We’ve heard from our customers that managing owners’ expectations of their properties’ performances can be a tricky, but necessary task to get right. Open and frequent communication with your property owners is essential to the survival of your business as a property manager.
With thousands of customers, we understand the magnitude of the challenges and the critical importance of keeping pace with today’s evolving market dynamics. While these discussions can be difficult, the overwhelming feedback we hear from our property managers is that it is better to be candid and proactive with owner communications.
Retaining an existing owner costs far less than acquiring a new one, so your efforts in keeping them informed and up to date are worth the time and investment. Not to mention that you can distinguish yourself from your competition with open and transparent communication. Owners seeking reassurance and guidance will appreciate a well-organized and realistic approach to setting revenue and occupancy expectations.
To help you manage the conversations you will have with your property owners, we have boiled down some key topics to set the right expectations for property pricing and results.
Show Your Owners the Data
Using data-driven, intuitive tools to inform pricing decisions are paramount to driving bookings and, ultimately, retaining owners. We encourage you to share with and show your owners how dynamic pricing responds to market changes and adjusts prices automatically. This automation and real-time understanding of market shifts provide you with the quick action and visibility you need in this uncertain environment.
By sharing examples of your market data, highlighting occupancy information and explaining how you are adjusting pricing strategies to weather the current situation, you will build confidence in trust with your owners. Additionally, if a strategy needs to be adjusted, the hard work of explaining the reasoning to the owner will already have been done.
With Insights from Beyond, you can easily share this information. You can show your owners how their listings are performing compared to others in the area and even compare them to last year. Insights makes it easy to identify trends or issues and course correct.
Set Owner Expectations Early and Often
With the ups and downs of the travel industry over the last few years, there are new ways you need to think about driving to positive outcomes and optimizing revenues. Therefore, it's critically important you are setting owners' expectations appropriately in these different situations:
WHEN DEMAND IS LOW:
Focus on occupancy: When demand is low, you want to ensure that you are getting your fair share of bookings. Consider this fundamental shift in your revenue management strategy: focusing on maximizing occupancy. A realistic occupancy-based revenue strategy will help to ease owners' worries by capturing revenue to cover their fixed costs, such as mortgages and upkeep. We do not recommend setting your prices too low or lowering your standards when accepting new reservations. Every booking should still be profitable and be up to your standards.
Adjust Minimum Prices: Driving for occupancy may also mean that you will also need to adjust certain properties' minimum prices. This does not mean dropping prices across the board. It is a careful reconsideration of what a minimally acceptable price may be for owners in your market. As we said earlier, every booking should still be profitable.
WHEN DEMAND IS HIGH:
Take Advantage of Short-Lead Bookings: Enabling Gap Filling or Last Minute Minimum stays in Beyond can help take of shorter stays and getting your whole calendar filled. By filling dates that would have been unbooked, you can earn incremental revenue which will go a long way, especially when the rates are high. Of course, adjusting these requirements may also mean adjusting changeover requirements as well. If your cleaning costs and schedules will allow, adjusting this can give a significant boost to your inquiries and help your owners to know you are doing all you can to fill their calendars.
Focus on Capturing Higher Rates: When demand is high, it can tempting to try and fill your calendar with as many bookings right away. However, a fully-booked calendar can cost you money as you might be underpricing. Instead, allow the underpriced units nearby to be sold off first and have yours remain at higher prices as you enter the minimum booking window. If demand is high and you are booking up quickly, consider changing your prices so that you can capture higher rates.
The Market Data and Stats tab in Beyond is at your fingertips and can be a way to gain trust with your owners. By showing you have access to and command of understanding market trends, whether positive or negative, your owners will know that you are considering all the facts as you make property-level recommendations and decisions. Use these reports as a core part of your owner communications, as the data illustrates how data informs your analysis and decision-making.
Owners in Drive-to vs Fly-to Markets
Drive-to Markets & Demand
We all know that travel trends changed greatly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Drive-to destinations showed huge demand and recovered faster than fly-to markets. Some travelers saw vacation rentals as a safer alternative to other types of stays, and whether they were looking to get out of their homes to see something new or looking to work in a new destination with their new flexible, remote jobs, drive-to destinations saw (and are still seeing) huge opportunities.
As a result of these changing trends, many of the managers we work with have shifted their marketing efforts to capture demand, including focusing on repeat guests, getting current guests to stay longer, increased advertising among others. Communicating your plan to your owners is another great way to instill confidence in you as the market expert.
Fly-to Markets & Demand
With demand changing in these markets due to different stages of the pandemic and COVID-related restrictions, marketing tactics can be shifted easily. For example, consider marketing to locals or your loyal repeat customers to drive demand when demand is low. These tactics will show your owners that you are doing everything you can to get them bookings. And remember to speak to owners about adjusting minimum prices where necessary, minimum stay requirements, and length of stay discounts.
Additionally, as your business is directly tied to airlines resuming normal flight schedules, we recommend you familiarize yourself with current airlines policies. Keeping a pulse check on flights to and from your area will help to inform your anticipated demand.
We are here to help
It is important to communicate and demonstrate to your owners the value you bring to them and their properties. Using Beyond to help show market data, demand trends, and the other tactics you are implementing will strengthen the quality of your owner communications, and build trust. Get our best-in-class data at your fingertips today!