Low Max Guest Count = Less $$$

How big of an impact can your max guest count have on occupancy? A MAJOR IMPACT, and it's one of the most common mistakes we see owners make. A change of max guest count by just two people can increase or decrease occupancy by as much as 20-40%, translating into thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars in increased or decreased revenue. Let's look at an example.

Case Study: Erica's Mistake.

Erica owned a 4 bedroom property and assumed she should put her max guest count at 8 people (2 per room) since that was how many beds she had. What she did not realize is that most groups searching for a home her size have children with them and her mistake would cost her big time. Here is an example of what would happen: A group of 6 adults and 3 children (ages 1, 4, 7) would go to search for a property for their last minute two week trip to her area. Any major vacation rental search engine has the traveler input the dates and the number of guests in their group. So, they put 9 guests into their search.

But, because Erica had her max guest count as 8, her property was filtered out and did not even show up in the search results. Her competitors did.

So, even though her house had a better price and photos and easily could have accommodated the extra one-year-old, she lost a booking worth over $4,000 because of this common mistake.

This essentially was happening over and over with different bookings because, as the data shows, 42% of people searching for four bedroom homes have more than 8 people in their group.

By having her occupancy at 8, she was showing up in the search results with everyone (because essentially everyone with a 4 bedroom home allows for at least 8 guests). On the other hand, her competitor Steve (who allows 11 guests max) has less competition when certain groups search. This is because when a larger group searches for a property, all of the owners with a lower max guest counts (like Erica) are not even showing up in the search results. This means that they are much much more likely to book Steve's place!

The Lesson?

Owners obviously should try to prevent from overcrowding their home. However, look at the properties in your area with the same number of bedrooms as you. If you want more bookings, the best thing you can do is allow your property to sleep as many or more than the competition. Every vacation rental should have a couple of inexpensive air mattresses (or ground pads) and a pack-n-play for this very reason. The combination of competitive rates and a higher-than-average max guest count are the two most important factors that determine your property's ability to reel in multiple great bookings. After all, it doesn't really matter how nice your photos are or how good your rate is if your property doesn't even show up in the search results at all. So what should your max occupancy be? - This is where we can help.

We recently did an analysis of over 2,000 reservations and inquiries and found the following data based on the size of the property. We have made recommendations based on this data.

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1 Bedroom Unit

Recommended max guest count: 4 or higher

As seen in the data above, only 67% of groups searching for 1 bedroom units have 2 or less people. That means 33% of people looking for 1 bedroom units have more than 2 people. Based on the data we suggest an max guest count of at least 4 guests for 1 bedroom units. Keep in mind that additional guests are often children so this can be accomplished by having a sofa large enough to sleep a teenager or small adult and a twin sized air mattress or ground pad. We also recommend having a pack-n-play in a closet somewhere in case someone brings a baby or toddler with them.

As you decide you max occupancy number please keep the following data in mind.

  • Max Guest Count at 2 = 33% of the market will not see your listings.

  • Max Guest Count at 4 = 5% of the market will not see your listings.

  • Max Guest Count at 6 = All of the market will see your listings.

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2 Bedroom Unit

Recommended max guest count: 6 or higher

As seen in the data above only 76% of groups searching for 2 bedroom units have 4 or less people. That means 24% of people looking for 2 bedroom units have more than 4 people. Based on the data we suggest a max guest count of at least 6 guests for 2 bedroom units. Keep in mind additional guests are often children so this can be accomplished by having a sofa large enough to sleep a teenager or small adult and a twin sized air mattress or ground pad. We also recommend having a pack n play in a closet somewhere in case someone brings a baby or toddler with them.

As you decide you max occupancy number please keep the following data in in mind.

  • Max Guest Count at 4 = 24% of the market will not see your listings.

  • Max Guest Count at 6 = 6% of the market will not see your listings.

  • Max Guest Count at 8 = All of the market will see your listings.

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3 Bedroom Unit

Recommended max guest count: 9 or higher

As seen in the data above only 51% of groups searching for 3 bedroom units have 6 or less people. That means 49% of people looking for 3 bedroom units have more than 6 people. Based on the data we suggest an max guest count of at least 9 guests for 3 bedroom units. Keep in mind additional guests are often children so this can be accomplished by having 1 or 2 sofas large enough to sleep a teenager or small adult and a couple twin sized air mattresses or ground pads. We also recommend having a pack n play in a closet somewhere in case someone brings a baby or toddler with them.

As you decide you max occupancy number please keep the following data in mind.

  • Max Guest Count at 6 = 49% of the market will not see your listings!

  • Max Guest Count at 9 = 7% of the market will not see your listings.

  • Max Guest Count at 11 = All of the market will see your listings.

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4 Bedroom Unit

Recommended max guest count: 12 or higher

As seen in the data above only 58% of groups searching for 4 bedroom units have 8 or less people. That means 42% of people looking for 4 bedroom units have more than 8 people. Based on the data we suggest an max guest count of at least 12 guests for 4 bedroom units. Keep in mind additional guests are often children so this can be accomplished by having 1 or 2 sofas large enough to sleep a teenager or small adult and a couple twin or queen sized air mattresses. We also recommend having a pack n play in a closet somewhere in case someone brings a baby or toddler with them.

As you decide you max occupancy number please keep the following data in mind.

  • Max Guest Count at 8 = 42% of the market will not see your listings!

  • Max Guest Count at 12 = 7% of the market will not see your listings.

  • Max Guest Count at 14 = All of the market will see your listings.

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5 Bedroom Unit

Recommended max guest count: 15 or higher

As seen in the data above only 43% of groups searching for 5 bedroom units have 10 or less people. That means 57% of people looking for 5 bedroom units have more than 10 people. Based on the data we suggest an max guest count of at least 15 guests for 5 bedroom units. Keep in mind additional guests are often children so this can be accomplished by having 1 or 2 sofas large enough to sleep a teenager or small adult and a couple twin or queen sized air mattresses. We also recommend having a pack n play in a closet somewhere in case someone brings a baby or toddler with them.

As you decide you max occupancy number please keep the following data in mind.

  • Max Guest Count at 10 = 57% of the market will not see your listings!

  • Max Guest Count at 15 = 6% of the market will not see your listings.

  • Max Guest Count at 18 = All of the market will see your listings.

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6 Bedroom Unit

Recommended max guest count: 16 or higher

As seen in the data above only 47% of groups searching for 6 bedroom units have 12 or less people. That means 53% of people looking for 6 bedroom units have more than 12 people. Based on the data we suggest an max guest count of at least 16 guests for 6 bedroom units. Keep in mind additional guests are often children so this can be accomplished by having 1 or 2 sofas large enough to sleep a teenager or small adult and a couple twin or queen sized air mattresses. We also recommend having a pack n play in a closet somewhere in case someone brings a baby or toddler with them.

As you decide you max occupancy number please keep the following data.

  • Max Guest Count at 12 = 53% of the market will not see your listings!

  • Max Guest Count at 16 = 9% of the market will not see your listings.

  • Max Guest Count at 20 = All of the market will see your listings.