Pricing strategies to maximize your occupancy rate

In this article, we go over 3 strategies that will help you fill in the gaps in your schedule to ensure you get the most out of your season.


One of the main challenges of seasonal rental is to fill the booking calendar of your properties. While there are many solutions, implementing pricing strategies is an essential lever!

Indeed, adapting your pricing allows you to better meet your travellers' expectations.

During the health crisis, we observed that the length of stay and days of arrival have changed. Travelers are staying longer and have abandoned the Saturday to Saturday rental norm. This new demand for flexibility seems to be taking hold and will likely remain after the crisis. This paradigm shift has been brought about by flexing and working trends which also seem to be settling into the holiday rental landscape.

The length of stay is changing

Seasonal rentals are governed by historical travel norms and habits borrowed from the hotel industry. During the high season, the majority of stays are from five to seven days. From these habits, minimum stay durations have been imposed by the rental companies: 3 to 4 nights minimum are required for a reservation in high season.

Travellers were not impacted because they planned their trips in advance, which is no longer the case today. With the health crisis, travellers are more wary of booking early. Indeed, they prefer to wait until they are sure that their stay will not be cancelled or impacted by new restrictions and prefer not to incur non-refundable costs by booking several months in advance.

Travellers are also more flexible in their choice of departure and return. For example, some may decide to leave during the week to avoid traffic jams during holiday periods. Others choose to adapt their dates of stay according to the price of planes or trains.

While this trend has always existed, it is becoming more widespread. The increase in travel for work or workations is the main factor. This new clientele does not need to take days off to travel and is therefore more flexible. These travellers are also more inclined to book at the last minute as there is no need to decide several weeks or months before their departure.

The unpredictable and irregular nature of these bookings prevents you from optimizing your booking schedule. You may find yourself with several days of gaps on dates that are inconvenient for other travellers.

Adjust the minimum length of stay

In times of high demand, it is essential to ensure that your occupancy rate is optimized. And that doesn't just mean adjusting your prices, but also your minimum stay policy.

Instead of changing your policy for the whole year, we advise you to optimize your strategy by defining the minimum length of stay according to your occupancy rate at the moment. Indeed, your current policy is probably already working for you and it would be counterproductive to change it.

We therefore advise you to put in place different restrictions to adapt to the clienteles that are likely to fill the gaps in your booking schedule.

We mentioned earlier the travellers who decide to work while travelling: the workationers. If they are part of the problem, they are also the solution! Indeed, they are more adept at last-minute bookings and the dates of their stay are of little importance to them. You must therefore seduce them to increase your occupancy rate!

For example, consider offering lower minimum stay restrictions for last minute bookings. This will allow you to fill a few days in your calendar.

You can also propose decreasing restrictions according to the difference between the reservation date and the date of the stay.

We advise you to restrict last minute bookings to a minimum of two nights, bookings within one month of arrival to 3 nights, and to keep your policy usually beyond one month.

Keep an eye on your booking calendar to be reactive on the adaptation of your minimum stay policy!

Offer price reductions

Now that you have adjusted the minimum length of stay you accept based on your occupancy rate, you can look at pricing strategies.

To better appeal to workationers, you can offer them discounts for last-minute bookings. Workationers don't plan their trip in advance, so they need a trigger to decide. It is therefore important to offer them attractive prices such as "flash sales". FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out is a very powerful lever that will ensure you improve your occupancy rate!

It is indeed a good idea to match your discounts to the reduction of your restrictions. As the gap between booking and stay dates narrows, your offer becomes more and more attractive. By adjusting your prices, you can make your offer irresistible!

However, you must be careful with your turnaround costs, which can reduce your profits if you don't pay attention to them. Indeed, some accommodations need more preparation time. Also, if you use external companies, additional costs may apply for last minute services.

Take advantage of your cancellation policy

The health crisis has led to a greater need for flexibility. This has resulted in the need for property managers torelax their cancellation policy. A more flexible cancellation policy inevitably creates gaps in your booking schedule. In addition, these cancellations occur later and later, leaving you little time to fill these unbooked periods.

You may want to consider lowering prices to offset this new phenomenon. If you still have to pay a cancellation fee, you can start by subtracting it from the new booking price. This price reduction will make your offer more attractive without impacting your turnover!

It is also important to identify which booking channels are causing the cancellations. You can then try to get the holiday rescheduled rather than cancelled. This will allow you to fill your booking schedule later in the season and focus your efforts on renting the cancelled stay.

In summary

The health crisis has led to the emergence of new travel behaviours that tend to become more prevalent over time. To adapt and optimize your booking schedule, we recommend three areas of development.

  • Adjust your minimum stay restrictions to suit your booking and stay dates.
  • Adapt your pricing strategy according to this same gap between the reservation date and the arrival date.
  • Adapt your pricing strategy to compensate for last-minute cancellations.
  • These three strategies will help you fill your booking calendar and improve your occupancy rate!

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