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Mind the Gap!

 
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Sam V



Joined: 20 Nov 2009
Posts: 1610
Location: Villa in Gale, Algarve, Portugal. At home in Fetcham, Surrey, UK

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:06 pm    Post subject: Mind the Gap! Reply with quote

I'm curious to know how you manage potential gaps between your bookings. Do you insist on guests booking back to back, or are you happy to accept a gap of a night or two or more?
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Sunbeam



Joined: 10 Aug 2015
Posts: 74
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

During high season we run saturday to saturday so as it's a relatively long season (mid-June to mid-September) we book out the last remaining week as a gap. For mid-season our minimum is 4 nights so normally get a few natural gaps.

Gaps for us are an opportunity to get some maintenance done that can't be done on changeover days. We usually think 'oh great - we'll have a few nights away' - but inevitably there's something or other that needs doing!
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Casscat



Joined: 05 Jul 2014
Posts: 2661
Location: Andalucía

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't mind a small one or two night gap here and there - in fact my current guests leave tomorrow and the next ones arrive on Thursday. I am not on site but I know how gruelling back to back changeovers are and my managers welcome the odd breathing space occasionally. I have to say, however, that they don't generally get many of those in high season!
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zebedee



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 757
Location: yorkshire dales

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it is one night, then I will contact the next or previous guests and offer them an extra night eg they can arrive Friday evening instead of Saturday.

I have to confess I don't often charge pro rata rates as I would sometimes prefer the money and I know they won't get to go in before evening.
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russellt



Joined: 09 Dec 2014
Posts: 332
Location: Ivybridge, Devon, UK

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zebedee wrote:
If it is one night,


In a lax moment, my generosity recently spilled over, and I gave a guest a spare, gap night for free!

She had expressed concern about travelling on one of the busiest Saturdays of the year, so I surprised her by allowing access on the Friday evening.

HUGE brownie points which I am confident will turn into repeat bookings. Very Happy
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Marks



Joined: 06 Nov 2006
Posts: 2764
Location: Costa Blanca

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm flexible with dates even in peak season so the occasional 1 or 2 night gap is fine, means less pressure to do the changeover and also means that little maintenance jobs or touching up the paintwork can be done at a more leisurely pace.

Also gives me the choice to allow early access or late departures, if they ask nicely of course Wink
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French Cricket



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
Posts: 3054
Location: French Pyrénées

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We're flexible on arrival days too, and in fact have a policy of never doing same day changeovers.

It works. Because we offer flexible days, our guests are flexible too. Over our 6 month season, the average gap is 2 days, with (this year) a couple of 4 day gaps. We look forward to those as it's a chance to catch up with bits of maintenance and go out ourselves!
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Ben McNevis



Joined: 15 May 2006
Posts: 819
Location: Scotland (for) The Brave

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We're fully flexible too. I think it really stems from the way we take holidays: always trying to turn a work week into 8 or 9 days and not wanting to travel on Saturdays. Many of our guests fly and the flights go 7 days per week. So it seems to make sense to either allow full flexibility or to get the changeovers on days when the flights are easier to book.

We get 8 to 10% empty nights through high season but I think that we would probably have to cut our prices to get full occupancy with a fixed changeover day. I don't know because we've never tried it. I suspect it's swings and roundabouts.
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e-richard



Joined: 17 Oct 2004
Posts: 4878
Location: Algarve, Portugal

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried an experiment for 2016. Having always been totally flexible, I decided to go fixed changeover for July and August 2016 and made the resolution way back in Augfuest 2015.

I turned down at least 3 bookings in August for 10, 12 and 13 days and 2 bookings for 7 days that did not fit Sat-Sat. I can honestly say it was sheer hell, nerves on edge and scary.

But this is what actually happened in the end:



Would I do it again or recommend it ?
I just don't know, but its an interesting data point.
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declanja



Joined: 27 Mar 2008
Posts: 498
Location: Nice France

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am flexible with dates too. I try to market gaps numerous ways such as reducing the nightly charge for that month or offering an extra night or two free to close a booking. My weekly rates are generally similar to those for a 5 night stay so it all works out ok in the end. Declan
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Mouse



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 7104
Location: Balearics

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Always back to back bookings. Saturday arrival and departure.
The season here is so short we can't afford gaps.

If I think there is a period that is going to be hard to sell (i.e. had no enquiries for it) I do consider 10 day enquiries or 5 days. Luckily that has been rare over the years and I've usually managed to fill the gaps.

I wish we could have a day in between to do the changeover. ...that would be heaven!

Mousie
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Last edited by Mouse on Tue Jul 26, 2016 7:50 am; edited 1 time in total
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Lets Go To Puglia



Joined: 14 Apr 2016
Posts: 149
Location: Puglia, Italy

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marks wrote:
I'm flexible with dates even in peak season so the occasional 1 or 2 night gap is fine, means less pressure to do the changeover and also means that little maintenance jobs or touching up the paintwork can be done at a more leisurely pace.

Also gives me the choice to allow early access or late departures, if they ask nicely of course Wink


Ditto +1
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gozokerry



Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 157
Location: Gozo,Malta

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes fully flexible and although we have had two months of back to back we still have 6 days beginning of August vacant (same price...). Not concerned as we have a long season - end March through to October/November but it does sometimes seem almost pre-planned how the cards fall.
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Jenster



Joined: 08 Mar 2016
Posts: 398
Location: Cornwall

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm amazed so many people are flexible but maybe that is the nature of different resorts/types of place.

We are strictly Saturday to Saturday during June - September and are fully booked for those months. More flexible in the shoulder months, Christmas and Easter. However we did have a couple of one night gaps this month due to a cancellation which I have to admit was a bonus for a more relaxed changeover and to get a few jobs done. Probably wouldn't make a habit of it though as we need to maximise our income.
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gardenboy



Joined: 02 Jul 2011
Posts: 224

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am flexible now but used to be sat to sat firm. I charge a premium for split weeks so my voids are funded by the midweek splitters. The odd 2 or 3 day gaps are brilliant for maintenance and relaxed changeovers. My guests don't seem to mind paying a premium as they save loads on off peak air fares.

In fact it's a win win as I don't look at it as a job anymore.
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