Winter is the low season for Airbnb in Australia. As short-term rental property management, we are well aware of the challenges our properties face during the cold wintertime. It doesn’t only mean quiet time for the bookings, but it also means that the guests are looking for specific amenities in the property they want to rent. Nobody wants to stay cold inside when the outside temperatures can already be cold enough. Moreover, nobody wants to be far from public transport either so that they don’t have to spend much time outside.
The short-term rental property management will adjust the prices accordingly, but that’s not quite enough. We also need to make sure that the property will be attractive to winter guests. That’s why we gathered these few tips for the hosts to consider when renting out their property in wintertime. It doesn’t need to be much, but a touch of warmth and coziness does a lot when the guests are deciding on which place to choose.
Yes, we know it raises the utility costs to keep the heating on, but if there is a heater, you can be sure that the guests will also use it. The need for the heater also depends a bit on where in Australia you are. But popular places like Melbourne can get really cold during wintertime.
You don’t want to be billed enormously for the electricity, so it is essential also to guide and leave instructions for the guests on how to operate the heater. There are also smart systems available nowadays, which will allow you to manage the heater remotely. The most common issue is that the heater is left on day and night, even when the guests are not in the property. And we all know how expensive that can be. That’s why leaving simple instructions or having remote access to operate the heater can ease your burden of worrying about huge bills.
2. Complimentary hot drinks
It’s the small things that matter to make the first impression. Don’t you love the feeling when you go into your hotel room and find those chocolates on your pillow? That’s what you want to offer to your guests too. During the summer, we stock up the fridge with cool drinks. However, during the winter, we set up a complimentary selection of hot beverages. Make sure you have a good kettle, a nice selection of tea, coffee and other hot drinks and set it up nicely in a visible place.
Don’t forget to add pictures of this in your listing too. Small beautiful details give the best impression of the effort which is put on guest comfortability.
3. Cozy atmosphere
Holiday home management is a full-time job for us. We need to consider several different factors that affect the occupancy rate of the property. Planning and preparing for each season in well advance is very important.
We know that in winter, the guests look for different qualities in the properties, and we want to catch their eye with some special effects. Creating a cozy atmosphere is another small thing to do. Add some warm blankets, candles, prepare the fireplace, and create that friendly atmosphere to the property. Guests really appreciate small things like that.
4. Airbnb styling
Some properties take the atmosphere creation a step further and do a whole styling makeover in the house. This is more relevant to the properties which stay popular and well occupied even during the wintertime.
Natural materials like wood, rocks, and plants create a very warm atmosphere. In a complete styling makeover, a lot of things get replaced with seasonal materials, and it can make a massive difference to the property. However, as said, this is not really necessary for small quiet properties but instead implemented on the big scale busy properties that have already reached the top of the list on Airbnb.
5. Information table
We like to call it an information table, but you can do the setting however you feel like. What we mean by the information table is having a booklet which will have all the information about how to get around in the area. You can share maps to the closest bus/train/metro stations, their timetables, a number to a reliable taxi driver, whatever you feel like is important for the guests to know.
The reason why we point out the transport, especially during wintertime, is that guests wouldn’t necessarily want to spend much time in the cold weather but would rather have a fast means to get around. Offering them a bus card with some credit on it already is a great way to welcome guests. Also, having information readily available saves them a lot of time trying to find it our themselves.
Although wintertime is low season and you’re more likely to receive fewer guests than during other times of the year, you should not treat them any differently. Actually, the low season guests are the ones who can give you the best reviews as long as you have carefully considered their demands.
In holiday home rental management, we’ve seen that most of the complaints during wintertime concern the coldness of the property. Nothing spoils the holiday more than having to stay cold or facing a broken heater. That’s why it’s extremely important to always keep the maintenance up to date. So, before the first guests of the winter arrive, double-check that everything is functioning well.
Wintertime can be beneficial to the property owner. It is totally possible to earn well even with lower rates. But don’t think guests will book with you unless you can offer them a comfortable, cozy stay during the coldest time of the year. With a bit of extra effort, you can’t go wrong.
Also, it’s good to know that many wintertime guests are traveling for business and are more likely to return next year too. Remember to give them an experience that will make them book with you again on their return.