fbpx
vacation rental conference

OTA Report – Calendars and Pricing

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Calendars are at the heart of short term rental operations. Get them right, all goes smoothly.  Get them wrong, it can cause grief.  This article compares the main online travel agency calendars and 5 tips to avoid grief.

Airbnb
Calendars are one area where Airbnb is clunky.  The back end used by owners/ hosts is in monthly rectangular blocks, with availability and rate visible for each day.  You can amend individual days easily, but it is harder to change blocks of dates. Minimum stays are also hard to change.

If you want to change many months or an entire year of pricing, then there are some traps for the unwary.  You need to change the base rates first, then the few date ranges with special dates like events and holidays next.  If you then change your mind and change the standard rate, chances are you will over-ride the special dates.  This can mean low rates at your peak times, which will be quickly snapped up by bargain hunters. If you have instant booking switched on, you have a dilemma.  Do you let the booking stand and lose a lot of money or do you cancel and maybe lose your superhost status?

Booking.com
Booking is the best of the bunch.  Its backend has a horizontal table of dates with the availability, rates and min stay in rows underneath.  It also has a tool for bulk changes to these values.  In a few minutes, you can check visually the entire year for mistakes in pricing.
In November 2019, Booking rolled out a new colour coded calendar display, making visual checking even easier.
Booking also integrates very well with most channel managers.

2022 vacation rental conference

Homeaway/ vrbo/ Stayz
Homeaway has a similar backend setup to Airbnb, that is rectangular monthly blocks.  Blocked out dates are done in chunks of dates, and rates, minimum stays and availability can be very difficult to change in comparison with Booking. It also has less integration with channel managers.

Our rating for ease of use and effectiveness:
Airbnb             3/5
Booking.com  5/5
Homeaway     3/5

Five tips for getting your calendars right
1 Prepare a master reference document that records the public holidays and peak periods for pricing for the current and next year, and your pricing rates for the different OTAs. Also the minimum stays at different times of year. You record your decisions in one place, and avoid confusing ad hoc changes.
2 Change your forward pricing in the right sequence  – first the standard or minimum rate, then the exceptions, and peak rates.  Always take care if you are changing the standard rate that you haven’t overwritten peak rates.
3 Always check pricing for your peak periods after changing a lot of prices – avoid those bargain hunters who find your mistakes and book at crazy low prices in peak periods.  Those mistakes can lose you a lot of money – or your superhost of ranking status for cancellations.
4 Periodically check your minimum stays, and avoid unbookable gaps between bookings.  For example you may have a 3 day gap between bookings, but with a 4 day minimum, the calendar will correctly not let a guest book those dates, so change it to a 3 day minimum.
5 If possible automatically synchronise your calendars via iCal or a channel manager.  Discussed in a previous article

Let me know if you have any other tips

Article written Dec 2019

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

My name is Rex Brown. I live in Australia, on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. I run two of my holiday rentals here on the coast, and another in inner Melbourne . They are all quite different, but they all run at high occupancy. They are the sandpit that I play in, running constant experiments about what works and what doesn’t.

Winter Resort Website Medium Rectangle Ad

Table of Contents

Dear Short-Term Rental Industry Member, Join Our Scalers Network

Our Mission

We bring together short-term rental industry members to create valuable business and personal relationships. With the support of vetted peers, you can deliver on your next individual project goals faster, work in private groups to share doubts and successes, and become a new voice that shapes the conversation about our industry.

Whether you are a property manager, an owner, an industry vendor, a listing site operator, an investor, or a consultant, you can become a member of our Rental Scale-Up family.  As property managers and industry vendors may not have the same needs, some of our activities work by affinity groups. For instance, we have one version of the mastermind group sessions reserved for property managers and owners, and another one for vendors and listing sites. This way, you get feedback from peers who understand your pains and can get you faster to getting results.

1. Action, Transformation & Results

  • Mastermind Group for Property Managers & Owners: A mastermind group is a group of peers who meet to give each other advice and support. Facilitated by Rental Scale-Up. One session every 2 weeks with your group for a least 3 months.
  • Ask a Property Manager: Hosts, owners and property managers benefit from the experience of a successful property manager. (1 per month)
  • Groupwork: Report of the month co-creationA group of Scalers volunteer to write a report on the topic of the month. The result is published on RentalScaleUp.com, with full credits to each participants. (1 per month)
  • Mastermind Group for Industry Vendors & Listing Site Operators: A mastermind group is a group of peers who meet to give each other advice and support. Facilitated by Rental Scale-Up. One session every 2 weeks with your group for a least 3 months.
  • Ask an Expert Anything (for vendors and listing sites): An outside expert (e.g. a copywriter) shares their experience on a topic in an Ask Me Anything (1 per month)

2. News & Live Discussions

  • Investment & Deals  Discussion: Thibault and an M&A specialist/VC go over recent deals, M&A, investment rounds. Live, monthly.
  • Curated news: Save time. We read the news for you, curate the articles, and add our exclusive comments (weekly, in the Network Newsletter)
  • US Trends & Data Discussion: We analyze AirDNA’s latest report on US trends and zoom in on key markets (e.g. urban vs vacation rental markets).  Network members share what they see in the markets. Live, monthly.
  • Monthly Live online conference: Every month, our Network deep dives into a topic that is crucial to the short-term rental industry. 3 experts share their insights, best practices and answer your questions live.
  • European Trends & Data Discussion: We analyze AirDNA’s latest report on European trends and zoom in on key markets (e.g. UK, France, Italy, Spain).  Network members share what they see in the markets. Live, monthly.
  • Weekly Teardown with Thibault: Rental Scale-Up founder tears down one business news, every week, live.  Networker members share their views. No filter.

3. Facilitated Networking

  • Networking Booster: Meet new business partners and improve your networking game at an online event. Our team facilitates the event to make it easy for you to connect with your peers. (monthly)
  • Business Profile: Each new Scaler gets their profile featured in a dedicated article on RentalScaleUp.com. Get more visibility and authority.
  • In-Person Meetups: We meet in real life, either during a large vacation rental conference or in a city of our choice (quarterly)
  • Job Offers: Network members can not only see job offers but also post theirs. If desired, job offers can be extended to all Rental Scale-Up readers (free and paid).

4. Deals on industry software and products

  • Get Discounts: Enjoy exclusive deals brought to you by fellow Network members. Only in our Deals section. Monthly.
  • Offer Deals and Discounts: Network members may offer exclusive deals to fellow members, from discounts on stays at their properties to lifetime deals on vacation rental software. Only in our Deals section. Monthly.

Ready to join right now?

Scalers comes in 3 levels:

  • Scalers Insights, the limited, content-only version of the network. Great those who just want to get the insights but have less time for business transformation.
  • Scalers Network: Transform your business and get results. Get more things done. You get support, accountability, networking, training, and investment opportunities
  • Scalers Network+ : Avoid the hassle of quarterly payments and pick an annual membership. Qualify for bonuses good for your business (e.g. lead generation)

Not quite ready? Sign up for our free newsletter

Weekly insights straight into your email inbox.

On Key

Related Posts

Actionable insights

Take the Right Decisions for Your Rental Business thanks to our Weekly Industry Brief.

Exclusive newsletter for rental entrepreneurs.