Should I keep the rental rate of my rental home the same year round?

Debby asked,  “Should I keep my rental pricing simple and charge the same rate per night year round?”

The value of a week when nearly any guest can travel, like Easter, is HIGH.

The value of a week when when fewer guests can travel, like the second week of September when children return to school, is LOW.

If you’re not pricing your home to earning the maximum possible for the varying values of different weeks, then you’re throwing money away and your chance for profit.

I’ve been told that my earlier link to the Wall Street Journal requires a subscription, so I’ll post some excerpts from this respected source:

“”There are as many people who are underpricing as are overpricing,” Mr. Sharples says. “It’s always been fascinating to me how the best properties are always booked a year in advance. In the summertime or at Christmas, if those people held out a bit longer and increased their prices a bit, would they increase their revenue? I’m sure they would.”

“Typically, owners should knock 30% off their peak rates for so-called shoulder-season rentals — those that fall between their high and low seasons — and as much as 50% off peak rates for low-season rentals,”

“Just before Christmas, inquiries slowed to a trickle for Amy Greener’s “Swaying Pines Chalet,” an 1,180-square-foot cabin she owns in the Great Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg, Tenn. Ms. Greener, who advertises on six Web sites for the two cabins she owns, responded by cutting her price and posting the deal as a “Holiday Shopping Special.” That move yielded several renters.”

“In Cape Cod, owners generally slash their off-season prices to the point where a month costs about the same as a week does during summer, ”

“People with very young children are more likely to travel off-season, because they’re not constrained by school schedules,” she says. A high chair or a portable crib aren’t expensive additions, but can drastically increase off-season bookings,”

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