As this rental season closes out, it creates a splendid time for you to explore ways that you can make your RV rental listing shine even more next year. By taking stock of what worked, what didn’t, and what you can expand upon next season, you’ll set yourself up for success the next time rental demand picks up in your area.
That’s why we wanted to take a beat here to show you a few things you might not have considered when it comes to enhancing your listing next year. Reflect on these ideas and best practices to help build upon your RV rental business.
Add Real-Life Guest Photos To Your Listing
Great photos are right up there with your listing description in terms of their power to paint a picture of what renting your rig is like.
One of the coolest ways to beef up your photo gallery is by including awesome photos of real-life guests enjoying your RV. See if you can get permission from some of your guests to use photos from their trip in your listing. This is an authentic way to show off what renting your rig is like.
This guide has more listing photo-taking tips
How Can You Make Your Listing Headline Stick?
Attention spans are uber-short in today’s noisy, cluttered, and connected world. That’s why you really only have 2-3 seconds to catch a renter’s attention and let them know your RV is for them.
Check your listing title for any opportunities to call out landmarks and/or activities near you. For example, do you live near a NASCAR track, national park, or other magnetic attraction? If so, consider adding these place names into your listing title so it grabs the attention of renters looking for rigs near those locations.
E.g. “Jayco Flight Near The Daytona 500”
Is Your Listing Description All It Can Be?
Jot down a list of common questions you received from renters this year to take stock of information that might need to be expanded on your listing. Then, check out your listing description and find ways to answer the FAQs you received from folks this season.
Renters are also looking for the story of your rig and a detailed description of the amenities you offer. The off-season is a great time to ensure your listing accomplishes these things. You could also call out local attractions again in your listing description as an extra reminder for renters that you are near their vacation destination. Here are more tips for writing a killer listing.
What About Video Tours Of Your RV?
Nothing beats video in terms of its ability to bring your listing to life.
That’s why the off-season can be a great time to create a video walkthrough of your RV. The video doesn’t need to be complex and you can record it on your smartphone. Once you have a video tour of your RV, you can simply upload it to your listing as you would any other photo.
In our world of virtual and video tours, something like a walkthrough of your RV really can make the difference for someone on the fence about booking.
Should You Adjust Your Pricing?
As you might imagine, your nightly price is one of the biggest factors in a renter’s decision to book. Hop onto Outdoorsy.com, pick a few dates, and search for similar campers in your area. Your nightly price should generally be somewhere in the middle of what you find for other rentals — not the highest and not the lowest.
Take time during the off-season to explore where you land on the pricing spectrum and if a price adjustment might lead to more bookings for you next season. Another thing to explore during the off-season is competition. For example, you might’ve been able to charge a higher price a couple years ago because there were fewer owners renting out rigs in your area. But now, there might be more rigs for rent that have put some downward pressure on prices.
Don’t give away the farm, but do explore how minor pricing adjustments could lead to extra bookings for you.
Is Your Security Deposit Impacting Bookings?
Think about the last time you rented a car — would you have been turned off if they asked for an exorbitant security deposit to rent from them? Our guess is you’d probably look for a different rental company!
The same is true for RV renters. That’s why the off-season is a terrific time to see if your security deposit might be impacting booking flow.
You should set your security deposit amount to a fair price relative to the class of RV you’re renting out. Security deposits on our platform generally range from $500-$1,500, but if you’re charging a $1,000 security deposit for a pop-up camper with minimal amenities, you might’ve scared people away this past season. On the other hand, if you’re only charging $750 for an ultra-lux Class A motorhome, you’re likely not charging enough to protect yourself.
Next season, you could start doing things like asking more questions of prospective renters, creating stronger rules for your listings, and putting GPS/speed tracking in your rig(s) as a way of protecting yourself even if you opt to lower your security deposit.
We know this might sound scary, but carefully considering how you might adjust your security deposit can be a key factor in growing your business next season.
Cancellation Policy Strategies
Uber-strict cancellation policies can scare renters away just like sky-high security deposits. To recap, here are the cancellation policies you can choose from on Outdoorsy:
- Flexible — Renters get a 100% refund if they cancel more than 5 days before departure and a 25% refund if they cancel less than 5 days before departure.
- Moderate — Renters get a 75% refund if they cancel more than 7 days before departure and a 50% refund if they cancel less than 7 days before departure.
- Strict — Renters get a 50% refund if they cancel more than 14 days before departure and a 0% refund if they cancel less than 14 days before departure.
If this was a slower booking season for you, a less strict cancellation policy is one way to attract renters going forward. That said — you should also weigh the costs to you of a fully flexible cancellation policy. If someone cancels more than 5 days out and gets a 100% refund, will you be able to rebook those dates?
Also, how would you feel if this cancellation comes during a special event in your area when you know you’d otherwise be booked?
These are important factors to weigh in your decision on the type of cancellation policy you choose.
The off-season is a splendid time to double-check your availability calendar and ensure you’re maximizing the open dates for your camper. It’s okay if you’d like your rig for yourself at popular times like Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day, but opening up even one of these holidays on your calendar could help you get more bookings.
Additionally, you should check your Outdoorsy calendar against your personal plans for next season and make sure you mark off days your rig is unavailable for pickup, drop-off, or renting to prevent a rental request at a time you can’t honor it.
Once you’ve worked on the above, you’ve officially brought yourself into the big leagues where you’ve optimized the basics of your listing for next season.
Nicely done. Now it’s time to level up!
These are the veteran listing strategies that’ll help you take your RV rental business to new heights next season:
- Create a video tour of your rig — Like we said above, it doesn’t have to be long or flashy. A simple, yet descriptive video shot on a smartphone is perfect to help renters really get a feel for your RV.
- Jump on our listing optimization webinars — These fun and interactive webinars are the perfect way to keep yourself (and your rental business) growing during the off-season.
- Join the Outdoorsy Facebook Owners Group — You might already be a member, but the off-season is the time to get more involved.
Sync with veteran owners, ask questions, answer questions, have folks critique your listing, and join in on the ‘Ask Me Anything’ events — our owner’s Facebook group really is the place to be when it comes to growing your rental business.
- Know these 13 listing strategies — We’ve covered some of the 13 above, but there are others tucked in there (such as strategies for getting reviews) that should be part of your marketing mindset. Read those 13 strategies and make them a part of your business.
It’s almost never about pulling just one lever to open the spigot of bookings for your RV. That’s why it’s important to take some time during your off-season to see how you might optimize all the pieces of your listing to get more bookings next go around.
The beauty of this business is you learn new things every year. As long as you transform those learnings into action, chances are strong that you’ll keep growing your business year after year.
So, if you’re ready to make your listing stand out, login to your Outdoorsy dashboard here to access your listing and start implementing these tips right away.