how to Boost Your Serviced Accommodation Bookings during Off-Peak Seasons

October 1, 2023
Written by
Team Hive

Dealing with a slump in demand during off-peak seasons can be challenging for property developers – especially if your property has been busy all summer long.

However, there are several strategies you can employ to turn the quieter months into busier ones!

Here are our 10 actionable tips that can help to boost your bookings during off-peak seasons:

1. Offer Special Deals and Discounts

Firstly, attract customers through your door by offering special off-peak prices or discounts. Consider introducing early-bird, last-minute, or extended stay discounts.

Special promotional offers for returning guests can also foster loyalty and encourage repeat bookings.

2. Diversify Your Guest Segments

Not every guest segment travels in line with the standard seasonal patterns. Niche markets such as remote workers, long-term renters, retirees, or couples looking for a romantic getaway, can all help fill the gaps during off-peak term-time seasons.

Tailoring your marketing (as well as your physical property) to these non-traditional travel segments can go a long way. But, how do you cater to those niche markets without alienating the rest?

Digital nomads looking for comfortable work-from-home stays will require an adequate work station, a quiet environment, and an excellent and reliable WiFi connection. Make sure your property has a dedicated working area with a desk, office chair, good lighting and accessible power supply.

Long-term renters will be seeking home-like comforts, private parking, adequate amounts of storage, easy access to local areas and shops, and all the appliances of a normal home (full kitchen with cookware, washer and dryer units, spacious living areas).

Retirees seeking some term-time peace and quiet will opt for comfort, accessibility, safety, and convenience – appreciating single-story layouts or properties with elevators to avoid stairs, ensuring easy mobility. Safety features such as handrails in bathrooms, well-lit pathways, non-slip floors, and secure locks are commonly viewed as important. Ideally your property would be in a quiet, local, and serene environment, with access to things like gentle walking trails, low-impact fitness facilities, or opportunities for social interaction.

Couples seeking a romantic break prioritise privacy, a cosy atmosphere, and luxury touches. They appreciate tasteful decor, intimate amenities, and proximity to romantic activities while valuing unique and memorable experiences with opportunities for relaxation and connection.

3. Enhance Your Online Presence

In today’s digital era, an attractive online presence can be a game-changer to making sure your holiday-let is regularly booked up.

An inviting website with high-quality photographs of your property, testimonials, and complete information about your services is crucial to pushing your direct bookings (cutting out those costly OTA charges and fees).

Leverage social media channels, targeted online advertising, and platforms like Airbnb,, and TripAdvisor to increase visibility.

Also consider the value of hosting your property listing on more niche online travel agents (if your property appeals to their target demographic) - such as CoolStays for unique properties, or Unique Hideaways for luxury boltholes.

4. Emphasise Local Attractions and Events

Try to promote off-season local attractions, events or festivals that can draw visitors to your area.

By offering tailored packages or including tickets to local events can create an added value proposition for your guests while contributing positively to the local community. How do you go about doing this?

Research local events: Stay current with town/city calendars, tourism board updates, and local organisations to be aware of upcoming events and attractions.

Create partnerships: Link up with local tour guides, event organisers or even small businesses to offer packages that include these experiences.

Highlight events/attractions on your website and promotional materials: Make a dedicated section for this on your website or use your social media platforms to create buzz around these events and attractions.

Provide detailed information for your guests: Create a guidebook or welcome package with information about these local experiences, including what they are, how to get there, and why they're worth checking out.

Integrate local experiences: Offer to integrate event tickets or tours directly into the booking process, providing an all-inclusive experience for guests.

Doing so will not only enhance your property's attractiveness but also contribute to the local economy. Understanding your location and its offerings will truly allow you to create a compelling proposition for potential guests.

5. Leverage Partnership Opportunities

As touched on in our last point, collaborating with local businesses such as restaurants, tourist attractions, or event organisers to create package deals or referral programs can be beneficial. It not only enhances guest experience, but also strengthens local business ties - as well as offering a route for cross-promotion.

Identifying Potential Partners: Look for businesses in your locality that offer services or experiences complementary to your property. This may include local eateries, wellness centers, tourist attractions, or events.

Initiating the Partnership: Reach out to these identified businesses with a proposal for ways you can mutually benefit each other. For instance, you could offer promotional discounts to your guests for their services, and they might do the same (swim, spa and stay package with a nearby spa, or a dine and stay package with a local restaurant)

Formulating Special Deals or Packages: Collaborate to create special packages that offer your guests more value. Examples might include discounts at nearby restaurants, free yoga classes at a local wellness center, or preferential tickets for tourist attractions or events.

Promotion: Clearly advertise these partnerships and the benefits they offer to guests on your website, social media, and any other marketing campaigns. And help the partner promote it on their side too, by passing along any assets you've had made.

Seamlessly Integrate the Partner Services to your Booking Process: If possible, allow guests to book these additional experiences or services directly through your platform.

6. Offer Flexibility in Rental Policies

Guests often appreciate and seek out properties with flexible booking and cancellation policies, especially during off-peak seasons when unexpected changes may affect their plans. Show that you understand and accommodate their concerns by offering them the flexibility they desire.

7. Offer Seasonal Add-ons or Enhancements

Add a seasonal touch to your properties by offering add-ons like wellness treatments at a discounted price, complimentary outdoor activities, or free airport transfers. This will not only enhance the guest experience but also provide an edge over your competitors. Need more ideas?

Welcome Baskets: Provide baskets equipped with local snacks, wine, fresh fruit (you could even theme the basket to your niche market - romantic basket, workers basket etc.)

Fully-stocked Fridge Service: Offer to have the fridge stocked with groceries prior to guests' arrival.

Cleaning Service: Offer additional cleaning services for extended stays.

Transportation Services: Recommend local transportation services like shuttles, rental cars, or bike rentals.

Meal Services: Partner with a local caterer to offer ready-made meals.

Spa Services: Provide on-site or nearby spa services, including massages or facials.

Special Packages: Special packages for local tourist attractions, cruises, or tours.

Leisure Equipment Rental: Offer rental options for items like beach chairs, umbrellas, or recreational gear (bikes, skis, etc.)

Each of these add-ons can provide extra convenience or luxury to your guests, making their stay much more memorable and enjoyable.

8. Encourage Reviews and Testimonials

A really, really important aspect of boosting holiday-let bookings is encouraging your satisfied guests to leave positive reviews and testimonials.

This digital 'word of mouth' can significantly boost your credibility, foster trust in prospective clients, and create a bank of happy customers who may return during the peak season. It'll also put you in favour of Google and OTA's when listing your property.

9. Invest in Property Upgrades

Off-peak seasons can be an excellent time to upgrade your property. Strategic improvements to guest-rooms, enhancing amenities, or addressing pending maintenance issues can improve the guest experience and make your property more appealing.

10. Keep Up Communication with Past Guests

Stay connected with past guests by sharing updates about your property, special off-season offers, or details on local events through newsletters or personalised emails. This not only makes your guests feel valued, but also keeps your property at the forefront of their minds when planning their next trip.

Implementing these actionable steps can help property developers strategise more effectively, boost bookings during off-peak seasons, and maintain healthy occupancy rates throughout the year.

Need more support? Join The Hive Members Club today to connect with our community of like-minded property developers doing amazing work across the property and serviced accommodation industry.


Photo Credit:

• The Silk Rooms - Aneto Properties
• Interior Design by Raw Clay
• Photography by Lydia Harper