We had the pleasure of interviewing Marco Giurbino, Managing Director of Top-Price by Hotel Premium. He is an expert in Revenue Management, working primarily in the Italian market.
Marco, please give us a brief introduction about your company:
Hotel Premium is a group of professionals specializing in tailor-made hotel consulting. We provide assistance with marketing, commerce, operations, and revenue management, to help hoteliers develop their businesses. Our services are the result of many years of experience in hotel management and travel industries.
In parallel with our hotel consulting service, we felt the need to offer our knowledge and experience to the growing, but often undervalued, vacation rental sector as well. Hence, five years ago, ‘Top Price’, a new brand of the Hotel Premium group, was born.
Making Revenue implies setting the right prices; this means everything and nothing. Simply put, revenue management means constantly studying the market to find the point at which supply and demand meet.
What kind of properties do you manage and how many of them?
Our services are designed for B&B, Farmhouses, Holiday Homes, Apartments, and all vacation rentals structures.
Our business model is very simple and perfectly fits the logic of win-win – we earn when our customer earns. At the moment we manage about 250 units between apartments and rooms. Our strength lies in our knowledge of the market. We apply our business models to a new and varied audience, we’re able to escalate fast.
In which markets do you offer your service?
For now, we are only present in the Italian market (both in large and small cities). Thanks to the partnership with Pricelabs we aim to expand in Spain where we already have some good contacts.
What were the reasons that led you to use a dynamic pricing tool?
As I mentioned before, coming from the consulting sector, we fully knew the market and its potential. All we had to do was put our skills into practice in a different market. The basic automatisms were similar. The use of dynamic pricing allowed us to recuperate that profit that was partially lost because of static pricing.
We wanted to adopt seasonality more effectively on a day-to-day basis and not on a monthly basis as many do. This helped us maximize the performances every day knowing that each day is different.
It is not the quality of a product that determines its value, not even the cost, but the demand that exists for that product. A Dynamic Pricing tool helps us determine exactly that.
How did you manage prices before PriceLabs? And how often?
At the time, the various Channel Managers and PMSs we were using did not have dynamic pricing. Some of them have dynamic pricing now but they don’t perform as well.
Before PriceLabs we tried other pricing tools but they didn’t have the flexibility that is offered by PriceLabs. It is one of the best revenue management software worldwide and works absolutely well in our market (Italy) as well. At the moment no one has functions like those of PriceLabs. So, after a short trial period, it was an easy choice to partner with PriceLabs and share their philosophy. Also, behind the scenes, there are some humanly wonderful people who helped me understand the product and use it in the most optimum manner.
What features/functions do you prefer in PriceLabs?
PriceLabs monitors the demand on the main OTAs, representing the general market trends. This is extremely important to us.
In terms of being able to develop/scale your company do you think that PriceLabs can contribute?
Every day we spent a considerable amount of time adjusting prices in our channel manager, between seasonal changes, price adjustments, and exclusive offers to apartments that were suffering from a lack of bookings.
With PriceLabs, we were relieved of the heavy lifting of having to manually adjust the rates on different properties and for different cities that we track.
Choosing them as a partner has allowed us to offer our services to an increasingly diverse audience, making our intervention much more effective in just a few months.
What are your ambitions and mission for the coming year?
In addition to expanding outside of Italy, we are studying and implementing other services on the marketing and the revenue side, for our clients to perform even better.
How do you maximize the revenue of a vacation rental?
We follow three simple points to maximize the revenue of our vacation rentals: Marketing, Revenue, and Time.
Our mission is to make as many partners as possible understand these concepts so the market won’t get inflated with undervalued prices, for the destination’s benefit. Unfortunately, especially in vacation rentals, many people still think they can do everything themselves – there is nothing worse than this.
We know our mission is difficult to accomplish, but we don’t like easy things.