11 playbook strategies for thriving in every economic season
In today’s economic climate, it is more important than ever for vacation rental property managers to have a well-defined playbook. With changing consumer behaviors and spending patterns, it is crucial to adapt and implement ways to maximize revenue and control costs. TravelNet Solutions has identified these key 11 strategies to help you weather these changes as well as those that still may be unforeseen.
- Adapting to changing consumer spending patterns
While it’s true that people are still spending, the dynamics have shifted. With economic uncertainties, travelers are more cautious and are likely to spend less than they used to. Take time to reexamine your cancellation policy, rates, and fees. Look for ways to add to ADR with add-ons and specials.
- Double down on marketing efforts
Property management companies who thrive in a down-turn market tend to double down on marketing. Utilize as many platforms as possible to reach a wider audience. By utilizing digital marketing tools, owners can target specific demographics, leverage user-generated content, and build a strong online presence to stand out in a competitive market.Examples include:
- Pacing report data to dictate specific marketing messages
- Anniversary messaging inviting guests to return at the same time each year
- Seasonality messaging such as, “you loved us in the winter, wait until you visit in the summer”
Marketing can help you convert those who initially booked via OTA into book-direct loyal guests. The goal is to utilize as many platforms and tools as possible to reach a wider audience and get conversions.
- Revenue management
Implementing revenue management strategies is essential for maximizing revenue. Automated tools like Rented allow you to set the right price for every property every night. Essential revenue management tools include:
- Market analysis
- Industry assessment
- Your performance
- Owner’s performance
- Examining the competition
- Dynamic pricing
Dynamic pricing allows property owners to adjust prices based on factors such as demand, seasonality, and local events. By leveraging data and analytics, owners can optimize their pricing strategies to capture more bookings during peak periods and incentivize occupancy during off-peak times. Track will automate this pricing for you. Dynamic pricing and revenue management go hand in hand, and together help you grow revenue.
- Leveraging dynamic fees
In addition to dynamic pricing, implementing dynamic fees can be a smart revenue generation strategy and can be automated by PMS software. By offering optional services or add-ons such as cleaning fees, pet fees, or extra amenities, property owners can increase their revenue per booking. Studies are showing that vacationers who have longer stays are more likely to pay higher fees, such as cleaning. They understand they made a bigger mess or used more towels, and know they will be responsible for the property to be cleaned. By increasing your cleaning fee by even $1 a day, you can dramatically increase your revenue.
- Filling gap nights
Gap nights are periods of unoccupied time between bookings. Strategies to fill gap nights will help boost revenue. Offering discounted rates or special promotions for these nights can attract last-minute travelers and maximize occupancy. In this situation, it is incredibly important that you are constantly motoring your booking calendar and willing to make some adjustments (such as forgoing a Saturday night stay or minimum night requirement). Don’t leave revenue on the table – especially during high revenue periods! With flexibility comes more revenue. This is where a tool like Rented can set the right price to get that booking.
- Building your brand via the billboard effect
We know there are travelers who are loyal to OTAs. You want to be found where they’re looking. The more channels you use, the better your profits. While some channels are expensive, rate and fee management can yield you the same profit regardless where the guest is booked. When you market your properties you increase the opportunities for conversion and increased occupancy. You’ll only pay the fee when a booking is made and you can embed your fee into your pricing. This will help you achieve a strong billboard effect. In the meantime, your focus should be on achieving a billboard effect and getting the revenue you deserve, and less about worrying about fees and what channel it comes from.
- Control Your Profits with Cost Optimization
Sustaining growth requires a careful balance between increasing revenue and optimizing costs. Continually monitoring costs is crucial to ensure profitability. This is done by:
- Regularly reviewing expenses such as maintenance, utilities, and supplies
- Constantly monitoring the cost of training, OTA fees, and guest services
- Creating a smart workflows that utilize automation for improved efficiency
- Reduce owner churn
Owners are your single most important asset. And it doesn’t matter if the economy is excellent or struggling, owners have a tendency to wander. Don’t let them! Most vacation rentals are investments, so let them know you are there to protect it! You can help reduce owner turnover by being transparent and dedicated to their investment. If you do work changing batteries and lightbulbs, show them, tell them, communicate with them regularly. This will let them know you are in their unit and protecting their investment. Referencing Key Data can demonstrate with facts that you as the property manager are outperforming the market and are still the best option for the owners.
- Optimizing technology and embracing automation
In today’s digital age, technology plays a pivotal role in managing vacation rental properties efficiently. Embrace tools and software solutions that automate tasks like reservations, guest communication, and property management. These technologies not only save time but also provide valuable data and insights that can inform decision-making processes. This includes even consolidating some of your vendors and asking more from your tech vendors to help you be more efficient. If you feel the need to tighten your belt, revisiting your tech stack can reveal opportunities for savings.
- Know your KPIs
Consistency is key to success in the vacation rental industry. Establish a regular monitoring cadence to assess the performance of your property and marketing strategies. Analyze occupancy rates, revenue trends, guest reviews, and market competition on a regular basis. This enables property owners to identify areas for improvement, make data-driven decisions, and adapt their playbook as needed. It is especially important that you understand where you stand with KPIs.
- Lean on reporting tools
- Know your market trends
- Keep a close on on your KPIs such as accounting, forecasting, and fee income
Track PMS: A difference maker
Track PMS is the leading enterprise solution that consolidates technology, drives operational efficiency, and grows profit to optimize every aspect of property management. The property management companies that are winning capitalize
on all the pricing, revenue, accounting, and channel distribution tools that Track has to offer. Property management companies using Track PMS are outperforming the market in ADR, adjusted occupancy, and RevPAR. Recent data from Key Data shows that companies using Track have greater than a 25% advantage over their competitors.
In today’s challenging economic environment, having a playbook for vacation rental properties is of utmost importance. By implementing revenue management techniques, utilizing dynamic pricing, embracing marketing across multiple channels, controlling costs, and maintaining a regular monitoring cadence, property owners can increase their revenue and maintain profitability. The ability to adapt, optimize, and leverage technology will ultimately contribute to the long-term success of vacation rental properties in an ever-changing market.
Are you interested in taking a look at Track PMS? Learn more.