Short-term rental consultancy ‘Thanks for Visiting’ saw clients triple their nightly rate

Customer type: Short-term rental management consultants

Region: USA

Products: Dynamic Pricing, Portfolio Analytics, Market Dashboards

No. of Properties: 20+

When Annette, Co-founder of Thanks for Visiting first began managing short-stay rentals, her pricing strategy was non-existent. She simply maintained one standard price for weekdays and a slightly higher price for weekends – and maintained this throughout the year; not taking into account seasonality, local events or any other such factor.

At the time, she thought this just having different dates for weekdays versus weekends was the ideal strategy. However as built her expertise and experience, Annette regrets not having discovered dynamic pricing sooner.

She still cringes every time she realises how much money she might have lost over the years due to the lack of a data-driven pricing strategy. She and her partner Sarah now confidently use PriceLabs to;

  • Study easily understandable market data to advise their clients on pricing, revenue management and investments
  • Present a clear logic behind the recommended pricing strategy
  • Access immediate live support and instant clarifications and explanations when needed
  • Transparent product billing, where they know exactly how much it would cost her per month

About Thanks for Visiting

A common passion for short-term rentals brought Annette Grant & Sarah Karakaian together with ‘Thanks for Visiting’ – a resource platform & podcast. Be it via their Podcast, Instagram account, YouTube channel or workshops and courses, the duo share resources and their secrets to success, helping short-stay hosts maximize their offerings and revenue.

Their podcast now has over 200 episodes, and a billion-plus downloads. As consultants, they serve a worldwide community of paid members online, educating hosts on how to uplevel what it means to host.

Sarah Karakaian has been an Airbnb Superhost since 2013. With a strong design and hospitality background, Sarah started helping people manage properties before building her own portfolio. Today she manages 37 properties. She and her husband doubled the value of their first home-cum-short-stay rental in New York in just four years and sold it as an operating Airbnb property. They moved to Ohio specifically to buy more real estate for short-term rentals.

Annette Grant switched from a career in apparel and serendipitously discovered her flair for short-term rentals. She convinced a friend, a real estate developer who was into long-term rentals to give her one apartment; a slow-moving vacancy to try out as a short-stay rental. Both of them were skeptical of its success, given that Columbus, Ohio wasn’t the most popular of destinations. There has been no looking back since. She now runs multiple units and is an Airbnb Superhost.

“A member of our community; there was an event in her town and PriceLabs was telling her to price it at $650. She had never priced above $250 and she was almost certain PriceLabs was giving an incorrect recommendation . She was sure she would never get that price. But she did! She TRIPLED her nightly rate thanks to PriceLabs. She was mind-blown!

– Annette & Sarah, Co-founders, Thanks for Visiting Podcast

How PriceLabs helped Thanks for Visiting clients

In this video Sarah and Annette shared a few of their clients’ success stories with us. These clients are short-term rental hosts who Sarah & Annette provide consulting services to and whom they introduced PriceLabs to. 

Before PriceLabs

Lack of data-driven pricing strategy leaving money on the table

When Sarah started off her career as a short-term rental host, she was first introduced to dynamic pricing through her mentor. However her experience with Beyond was far from satisfactory. It didn’t have all the data and she found it hard to understand the science behind a price recommendation and how it was arrived at. 

Annette discovered dynamic pricing at a VRBO event, where there were several software solutions present. From there her research led her to PriceLabs. Before PriceLabs, Annette set her prices through Airbnb’s smart pricing. Her pricing strategy lacked foresight and was very vanilla. She priced weekdays one price and weekends a slightly higher price. For eg: Her Monday to Thursday nights were a flat $100 and her Friday to Sunday nights were a flat $200. 

It was only much later that she realized, Airbnb’s price recommendations were biased towards the guest side and benefitted the guests and Airbnb much more than it did her, leaving so much potential money on the table.

The duo needed a data-rich pricing solution that not only provided data, but also provided;

  • Data that one could actually understand
  • A clear logic behind a recommended price
  • Immediate live support to answer any questions that they or their clients had
  • Transparent product pricing/billing, where they knew exactly how much it would cost her per month

Challenge 1: Convincing clients to place their trust in a dynamic pricing software/tool

Pricing is one of the hottest topics that Sarah & Annette provide consulting expertise in. Most clients have just moved from long-term to short-term rentals and are already making double, or triple the money that they were making as a long-term rental. They are nervous to play around with pricing, and cannot believe that they could make more than they already are. It takes a lot of encouragement and a steep learning curve for them to have faith in dynamic pricing, and to stay the course with dynamic pricing software recommendations. 

Once they have started clients off, the duo feel confident to place their community members in PriceLabs knowing that they will get accurate data wherever they are located. Sarah and Annette encourage them to reach out to the PriceLabs team with questions, certain that all their questions will be answered by the PriceLabs team. 

Challenge 2: Guiding investor clients to make the right purchase/investment decisions

Short-term Rentals involve a lot more time and a lot more upfront investment in terms of interiors and furnishing than long-term rentals. As realtors and short-stay rental consultants, Sarah and Annette must provide their customers with accurate data to evaluate their properties and potential purchase decisions.

PriceLabs Market Dashboard has been a game changer in this regard showing that PriceLabs consistently pays attention to what the community of short-stay hosts need. The coronavirus pre-set templates, neighbourhood event and activity data, Portfolio analytics, Average Daily Rate predictions as well as the ability to document thoughts and findings in the ‘notes’ section within PriceLabs helps investors and owners get to know their property, their neighbourhood and potential ROI better and turns investing into both and art and science – with data backed by one’s own experience and observations. 

Future for Thanks for Visiting

In 2023, Sarah and Annette plan to buy property in their own ‘backyard’ ie: in their neighbourhood and are confident that PriceLabs will equip them with all the data and intelligence that they need to make an informed, high ROI purchase decisions.

They will use PriceLabs to make sure their underwriting data is as accurate as possible. Understanding average occupancy and average daily rates of neighbouring properties will help them dial in their spreadsheets so they can make investing decisions with confidence.

Looking to up your hosting game? Follow Sarah and Annette @thanksforvisiting_on Instagram for resources, tips and more.

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