There has been a bit of chatter in the forums about how useless the big travel agents are because they are misinterpreting weekly prices from owners’ property listings by dividing them by 7 and showing this as a nightly price. The problem is this nightly price doesn’t exist and cannot be booked. The owners, understandably seem quite irate at this, although I don’t think this is really the fault of the travel agents. They are not telepathic and don’t know how a weekly price should be interpreted for shorter stays.
There is a solution for this. It’s a little cumbersome, but once you start with it you’ll learn to love it. Take a look at this Apartmentsapart listing on Homeaway. If you look at the very bottom you’ll see that we have prices almost for every night of the year:
In this way your future guests can see the price for any time period. It doesn’t preclude us from offering a discount off the aforementioned prices for stays of longer duration as most systems allow for this.
Ok I can already hear you mumbling that you are not going to switch to daily pricing and I understand. I would not do it myself manually either. We use an automated system which measures demand and sets the price for each night. If you have a few properties you might want to consider subscribing to a service like Ratecoaster which can do this for you. It sets the prices and loads them into your PMS. If you only have one property you could even do it yourself. It’s only 365 entries and you can set prices better according to demand. Sometimes there are lulls in demand and other times there are spikes. Ratecoaster claim miracles in increased revenues. I find that hard to believe as we did not achieve miracles, but it’s certainly worth doing as you don’t want to leave money on the table.
So how does the whole thing work? You need a PMS (Property Management System – like Rentals United) which uploads pricing and availability to the channels you want to sell through. Now either you manually set DAILY prices or you subscribe to a service like Ratecoaster which sets prices for you. This service will push prices into your PMS which then transmits them onward to your sales channels.
Voila – you’ll never have these kinds of pricing problems with your agents again, and you can price for changes in demand better into the bargain.