A last-minute rental can be an unexpected goldmine for a vacationer and a pain in the pocketbook for a second-home owner.

What’s the best way to fill surprise cancellations on your rental schedule, especially when they come during a premium time of the year like Labor Day weekend?

Second-home owners who rent out the best weeks of the year to help make ends meet or to pocket extra cash handle bombshell calendar gaps in a variety of ways. Here are some of the most popular methods:

1. Never underestimate the last-minute shopper. Just because your longtime renters who always reserve Labor Day weekend have an illness in the family and can’t make it this year, don’t panic. There are many people who peruse "last-minute specials" online and who can drop what they are doing and vacation at a moment’s notice.

In fact, there’s a contingent who expect to find last-minute deals on weeks or weekends they targeted long ago. They do look for bargains (and you obviously plan a reduction in price because of the timeframe), but don’t let them grind you into the ground.

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