The Importance of Implementing the Right Tools – Emerging Stronger after COVID-19

In the midst of this global pandemic, with empty rentals across the United States, what actions should property managers looking to emerge stronger after this crisis be taking? 

Our partners at Perfect Price, see this moment in time as an opportunity to take action on parts of your business that you may have never had time for in the past, or been putting off for a rainy day.  In these uncertain times, one thing is for certain, what we do now will impact our businesses in the future — how we use this time, is important. Consider things like switching off legacy software, installing smart home automation, or implementing new software tools like dynamic pricing. 

Value of a modern PMS

Legacy PMSs focused on accounting – there was no need for digital automation if you were on the phone with your guests, sorting through the mail for checks, or running credit cards on a machine. Those systems have failed to keep up with digital innovation.

Through automation, integration of data, and analytical tools, industry leading PMS solutions like TRACK are addressing and automating key areas such as:

  • Enterprise trust accounting enabling compliance with local regulations.
  • Channel management to drive bookings and awareness on popular sites like Airbnb and VRBO with 0% commission fees
  • Enabling direct bookings and browsing on the web with a website
  • Integrated Enterprise CRM for property management to drive more direct business
  • Automating and managing housekeeping and maintenance
  • Guest access to their stay with a guest app and portal
  • Owner access to their data with an owner portal

Built around the industry’s leading CRM, TRACK PMS is an enterprise software solution for professional vacation rental managers with 50 units or more. Integrated modules to deliver the best end-to-end experience for guests, owners and property managers, and a robust API enables partners to seamlessly integrate. 

If you aren’t already on TRACK, we highly recommend you try it out here. 

Dynamic Pricing Capabilities

While TRACK provides rate and revenue management features, leading property management companies know that price and availability are the most important contributors to success, and many demand specific functionality. TRACK’s APIs enable dynamic pricing companies like Perfect Price to build deep integrations to enable this functionality, saving time and generating significantly more revenue for its customers.

Perfect Price, the leading enterprise-grade dynamic pricing software for vacation rentals, integrates seamlessly with TRACK with a two way connection to pull in data and then automate pricing and minimum stay updates. Perfect Price leverages AI to generate accurate price recommendations, enterprise-grade rules to give property managers control, and the easiest interface to use in the industry. 

“Amidst this global pandemic, property managers today face uncertain times with fast-moving changes in their markets–frequently with less staff to do the work,” said Alex Shartsis, founder and CEO of Perfect Price. “With TRACK and Perfect Price, property managers can get the intelligence, transparency and control they need to succeed in pricing, driving higher revenue and higher occupancy for you and your owners.”

“TRACK is always striving for new integrations that will create efficiency and value to help our clients achieve their goals,” said Ryan Bailey, CEO of TravelNet Solutions. “With revenue management partners our goal is to empower property managers and owners to create world-class guest experiences that drive long-term revenue growth.”

How Dynamic Pricing Leads to Success

Wise property managers know that revenue management drives growth. The better the revenue management, the more growth they experience. The industry has noticed: “Nowhere is the need for a more tech-driven, business-oriented model for setting rates more clear than with short-term rental property management companies,” said Sean O’Neill in Skift.  

Success in dynamic pricing requires intelligence, transparency and control. While you can achieve these three goals manually, it takes a lot of work and is error prone – with over 50 units, TRACK customers could easily be overwhelmed trying to manually make adjustments.

Great dynamic pricing software and tactics drive growth by implementing strategies that are known to work with minimal effort. Let’s break down the process into its components. 

Daily price updates

Leading companies update their nightly prices every day for at least the next year. This would be impossible to do at scale without software. Using a software like Perfect Price enables strategies to be built, leveraging AI, to automatically update prices based on market conditions or specific needs or strategies. This ensures your pricing is always up to date, whether driven by market conditions, your strategies – or both. 

Examples include adapting your prices to lowering rates in a market (something that has been common with COVID-19 across all markets), raising rates for a big event or if availability is reduced and market rates are rising, increasing rates for far-out luxury bookings, lowering rates for last minute bookings, and more. 

Let’s take a look at last minute discounts. Without dynamic pricing software, you’re less likely to have too much availability and need last minute bookings to begin with. But in many markets, a significant portion of demand is last minute. Many property managers go through and look at and manually lower rates or length of stay requirements for last minute bookings. With Perfect Price, you can make this process automatic, and specific to each property (or broad if you prefer), so that you can benefit from last minute bookings–without having to take time to do it, or worry about forgetting to do it. 

Market shifts

Frequently customers report that the boom in vacation rentals means a unit that used to get a high rate now has to get a lower rate. Or, the novel coronavirus pandemic may have shut down travel and bookings in your market. 

By tracking market prices and making them transparent in its software, Perfect Price not only can adapt the price to the new market conditions using AI, but can also show you those comparable listings so that you can be confident in the change – and even, potentially, share the new market reality with the owner. This is particularly important with COVID-19 where markets have shifted dramatically. 

Benchmarking and Competitor tracking

Successful property managers know to keep a close eye on last year and the market. Perfect Price provides an overview dashboard, which gives you the intelligence of what is going on in the market, and quick visibility into how each unit is doing versus last year in what’s known as a “pacing report” – the pace of bookings so far. By putting this at your fingertips, and leveraging this data in its algorithms, Perfect Price can help keep you at peak performance

Every unit is different. That said, if you are experiencing soft demand – you might not be alone. Using AI, Perfect Price can find similar units or properties to each of yours and track their pricing and availability. With an AI-built, human-curated list of competing properties you can ensure that each of your units is priced right for its specific micro-market.  You have control over this list and through it, transparency into what data the algorithms are using.

Taking Quick Action

Sometimes markets change – like when the novel Coronavirus hit – and you need to make broad actions. One of the things that sets Perfect Price apart from other solutions, or manual changes in your PMS, is the ability to make sweeping changes without going into each property individually. Great revenue managers stay vigilant and can react quickly–with tools like Perfect Price, that can be a very fast cycle. 

Automating Dynamic Minimum Stays

Price is important – but it isn’t everything. If a customer wants to book a week, and the Friday isn’t available because someone booked one night, that’s worse for performance than charging the wrong price. But managing longer minimum stays is complicated, and if you forget to make a change or miss a gap, you can lose a lot of revenue.

Using dynamic pricing software you can manage your minimum stays dynamically as well. That means the ability to have different minimums depending on the night of the week, the time of year, or the time until check-in. You can protect longer lengths of stay by requiring longer bookings far in advance, then open those up to shorter bookings as the check in gets closer – with no work done by you. 

Gap nights can take a lot of time to manage. Those are nights that are unbookable, because the time available is less than the minimum stay requirement. Say you have two 7-night bookings, with 4 nights in between, and a 7 night minimum. The 4 nights are a gap. Perfect Price can automatically find those gaps and adjust them, so that you can maximize occupancy and not miss out on revenue. Or, waste time. 

Enabling Easy Automation

In today’s market where cash flow is tight and you may have fewer people in the office to do things, automation is key. TRACK’s robust APIs enable Perfect Price to communicate directly with your PMS and automatically make adjustments. Perfect Price’s simple user interface puts you in control so that only what you want to be automatically updated is, and you can make those updates every day automatically or on demand – or both. This saves you time while generating additional occupancy and revenue. 

Providing Intelligence, Transparency and Control 

Leaders choose Perfect Price because of its intelligence, transparency and control. Designed for professional pricing managers with an easy to use interface, Perfect Price leverages  industry-leading data sources and the industry’s most accurate AI. This isn’t a mom-and-pop software solution – it’s enterprise-grade, built for well-managed companies to become even better.

What you can do next

To learn how Perfect Price and TRACK Hospitality Software integrate and the game changing benefits they offer, join the next weekly webinar, every Thursday at 10am PST. If you are already a TRACK customer, you can get started with a free 30-day Trial of Perfect Price with no commitment!

Today is an unbelievably tough time in the vacation rental industry. We at TRACK and Perfect Price believe that the companies that make it through will emerge from the crisis stronger and better. One way to improve your business is to implement TRACK and Perfect Price together.

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