14 Replies Latest reply: Feb 2, 2019 6:38 PM by planthealth RSS

    New Rates Editor / Base Rate - Needs Seasonal Option

    petek157 New Member

      Id like to get everyones feeling on this. If its as popular as I think that it might be, maybe HA would consider implementing.

       

      The old rates system allowed for seasons. Meaning that my base rate during the winter could be $X with a per person additional charge of $Y.  Being in a VERY seasonal area, its hard to charge a per person charge in the off season. With the new Calendar, there is no way for me to say between May 1 and Nov 30 just charge the base rate. But from Dec 1 thru Apr 30 charge the additional person fee.

       

      Who else would like to see some form of season option?

       

      Or is there a way that some of you have worked around this type of issue with the new calendar?

       

      Would like to hear your thoughts.

       

      To be fair, I like the calendar for its quick glance see my rates, but I really like the simplicity of the old rates per season system.

       

      Thanks,

      Peter

       

      PS As a software developer, Id be happy to get involved and look under the hood to help with implementing something that would help me and Im guessing others with this type of situation.

        • Re: New Rates Editor / Base Rate - Needs Seasonal Option
          homeaway_community_manager HomeAway Employee

          Hi petek157,

           

          Thank you for the feedback, we've shared it with the rates editor developers. You can always share any feedback like this via the feedback widget. Thank you!

           

          Erinn

          HomeAway Community Manager

          • Re: New Rates Editor / Base Rate - Needs Seasonal Option
            feibus Senior Contributor

            I agree... I think the rates editing should allow for fee selection and amount adjustment... the problem I see is that the current rate editing panel is pretty streamlined so that the user interface doesn't overwhelm.  So not clear how they can add in the ability to charge any rates you want in there.  Maybe an override to remove or adjust fees that are already specified as base fees?

              • Re: New Rates Editor / Base Rate - Needs Seasonal Option
                petek157 New Member

                For one, the links on the rates page are not linking to the proper page for me tight now "Payment Terms" links to the "Damage Protection" page. The "Damage Protection" link goes to the "Fees" page. And all thats on the "Fees" page is minimum stay option. Currently on Safari.

                 

                For the topic at hand,  I see it one of two ways.

                 

                1.) Which would work for my situation, is be able to define fees per season ei. "High", "Low", "Winter", "Summer" etc. Each of these seasons then you could select the fees that youd like to charge for that season.  Then on the calendar rates editor there could be an additional drop down in order to select the season to use for that dates or dates.

                 

                2.) Instead of just seperating the "Fees" out into seasons take the entire "Rates Setting" group and allow users to assign sets of settings to seasons. Again then have a drop down in the cal editor drawer to select the season.

                 

                From a developers perspective, I can understand that implementing, or rather re implementing this type of system adds complexity to the database, but I believe that adding a new "Season" table and then relating "Rate Settings" objects to the "Season" and then relating a "Date" to a "Season" for the purpose of figuring the rate would be a very welcomed set of addition complexities for owners on the system.

                 

                While talking with an agent I pointed out that the new system is very similar to Air Bnb's calendar pricing model.  Take a look at Air Bnb forum... Lots of complaints and requests for Air Bnb Dev's to change their system to be more like the old VRBO/HA which had seasons.  And then HA went and made their system like the Air Bnb one that had all the complaints.

                 

                As I said before, Id be happy, no, thilled to investigate this model more with the rates dev team if they would allow an outside devs input (could hire me as a remote if it helps ).

                 

                Thanks for everyones input

                Peter

              • Re: New Rates Editor / Base Rate - Needs Seasonal Option
                ohst8er Premier Contributor

                This is reminiscent of the day when I had to make the decision between either charging NO ONE for a cleaning fee regardless of season, or charging EVERYONE for a cleaning fee, regardless of season. 

                 

                In the very beginning I used to bake my cleaning fee into my rates, like so many of my comps did.  And when people would reach out to me looking for a 3 night stay I'd say no, it's too cost prohibitive.  So then I decided to offer a 3 night stay, but CHARGE a cleaning fee for those.  But cleaning fees were (and perhaps still ARE?) an all or nothing proposition with the way the rates structure is set up. 

                 

                So I decided to just hold my breath, add a cleaning fee to EVERY booking, and see what came of it.  I am fortunate to announce that it did not affect my bookings at all.

                 

                I know you'd like to see VRBO allow you to select which time period you charge a PP fee and which you don't.  I don't charge PP fees, but I get the point.  In the meantime, is it possible to just charge EVERY season a PP fee and see what comes of it?  Or charge NO PP fees, but adjust your rates in such a way that your bottom line nets essentially the same results?  I know this may not be ideal, and certainly isn't the Solution you are looking for, but sometimes it's an easier/faster solution to get your square peg to fit into VRBO's round hole than it is to wait for the hole to be the right shape for YOU. 

                 

                I know your neighbors may not be doing this, but most of my neighbors weren't charging a rate AND cleaning fee AND tax when we first started, and now they ALL are, so there's that. 

                 

                Just my thoughts for what it's worth. 

                  • Re: New Rates Editor / Base Rate - Needs Seasonal Option
                    petek157 New Member

                    Hey ohst8er,

                     

                    Thanks for the input.

                     

                    The hard thing to overcome for me without seasons, is the EXTREME value difference between seasons and the flexibility to thread the needle on expense and wear and tear per renter income in the off season.

                     

                    Essentially, I did the experiment last year by using VBRO and AirBnb. Having one season works great for both in the winter. I get everything that I need from both services. Last summer still using VRBO's seasonal rates system vs Air Bnb's only one season system (now VRBO's system) and tweaking Air Bnb as much as I possibly could getting the rate the best I could, I had a VRBO res every weekend and ZERO Air Bnb reservations. I know that some could be attributed to just customers on the system, but to drop off to zero seems like more than that to me.

                     

                    Dont get me wrong, Im going to continue to use the system but its going to be a lot more work and just hope not to either lose customers cause the rate calculations are too high or note make enough because the rate is too I dont have the fine tuning ability that I once had.

                     

                    Peter

                    • Re: New Rates Editor / Base Rate - Needs Seasonal Option
                      swlinphx Premier Contributor

                      The old system was intelligent in that it knew that if you give a monthly discount it would "cap" it when the weekly rate started to encroach or surpass the monthly rate.  For instance, if we had rates for $1,500/wk. discounted at $4,500/mo. by time it gets past the three-week mark guests would pay more for 23 days total than for the whole month total.  Now there's no way to prevent that any longer so just got to chuck it up to people not knowing they could have a lower total price by adding nights to their stay (which is how the new system works now).  Without rates table included on each listing anymore they only know the price for the dates they plug-in.

                    • Re: New Rates Editor / Base Rate - Needs Seasonal Option
                      planthealth Active Contributor

                      Maybe next year I'll be moved

                      • Re: New Rates Editor / Base Rate - Needs Seasonal Option
                        twomoreyears Senior Contributor

                        I was one of the first users of the new rates calendar more than two years ago (wow, how time flies!).  I have the exact same issue with the new editor.  I want different extra person fees for different seasons and complained to the CEO.  I begged to be able to go back to the old rates editor but was told that was not possible.

                         

                        I finally did what ohst8er suggested - just gave up and set a flat extra person fee.

                        • Re: New Rates Editor / Base Rate - Needs Seasonal Option
                          treeguy Contributor

                          I too set a flat per person fee and a cleaning fee (new to me).  The cleaning fee is currently set per stay rather than nightly.  I get my seasonality by simply changing the base rate using date ranges.  What I really like about the new rates editor is that I can easily set rates for the weekends that I know will be in high demand; i.e. home football games for the local university.  Much easier than the old event pricing in the old rate editor.

                          • Re: New Rates Editor / Base Rate - Needs Seasonal Option
                            petek157 New Member

                            Im sure that Im going to have to find a calculation that works. I just hate going from something that worked GREAT for my pricing system to something that makes it more difficult.

                             

                            For me I cant stress enough how drastic my winter vs summer season is.  Summer has such low demand in the area, that there is such a fine line between not worth the rental and charging too much vs competition. So being able to have finer control with out risking having my PP fee set low to catch some worthwhile summer rentals, then have someone go to rent a room in advance for winter and get that low PP fee that I was using to fine tune for summer.

                             

                            Just frustrated.

                             

                            On the backend I understand that no seasons simplifies the code base making for easier maintenance and perhaps shrinks the database likely decreasing their costs slightly but I dont think that its so much so that its worth removing a function/feature that I think lots of people would utilize.