cause of your low booking rates.

Comparing your prices with similar rooms in the city or destination is a great place to start when looking for the right price. But it’s almost impossible for hosts to know how much extra a guest is willing to pay for certain amenities, like a luxury pool or air-conditioning, for example.

Analyzing Amenities and Market Trends: Key to Pricing Strategy

Based on your analysis of the amenities offered by you and by the greater market, you can then get a better understanding of why your listing might not be attracting reservations at the rate you might have hoped initially.

Factors like location, flexibility matters, and additional fees can greatly influence a traveler’s decision. Guests often browse for the best deals that align with their budget and travel dates, searching for properties that offer the best value for the cost.

Optimizing Your Prices: Finding the Sweet Spot for Reservations

Perhaps this section should be titled ‘Optimize Your Prices,’ but it’s unlikely you would have an issue with booking frequency if your prices were too low. You would probably be inundated with queries from potential guests, eager to snatch a great deal for their night stay or extended trip.

Remember, guests often check out previous guests’ reviews and compare room previous or property previous prices, so keeping your listing competitive and up-to-date is crucial in the fast-paced world of travel and accommodation.

Get more last-minute bookings by reducing the rates for your listings

Update Your Listing Information

By updating your listing information, Airbnb views your listing as fresher and will move it higher up in search results. More eyes on your property mean a higher chance of securing a booking! 

Update your listing to show proximity to whatever location or event is driving the booking surge. For example, a large number of hosts in Inglewood, California, updated their listings as soon as they heard that the Super Bowl was taking place at SoFi Stadium. It easily shows potential guests that the property is close to the stadium and therefore increases the chances of being booked by a fan with Super Bowl tickets!

Guests usually search rooms for desired destinations on their travel budget.

Use Dynamic Pricing Software

This one is an easy one for us. Dynamic pricing has been proven to be the most effective way to seamlessly use data to optimize pricing. Without an advanced data system to do this for you, it’s impossible to arrive at an optimized price. 

Some aspects of pricing are hard to quantify. How do you decide how much a pool is worth in terms of daily pricing? How do you quantify the value of an extra bathroom? It’s an almost impossible question. Instead, dynamic pricing services like DPGO use countless data sets, processes, and analytical tools to arrive at the right price for the right guest at the right time. DPGO users enjoy an average increase in occupancy of approximately 60% after just three months of dynamic pricing.

Dynamic Pricing Tool for Airbnb Hosts

Get Started with DPGO Now

For new users, we’re offering a free 30-day trial so you can experience the positive changes for yourself! A member of our Support Team will be in touch to help you make the most of our DPGO settings! We will also ensure that these settings align with your business goals. 

To start your journey with DPGO, click on the banner above to start earning more!

Avatar for Max Zinovev

I'm a co-founder of DPGO and an experienced Airbnb host with a deep love for big data and cutting-edge technology. I’m thrilled to navigate the exciting confluence of hosting and innovative tech, sharing my insights, vision, and learnings along the way. My journey in the hospitality industry has been enriched by my fascination with developing solutions that empower hosts and elevate guest experiences. Let’s explore the multifaceted world of tech-driven hospitality together!

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