Whether you are just starting to research dynamic pricing and revenue management for your vacation rental portfolio, or you are assessing your current pricing tools, we’ve got a list of top features that are important to consider. Using a revenue management system to manage your vacation rental pricing can help make setting and adjusting your rates easy and more accurate. This software can help interpret large swaths of data and make price adjustments accordingly, saving you and your team time and resources. Here are the top nine features that the best short-term rental pricing tools include.
#1: User Friendly
Of course, a software system that’s easy to use makes the whole experience much more pleasant. This can include dashboards that summarize information or options that allow you to sort and filter properties with ease. Software that is intuitive, has tooltips to help you along the way, and a resource library for users is key to an easy onboarding process and maximizes the value of your investment. Property managers are busy, and revenue management tools are not only for maximizing pricing but to give you back time to focus on other important areas of your business.
#2: Fewer Clicks
Speaking of clicks, some of the best tools have eliminated unnecessary clicks altogether by offering update functions on a single screen. Imagine making manual adjustments right from the home screen rather than having to open up a listing, hit the edit button, and change the rates from there. Any process that simplifies the management of a portfolio of properties is giving the manager a better view of their listings, ease of decision making, and the ability to work more efficiently.
#3: Batch Editing
Do you have properties in the same condo or planned community? Or maybe you have cabins that are along the same river and even beachfront cottages, these are similar properties that can be grouped and manage pricing in a similar manner. Some short-term rental pricing tools also offer a batch edit function, so you can make changes to multiple properties in one sweep rather than manually updating each listing one at a time. Look for features that let you apply tags, select similar properties by bed/bath, and more that will allow you to be much more efficient in review
#4: Flexibility by Date
Sometimes you need to make rate adjustments for a specific property for a specific date—maybe during a holiday booking period or because the weather has taken a turn for the worst. Rented’s Automated Rate Tool is the only revenue management software currently that allows property managers to make such minute adjustments easily and with as few clicks as possible.
#5: Quick Load Time
Clearly, waiting for a site to load can be a real strain on one’s patience. But this can be particularly challenging when you manage several hundred properties or need to scroll through many months of rates. Whether you have a small or large portfolio, evaluate your software choices page load, data load, and functionality speed to ensure it is what you expect your tools to do. And be sure to ask for a demo of a large portfolio to assess the speed too – if it’s not your size today, it could be in the future… your pricing tool should scale with your business.
#6: Visibility into Third-party Channels
Revenue management software syncs to your primary vacation rental property system (PMS), so any adjustments you make in the software will automatically update your website pricing calendar. A great short-term rental pricing tool will also give you visibility into all the third-party channels where you are publishing your listings, like Airbnb, Vrbo, or Expedia. You can be sure your adjustments have gone through successfully and are showing up the way you want them to, with live pricing adjustments.
#7: Rolling Adjustments
Let’s say that you like to decrease a rate by 20% within a seven-day booking window. In some short-term rental pricing tools, you can make detailed adjustments—to one property or multiple properties—for an indefinite stretch of time. These are different from a fixed adjustment, which can usually only be made in specific time blocks and need to be regularly updated to carry forward.
#8: Context for Pricing
Most vacation rental revenue management systems are going to offer context for why prices are adjusted the way they are, which can be helpful to show your owners or even help educate yourself if you need to make changes. It also helps to identify manual overrides versus the dynamic pricing algorithm. Having insights on why each booking for each property was at the price per night reserved is critical! This is a great educational tool for conversations with owners, but also for managers to understand and see the results of dynamic pricing driven by market data, booking windows, expiring inventory, and more.
#9: Reliance on Human Knowledge
Sometimes, you need a little bit more insight than what the pricing tool can provide on its own. All the algorithms and data in the world can’t compete with that human element. Rented’s Automated Rate Tool, Art, is the only short-term rental pricing tool that comes with a human-conducted QA of rates for every property, either during the initial onboarding of the tool or as an ongoing service. Our revenue management experts can make adjustments to prices based on factors that the software can’t calculate, such as the actual quality of the house (e.g. recent renovations or modernization), availability of amenities, the photo quality of the listing, and so on.
Using a short-term rental pricing tool can expedite the rate-setting process and make adjusting prices easy and more accurate. See for yourself! Get a free 30 day trial of Art today!