PriceLabs Market Dashboards help Lydia Patel make informed, high-yielding real-estate decisions

Lydia Patel Real estate investment

Customer type: Owner/Host

Region: USA

Products: Market Dashboards, Dynamic Pricing

Number of listings: 1

Given that they already have full-time jobs, when Lydia and her husband decided to get into the short-term rental business, they first wanted to gauge whether the investment would be worth their time and effort.

Being numbers-driven individuals, their goal was to research different markets to find the best real estate + vacation rental investment opportunity

They used PriceLabs Market Dashboards to

  • Compare and study the different markets they were considering to understand which markets would be the wisest real-estate/vacation home/vacation rental investment
  • Compare with other listings in their neighbourhood to compare pricing, average daily rate, amenities, pictures, cancellation policies, and more
  • Study revenue projections for listings that were similar to what they were considering buying
  • Compare prices of similar units in the neighborhood to determine their own base price
  • Study the booking and revenue trends of different levels of houses (e.g. 3 bedroom house vs 4 bedroom house) to determine what level of the house would make a better investment 
  • Study cancellation policies in the market and of comparable properties in the neighborhood to set their own policies
  • Compare, review and study the change in the market from one year to the next

About Lydia Patel

Lydia and her husband are both pharmacists. They work full-time and have two young children. Their interest in the short-term business began with the idea of having a vacation home – a place for themselves to go as a family whenever they got time off. 

The idea was to rent it out for most of the year to cover the cost of owning the home and possibly even make money out of owning the house.

Listen to Lydia Patel talk about how she began her real estate and short-term rental journey using PriceLabs Market Dashboards

Finding PriceLabs

While Lydia researched information on YouTube, podcasts and other resources about running a short-term rental one of the most discussed topics she came across was Dynamic Pricing and how setting a flat rate was far from a good pricing strategy. As she dug deeper into the softwares available – she came across PriceLabs and others.

Reasons for choosing PriceLabs

  1. Straightforward pricing:  Price-wise, Lydia appreciated the value and array of features, customisations and data that both PriceLabs Dynamic Pricing & Market Dashboard tools offered. This effective, low-cost method allowed Lydia to research multiple markets to gauge what would be the best decision in terms of investment and return on investment.
  1. Granularity of data from PriceLabs Market Dashboards: As her first stage was research, Lydia appreciated the depth of data offered by PriceLabs’ Market Dashboards. She felt that it armed her with enough information to make decisions, not just in terms of investment but also of multiple other factors (detailed below) that come with running a short-term rental business.

“PriceLabs Market Dashboards was what really made me fall in love! It was specific enough information to help me make decisions . When I compare it with AirDNA, which looks deceptively easy to a beginner – who just needs to type in an address and get a number. Except, that the number could be wildly inaccurate and nowhere close to actual projections because it doesn’t account for many other variables (e.g. amenities, proximity to certain landmarks).

You need a lot more data actually to understand a property – and it’s that granularity that PriceLabs gives.”  – Lydia Patel, Owner & Host

Lydia Patel, Owner & Host

The need

  1. Finding the best location and type of home to invest in: In Lydia’s own words, she explained how it was easy to see on Zillow how much a house would cost, but when considering a home to run as a short-term business, there were so many more questions that they needed answers to
    1. How much would that house actually make in terms of revenue?
    2. What was the demand and supply like in their market of choice
    3. What did other comparable houses offer? And what was their revenue?
    4. How many bedrooms to buy?
    5. What amenities to look for/offer?
    6. How to set minimum stay or cancellation policies 
    7. And many more such questions
  2. Determine the revenue projection: As mentioned before, Lydia is a numbers-driven individual. Her first step was to try and understand how much money they would make from a short-term rental and whether it would be worth the effort.

The solution

PriceLabs Market Dashboards helped them zero in on their dream home.

They began continuously been researching markets to invest in, and eventually, settled on Jacksonville Beach, Florida – a family-friendly beach town, to buy their dream home. 

Through their research with PriceLabs Market Dashboards, they were able to

  1. Make projections on the revenue it would generate by comparing similar properties in the neighborhood
  2. Check what each house on each level (in terms of the number of bedrooms) was making
  3. Compare different levels of houses, their amenities, occupancy trends, photographs, services, average daily rate and more

The granularity that PriceLabs Market Dashboards gave helped narrow down her actual comparables, to narrow down further on accurate projections that aided in making her final decision.

PriceLabs Market Dashboards help her check in on the performance of her market and make adjustments accordingly

Once she started hosting, she continued to use PriceLabs Market Dashboards to monitor market metrics such as changes in demand and supply, review her current pricing strategy, and adjust her pricing, services, amenities, services, and more. 

For example, Lydia’s video on her YouTube channel explains how to use PriceLabs Market Dashboard data to choose the best cancellation policy for your short-term rental.

PriceLabs Dynamic Pricing

They also started using PriceLabs’ Dynamic Pricing tool. As they already had full-time jobs, they wanted a streamlined, automated process to run and manage their unit that was as simple and accurate as possible.

PriceLabs’ Dynamic Pricing tool helped them manage occupancy at their convenience and optimise revenue with its data-backed AI-driven price recommendations. This gave them time to focus on other things that they enjoyed and that were important –  like improving the design and the experience that they could offer to families just like them.

Advice to others considering using PriceLabs Market Dashboards

Lydia’s first piece of advice is –

 “Give PriceLabs Market Dashboards a try! Sure, it looks overwhelming to start with, but it’s quite intuitive and easy to use. If you can’t understand something, there’s a hover message that explains everything and if you still need help, just reach out – PriceLabs support is really quick!”

Lydia suggests starting out by;

  • Checking out the general area you are considering buying/renting-out
  • Drawing a radius/boundary around a landmark that you are considering – this should be part of your research that will help you understand what kind of revenue different types of properties are making on an annual basis and help decide on what kind of investment would suit your needs
  • Comparing the different levels of properties (i.e., number of bedrooms) – for e.g., Market Dashboard info showed me that there’s a huge jump from a three to a four-bedroom house, in terms of revenue – a jump so big that it’s disproportionate to the cost of buying a three versus four bedroom house
  • All PriceLabs Market Dashboards reports and comp sets can be saved and are downloadable, which is helpful if you want to study them at leisure or spend time discussing them with someone

Lydia considers herself a ‘dork who loves numbers, and she’s put together this amazing 30-min video explaining how she uses and interprets PriceLabs Market Dashboard data weekly to analyze markets, research potential customers and make decisions for her vacation rental.

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