Arrival spoke with Julie Brinkman, CEO of Beyond, on the top three things property managers should keep in mind as the busy summer months continue, dynamic pricing, post-pandemic travel, and more.
What are some of the biggest benefits of dynamic pricing and why is this considered a “need-to-have” for property managers?
At its simplest, dynamic pricing means being able to automatically and immediately charge higher rates when there is greater demand and charging lower rates when there is less demand. Additionally, manually changing prices for each season, let alone each day, is burdensome and time-consuming. A dynamic pricing tool automates this task easily and effectively in a fraction of the time.
Without a dynamic pricing tool, you’re almost certainly leaving money on the table by not charging enough when the demand climbs, while at other times, your occupancy rates are lower than they should be because you didn’t drop your prices quickly or low enough.
Dynamic pricing has become a “need-to-have” tool for vacation property managers because it’s the most effective way to efficiently price vacation rentals while freeing up valuable time to focus on other aspects of the business.
What do owners/managers need to consider before deciding on direct booking vs. using a booking site to list their properties? Do you have any tips or best practices?
Utilizing a booking site for your vacation rental is an essential part of a successful vacation rental business strategy. The sheer number of traffic that sites like Aibnb and Vrbo get—and the corresponding number of potential eyeballs that will see your listing—make the fees they charge worthwhile.
That, however, should be only a part of your overall strategy. Having a direct booking site allows you to manage and strengthen your own brand, bypass those travel site fees, and build a direct relationship with your customers, whom you hope can turn into repeat customers.
The best mix is to list on two or three travel sites and maintain your own website and booking engine.*
How do you see travel changing for short-term rentals in the near future as lockdowns are lifted, the COVID-19 vaccine is in full swing, and many are now able to work remotely for the foreseeable future?
The short-term rental market made gains in market share during the pandemic, and those gains seem to be permanent. More people took a chance on booking these types of properties because of concerns about health and safety, and discovered that they were a great alternative to traditional hotels and resorts.
The health and safety protocols that the entire hospitality industry implemented—like enhanced and more frequent cleanings, touch-free services, and self-check-in options—are also here to stay.
With the pandemic subsiding, vaccinations increasing, and more people being able to work remotely (either full- or part-time), the short-term rental industry will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.
What can property owners/managers do to prepare their properties and staff for an undoubtedly busy summer of travel?
Beyond recommends three things to keep in mind as we enter the busy summer holiday season:
- Be sure to review your historical booking lead time for holidays and events and leave yourself plenty of time to make sure a property gets booked over a holiday timeframe. You want to balance your booking pace to maximize occupancy and revenue by making sure you’re pricing effectively.
- Last-minute cancelations tend to increase during this period, so having a strategy that includes last-minute discounts and flexible minimum night stay bookings will increase your chances of rebooking those cancelations.
- The more you can automate and simplify your operations, the better your business (and your state of mind) will be. Leveraging tools like Airbnb’s automatic response system and Beyond’s dynamic pricing capabilities to take care of mundane but important tasks will free up time to focus on other parts of the business that need attention.
*For more information on how to build and manage your own site, check out Beyond’s Signal tool.
Julie Brinkman is the CEO of Beyond, where she is proud to lead a team who is passionate about working with short-term rental property managers and owners to run their businesses better and make their lives easier with top-of-the-line technology and world-class customer service. Before becoming CEO, she was Beyond’s COO and helped lead the company’s successful management of the global pandemic. Prior to her time at Beyond, she spent over a decade in various leadership roles at high-growth technology companies. When she’s not busy at the helm of an awesome company, she can be found hanging out with her two kids, big dog, and bearded husband.