Oct 15, 2011

When you're first starting with vacation rental by owner, it can be difficult to know if and when you're going to start getting inquiries. When do people look to book? It obviously varies by area and the kind of vacation rental. When is the high season? Even if you've been renting for a few years, there will likely be seasons that are quiet. And towards the end of them you can find yourself thinking, "don't we usually start getting inquiries by now?"

Obviously if you have a rental history, you can go back and look through your inquiry records. But for new owners you don't have this history to look at. A useful tool is Google Insight. With this you can search for an area and usually see a pattern in the history web search data. For example, if you search for "beech mountain nc" you can see that each year, interest in this search term starts to pick up in November. It peaks in December/January, and then quickly drops off by March.




This makes sense since it's a ski area. In the winter most people are looking for long weekend getaways rather than full weeks. Interest only starts as the cold weather sets in, peaks and then quickly drops off since it is a fairly short snow season Whereas for vacation destinations with a summer high season, the interest tends to pick up early, and stay high for longer. Here's what it looks like for "sunset beach nc".


Another useful feature of Google Insights, is that when there is sufficient traffic, it is able to generate a forecast. In the chart above you can see a forecast in dashed lines. You could also use this to compare popularity of nearby places. For example, comparing whether Sunset Beach NC is as popular as Ocean Isle Beach NC.



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