VRS309 – Short Term Rental Revenue Management Made Simple with Ian McHenry of Beyond Pricing

Once upon a time we could set it and forget it. That meant we decided on a rate for say a season, plugged it into a rate chart and let the booking commence. And in those days it pretty much worked out OK. Our competitors were all doing the same and very few of them made any adjustments according to other criteria. Now it’s a different story and the terms revenue management, dynamic pricing, and data-driven analytics are part of our lexicon. So, it’s time we got to grips with it all.

Hotels have been using revenue management strategies for years:

“Selling the right room, to the right client, at the right moment, for the right price, through the right distribution channel, with the best cost efficiency”.

Of course, they have the benefit of teams of analysts to help them figure out how to price, while the average owner or property manager has far fewer resources to help them out.

And now we also need to do the same.

Changing rates up and down to capture more of a market during events, slow periods, or to keep up with an increase in local inventory, can be challenging. How do you know you are getting it right?

Appreciating how revenue management and dynamic pricing works is essential for today’s successful managers and Ian McHenry from Beyond Pricing explains it in terms we can all understand. From defining the jargon to sharing how his team explores the conference locations before they visit such as this post below, he simplifies the process.

“As data nerds, we love to check out the stats for a city before we head there. We know that San Diego is the home of Comic-Con, but did you know that it’s also a popular event in Atlanta? Atlanta Comic Con drove the highest occupancy in the last year. Are you surprised to learn that it wasn’t the Super Bowl? When large, popular events take place, markets often experience an increase in supply as people list their property for the event in the hopes of scoring a high-value booking. We actually refer to this phenomenon as the Super Bowl Effect, check out this blog post to learn more!”

Since we recorded this interview Beyond Pricing announced that “it has raised $42.5 million to execute on a long-term strategy to provide a fully integrated solution for property managers to manage revenue and optimize demand across sales and marketing channels, and to expand its sales efforts in Europe, Australia, and Asia.”

In the episode, Ian explains

  • The jargon – what ADR, RevPAN and RevPar actually mean
  • Why it’s important for every owner and manager to know the data
  • The differences between dynamic pricing and revenue management
  • What the Superbowl effect actually is (no – it’s not to get us buying more Doritos!)
  • How activities such as distribution, email marketing, and website conversion rates work with dynamic pricing?


This month’s recommended book is Virtual Freedom: How to Work with Virtual Staff to Buy More Time, Become More Productive, and Build Your Dream Business
by Chris Ducker.

Entrepreneurs often suffer from ”superhero syndrome”—the misconception that to be successful, they must do everything themselves. Not only are they the boss, but also the salesperson, HR manager, copywriter, operations manager, online marketing guru, and so much more. It’s no wonder why so many people give up the dream of starting a business—it’s just too much for one person to handle.

This book is a step-by-step guide that every entrepreneur needs to build his or her business with the asset of working with virtual employees. Focusing on business growth, Ducker explains every detail you need to grasp, from figuring out which jobs you should outsource to finding, hiring, training, motivating, and managing virtual assistants.



Resource of the Week:

This week’s recommended resource is Virtual Staff Finder (A).

Virtual Staff Finder specializes in matching entrepreneurs with general virtual assistants. These are administrative professionals who generally have good English skills, a college education, and some prior experience in working for overseas clients.