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More guests stay in vacation homes during the summer than any other time of year, with 25 percent of travelers booking a stay in a short term rental every July. However, late August and early September, just outside of “high season,” are popular with guests who want to avoid the summer rush. Here’s how to increase your property’s summer bookings by targeting and capturing travelers who are planning a last-minute, end of summer trip.

1. Revamp Your Listing Title and Photo

Spruce up your property listing with a new title and feature photo that exude summer vibes. Think about updating your listing photo to a picture of your swimming pool, outdoor patio, or your awesome view featuring a gorgeous summer sunset. Who could resist that?

Also, edit your listing title – as it’s proudly displayed with your profile photo – to include popular summer amenities. Something like “2BR Summer Condo w/Pool & BBQ” could cause your booking rate to soar. Extra points, too, if you can make them work together to create a unified and enticing message about your glorious summer rental.

2. Cash in Your Orphan Nights

Update your Airbnb and HomeAway calendars to attract guests who are planning a last-minute, end-of-summer vacation. Make sure you keep an eye out for orphan nights – vacant nights between reservations that don’t meet your minimum night requirements – in your calendar. As 50% of Airbnb bookings happen within the previous 30 days, allowing guests to book these nights will earn you extra income you would ordinarily have missed.

Or, if you prefer to remain strict about the minimum night stay, reach out to guests whose reservations are on either end of the vacant night(s) and offer them a discounted rate if they’d like to extend their trip. Be careful, however, to not offer the deal to both reservations at the same time, in case they both want to book them.

Additionally, updating your calendar on Airbnb and HomeAway can raise your search result rankings on the booking platform, instantly increasing the visibility of your property and potentially generating more bookings.

3. Flaunt Summer-Ready Amenities

Like you did with your profile photo, focus on summer-ready property features that lure guests to your home in your listing description. You can use bold text or italics or even feature these details in a separate section. Top summer amenities include air conditioning – 63 percent of travelers said an AC unit was a necessity when choosing a vacation property – a BBQ grill, a swimming pool, and an outdoor terrace. Providing these sought-after amenities could result in more five-star reviews on your HomeAway profile and increase your chances of becoming an Airbnb Superhost.

Emphasize nearby attractions, too. Forty-three percent of leisure travelers crave a beach when on their summer vacation. If you live in San Francisco’s Sea Cliff neighborhood, for example, highlight Baker Beach – recently voted one of the world’s best beaches by Harper’s Bazaar magazine – or rocky Land’s End, home to a popular coastal trail.

You don’t need to own a property near natural scenery to entice guests to your home: farmers markets, rooftop bars, and restaurants with outdoor seating are summer must-dos that you can feature in your listing, too. Create a picture for the traveler of what their summer vacation could be if they stay in your vacation rental.

4. Showcase Summer Events

End-of-summer festivals could boost your booking rate. Every year, 32 million Americans visit music festivals – like Los Angeles’s FYF Fest on the last weekend in August and San Diego’s KAABOO in September – with the average traveler traveling 903 miles to attend an event.

Festivals and events like these drive travelers to a community. You’ll want to not only capture guests who’ve already committed to attend these attractions, but also entice potential visitors who might not have made a decision yet.

If you’re located in Seattle for example, the Seattle Street Food Festival, the largest independent food and craft festival in Emerald City, takes place on Saturday, August 20, and Sunday, August 21. In San Diego, the Imperial Avenue Street Festival, a celebration of music and art in the Logan Heights neighborhood, is held on Saturday, August 27. And in San Francisco The Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival will be held August 5-7, in Golden Gate Park.

Hundreds of thousands of travelers will stay in vacation rentals before the end of summer. If you want to invite more of these guests to your property, optimize your listing with a new photo and title, update your calendar, showcase local cultural events, and highlight summer property features.

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