To Price Match or not to Price Match… That is the question!

May 29, 2013

Marketing, White Papers

Opinions vary about whether price matching lowers the integrity or reputation of a brand or property. In any case, price matching can be a great way to offer your guests a fantastic accommodation experience that could see them return again and again, perhaps next time in peak season.  At the end of the day, you have to be somewhat competitive with your competition if you want to fill your calendar. You may be able to charge a small amount more for your rental if it has ‘Sizzle Features’ (See my article about ‘Sizzle Features’ here!) but don’t expect people to beat down your door if you home is 20% or more than your competition.

We, generally, do not price match unless we are closer than 2-3 weeks from a empty spot on our calendars. We do firmly believe that a little bit of something is a whole lot better 100% of nothing so we are always trying to maximize our occupancy rates and do discount our homes in the last few weeks before an open spot on the calendar.

There are some things to watch out about price matching and/or lowering your price. There are people out there that are strictly looking for discounts and some of these people will ask for discounts for cleaning and other things they may find wrong with your home. When you are booking your home at a reduced rate, be very sensitive to the questions your prospective renter may ask and be on the look out for red flags such as asking for add on’s or discounts above and beyond what you have already offered.

Another technique is to offer a price-matched or reduced rate to locals or residents of nearby cities. Promoting your San Diego vacation property as an affordable short getaway destination may prove to be great publicity later down the track.  A very effective way to do this is to offer discounts on the home page of your home website or creating a Google Ad words campaign geared at rates of your competitors (Read more about how to do this here!)

Be careful with price-matching, and use it at your own discretion. There are many things about your San Diego vacation property that are unique, and may not be easily compared to another property or hotel room. You need not be obligated to price match against a super cheap rental property in bad need of renovation.

If used effectively, price matching can bring your home closer to the 100% occupancy most of us desire.  Like everything in the vacation rental world, experiment with different prices and scenarios. You will have higher occupancy for your rental in less time than you think!

About Greg

Greg is the owner of Pacific Coast Vacation Properties, a high end vacation rental management company located in San Diego, CA. He also owns a full service real estate brokerage company that helps owners buy vacation rental and commercial property. In his spare time, Greg volunteers for Habitat for Humanity and other charitable groups in San Diego.

View all posts by Greg

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