24 Replies Latest reply: Feb 16, 2020 10:57 PM by swlinphx RSS

    Can we please get the old rates table back?

    aquasphere Contributor

      This post is prompted by a cancellation I just got from a guest who was suspicious of my rates and thought I was changing them on her, due to how things display on the site...I am probably relieved to be rid of this guest, but it forced me to review my listing to see if there was any error, and every time I have to deal with that rates editor I get so frustrated.

       

      I am a simple person.  I just want simple nightly, weekly, and monthly rates that are nice round numbers (i.e., $1100 not  $1102.67). 

       

      I don't care what percentage discount I'm giving for weekly over nightly.  I always just subtracted one night's rent to get a weekly rate.  Simple.  Now it takes multiple tries to reverse engineer the percentage that will give me the rate I want -- and I NEVER actually get the rate I want! I just have to settle for "close enough" with weird dollar and cents amounts that make me look weird. 

       

      And what if I want to go back and see how I've set up a season?  Used to be able to look at a simple table and with one glance know exactly start and end date and all rates.  Now you have to scroll through the months and test out random dates to see if/when weekly or monthly rates change.

       

      I understand some people want dynamic pricing and all that, and providing it is wonderful.  But can us simple folk just get the old way back?

        • Re: Can we please get the old rates table back?
          ohst8er Premier Contributor

          The "issue" isn't the rates system.  The issue is, with the new rates system there are no more weekly rates or monthly rates.  There are only daily rates.  You can set weekly or monthly parameters, but not weekly or monthly rates. 

           

          By way of example, when I first got the new rates system I too struggled with it.   My weekly rate was $1599.00.   That very nicely divided by 7 to give me a nightly rate of   $228.42857.  But the daily rate showing up on my screen was $228.00.  When I went to do a rates test, the math never worked, because what I saw was $228, but what was calculating was the $228.42857.   I calculated and recalculated and tried to come up with my daily rate, then I just said well, duh...  the daily rate I should be using IS $228.00!  That rate netted me out to $1596, which was 3 dollars less a week.  I could have changed my nightly rate to $229, but I opted not to.

           

          As far as seeing the seasons, they are all right there for you to see, at a glance.  Here's a perfect example (see screen shot) you can see right there where I transition from my 3 night minimum shoulder season, to my 7 night minimum peak season.

           

          Screen Shot 2020-02-12 at 8.38.13 PM.png

          The one thing that we do need access to is the ability to see historical data much more easily, so that it's seamless to change your rates year to year.  As far as dynamic pricing, I do not use it at all, but that's just me.  I prefer to manage my rates myself.

            • Re: Can we please get the old rates table back?
              ashevillelookout Senior Contributor

              You are smarter than the average bear.  I have huge issues with the rates as they are shown today and really, really miss the old rates table with seasons.  This now looks like bait and switch hotel/airplane pricing, and the rate shown for my cabin, which now has has ONE nightly rate ALL year, is never correct.

               

              As a casual reviewer of a VR, I can't tell at a glance what your rates are or how many nights you require.  Only as a VR Owner who has struggled with this rate system do I understand what you are doing.  My client demographic appears to be quite happy with my static rates ($165) and required nights (2) as it is easily understood.  And yes, as a result I am leaving seasonal money on the table, but I am still booking, albeit last minute and at half of what 2015 was.

                • Re: Can we please get the old rates table back?
                  ohst8er Premier Contributor

                  It doesn't need to be complicated.  I am looking at my listing as a traveler.  I see my rates spelled out for every day.  I click on the button that allows me to choose which dates I want. 

                   

                  So I click on the calendar:

                   

                  There's my open days.  Minimum stay varies.

                  Screen Shot 2020-02-13 at 6.38.26 AM.png

                   

                  I click my first day of arrival.  Screen changes to 3 night minimum.  Perfect.  Ok, I have to stay 3 nights or more.  simple.

                  Screen Shot 2020-02-13 at 6.38.33 AM.png

                  But maybe I want to stay in the summer... I pick July 1st (see error)

                  Screen Shot 2020-02-13 at 6.38.51 AM.png

                  So I choose Saturday July 4th...now I see there's a 7 night minimum.  So I choose checkout on July 11th. 

                  Screen Shot 2020-02-13 at 6.39.02 AM.png

                  My dates are available!  There's my price. 

                   

                  Screen Shot 2020-02-13 at 6.39.11 AM.png

                   

                  How does it break down?  Like this *(see below) 

                   

                  Screen Shot 2020-02-13 at 6.39.20 AM.png

              • Re: Can we please get the old rates table back?
                hmmmm Senior Contributor

                I 100% agree and feel the same.

                I find more of my customers or should say potential customers complain about the HA rate system.

                 

                Never since 2003 had I had any confusion by me or others.

                • Re: Can we please get the old rates table back?
                  aquasphere Contributor

                  Yes the rates calendar only has daily rates, but I have weekly and monthly rates.  Guests inquire about it.  I like round numbers.  It wasn't broke.  Now I don't even know what my advertised weekly and monthly rates are when people inquire.

                   

                  A potential guest recently inquired about an extended stay more than a year in advance (so not on the booking calendar).  Since there is no rate table they are not able to get any idea of what this stay would cost.  I went to look up what my winter weekly rate was so I could give them an idea, it was not easy to find, and it was an obnoxious number like $932.57.  It should be a simple number sitting in a table that I can easily get to - or even better, that the guest could look up themselves on my listing even if dates are more than 12 months out!

                    • Re: Can we please get the old rates table back?
                      ohst8er Premier Contributor

                      aquasphere, I don't know what to tell you other than, you don't have weekly/monthly rates any longer.  You have daily rates.  That's just how it is.  So when someone asks you what is your rate for January 1st thru the 7th, you just tell them, (7x X = )  $932.57, plus tax and fees, or whatever the magic number is. When I send a quote, or prepare my rental agreement I'll list it like this, by way of example:

                       

                      $1797     Rate for the week

                      ______   tax at 11%

                      etc

                       

                      or

                      $983.24  Rate for 4 nights

                       

                      $1036.32 Rate for the month   etc

                      (these are all just made up numbers)

                       

                      If the guest wants to know what the rate is, all they have to do is plug in their arriving date, and their departing date, and the entire quote will be calculated for them.  It's pretty simple.

                       

                      I can tell you, people survive it just fine.   I used to go to the gas pump and pump my gas till it hit $10.00, $20.00, $25.00, then one day I said, "why?"  I'm putting it on my debit/credit card anyway, why does this need to be a neat number with zeros at the end?  So now I just pump till full.  Same concept.  and If your guests are sending a check, they know how to write  cents at the end of the check.

                       

                      What I LIKE about it, is that now, with the new rates system, we can adjust our rates up or down for pockets of days that are still open, with the hopes of closing the gaps.  This is actually a much smarter way to manage your rates than having a flat, seasonal rate structure.  Now you can set weekend vs weekday rates.   You still CAN have a seasonal rate structure, I do.  But within the "season" I have the control to manipulate my rates up or down as needed.

                       

                      I'm pretty versed with how the rates system works, so I'm happy to help you (I was one of the first to get it), but I don't use discounts and I don't use those darn little "opportunity" rockets, because sometimes the "opportunity" is a bad plan to follow.

                       

                      But, that rates table (which was frankly, clunky, IMHO) is gone, and it's not coming back.

                    • Re: Can we please get the old rates table back?
                      yosemitevalleyview Contributor

                      My biggest complaint is if you don't keep resetting the schedule it shows the default rate for the dates farthest out. I originally had a default rate that was an average of high and low season but got burned when someone booked dates a year out and got the default rate for peak season. I opted to honor it but was forced to changed the default rate to my highest possible rate.

                        • Re: Can we please get the old rates table back?
                          ohst8er Premier Contributor

                          yep.  But that's not new, it was the same with the old system.  You were "encouraged" to set a default date. CS recommended that I set a rate that was higher than any other rates on my calendar, just so that sort of thing doesn't happen.  That conversation happened back in 2015.  Now, you are required to set a default rate, but it's the same circumstances. 

                          • Re: Can we please get the old rates table back?
                            swlinphx Premier Contributor

                            A good thing about showing a seasonal rates table with nightly, weekly and monthly rates per season, is that if there is a glitch in the system (or your default rate kicked in when you didn't want it to) then you have something static to show that it was an obvious calculation error or computer glitch.  With the calculator only you have nothing to stand by.

                             

                            I have so many listings on so many different sites that it is a pain to constantly re-enter rates every year.  Our rates should carry over year to year unless and until we wish to edit them, and then we can enter only those nights or seasons or listings we wish.  Owners should not be responsible for "editing rates" when there are no edits to make.  That is extra work and time for nothing and just not intuitive or logical.  I can prevent guests being undercharged (as has happened several times) if I forget to update any one of my listings on any one of the sites on which we advertise by listing an very high "default rate" (which we don't even have to be honest) but then it can hurt our overall average rate display for guests who choose to browse without entering dates.

                             

                            Do you know how long it takes to keep updating rates for multiple listings with eight seasons each on multiple sites one by one, individually?  Booking.com lets you simply copy your rates over to the following year, and HomeEscape allows you to check "This is a rolling rate" that repeats each season unless and until you end it or stop it.  Why can't HomeAway and AirBnB do the same???

                              • Re: Can we please get the old rates table back?
                                swlinphx Premier Contributor

                                Also, some sites block all dates from being booked if they are past your advance cut-off (like 12 months into the future) but others like TripAdvisor allow anyone to book as long as just their check-in date is within the 12 months.  So if today is Feb. 15, 2020 and you allow only bookings a year in advance, they can book Feb. 13 - Apr. 20 of 2021.   Some sites take the monthly nightly rate by dividing the total for the month by 28, others by 30 and others by the actual number of nights in that particular month.  So many sites each with their own specific set of rules, policy and procedures to follow.

                                 

                                With the old system HomeAway would not make a guest pay more total for 24 nights say, than they would for 31, even if they didn't qualify for the monthly rate.  However if monthly rates only kick in at say 28 nights, then an owner who charges $100/nt. at the weekly rate but $2200 for the entire month of December would charge guests staying 24 nights $2,400 but guests staying 31 nights only $2,200 (in a sense saying, "we will charge you $200 less if you stay another week with us", LOL)!

                            • Re: Can we please get the old rates table back?
                              aquasphere Contributor

                              Well yes I can make it work and play with the percentages to get close to the numbers I want.  I just don't like it.  It has added flexibility for people that wanted that and added complexity for people that didn't.

                               

                              If my calendar showed fluctuating rates over a season I would immediately get requests for discounts, and ill will from the people paying the highest rates.  I'm well acquainted with the market I'm in and the traveler that is drawn to my home.  That just isn't going to fly. 


                              During my career as a software engineer, when customers wanted features we implemented them.  It was a bonus if the request was something as ridiculously simple as the old rates table. 

                                • Re: Can we please get the old rates table back?
                                  wildiris Senior Contributor

                                  aquasphere wrote:


                                  During my career as a software engineer, when customers wanted features we implemented them.  It was a bonus if the request was something as ridiculously simple as the old rates table.

                                  I agree - I preferred the old rates table.  But, Vrbo doesn't really view owners as customers.  We're suppliers of vacation rental inventory.  Vrbo has commoditized vacation rentals like hotel rooms.  So, even if a vacation rental rents only by the week, not the night, Vrbo forces the pricing to be done as a nightly rate.  This also helps explain why Vrbo keeps suggesting to owners that they reduce their minimum stay requirement. 

                                  • Re: Can we please get the old rates table back?
                                    ohst8er Premier Contributor

                                    aquasphere, where if your VR and what is your market, if you don't mind me asking?

                                      • Re: Can we please get the old rates table back?
                                        aquasphere Contributor

                                        oh8ster  I prefer to stay anonymous, but I am in a beach town where people have been renting summer beach cottages since the 19th century.  It's now also a university town that gets year round activity.  Traditionally it's been a blue collar vacation destination but prices have been skyrocketing.  I have a very nice cottage but it's small and a few blocks inland, I get cost-conscious guests that can't afford beachfront.  I also have a significant number of guests that are visiting family or friends in town, I'm the neighborhood's "spare bedroom".

                                    • Re: Can we please get the old rates table back?
                                      rperrino67 New Member

                                      You can use a straight nightly rate and then apply a 14.26% discount for one week (7 night for price of six).  I do this and I give 20% off for 30 nights (one week free for 30 night rental)  Helps improve the chances of long term/better quality guests.

                                        • Re: Can we please get the old rates table back?
                                          aquasphere Contributor

                                          This is almost exactly what I do, i just think it's hokey and inelegant.

                                           

                                          When I recently got an inquiry about an extended further than 12 months out and just wanted to reference what weekly and monthly off-season rates I am publishing, being confronted with that stupid percentage instead of just a flat rate got me annoyed.  Yes I know I'm shouting into the wind because HA isn't really interested in the features someone like me wants. 

                                           

                                          The whole site is peppered with extra unnecessary mouse clicks standing between me and the information I want on any given day.

                                            • Re: Can we please get the old rates table back?
                                              swlinphx Premier Contributor

                                              The percentage discount is how AirBnB does it too.  Booking.com lets you choose but it's a lot easier with percentage there so my newer listings are run that way.  Once you make a chart of what percent discount to enter it really isn't that hard.  You just have a specific nightly rate for each season then a discount for weekly and one for monthly.  I've gotten used to it finally but there are a few sites like  HomeEscape that still do it the old way too.