Every season I stop and reevaluate the next few months to come for my business. Especially being in a 4-season location like Michigan, I know that the vastly different landscapes and temperatures will mean different clientele and a different approach for maximum success as a host.
Changes in Visitors
While I have discussed the impressive swarm of ice fishing trips in the Winter months, there’s no doubt the Summertime lends itself to excitement in terms of traffic headed north for trips in Michigan. My properties are close to water, nature, camping, and an adorable little town with lots of nightlife and day-life to offer. There are plenty of reasons to head “Up North” in the Summer in Michigan and that increase in demand, of course, means higher prices and more frequent payouts.
Getting The Homes Ready
Just like my Winterizing process I discussed in another post, the start of the hot season means a few things need to be done by yours truly:
- Changing the air filters
- Installing the portable A/C units in the house without central air
- Refilling stock of consumables
- Turning on water for hoses
- Adjusting any seasonal decor
- Coordinating the landscaping plan with my lawn care professional
These can all be accomplished with one trip to the properties and possibly even without going there at all. I could easily ask my cleaner to take care of items 1-5 in exchange for some extra pay. Number 6 only requires a quick phone call.
Because we know the visitors (and the reasons to visit) will likely change, the seasonal shift also merits a look at our pricing calendar. During the Summer, not only do I expect more demand for my homes, I also expect the weekends to be the primary focus of travelers. This is different than in the Winter, where many of my guests were traveling for work or week-long ice fishing trips and tournaments. Plus, the major Summer holidays and festivals are big attractions for travelers.
With the changes in demand in mind, I take a look at my calendar and raise and lower my daily rates accordingly. It can also help to search Airbnb as a traveler to see what the competition is doing with their prices.
Making Time For Myself
While the allure of ice fishing didn’t quite grab onto me this past Winter, I was very excited when the ground thawed and made way for Spring and Summer. If you haven’t been to northern Michigan during the Summertime, I must say you are missing out. Part of the joy of having my homes in the little town by “the thumb” of the mitten state is enjoying them when the weather is nice. Beautiful trees and flowers, cool breezes on hot days, and views of the water from the cute little town were calling me to book my own stays in my short-term rental units. So, I plan to book a weekend or two for myself to enjoy my homes. The trips will double as a chance to give the places a once-over and inspect for any issues or needs.
As seasons change it is important to take note of how your home, your area, and your customer base will be changing as well. By being proactive with the seasonal adjustments, you may find yourself ahead of both your competition and customers looking to book their trips in advance. If you have other items on your seasonal to-do list, let me know in the comments.