Robert Kennedy, Co-Founder and Director of SuperControl, takes a deep dive into the world of pricing and explores how revolutionary tools such as dynamic pricing are helping self-caterers to take the guesswork out of their pricing strategies.
Pricing, I’m sure you’ll agree, can quickly become the bane of a self-caterers life. There are 365 days in a calendar year, each providing challenges and opportunities to make the most of your pricing strategy.
The rules of supply and demand are pretty simple, but continually putting these into practice can be tricky, especially when working in a demanding industry where your attention is needed across all areas of the business, not just on your daily rates!
With the new year on the horizon, now is the perfect time to nail your pricing strategy to make the most of the year ahead. 2021 was unique for our industry, but with foreign travel reopening, we must maintain a competitive edge to make the most of each and every booking. The following article will explore the different tactics you can use to achieve booking brilliance in 2022.
The Optimal Price
Each self-catering property is unique, and its availability on a particular day of the year can only be sold once! Positioning your property in the market for success is essential to your growth and overall revenue. Finding the best price comes down to a variety of factors, but in principle, supply and demand is what you need to be aware of when determining your optimal price. For example, if there’s a large event in your area, this would be the time to increase your pricing to make the most of the market conditions.
Adapting to the market shouldn’t be a task that’s on your roster twice a year; it should be an ongoing consideration that continually adapts on a weekly, monthly or even daily basis. Without frequently adapting your prices to meet market demand, you’ll be missing opportunities to enhance revenue and ensure your property is booked all year round.
Lead Time and Booking Pace
Every guest is different, and you should consider their booking behaviour as a signal to flex and adapt your pricing. Organised bookers are happy and willing to pay a premium to secure their dates; after all, they’re booking in advance to organise a stay around their plans, meaning those particular dates are of great value. The same principle applies to your repeat guests; they love your accommodation, and that’s why they keep coming back – while it’s tempting to offer discounts for loyalty, these are often guests who are more than happy to pay your asking price.
On the other hand, when your properties are left open for a last-minute booking, it’s at times better to decrease your price to attract guests, but you should be careful not to devalue your product. What’s more, COVID-19 has changed the way bookings are received, and last-minute trips due to ever-changing uncertainty are becoming the norm; take this into consideration when tweaking your price to meet lead time demands.
Booking pace is another factor to explore when adapting your pricing. Higher demand and understanding your prime booking window provides an excellent opportunity to enhance your pricing. While the opposite can be said for a slow booking period, it’s important not to panic. If dates are moving slowly, consider tapping into your marketing mix to increase your properties visibility.
Test, Adapt and Try Again
We get it – adapting your pricing can be daunting. Testing your pricing across OTAs such as Airbnb or Booking.com presents an opportunity to uplift your price and understand if this price is optimal for the current booking window. OTAs invest billions in marketing, so it’s likely your properties will get in front of bookers faster, meaning you can make decisions around your pricing strategy quicker. It’s important to note that different channels attract different guest profiles, so your price must be optimised for that particular demographic.
If all of the above sounds daunting, that’s because it probably is – manual pricing is not only time consuming but incredibly challenging to get right. All is not lost; dynamic pricing can help you take the guesswork out of pricing and optimise the value of each booking.
Tools like Beyond Pricing are designed to enhance revenue and boost occupancy. Removing the fuss of manually pricing your properties by using real-time data and market insights, dynamic pricing saves you bucketloads of time that can be better spent focussing on your business.
At SuperControl, property owners who adopt Beyond Pricing see an average revenue increase of 17%. Fusing your self-catering experience with Beyond’s technology will ensure your properties are booked at the best price and at the best time. It continually updates your pricing using intelligent algorithms formulated by considering occupancy, demand, and events in your area. It does the groundwork for you, meaning you’ll be getting more value from each booking without lifting a finger.
“While I had reservations about letting a computer decide the prices of my properties, I was pleasantly surprised at the opportunities to stay in control while making the most of the system. The option to set a minimum and maximum price is excellent and means I’m pairing Beyond’s intelligent algorithm with my own expectations; I still feel in control. The only difference is I don’t have the stress of manually pricing my properties!
“My average daily rate has increased by 45% when comparing my pricing and occupancy between 2019 and 2021. It’s incredible to think that Decoy Country Cottages has achieved such an uplift in income at a few clicks of a mouse, and best of all, it hasn’t affected the number of bookings we receive.”
– Paula Irwin, Decoy Country Cottages
How can I find out more?
We have plenty of useful information to help you understand more about Beyond and its benefits.
As we move forward into a new year with new challenges, please be assured that SuperControl is here to support you and your business. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any queries.