Vacation Rental Pricing Strategy: Our Guide

How to Establish the Best Fees to Maximize Occupancy and Earnings.

Imagine escaping to your dream holiday spot. You open a vacation rental site, excitement building as you browse through enticing listings.

You see a charming cabin nestled in the mountains, for example, but the price is suspiciously low. “What hidden catch lurks beneath that bargain price?” you question and cautiously move on. Then, you find a lake house with stunning views, but the cost makes your jaw drop. “Out of my budget,” you sigh and keep searching. 

Finally, you stumble upon a cozy forest cottage with reasonable rates that pique your interest and beckon you to investigate further for more information about renting it.

This, my friend, is the vacation rental pricing tightrope (see link for all property management services we offer to Big Bear, CA, rental owners!), and as a rental owner, you have to always aim to strike the sweet spot – the right vacation rental rate that attracts visitors.

If you set your price too low, you run the danger of scaring away potential clients or inviting undesirable guests who will neglect your property, all of which will cost you money.

Charge exorbitantly, and you might find your booking calendar gathering dust even during the busiest seasons. Even worse, guests who believe they paid too much for your property can arrive with inflated expectations and leave dissatisfied, leading to dreaded negative reviews.

That being said, you’ve come to the right place if you’re a first-time vacation rental owner seeking advice on how much to charge for your property or an experienced one searching for new inspiration.

In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the different pricing strategies you can use to ensure you set the perfect price for your vacation rental all the time.

3 Top Pricing Strategies for Your Vacation Rental

  • Cost-Plus Pricing

Are you aware of the expenses associated with running your holiday home?

Before determining your vacation rental booking rate, you must calculate two primary costs: fixed and variable expenses.

Fixed costs are expenses that stay the same monthly, regardless of whether you have guests or not. These may consist of mortgage payments, insurance, property taxes, wages, and subscriptions to cable and Wi-Fi.

Expenses that increase or decrease based on your occupancy levels are known as variable costs. For example, your water and electricity bills won’t likely be high if your property is unoccupied. However, a high occupancy rate means that you’ll need to spend more on toilet paper, coffee, and other necessities, as well as clean the house and arrange laundry for linens more regularly, increasing your variable costs.

You should also consider occasional upkeep and replacement expenses, such as repainting your rental or replacing a broken appliance.

When you know exactly how much everything costs, add a markup to determine your minimum nightly fee. If you want to stay profitable, you should never drop below that amount, even in slow times. Most owners of holiday rentals apply markups that allow them to make between 10-20% profit.

Don’t be scared to raise your minimum nightly rent in line with any increases in your property’s expenses.

  • Competition-Based Pricing

This vacation rental pricing strategy entails researching what your competitors charge their guests and either matching or beating their offer.

By examining listings that are comparable to yours in terms of size, location, amenities, quality, etc., on popular vacation rental listing sites like Airbnb, Vrbo,, and Expedia, you can find out what occupancy rates, average length of stay, and fees of your competitors are.

If you’re just getting started in the vacation rental business, offering cheaper rates could give you an advantage over your rivals.

Yes, this will diminish your profits, but it can bring in more bookings and excellent reviews if you’re a good host, which will help you build a strong online reputation and raise your rental rates more quickly.

  • Seasonal Pricing

There are peak and low seasons for most vacation spots, when tourist numbers are highest and lowest, respectively. For instance, Big Bear, California, experiences its busiest times during the winter and summer.

Seasonal pricing, which has its roots in the idea of demand and supply, usually means increasing prices during high-demand periods and decreasing them when things slow down.

Setting higher rates during peak season for maximum earnings and reducing prices throughout the off-period for greater occupancy is, therefore, a smart move on your part as a vacation rental owner.

Pro Tips: The weekend tends to be busier than weekdays because more people travel on these days. Due to the increased demand, several vacation rental sites allow you to charge more for weekend stays.

For example, hosts are permitted by Airbnb to charge extra for Fridays and Saturdays; the fee should be anywhere from 10 to 15 percent of your regular rate. This adjustment can help significantly boost your vacation rental income.

We recommend using dynamic pricing tools, such as PriceLabs, to make it easier for you to discover the perfect price for your holiday rental.

Employing machine learning, these tools assess real-time market information, including competitors’ rates, season, day of the week, forthcoming local events, and occupancy history of your rental, to adjust your nightly rate appropriately.

By automating your vacation rental pricing strategy, you can be sure that your fees are constantly revised to take into account data swings, and you book guests at the best rate at any given time.

Let Sky High Cabins Help You Rent Out Your Big Bear Vacation Rental

Are you a Big Bear vacation rental owner who’s struggling to figure out the best pricing strategy for your property? To maximize your rental income, consider partnering with Sky High Cabins, #1 in Big Bear Cabin Rentals and Management.

With hundreds of 5-star ratings across our properties here’s what we can offer you:

  • Expert Pricing Strategy: No more guesswork! Our market-savvy pricing guarantees your cabin sets the right price to attract guests all year round.
  • Professional Listing Management: By showcasing your rental on the most popular vacation rental websites, we increase its visibility and booking potential.
  • Impeccable Maintenance: Relax knowing your vacation home is sparkling clean and maintained to the highest standards, ensuring a pristine environment for your guests and safeguarding your investment.
  • Excellent Hospitality: From smooth check-ins to personalized amenities, our committed staff goes above and beyond to provide unmatched customer service and hospitality experiences that leave guests raving about their time in Big Bear.
  • Effortless Passive Income: Enjoy steady vacation rental earnings without dealing with day-to-day management duties.

Ready to elevate your vacation rental experience with Sky High Cabins?

Contact us today through our online contact form or call 909-366-0706 to schedule a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you realize your Big Bear vacation rental goals with the ideal pricing and more!

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