Customer type: Property Manager
Products: Market Dashboards, Portfolio Analytics
Number of listings: 40+
Terry Whyte single-handedly manages a portfolio of nearly 50 properties. He relies heavily on market data tools to equip him with knowledge of his market and competition, which he uses to set his pricing strategy.
- Maximize occupancy at the best rates
- Make accurate future rate predictions – one year, six months, and 60 days into the future
- Take quick action on low occupancy dates
Terry Whyte, a property manager for 30+ years
With an experience spanning over 30 years and pre-dating VRBO – Terry and his wife Sandy own three vacation rental properties, and Terry single-handedly manages 43 other properties on Florida’s Gulf Coast.
As a property manager – Terry treats the properties as his own and manages everything from reservations, marketing, guest communications, reporting, accounting, and payments. In addition, Terry has a great network of vendors on contract, whom he relies on heavily for cleaning and handyman services.
Therefore, the owners’ involvement is limited unless significant repairs, replacements, or renovations are required, and they trust Terry to manage everything.
“I’ve always said the two things in this industry that will kill you faster than anything right now are your rates and your reviews. If you get either one of those wrong, you’re going to get killed.”
Terry acknowledges that the two biggest mistakes he made were to;
- Underprice his inventory too low at peak season, and
- Price too high at shoulder season
Challenge 1: Difficulty in making accurate rate predictions due to shrinking booking window
Studying and understanding the market and adapting prices accordingly is challenging in today’s saturated market. Booking windows are so narrow that it’s imperative to price right to ensure maximum occupancy.
Challenge 2: Inflated future pricing
In Terry’s words,
“It’s pointless if a person or a tool recommends a price of $500 when the real price is $400, and your place runs empty.”
On exploring the possibilities of dynamic pricing and revenue management softwares, he realized early on that despite his experience and knowing the competition well – he couldn’t handle pricing as well as a software tool could, and thanks to this, he adapted to dynamic pricing very early.
Terry has used five different pricing tools in the past – Beyond, Wheelhouse, Perfect Pricing, Rented, and PriceLabs, with PriceLabs ultimately being his preferred choice and the go-to for dynamic pricing.
Getting the maximum occupancy at the highest rate
Terry relies on sourced market data from different companies such as Keydata, and armed with this knowledge, relies on his pricing tool – not to ‘just’ recommend the highest price – but to recommend the highest price that also maximizes occupancy.
It combines two components – maximum occupancy and maximum price, and PriceLabs’ reliance on data to make accurate rate predictions – takes this into account.
Based on several factors such as lead time, day of the week, seasonality, demand, competitor pricing, and the user’s customization rules, PriceLabs increases or decreases prices to ensure maximum occupancy at the best possible rate, backed by data and reasoning that the user can easily view.
Accurate future rate predictions
In Terry’s view, the worst possible pricing strategy is to inflate rates, leave them inflated, and start making massive cuts and adjustments when you don’t have occupancy 30 days prior.
Instead, he prefers to rely on a PriceLabs’ tool that accurately predicts rates a year out, six months out, and down to 60 days out. One that relies on market data to recommend rates and, in that aspect, has tremendous respect for PriceLabs.
Quick ‘health score’ snapshot
With PriceLabs’ health indicator score available at his fingertips, Terry can easily view the health, i.e. occupancy, of his listing relative to the market for the next 7, 15, and 30 days. The easy color codes – help him determine his listing’s current health and the ones that need attention instantly – enabling him to investigate and take action quickly.
Customizations, automation, and human control
In the current market scenario, Terry believes that a ‘set it and forget it’ strategy no longer holds good. That is why he appreciates the array of customizations and human control that PriceLabs offers – allowing you, as a host, property manager, or revenue manager, to have complete control over your rates, rate restrictions, and minimum stay options.
PriceLabs Best Practices
Here’s one ‘DO’ & one ‘DON’T’ from Terry Whyte.
DO – Know your market!
Know your market, know your competition and know what they are charging. From there – use your pricing tool.
DON’T – Inflate rates!
Don’t inflate rates and leave them high only to start making massive cuts and adjustments 30 days prior when you have no bookings. Instead, rely on market data to accurately set pricing and pricing rules.
PriceLabs is a superior pricing platform with excellent customer service.
There’s no denying what PriceLabs has done for me. There’s no way I can make those kinds of accurate predictions on my own. PriceLabs has impacted both my occupancy and my ADR positively.
I think you’d be in pretty good hands if you chose PriceLabs as your pricing tool.– Terry Whyte, Property Manager & Owner, Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals Inc.