A lot goes into your vacation rental’s availability. It takes time to get a home prepared for reservations. If you’re buying a home, the process can be extended as you search the market, work through closing and furnish the home.
However, knowing a good starting date can get you up and running with little to no time between listing and your first reservation.
Before You List
One small aside before we jump into it: My first piece of advice is to get the home completely ready before you list it on sites like Airbnb or Vrbo. You never know if someone will make a reservation for that night (I’ve seen it happen), so you don’t want to scramble to finish projects, clean or stage the home before guests arrive.
Spring is Best
As many of us know from the traffic flow through Colorado Springs and Woodland Park, summer time is peak tourism season in the Pikes Peak region. This is why I suggest new vacation rentals come “on the market” just before summer in February-April. If you’re closing on a home, shoot for this time frame!
You’re likely to get some weekend reservations for February and April, and you may see a little uptick in March for spring break. Spring is also when I see an influx of summer reservations hit our books. Preparations for summer vacations begin in the spring, especially for those traveling to Air Force Academy or college graduations. Your summer calendar will start to fill in, and if you have some reservations (and reviews) from the spring to entice potential bookers, your summer will book up nicely!
Beginning your short term rental during the summer can be effective, but stressful. The demand from travelers may leave you scrambling to get things done before people arrive. Make sure you have a plan for resetting the home after each reservation, or you may find your calendar filling up faster than you can handle. This is where having a manager with a team comes in handy! We have the resources to get your home listed quickly (to take advantage of the remaining summer season), and we can take care of back-to-back or last minute reservations when they start rolling in!
The spring and summer months should help you build lots of good reviews to keep those winter reservations coming in!
Fall and Winter
If you start your short term rental during the fall or winter, you may long for those long lines of summer tourists! As school starts, the demand for vacation rentals goes down. You may find some holiday and weekend reservations, but expect to do a lot of the heavy lifting financially during the fall and winter the first year.