How to Tap into the Fall Vacation Market

Summer visitors tend to choose properties based on weather and location.  Beaches, swimming pools, lakefront, etc, are all facilities and features that can bring guests to your property, and in areas of high demand, it should not be a challenge to rent the weeks.  Getting the fickle fall and early winter market  to book is a tougher nut to crack and requires more persistence and ingenuity.  As the leaves turn, so does interest, from the traditional summer leisure and relaxation pursuits, to a more active and purposeful direction.  Here are some ideas to tap into activities that might drive potential guests to your property.

Geocaching
The popularity of geocaching doesn’t look like it will fade away any time soon.  If you haven’t considered this as an attraction for your guests, take a look at www.geocaching.com and check out the video on the site.  It’s an easy activity to learn and is great for all the family.  While on the site, have a look at the maps for your location to see how many caches there are in the area – you may be surprised how many of them there are.  To promote your place as a base for a geocaching vacation, mention it on your listing and create some blog posts to describe a couple of outings in the area that take in a few caches.  If you have a Facebook page and Twitter account, do some posts on there as well.

Fall Colors and Photography
Amateur photographers love the fall.  The light is perfect for taking great pictures and the added attraction of the leaves changing color makes this a great time to take a vacation.  If you haven’t got your own fall images, purchase some stock photos from www.istockphoto.com to demonstrate what it looks like in your area (make sure the photographs are of local viewpoints or attractions).  Don’t just pull images off Google as you may run into copyright issues.

Hiking and Biking
The fall brings cooler weather making it so much more comfortable for hikers and bikers to enjoy the countryside without feeling the heat.  If your property is located in an area with a variety of trails, create a ‘Trails Book’ that describes each one, including length; degree of difficulty based on terrain, incline etc (easy, moderate or difficult); an estimated time for each trail, and a map they can take with them.  Your listing should include information describing the potential for walking or cycling.

Fall Festivals and Arts Tours
Some areas have an abundance of festivals and events in the fall.  Think about writing a short article describing what’s on in the fall in your locale, and then publish it on an article site such as www.ezinearticles.com .  You can put your listing URL in the signature box which will drive readers to your listing, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly the article gets traffic if you use the right keywords. 

Golf
Public and semi-private golf courses offer all sorts of enticements to bring players in when the season gets a little quieter.  If there are several courses in your area, visit the club and see what they could offer your rental clients.  Pick up some score sheets so they can see the course maps, and include a brief description of each course in your property manual.

Tapping into the activity interests guests have in the low season period can bring you higher occupancy than just simply hoping they will see your listing and like the photos and description.  It needs a little more work to attract them and encourage them to book.