Submitted by Rob Hertert, Host2Host President, co-creator of Hosting Your Home podcast and host in SW Portland and the Oregon Coast.
Anurag Verma, founder of PriceLabs, and Andrew Kitchell, founder of Wheelhouse gave great presentations at our Host2Host May meetup. If you couldn’t attend, you will want to watch the video (available to Host2Host dues-paying members).
Our moderator Ryan Tigner noted that dynamic pricing is critical to hosts being able to maximize their revenue. He is certain that hosts will see a positive return on investment in either of these software products.
Both companies provide multiple products and no long term contracts. You can pay for what works best: a percentage commission on bookings or a flat rate per month. Both vendors can do pricing for home-sharing and listings for more than one space. And both have access to very large data sets.
We learned in the presentations that setting your STR price is just one factor. Just as important are the availability settings which allow you control how far in advance your space should be made visible to rent.
Both companies are offering Host2Host members a 50% discount for the first two months after any free trial period. See the link at the bottom of this article.
Anurag began as a graduate student renting out a spare bedroom. PriceLabs now has a presence all over the world. Their dynamic pricing product allows a host or VR manager to adjust rates and availability easily and frequently based on various factors including events in the area, lead time, seasonal factors, and other pricing in the area.
Just select the platform your listing is on, click to connect and you can see proposed pricing, very dependent on the base price that you will select. PriceLabs allows you to adjust all kinds of other settings like what discount to give for a last minute booking, how high to charge for a one night booking in case you don’t want them but would accept one for a high enough rate. You also set availability choices such as one day gap between bookings etc.
We saw Portland’s “market summary” which is the PriceLabs market dashboard. The graph showed the distribution of booking windows, with 1-2 months ahead being the current highest window. The main length of STR stays currently is 3-4 days. There is a lot of valuable data here.
Anurag emphasized that nimble pricing adjustments require both human input and automation. In other words, you can “set it and forget it” but you won’t see the best return unless you spend some time learning the product and interacting with it.
Wheelhouse founder Andrew Kitchell actually started as the co-founder of Beyond Pricing before starting Wheelhouse. They are now in 50 countries, 600 markets and over 2,000 cities.
Their brand new product “Wheelhouse Pro” contains dynamic pricing, market reports, and “comp sets”. Their dynamic pricing product allows a great number of settings but Andrew says they are known for being easy to set up. And just as Anurag stated, Andrew agrees that effective dynamic pricing depends on human involvement as much as automation.
The Wheelhouse pricing engine is built on 6 years of data and continuous A/B testing. Andrew says that 90% of their methodology is available from their website blog. All their data points allow them to discover the true value of your listing.
They have a new partner in Key Data Systems which brings a vast amount of new data to the software. Andrew stated that the average listing earns 20% more through using their dynamic pricing product and some have earned 100% more. They rely more on booking patterns versus being too heavy on historical data.
Market Reports are Wheelhouse’s 2nd product, giving users a comprehensive view of pricing, booking, availability and other data in the geography of interest.
Their 3rd product is the “Comp set”, allowing you to select nearby listings that you want to continually watch, up to 100 listings. All the info is exportable with a click. They have lots of online courses to help you along.
Q&A: Watch the video to get the full presentations and to hear answers to having multiple listings (like Airbnb and VRBO), how to set up those listings, customer service, training videos, on-boarding, webinars, setup time, and other questions. Also see the special H2H member pricing listed below the video recording.