Beyond Pricing Integration

To set the right price based on changes in demand, applying a dynamic pricing software seems to be the most optimum way. Zeevou, the specialist property management system, announces its integration with Beyond Pricing.

 Beyond Pricing is an automated dynamic pricing solution for Airbnb and other vacation rental sites or online travel agencies (OTAs). Its aim is similar to that of other dynamic pricing solutions, which is maximising occupancy and revenue during both high seasons and off-peaks. Since its first integration with Airbnb, Beyond Pricing has set pricing for over 120,000 listings. Data-driven price recommendations of Beyond Pricing is claimed to be similar to the calculation used for the largest hotels and airlines in the world.

How does Beyond Pricing calculate its price recommendations?

Daily analysis of each individual market based on different factors serves as a basis for price recommendations in Beyond Pricing. The variables involved include the day of the week, seasonality and local events. The recommendations are valid for one year long and become applicable to be pushed to different channels afterward.

What are the benefits of getting Beyond Pricing integrated to your listing website?

1. A detailed breakdown of every price recommendation

Beyond pricing shows you why the prices are going up or down on any day of the year. 

2. A centralised view of a year of pricing recommendations

Seeing the full year of price recommendations provides you the option of syncing the whole year’s recommendations.

3. Automated dynamic pricing

As demand changes, all of the pricing of the properties go under a well-articulated revenue management automatically. 

4. Pricing improvement opportunities

Beyond Pricing recommends prices after analysing factors such as neighborhood, seasonality, local demand and more. By having all the recommendations in one centralised table, you do not lose any of price optimisation opportunities.

How should you set up Beyond Pricing in Zeevou?

  1. Enable BeyondPricing in Zeevou.
  2. Sign up for BeyondPricing. Don’t link Airbnb or HomeAway when prompted following sign-up, instead follow step 3.
  3. Click on this link.
  4. You need your Zeevou Username and Zeevou API key. 
  5. Go to Zeevou Set -> Pricing Module Integration, and copy your username and API key.
  6. Return to BeyondPricing, enter your API details, and click on Link Account.
  7. Finalise the integration.

How much does it cost?

Beyond Pricing offers a 30-day free trial. It charges 1% of all bookings made during each month. In the case of a booking cancellation, Beyond Pricing returns the money back.  Should you want to know more details about the cost of Beyond Pricing, please read this.

PriceLabs Integration

Tweaking the minimum night stay rules and changing the nightly price for special occasions would be time-consuming and almost impossible if you want to do it manually. Consequently, any vacation rental owner needs to arm herself with dynamic pricing tools. Zeevou, the specialist property management system, is honored to announce its integration with PriceLabs.

PriceLabs is a web-based revenue management for vacation rentals. By setting the best rate for every night, there is no more need for wrestling with the calendar and rates for hours on end. PriceLabs integration with Zeevou helps you  with: 

  • Dynamic Pricing
  • Automated Price Pushing
  • Updating Direct Booking Rates
  • Updating Channel Rates
  • Preserving Channel Pricing Rules
  • Controlling Minimum Length of Stay
  • Checking Occupancy Levels

By integrating with this dynamic pricing tool, pricings are calculated automatically and you can send those to the channels. You are free to choose your own last-minute discount scheme or any other kind of customisation. You just need to click on the edit customisation link to override your own customisations for a listing, group, or account level. Please read this link for further information.

How are the price recommendations calculated in PriceLabs?

Besides all the automation that Pricelabs provides you with, you can customise settings too. For example, you can set the lowest price and the highest price and the recommendations will not go below or above those, or you can also set last-minute discounts to override PriceLabs recommendations on specific dates. To know about pricing in more detail, please read this interesting article.

The combination of the information over which you have control and some analyses that PriceLabs provides you with are two parts of the algorithm. PriceLabs estimates a base price for the listing for the first time based on its current performance.  After setting the base price, PriceLabs applies the historic demand trends (seasonal, weekend vs. weekday), future supply and demand data (occupancy levels and prices for vacation rentals and hotels for future dates), and how far a date is (last-minute discounting, etc.). Altering the base price results in the reduction or increase of the price recommendations.  

Using PriceLabs with Zeevou is easy:

How should you set up PriceLabs in Zeevou?

  1. Enable PriceLabs in Zeevou
  2. Sign up for PriceLabs or log in to your existing PriceLabs account.
    Once logged in to your account, click “Connect to your Airbnb/PMS account” and select Zeevou.
  3. You need your Zeevou Username and Zeevou API key.
  4. Go to Zeevou Set -> Pricing Module Integration, and copy your username and API key.
  5. Return to PriceLabs, enter your API details, and click “Login.”

The Importance of Dynamic Pricing

What Is Dynamic Pricing? 

Dynamic pricing has emerged as a variation for fixed pricing and is taking precedence over fixed pricing in some industries. Hospitality, travel, public transport and retail are among the industries which have realised the importance of dynamic pricing to set flexible rates for their products and services.

With dynamic pricing, one can calculate the optimal price for their. It is an automated process that changes the price based on supply and demand. However, in order to calculate pricing, dynamic pricing applies a more advanced analysis of data rather than just taking into consideration supply and demand. Adjusting the prices according to the competitors’ is one way to determine optimal pricing. It can also be altered by the rate of a website’s viewers who have been successfully converted into buyers. If this rate is low, the decrease in the price is an alternative dynamic pricing method.

Nowadays e-commerce is the biggest fan of dynamic pricing. Apart from large companies like Airlines and Amazon, vacation rental owners are also aware of the importance of dynamic pricing to find the highest possible price that does not deter potential consumers.  

Strategies of Dynamic Pricing

Dynamic pricing might apply one of the following strategies: 

  • Price can differ based on locality and geography, meaning that the supply and demand for different items are different in different places. 
  • Price can differ based on time. Different items can be discounted on special occasions on the calendars of different nations and cultures.
  • Competitors’ pricing is useful to check if the price you set is too low or too high.
  • Prices can be adapted due to the peak of demand and the inability to supply. 
  • Pricing differs due to different behaviors shown by customers. For example, provided that the customers visit the site after filling a survey or it is the third time they visit the website in a day, the price can be discounted.  

Why is Dynamic Pricing Important in the Vacation Rental Business?

As a vacation rental owner, you need to set competitive pricing. 

Knowing the nightly price of similar properties helps compare your prices with those of your competitors’. Searching and tracking the ever-changing nightly prices set by your competitors is very demanding if not impossible. In addition, prices vary constantly with the anticipation of special events and different holidays. If you need the knowledge of the competitors’ pricing, the trends and the implications of special events and occasions, then a dynamic pricing tool would be more than helpful to you. 

 As a vacation rental owner, you need to change your rates regularly.

You might have noticed fluctuations in the rates of accommodation of various kinds both as a guest and a vacation rental owner. This is because of holidays and special events taking place on the calendar. As a vacation rental owner, you need to set different rates for your property for different occasions. Obviously, you do not sell your vacancies with the same price on different occasions. Instead of fixing your eyes tirelessly on the calendar, you just need to apply a dynamic pricing tool. It can watch out for the changes and do the job for you.   

You need an accurate minimum night stay algorithm.

In order to maximize your occupancy, you need to set exceptions for the minimum night stay rules. You can fill the vacancies in the availability calendar. Vacation rental owners do it manually whenever they expect the vacancy of their property between two bookings unless the cleaning and maintenance fees become too high. Dynamic pricing helps automate minimum night stay rules to maximize your profits. 

Zeevou and Dynamic Pricing!

Dynamic pricing tools help you tailor your revenue by maximizing the occupancy of your properties and recommending the best price per night. Zeevou has the privilege of integrating with Beyond Pricing and PriceLabs. These two data-driven pricing algorithms increase your revenue and vacation rentals occupancy all through automation.   

If these integrations look interesting to you, please follow our next two blog posts or contact Zeevou Partner Success Team now.               

Is VAT Applicable on Cancellations and No-Shows?

Is VAT applicable on cancellations and no-shows?

UK government put into effect a policy regarding VAT charges for non-refundable deposits of canceled or no-show bookings on 1st March 2019. This came as a surprise to many short-term rental managers, affecting their accounting and revenue-related calculations. But VAT and Tour Operators’ Margin Scheme (TOMS) complexities should not deter you from tracking the tax rules of the hospitality sector. Besides, Brexit and the UK withdrawal from the EU make TOMS not applicable anymore in the UK thereafter. So one needs to consider all these factors when devising a sensible approach to tax accounting.

How have non-refundable deposits been treated to date?

HMRC used to follow a policy of exempting vacation rental businesses from paying VAT on non-refundable deposits received through canceled or no-show bookings. This exemption was justified by the fact that there was no direct connection between the non-refundable deposit and the supply of the items and services provided for the guests.

How are canceled bookings and no-shows to be treated going forward?

An article dated January 4th 2019 on the BDO UK website states:

“HMRC has confirmed a new policy that VAT remains due on a deposit, even if the customer does not use the goods or services for which it was paid”.

https://www.bdo.co.uk/en-gb/insights/tax/vat-and-indirect-taxes/vat-to-be-chargeable-on-all-non-refundable-deposits

So this means that as a vacation rental manager, in case of cancelled or no-show bookings, you will now have to pay VAT on non-refundable deposits. The article goes on to say that the change will primarily affect the hospitality industry,

 “which will soon be unable to recover VAT charged on cancellation or ‘no show’ charges…”

https://www.bdo.co.uk/en-gb/insights/tax/vat-and-indirect-taxes/vat-to-be-chargeable-on-all-non-refundable-deposits

How does VAT on cancellations and no-shows affect my vacation rental business operations?

UK governments implemented the VAT on cancellations and No-shows on 1st March 2019. Most noteworthy, if you have not considered this new VAT policy, be sure to take it into account in your business plan.

1.  First of all, review your cancellation and no-show policy, and check its terms and conditions.

2. Also, ask your accountant or VAT counselor for advice on how to change your accounting procedures accordingly. Most probably you will need to include non-refundable invoices from canceled bookings in your accounting system or software.

How can I minimise the disruption on my business?

Each time you face a new VAT policy, you need to review the way you operate your vacation rental business. Hence, this time HMRC’s new policy regarding charging VAT for non-refundable deposits of canceled or no-show bookings is going to add to your accounting workload. From now on, you will have to include the invoices for those types of bookings in your VAT declaration.

Luckily there are solutions available. While drawing up invoices is time-consuming work, accounting software such as Xero is a handy solution to the problem. You find it probably even more advantageous to entrust the operation of your short term rentals. You need an all-in-one channel manager. A channel which integrates with an online accounting program to make your tax life hassle-free. Zeevou is an easy-to-use online platform that automates hospitality management. At the time of booking, Zeevou generates a beautifully designed draft invoice for every customer. Even if the guests do not use the services you provide for them, you have the invoice in your database. If knowing more about how Zeevou can help hosts seems interesting to you, please click on this link.

Remotely Controlling Number of Guests Staying

Remotely Controlling Number of Guests – Three Steps

Remotely controlling the number of guests staying is not the easiest of tasks. We’ve all heard of cases of guests who book for a handful and then show up with a whole bunch of other guests. If you run an annexe to your house as an Airbnb, there’s obvious ways of ensuring that this doesn’t happen. However, if you are a vacation rental management company remotely administering properties, that’s not the case. Even for more established serviced apartment companies that operate unstaffed aparthotels, it’s not always straightforward how unauthorised access is controlled.

1. Find Out Who Will Be Staying

Ask your guests ahead of time to provide the names of those who will be staying. Make sure to keep a full guest register (in some countries this is even required by legislation). Moreover, tell the guests that they will not be able to get access for anyone other than the names that have already been submitted at the time of booking, unless they agree otherwise later on with yourself. If you don’t want the hassle of record-keeping, take a look at Zeevou Book‘s 5-Step Booking Confirmation Process, which takes care of this for you.

2. Collect Digital Signatures

Once you have the guest register, you want to elicit a further commitment from the guest. Furthermore, get them to sign and say that they will not exceed the list of guests provided. You can, at the same time, ask them to agree to all your other terms and conditions. While it is difficult to do this upon arrival, you can collect digital signatures from the lead guest at the time of booking via a digital signature service. Signable is an affordable option, and is legally binding.

3. Supervise Your Property

If you follow the two steps outlined above, you will have made it clear to the vast majority of guests that you’re not going to accept any nonsense. However, you will find that there are still those who are going to try their luck and pretend that they’re compliant on all your paperwork. Occasionally, they may even commit fraud to do so. Moreover, to ensure that your property is safe, you may wish to install a Ring doorbell. This will allow you to have a live video link with your property at any time, and monitor who’s entering and leaving it.

However, monitoring your CCTV requires an active presence. This is where Noiseaware can come in helpful (use the coupon code “zeevou10” for 10% off). Their noise detection product will alert you if noise in your property exceeds a certain level. Just make sure to have a team of people ready who can stand up to the guests if you get an alert, as it may well be a full-blown party!


Can You Fully Remotely Control the Number of Guests Staying?

Will this help you completely eliminate all issues with guests staying at your property? No. Will it help you in remotely controlling the number of guests staying at your property? Yes. So, following the above steps can help you in reducing the chances of extra guests who have not paid staying, or a rowdy party being thrown and your place getting trashed.