vacation rental conference

Vacation Rental Revenue Management: The major 2019 industry trend you could not miss

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

Vacation Rental Revenue Management has become a hot topic for property managers. Or this is at least what revenue management solution vendors would have you told you if you attended any vacation rental conference this year. Why now? Why is the issue of pricing properties right, finding the right balance between profits, occupancy, length of stay, booking restriction more pressing?

On one hand, the data and the tools seem to finally be here, thanks to vendors like BeyondPricing and data providers like AirDNA. In a nutshell, Vacation Rental Revenue Management is about making informed decisions about pricing, maybe automating it, a bit like Airbnb’s Smart Pricing does for homeowners but with the actual interest of the property manager at heart.

Yet, there is a big knowledge gap that is preventing property managers from maximizing the value of their property portfolio. If you want to grow or even sell your company, this is a crucial skill to acquire to make the most of you have.


Wheelhouse homepage

Broadly, 3 types of vendors are on the market:

2022 vacation rental conference
  1. Pricing automation software, most often plugging onto a channel manager, e.g. BeyondPricing, PriceLabs, Wheelhouse.
  2. Market data sellers who sell listing and pricing data reports that to be used to make informed decisions, e.g. Transparent, AirDNA, Fornova.
  3. Full-service revenue management: They act as outsourced revenue managers, who optimize not just for pricing and bookings, but also length of stay (LOS), cancellation policies, and more. Rented is an example.


Transparent’s online revenue management course for vacation rental</a> managers

At conferences like VRMA and VRWS, these vendors have booths and talk on stage. They have realized that the market needed a lot of education before property managers understood that they needed solutions, what these solutions were, and why pick one vendor over another. Examples of educational efforts seen in 2019:


RevPar explanation by Bedvine
  • As said on a panel at VRMA: Most serious hotels have a dedicated and trained person who is a revenue manager. In the vacation rental industry, most companies do not have a dedicated person. Usually, a person in charge of operations (e.g. coordinating cleaning and check-ins) is asked to also do that job.
  • A lot of the property managers are still relying on 1 rate per night, with some variations along the year for high, medium and low season, And maybe some occupancy-based pricing for big villas.
  • Experts say that property managers should not optimize for occupancy or for ADR, but for RevPAR (which they renamed Revenue Per Available Rental, instead of Revenue Per Available Room to fit the industry).


Data from Sonder’s investment deck
  • The most data-savvy property managers like Sonder and Vacasa have hired world-class revenue managers. They have strategies and tactics to get more revenues. For instance, Sonder has clear tactics to get their first bookings for new properties, with lower prices and better CS agents, as they think they need to invest in the first reviews to get more revenues down the line.
  • On the other hand, more traditional property managers remain skeptical of the relevancy of these tools in their local market and find all these terms (ADR, RevPar) very complicated. For instance, influential and successful property managers Sarah Bradford and Tim Cafferty had an episode of their podcast where Tim came back from the “Data & Revenue Management Conference” and explained that he was unfamiliar with all these terms and that his business had been working well with much more simpler rules for years.
  • Traditional homeowners also point out that adopting dynamic pricing, shortening LOS, or making cancellation policies flexible may be something they would like to do. But they do not own or control their supply, unlike hotels or companies like Sonder. They have contracts with homeowners who may be less flexible. Some of these contracts stipulate restrictions, such as a minimal price, that make revenue management complicated.

What’s your take on Vacation Rental Revenue Management?


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
Rental Scale-Up

Thibault is the founder of Rental Scale-Up. He owns vacation rentals in St. Barths and Bali. He also leads innovative projects for companies within the vacation rental industry. Feel free to reach out to Thibaut Masson on Linkedin.

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.