Your cart
Close Alternative Icon

PPS Blog

Vacation Rental Pricing

The growth of vacation rental properties has seen record popularity in the last decade. Pricing expert from Simon Kucher & Partners and #PPSDALLAS18 Pricing Workshop leader Dylan Vest shares insight for property owners in this guest blog post about the vacation industry's intersection with pricing strategies. In recent years, sites like VRBO and Airbnb have made it easier than ever before to connect property owners and investors to aspiring vacationers. Unfortunately, the same tools are creating a glut in the market for short-term rentals as anyone with an extra bedroom is taking a shot at this seemingly easy “side-hustle”. If you’re serious about building a profitable rental business, there are a few pricing considerations throughout the three major phases of the transaction that might just help fund your own vacation.
Preparing your listing
Before your listing goes “live” you need to answer two major questions that will inform your basic price structure:

What value are you providing and what is your objective?

The base rate of the rental will ultimately be determined by what value you’re delivering. It’s not just about having a newly renovated IKEA kitchen or an ocean-front view. Do you have a fenced in yard that would save someone the cost of boarding their dog? Are you close to the airport, which might save a prospective tenant an hour (and Uber fares) on each leg of their trip? Consider these elements when developing a base rate and don’t just price based on comparable rentals in the area. The minimum rental period is a great way to boost revenue without raising the price, but it will also be guided by your overall objective. If maximizing revenue is your objective, then keep the minimum stay length at one day; if you’re willing to sacrifice some occupancy for less turnover-related work, consider extending it to three to five days.

Increasing the minimum booking length can improve overall profitability.

Going "LIVE"
Once a base rate is established, two major factors will serve as inputs to the final customer price: demand, about which I’ll discuss a combined approach, as well as services-related fees. Seasonal demand will be a major price driver for almost every vacation rental out there. Most people vacation in the summer, so in many situations it will make sense to price May-September at a higher multiple of your base rate, but this isn’t always the case. Consider the average Appalachian Mountain cabin, for which demand peaks with the fall foliage color. Local events can have an acute effect on demand for specific days on the calendar and should be priced accordingly. Step one is identifying the key events for the year, and step two is ensuring that the days leading up to and following the event are adjusted properly. Tip: Hosts often want to block out dates for themselves to use a particular rental during parts of the year. Instead of blocking the date, consider raising the price to a level that would cause you to reconsider your own plans. This is the same logic as Zillow’s “Make me move” price. Charging a cleaning fee is the industry standard. This covers the cost of getting the property ready for the next tenant and should be a part of all rental transactions. Additional services and associated fees can be a great way to offer an added value to the customer at a higher cost. In the pricing industry, we call this “maximizing willingness-to-pay.” Allowing a pet to stay at the house with an additional fee is a service that serves to eliminate the need for boarding. Charging a fee for additional guests beyond a stated capacity is a service that prevents people from needing to book a second hotel room or house nearby. Understanding, defining and charging properly for these services can have a tremendous impact on your bottom line.

Smart fee inclusion can drastically boost overall revenue (% from an actual portfolio property in 2018)

The follow-through
Before the first guest arrives, consider the following tools to protect you from additional incurred costs, minimize churn of high-quality guests, and maximize long-term pricing potential. Security deposits are designed to cover just about anything done by the tenant that leads to additional work or causes damage. At the very least, be sure that you include “inspect for damage” in your cleaning service’s to-do list and when you find it, charge for it. You may also consider specific charges for a sink full of dirty dishes or failure to take out the trash. Rebooking discounts on a future vacation is a great way to lure customers back next year, but don’t give it away too easily. Consider offering a 10% discount for a review online, an above average length stay, or a booking during the offseason. In 2018, reviews and ratings build a brand. These reviews can have a tremendous impact on the long-term success of your rental. Provide a hard copy means for providing feedback such as a guest log, and request that users cite at least one potential improvement here. This will give tenants a forum for complaints without having to post it via a public review. Oh yeah, listen to - and act upon - the feedback! About the Author: Contact Dylan directly about this article and his upcoming appearance during #PPSDALLAS18 via email: Dylan Vest will be leading a workshop during our 29th Annual Fall Pricing Workshops and Conference event in Dallas, Texas titled "Getting Your Customer Pricing Right" on Tuesday, October 23.

Read the Workshop details below and click the image to learn more!

Continue reading

Digitization Lessons With Syncron

Syncron's Notes on Digitization

Our friends at Syncron, renowned for delivering pricing valuable pricing strategies, know the importance of companies mastering digitization. Syncron joined us in Chicago for the 29th Annual Spring Pricing Workshops & Conference with featured roles as proud Sponsors and pricing expert Cliff Isaacson, as a Breakout Track Speaker. Several attendees took the opportunity to learn about ways digitalization can improve their strategies and Syncron was in the audience taking amazing notes! Brad Soper of Simon-Kucher & Partners, an expert well-versed in strategies for successful monetization, shared the latest tips on ways to make digital initiatives work, how to design and improve digital plans, and creating top- and bottom-line growth strategies that deliver measurable results. Soper's #PPSCHI18 session was well versed in strategies for successful monetization, including what makes certain digital initiatives work, and designing better digital plans. According to Syncron, Brad Soper shared that in digitization, there are three types of companies:
  1. Companies that make things happen – The Digital Heroes.
  2. Companies that watch things happen – The Digital Followers.
  3. Companies that wonder what happened – The Digital Naives.

Syncron's Notes on Digitization

Click HERE to read the full SYNCRON blog post:

Thank you so much for crafting this great write-up! For more #PPSCHI18 recaps and pricing shares, follow the hashtag across Social Media or view our Official Conference Recap Blog.

Join us this Fall in Dallas, Texas! Registration is NOW OPEN!

Continue reading

#PPSDALLAS18 Official Release

For Immediate Release Dallas, Texas Will Host The Professional Pricing Society (PPS) and The 29th Annual Fall Pricing Workshops & Conference: Achieving Peak Profitability ATLANTA, GEORGIA, The Professional Pricing Society (PPS) proudly announces that the PPS 29th Annual Fall Pricing Workshops & Conference will be taking place in Dallas, Texas, on October 23-26, 2018. The Renaissance Dallas Addison Hotel is graciously hosting this highly anticipated event for well over 500 business professionals focused on achieving peak profitability within their organizations. “PPS is excited to bring our pricing expertise to Dallas, with the headquarters of 22 Fortune 500 companies, and strong industrial, and financial sectors,” said PPS President, Kevin Mitchell. “We are particularly focused on discussing emerging trends in revenue management, margin enhancement, sales, and profitability.”The Fall Pricing Workshops & Conference will include:
  • Over two days of Certified Pricing Professional (CPP) workshops
  • 4 breakout tracks
  • More than 40 speakers
  • 2 full conference days
  • More than 100 hours of networking
The Professional Pricing Society (PPS) is a member association of professionals committed to distributing pricing expertise throughout the business world. We provide leading-edge pricing and revenue management best practices. PPS produces up to five major annual pricing conferences in Europe, North America, South America, and Asia. PPS also offers more than two dozen, full-day training workshops every year, taught by leaders in the business community. These workshops serve as the foundation for PPS’s Certified Pricing Professional (CPP) designation. PPS distributes publications to its members which includes an eight-page monthly newsletter and a 36-page quarterly journal. The PPS website ( is a central resource for state-of-the-art pricing knowledge and hosts a job site where professionals can post or review new opportunities in the industry. PPS also maintains a Pricing Blog, and a Pricing Group on LinkedIn, and can be followed on Twitter @pricingsociety.

CLICK HERE for more information about the 29th Annual Fall Pricing Workshops & Conference

Or Please Visit:

Or Contact:

Lisa Fisher


Continue reading

A SaaS Pricing Guide By OpenView

Improving SaaS pricing strategies can be difficult without the right tools aren't in place. The best tools to update and improve a SaaS pricing strategy can be found in this new pricing guide by OpenView. Best practices in SaaS pricing have evolved over the years, so our friends at OpenView updated their classic guide to help practitioners stay ahead of the curve. It includes the latest and greatest SaaS pricing resources, as well as some timeless staples. The content is sourced from OpenView as well as pricing leaders including Price Intelligently, Simon-Kucher & Partners, OnStartups and Sixteen Ventures. Read the latest strategic suggestions for the industry in this blog post from OPENVIEW!

Click HERE TO READ the full blog post

Continue reading