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We have a vacation rental in Rehoboth Beach, DE, and last summer we rented our property on a weekly bases from Saturday to Saturday. This seems to be the typical rental period for rental homes in our area. This year we have been advertising it from Friday to Friday as it works better for us when we use it. I was just wondering if anybody has experimented with Friday to Friday rental, and could share their experience.
Steve, if the norm for your area is Sat-Sat rentals you'd probably be best to stick with that if your first priority is securing rentals. That's not to say that you might find a real niche and demand for Friday to Friday rentals. Maybe there are more people out there looking for VRs in your area and wishing they could find Fri-Fri offerings?
I think one key factor would be from how far away your guests travel. If they are coming from more than 4 hours away, then probably Saturday to Saturday is more logical. If I got off work on Friday and had to pack the car and family and drive several hours all to be able to check in at midnight...I'd not be too excited about the prospect. But if many of your guests come from nearby, then maybe Friday to Friday would be appealing to them.
In the end, you have to weigh your personal preferences and convenience against the need for rental income and what is the most in-demand weekly rental period for your market. Good luck figuring it out!
Thanks for your response. We still have it advertised for Friday to Friday, but will likely switch back to Saturday to Saturday if we see any more lost bookings. It sounds like the people who already booked are flexible, but would hate to ask our guests to change their dates at this time. February seems to be the month that people really get serious about the summer. Distance was we one thing we did not have in mind, as people do come from further away than I had anticipated, so for those people it does appear friday to friday is too difficult.
Depending on the area your rental is and the traffic patterns in the high season, you may benefit from being different from everyone else. Upon request, we have started Sunday-Sunday rentals for the second half of the summer. Saturday traffic in the high season in New Jersey can be crazy, as all of the Realtors and most private rentals have a Saturday turnover. Early in the season, late May and June, we have mostly retired people, empty nesters and families with children that are not in school and don't mind the Saturday-Saturday rental as the traffic is not that bad at that time. We use the house in July, and when we are through, the rentals go Sunday-Sunday. Most of the renters are quite happy about not having to sit in traffic, and also feel that they are getting a whole week end by checking out on Sunday.
Well here in Europe it seems Saturday - Saturday are important for family groups... we have 3 rentals - 1 beach house that sleeps 10 plus 2 1 bed units for couples only, where we are on site - here the couples come and go on different days and for varying lengths - anything from 3 days - 21 days, sometimes we have a day or two sitting vacant but no big deal... the beach house however, no matter how hard I try it is religious, always a Saturday & always 1 - 2 weeks, this has been the pattern over the past 7 years - however I am noticing a change - I'm getting folk that are wanting a month now on a more regular basis, this year I have a Russian family for the whole of August & American family for 3 weeks in October - I think long haul now are starting to want to stay in one area longer instead of exhausting whistle stop tours - hey, today is Tuesday we must be in Venice, type vacations!
We rent Friday through Friday for a few reasons mostly related to turnover. I do not want to spend every Saturday doing turnover at our lake place. Saturday is my day off. Also, nobody gets a full weekend if you do it Saturday to Saturday. Friday or Saturday you cannot satisfy everyone and someone will complain. I need to do what works best for my family.
We rent Sunday - Sunday at our place near Acadia National Park in Maine. It works out great for cleaning staff not being tied up with other properties, and it also easily allows me to also offer Fri/Sat night or Thur/Fri/Sat night weekend specials during the fringe season.
We rent Friday-Friday during our peak season (summer). Our cleaning service prefers Friday and does not work on Sunday. I need them for my back-to-back rentals, which is most of the season. We accept reservations for Friday-Friday full weeks until May 1st. After that it's a free-for-all (2 night min) for what's left. Most of our guests drive from 1.5 to 3 hours so arriving on Friday evening works for our guests too.
We rent Saturday to Saturday since most people fly in for their stays, but like Lori, in the off season, we offer flexibility and aim for the long weekend, reunion crowd.
Not sure how it works where you are but here in Dublin Ireland we would vary it to suit ourselves and have a mixture of Fridays to Fridays and Satudays to Saturdays.
Do you mainly have people driving to your accomodation or do they fly a lot. If there are many people by air it could be a good idea to do some research to see what days are usually cheapest to fly on. Our unit in Florida seems to get many people asking for different change-over days due to cheaper airfare for them.
But in the end, it really is your life and your convenience that counts!
Luckily, I have cleaners who will clean when needed. I rent flexible days at one house, and try very hard to encourage Saturday to Saturday at the other house during prime season only- but it doesn't always work out. Another thing that helped me last year that was a tip from home away: it was to allow shorter term rentals and be more flexible. This helped me a lot as I was just about fully booked in both houses. I did notice that many of the reservations were only for 4 or 5 days. I'm in Cape Coral, Florida. I agree with an earlier poster that I would rather be rented than vacant!
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We offer a short break stay either Monday - Thursday or Friday to Sunday at higher per nite charge or a discounted per night charge for a week Sunday - Sunday. We do not accept short break reservations prior to 30 days out from date of desired check in during the year and 14 days in advance during HIGH SEASON.
We've done Sat/Sat because that was what most other rentals in our area were doing. We only require weekly rentals, however, during summer high season - other than that we're flexible. I can't do a Sun/Sun because of inability to get cleaning done on Sunday.
We recently switched to one week minimum, one month preferred.
But we have lots of people who want to stay 12 days or 10 days or 18 days, etc. Because of that, we can't have a fixed check-in, check-out day.
If we could do a designated check-in, check-out day ... I like Tyann's idea of doing it on Sundays. But even if we could do that ... we'd have the problem of not being able to find cleaning staff who will work on Sundays.
We do weekly rentals and have found that a Sat-Sat works best for both our guest and housecleaner. You see if the guest arrives on Saturday it is usually in the afternoon and when they leave it is by 10am. So this gives our house cleaner time between guests. We have a stated policy of check out 10am check in 3:00pm, but have many guest who have to drive a long way who get there after 6pm. They also leave earlier that 10 on Sat for the long drive home. We are in pagosa springs, co.
If people have to fly or drive a long ways then, Saturdays are the most common turnover day for us hands down. Most of our winter reservations in Jackosn Hole are 7 days from Sat-Sat.