71 Replies Latest reply: Jan 29, 2019 2:56 PM by ohst8er RSS

    new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?

    surgerygalore Contributor

      hello ladies & gents - belated happy 2019

      new rates editor that many of you have been using for a while, has been offered to the populace today i believe - should i take it or delay the final moment ?

        • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
          ohst8er Senior Contributor

          I personally love it.   Much easier to use than the old rates editor!  Be sure to print out ALL OF YOUR RATES, past, present and future, because once it switches over all of your rates history disappears.  I know there are some on here who do not like the new rates editor, and I'm sure they will chime in with their reasons.  I personally find it much more intuitive.  The old one was just a clunker IMHO. 

            • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
              greggt Senior Contributor

              I normally agree with ohst8er but on this subject I am polar opposite. I hate the new rate editor!

              Reasons:

              Takes forever to set up my rates for the new year

              No longer can I compare my rates to similar properties and then print off their schedule without going through a major project.

              Trying to get a weekly rate when you have 3/4 day minimums takes just plain trial and error along with the patience of Job.

              Again what use to be a simple job has turned into a major chore.

              Please no one post why my opinions are incorrect, you have yours, I have mine. I feel it was just another effort to clone Airbnb as all the other listing sites look like it "Used to Be".

                • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                  ohst8er Senior Contributor

                  As long as you "normally agree" greggt !!

                  • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                    peg'schoice Contributor

                    Mr. Greggt....I WHOLEHEARTEDLY AGREE with you.  Sooo much more difficult to work with than the simple, clear and detail of information available with the old system.  Now I'm manually creating spread sheets to try and simulate the way it used to be with the previous version of the rate editor.  That's what happens when you hire a bunch of programmers from AIRBNB and say "make it like theirs".  UGH!!!!  hate it!!!.  BTW, the AIRBNB editor is easier to use and understand than the one HA came up wth.  What's with the % of discount for weekly and monthly stays??  UGH!  5 properties in FL panhandle.  Oh, the "we will remit sales tax" that HA just started in FL, was also a carbon copy from AIRBNB, but not nearly as friendly to use.  My brain and thinking process is completely incompatible with the new editor.  I soo wish I had the option of going back to the way it was. 

                      • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                        ohst8er Senior Contributor

                        HI peg'schoice, the comment about the % discount, I assume you are aware you do not HAVE to use any sort of % discount?  Also, you mention you have to create spreadsheets... do you mind if I ask why?  I'm pretty versed with the new rates editor and I'd love to be able to help you avoid all that extra work. 

                         

                        greggt, yea, there really is no "weekly rate" with the new rates editor.  You set a daily rate, which you can use to spread across days, weeks, or months at your discretion.   I like the new rates editor for a number of reasons, I can set a week day/weekend rate easily for any time period, OR, I can set a one flat rate for an entire time period.  For instance, from the Saturday before Memorial day to about mid way thru August my rate is $239.00 a night.   And my stay is a 7 day minimum, check in/check out on SATURDAY ONLY.   So essentially I DO have a "weekly rate" for that time period, by virtue of having Sat/Sat parameters.  I know, that makes my weekly rate $1,673.00, but I can tell you, no one really cares that it's not a nice round number. 

                         

                        What I like most is If you have a 5 day hole, as feibus  mentioned, you can easily tweak your rate to try to capture those nights and close the hole.  Conversely, if you have only one week left in July, you can easily RAISE that rate for just those 7 days, and try to capture more revenue.  It just wasn't that simple with the old rates editor. 

                         

                        I just find it so simple to click say, May 28, then August 28th (for instance), set my one rate, set my parameters for check in/check out, and be done with it.  OR, click on Say March 1st, then May 25th, then set XX rate for Sun- Thurs, and XX rate for Friday and Saturday.   And if I want to raise my rate, or lower my rate for any block of time within those parameters I have set it's just a few keystrokes to do so.  

                         

                          Full disclosure, I DO NOT have extra per person fees, and I understand in the past that was a problem with the new rates editor.  Don't know if that was rectified or not. 

                        • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                          swlinphx Premier Contributor
                          UGH!!!!  hate it!!!.  BTW, the AIRBNB editor is easier to use and understand than the one HA came up wth.  What's with the % of discount for weekly and monthly stays??  UGH!  5 properties in FL panhandle.  Oh, the "we will remit sales tax" that HA just started in FL, was also a carbon copy from AIRBNB,

                          I hear you.  May I ask how many listings you have and how many sites you list with? Because when you magnify that it can be a nightmare.

                          • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                            swlinphx Premier Contributor
                            What's with the % of discount for weekly and monthly stays??  UGH!  5 properties in FL panhandle.  Oh, the "we will remit sales tax" that HA just started in FL, was also a carbon copy from AIRBNB...

                            To be fair though AirBnB uses and offers discounts by percent and/or you can use their editor for specific dates (by week or month) as well, which will override the % discounts you entered (if any).

                          • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                            hmmmm Senior Contributor

                            Agreed, I just thought I was not skilled

                          • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                            scowol Active Contributor

                            When you convert over, you can view your old rates exactly as listed in the old rates calendar.  No printing needed.

                             

                            Capture.PNG

                            • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                              swlinphx Premier Contributor

                              One disadvantage of the new Rates Editor though is that if you offer longer-stay discounts (weekly over nightly and/or monthly over weekly) the system is no longer as intelligent as it once was.  How?  Well if you rent say 24 nights that still keeps the guest in the weekly rate so it could say cost you more than renting 28-30 nights or more.

                               

                              For example if you have a nightly rate of $100, a weekly rate of $500 and a monthly rate of $1500.  A guest booking 24 nights would get the weekly rate for a total of $1,715.00 total (+ fees).  The guest booking 30 nights however will pay only $1,200 total (+ fees).  The previous rate system however would "cap" the weekly rate once it met and exceeded the monthly rate.

                               

                              Does anyone here think it odd that you will make $500 less if they stay 5 nights more?  ...or do you figure what the traveler doesn't know (if not plugging in extra dates) can't hurt them?   Without rates tables outlined anymore on our listings few will even know I guess.

                                • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                                  hmmmm Senior Contributor

                                  I am so relieved to hear that someone else is feeling like it does not make sense.

                                  I have 6 rentals and I only have one on the new chart so far.
                                  I really dread putting the other 5, its so much more work for me and so confusing.
                                  I know some of it is understanding the concept, but I just easy again.

                                  • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                                    ohst8er Senior Contributor

                                    swlinphx, that feels like alot of overthinking/overplanning to me.

                                     

                                    I don't use weekly rates, or monthly rates.  I have a daily rate, and I adjust it by seasons.  If you want to book 3+ nights with me in January, you might only pay $105 a night.  If you want to book 3+ nights with me in say, April you'll pay $185 for week day overnight, $195 for a weekend overnight.  I don't book less than 3 nights, EVER, and I don't give anyone a "discount" for staying more than X+ nights, unless it's December-January.  If someone wants to book the entire month of April with me, the lowest I've ever gone is the equivalent of whatever I earned last year, even if last year I only had 15-20 nights booked.  Sorry, no "rewards" for being a long term guest during my mid season.

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                    If you want to stay with me in June-August, the rate is $239 a night, the minimum stay is 7 nights, you can only check in/check out on Saturday.  NO EXCEPTIONS.

                                     

                                    I did offer a discount in the month of January for a month long stay, but ONLY for the month of January (Feb was already booked).  I also have on my listing "ask us about snowbird rates."   Anything beyond this sounds like overkill.

                                     

                                    The BEST part about the new Rates editor vs the old one, is that I can change ANY of this, or any section of any of this, on a whim if I choose to.  5 days here, 7 days there, I can tweak and adjust etc without having to affect my overall rate strategy a bit.  That's a winner to me. 

                                      • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                                        swlinphx Premier Contributor

                                        On the contrary, if you've been in the vacation rental business for more than 5 or 10 years you will know it wasn't asked but just assumed (and all sites were set up) that you have separate nightly , weekly and monthly rates, so from the beginning we we adopted that.  Now that vacation rentals are being mixed in with hotels and other general travel sites they are taking that back and just asking everyone to run rates like a hotel (one price pre season, regardless of duration of their stay).

                                         

                                        But HomeAway was always smart enough not to let my example (see above) happen (a guest staying 22-27 nights or pays a lot more TOTAL than one staying 28-30 nights).  HomeAway always capped it off so that a guest didn't pay more for three nights than they could get the entire month with.  So we stuck with that policy too.  As other sites emerged (like AirBnB) that changed however (and HOmeAway tends to follow AirBnB's lead in many ways).

                                         

                                        But with the new system they can plug in 27 nights and get a rate of say $1,800 total yet if they add one more night they pay $1,500 total.  So it is like giving them back $300 for staying an extra night.  Does no one else see a problem with this?  It's very basic and not overthinking at all in my book.  It's simple arithmetic.

                                         

                                        As I said before, because they took away a displayed Rates Table on our listings (again, in an effort to work bookings like the hotels)  the traveler will be none the wiser that he could have saved $300 by staying one more night (again, unless he just happens to plug in different quantities before booking).  So I guess we'll file this under "what they don't know can't hurt them" as we are making more money.

                                         

                                        However, that thinking could backfire if a guests doesn't bother booking with you at all because they plug in 6 nights or 27 nights (just shy of qualifying for the weekly and monthly discounts respectively).  At some point maybe we will go with one rate per season but I know we can't charge longer guests as much as we charge less than 7 nights because we are about 75% booked as it is so we aren't looking for less business.

                                          • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                                            ohst8er Senior Contributor

                                            My background IS hotel sales and rate management,  which is where my thinking comes from.  We’ve only been in the VR biz for 5 years.  My background is, offer a great place in a great location, sell service and hospitality, sell your destination, and deliver what you promise, every time, and the price will set itself.  I charged $11 more a night for busy season this year over last,  And busy season is almost sold out.   The new rates editor allows me to adjust at Will.  If I wanted to, I could raise my last prime week by a couple more $$ a night.  If I NEED to, I can drop the rate for a 5 day hole in March without having to touch anything but those 5 days.  The hotel rate manager in me LOVES having this control.

                                             

                                            I just give a different perspective.  I think a lot of folks who are just getting started, or who are at this for awhile but are always looking to improve their mousetrap like seeing that there’s more than one way of doing things, and that MAYBE they can help SET their comp set’s trend, rather than following it.  Just my two cents for what it’s worth.

                                              • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                                                swlinphx Premier Contributor

                                                Well if you've been doing this 5 years you probably did not start out the same way many of us did (15 years for us).  Otherwise, you will know that separate nightly, weekly and monthly rates were always automatically calculated and specified back in the day.

                                                 

                                                You're basically saying then that you don't offer discounts on the new system.  But it was set up to allow (and to somewhat encourage) this.  You did not comment on what I said in my example being an issue, which it won't be if you don't offer discounts.

                                                 

                                                Anyone else here see a problem with the scenario I described...

                                                 

                                                "...they can plug in 27 nights and get a rate of say $1,800 total yet if they add one more night they pay $1,500 total"


                                                ...or how do you handle that now that HomeAway rates are no longer smart when it comes to discounts as they were all these years?  With instant booking and no displayed Rates Tables are you just letting them pay more than they have to?

                                                  • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                                                    ohst8er Senior Contributor

                                                    swlinphx, on my listing it says "ask us about our snowbird rates."  If someone does ask, I'm happy to negotiate.  We're not a big snowbird destination. If we book a snowbird it's usually January, OR February.  Never December, and never more than one month.  If the place is going to sit empty anyway, I'm happy to entertain listening to your budget.  OR, if you want to just book at whatever rate I am offering I'm ok with that too.  In 2017  we got a booking for the entire month of March.  No questions about our rate, no questions about whether we would offer a discount, just a booking.  Did I reach out to them and say "hey, do you want a LT stay discount?"  NO.  Why on earth would I?

                                                     

                                                    Beyond that, my "discounts" are when I lower my rate for a 5 day hole I want to close.   Was the system set up to encourage discounts?  Perhaps.  Do I feel like I NEED to use it, just because VRBO set it up for me?  NO.  We offer an immaculate condo, across the street from the beach in an area where you can park your car and walk or bike everywhere, 96 impeccable reviews, and very attentive owners.   I see no need to use a discount to entice guests.  Again, this is just MY way of operating in MY market.  Everyone should do what works best for them.

                                        • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                                          feibus CommunityAmbassador

                                          I'm also a vote "for" the new editor.  Example of where it's awesome:

                                           

                                          I have a 5-night minimum during spring.  Invariably, I end up with a bunch of little blocks of 3 or 4 nights that I still want to book.  With old rate editor, I have to create special blocks in and around the existing spring block, total pain.  New editor, just highlight the days, set their rate and minimum and you're done.

                                           

                                          But, yes, you cannot print the schedule so easily, nor does the view show more than your rate (not the minimum on each night), so there are some UI things that could be improved, but overall it's a big help when you're doing nightly adjustments to rates as I've started to do to capture more revenue during certain seasons.

                                          • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                                            surgerygalore Contributor

                                            Thks y’all

                                            And you still have a default rate ?

                                              • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                                                feibus CommunityAmbassador

                                                Absolutely.  Not a single one either, I do a different rate by day of week.

                                                Capture.PNG

                                                I can also do the same breakout by day of week for specific periods (like spring is $150 on weekends and $145 during the week).  So you can accomplish all the same things and more... provided you're not looking for a compressed view for printing.

                                                  • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                                                    hmmmm Senior Contributor

                                                    I have always charged more for 4 nights then averages out for a full week.

                                                    Why do you not do that?
                                                    I am interested in your thinking.

                                                      • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                                                        feibus CommunityAmbassador

                                                        Has to do with my market, which is Disney.  Short bookings are generally locals and they aren't really my market except for very low season (September).  Longer bookings are out-of-towners, my primary market, and they go for 5-8 nights for USA-based guests and up to 14-21 nights for South America and UK guests.  So I don't need to charge more for one over the other; locals generally avoid high season anyway (they already know how freakin' hot Disney is in the summer).  I also avoid the snowbirds who want a month or more, just because they want a big discount and it counts as exactly one booking and usually doesn't result in a review.

                                                  • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                                                    surgerygalore Contributor

                                                    Thks everyone !

                                                    much appreciated

                                                    • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                                                      milton_man Contributor

                                                      I've read all the replies.  I have not been offered this new rate editor yet, but I only rent weekly and almost every week (during the summer) is different -- with a few Prime weeks in July and August the same.  Can I hear from those who are renting weekly during the summer and how they like it?  It seems like it would be a real pain if I have to calculate each week's daily rate to get the weekly rate I want, but then again, I've not used it, so I don't know.  Thanks!

                                                      • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                                                        mtnmama3740 Contributor

                                                        I am holding out until the end because I have an extra per-person charge (above 4 person), and for some inexplicable reason they did away with that with the new rates editor.  I have a mid-size to large property and it just costs me more to host large groups between hauling the trash, clean-up, wear and tear, electric bill, bigger cleaning job, and the greater likelihood of having to drain the hot tub. 

                                                        • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                                                          tahoelodgingonline Contributor

                                                          When I was switched for my Maui property without notice, it was a chore.  I don't like constant change and a lot of the "improvements" that have been rolled out over the years have just been confusing or otherwise problematic.  However, I'm looking forward to getting it for my Lake Tahoe property because it will allow me to disallow checking in or checking out on Saturdays and holidays such as July 4th, Christmas Eve and Day, New Years Eve, and the Sunday of holiday 3 day weekends.  Lake Tahoe is a weekend getaway for a LOT of people who live in Northern California.  Friday and Saturday nights command a 40-50% premium over weeknights.  When one traveler books a stay starting on a Saturday, I usually can't book the Friday night and lose revenue.  This is especially painful in winter when kids are in school on weeknights and occupancy is naturally much lower than in summer.  Also, when one traveler books a stay ending on a Saturday morning, I usually can't book that night and lose revenue.  Additionally, even if you set a 3 night minimum for the 3 day weekends that command a premium, people will book Thursday to Sunday or Saturday to Tuesday, depriving me of one of the premium nights. 

                                                           

                                                          So, I now want it for both of my properties.  I asked to be put on the list for conversion in mid November, but apparently I wasn't put on the list.  Within the last week I followed up and now I am *hopefully* on the list to be converted for the Tahoe property.

                                                          • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                                                            kiheiretreat Contributor

                                                            I was "offered", or rather, informed that I was being switched to the new rates editor last week. There was an overlay popup window on My Dashboard that needed me to click that I understood before being able to move forward into my dashboard. I went ahead and agreed (what choice did I have?) and have yet to see the new rates editor in my account. I have cleared cookies, closed browser, restarted laptop. Was this to be an immediate change on owner's call to action of click acceptance or just compiling owners who will be moved over shortly?

                                                             

                                                            Has anyone who was offered the new rates editor seeing this update yet? homeaway_community_manager, can you provide some insight into how/when this update is occurring if it is not immediate. Thank you.

                                                            • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                                                              u0999 Premier Contributor

                                                              How do you know it is offered? is there something in dashboard telling you it is offered? I have not seen anything

                                                              • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                                                                swlinphx Premier Contributor

                                                                I would delay, unless you use AirBnB and like their method better.

                                                                • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                                                                  peg'schoice Contributor

                                                                  I really miss the 1 page summary that we had under the old editor. You could print this out on 1 page for the whole year and get a "bird's eye view" of your collection opportunities.  For each Seasonal Period  you had -

                                                                  • DAILY rate,
                                                                  • WEEKLY rate and 7 nights or more $'s avg nightly
                                                                  • MONTHLY rate and 30 nights or more $'s avg nightly

                                                                  NO percent discounts...just $$ rates.  For my 5 properties with over 250 turn-overs yearly, this 1 page summary of the whole year really worked best for me.  I could see where I need to make adjustments in pricing and how much.  It was really helpful.  Now I'm trying to do this with lots of patience, a calculator and Excel Spread sheets.  UGH!!

                                                                   

                                                                  The new rate editor working off the calendar display might offer some neat advantages (stolen from AirBnB as mentioned above).  But without this kind of 1 page summary breakdown as I mention, I find it less attractive to my way of coming-up with a strategy to maximize bookings and profits.

                                                                  BTW, I have flooded the "FEEDBACK" option to HA with my suggestions.

                                                                    • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                                                                      ohst8er Senior Contributor

                                                                      Hi peg'schoice, you do know you don't have to use the percent discounts, correct?    Also, though it's not ideal, you CAN print out the calendar by month, and if you finagle it enough you can get a year's view. 

                                                                        • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                                                                          hmmmm Senior Contributor

                                                                          If you want to discount for 7 nights how do you do it with out the %discount.

                                                                          Any help would be great

                                                                            • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                                                                              greggt Senior Contributor

                                                                              Guess the answer is hmmmm, just don't discount...........or.............just waste 10-15 minutes using trial and error to come up with the proper discount that will give you the number you want like the rest of us do!   

                                                                              • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                                                                                ohst8er Senior Contributor

                                                                                hmmmm  Perhaps I am misunderstanding peg's choice.  I am under the understanding she thought she HAD to use discounts.  If you want to use them, or feel you need to use them, of course do so.  I was just pointing out they are not required.

                                                                                 

                                                                                Personally I am not sure why owners discount for 7 plus nights.  Just set a rate that nets you the bottom line you want, if you get close in and have 5 days or  a week that seems like it might sit open you can drop the rate to attract some last minute booking, or if it's prime season with high occupancy and you are 3-6 months out with only one prime week left, raise your rate for that time period to capture more revenue.  This is where I see this rates editor as a tool that is head and shoulders above the old one.

                                                                                 

                                                                                Set a daily rate that nets you whatever you used to get for a weekly rate (if your weekly rate was something like $1599.00 like mine was, you'll just need to round your daily rate up or down to the next whole dollar),  set your booking parameters and be done with it.  Then watch your market to see whether you need to adjust accordingly to capture either bookings, or more revenue.  That's what the hotels do in their rate management meetings.  They NEVER ever set rates for the year and then close the book and wait for reservations.    The rates are always dynamic.  That's what this rates editor is designed to be, a living breathing  tool that you use to adjust according to  the ebb and flow of your market. 

                                                                                  • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                                                                                    greggt Senior Contributor

                                                                                    Well I could just as easily say, Personally I am not sure why owners DON''T discount for 7 plus nights. But to each their own!

                                                                                      • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                                                                                        ohst8er Senior Contributor

                                                                                        greggt, I have no reason to argue with you Gregg, I'm not in your market, and if that is what works for you than by all means of course.  You and I see eye to eye on most everything, and I am always open to learning new things from others.    If we disagree on this point I'm fine with that, and I am sure you are too. 

                                                                                         

                                                                                        But I just don't see why I should feel the need  to "reward" anyone for staying 2 days more.  I'd rather set a rate that nets me what I need regardless of how long someone stays.  Of course if I set a daily rate for January with a 3 night minimum and someone asks me what I'm willing to offer for a 30 night stay in January, I'm more than happy to talk turkey, but only because the place will sit empty otherwise.  But NEVER EVER IN the summer.  The ONLY discount I've ever given in the summer is if someone says "do you give a military discount?"  I always say, "Yes, we are happy to offer a 10% discount to all our military guests."  But that's IT.    

                                                                                         

                                                                                        Perhaps the answer is, VRBO needs to set the system so that setting discounts WORK flawlessly for those who want to use them, and the rest of us can just ignore it and go on our merry way.   It seems pretty obvious from the many discussions on this subject that the way the current system is set up isn't really working well for those who do use discounts. 

                                                                                      • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                                                                                        hmmmm Senior Contributor

                                                                                        Thanks ohst8er, I will look at it that way and see if it works for me.

                                                                                • Re: new rates editor offered to the populace - should i take it?
                                                                                  u0999 Premier Contributor

                                                                                  I just got it, in conjunction with market maker. The latter I find STRANGE, The "opportunities" it shows are downright illogical at times. Such as, it suggests much higher rate on say Tues, and then suggest to lower Fri -Sat rate below what I usually have it rented at. makes 0 sense to me. So I take it with a huge grain of salt. and no, those are not holiday dates.