Founder and Principal Consultant of RevPARTY, a consulting firm that specializes in revenue management, analytics, and demand generation for the short-term and vacation rental industry.
As the vacation rental industry continues to grow so does the ecosystem of products and services around it. Accelerated by the increase of venture capital to the space, there’s now a myriad of options from technology to housecleaning, interior design to website design, channel managers to property management systems, and rate setting to data and reporting platforms. In a crowded field of providers claiming to solve every manager’s short-term rental woes Key Data stands out from the crowd.
Key Data’s core competencies are readily available on their website: benchmarking, marketing, real time pacing, and performance reporting all backed by the highest quality data available. They do a great job of clearly communicating how their product will help you run your business better. However, as an experienced analytics and revenue manager I’m often looking for something that takes my clients beyond the basics and enables them to be a top-performer ... and that’s where Key Data truly differentiates themselves. Where Other Platforms Fall Short
It’s the same in every industry, products start with a core competency they do extremely well and then slowly try to expand their offerings to lure in more customers. In the short-term rental industry there are messaging platforms, products that sync property calendars, channel managers, and competitive data providers and they all offer some form of reporting or data … they’re just not very good at it. With all the products being relatively new there just hasn’t been the time and money spent to fully build out all the options on the menu. This leaves property managers forced to either compromise on their data and reporting needs or to integrate a complex network of different products for different purposes; but even this leaves value on the table.
These products aren’t customizable. They’re built to provide the most features to the most businesses; not the best features to your business. This means that even if you manage to build a tech stack of best-in-class products you’re also paying for a whole lot of redundant, second-rate features you don’t really need. Moreover, the data is likely only one piece of the overall picture. Some platforms report on your internal data, some on forward looking web-scraped data, or some on historical market data. Very rarely can you get all the data you need to make informed decisions from a single source.
How Key Data Takes it to the Next Level
Key Data is able to pull away from the pack and really differentiate its product for two main reasons:
- The type and quality of data
- The quantity and flexibility of reporting dashboards
Key Data pulls data from two different sources: your listings (directly from the PMS, like a channel manager) and web-scraping (like AirDNA and Transparent). This allows them to report on your data, have trusted forward-looking market data, and a complete overview of the visible market. They have committed to a narrow scope of offering quality data and reporting which results in an effective platform that doesn’t waste time and money on extras that wouldn’t be useful anyways.
Key Data also provides multiple dashboards that report on over 30 metrics as their standard offering. These dashboards come with extensive options that allow you to slice the data any way you want. This not only creates reporting that is visually easy to digest but provides a flexible option as a standard offer; meaning, a cost-efficient yet customizable solution that’s hard to find.
The quality data and flexible dashboards are really brought to bear in each of Key Data’s core competencies.
Benchmarking/Performance Analysis: With real data coming directly from other listings in the market, there’s no more guess work when comparing your property to others. We don’t have to assume a property was sold instead of unavailable because it was removed from an OTA, we don’t have to guess which price the property was actually sold at, we don’t have to estimate what the market occupancy truly was. The quality data provided means comparisons are apples to apples, resulting in insights that are more accurate, more robust, and more actionable. Pair this with the performance analysis Key Data enables by directly pulling in your own booking data and a full picture of market forces and management decisions can be evaluated to improve future performance.
Marketing: Key Data reports on insights like feeder markets and historical booking patterns which enables a business to identify where their business succeeds and where there’s opportunity in the market to improve. This is especially useful in managing OTA listings and promotions to better refine your target guest and use promotions to target certain booking behaviors or utilize geo-fenced offers which drives revenue to the property.
Real Time Pacing: Traditional hotels typically have great visibility into past market performance and current rates, but even the industry giants don’t know how their competitors are pacing for future dates. Key Data is able to provide this information which can supplement rate setting and inventory control adjustments to better understand demand. It also allows an “Ideal Booking Curve” to be created which is a huge strategic advantage over any competition.
Key Data provides quality data with flexible reporting which allows for robust insights, customizable use, and one of the highest ROI products on the market.
Making the Most of Key Data
RevPARTY regularly helps vacation rental managers optimize their rates, strategy, and marketing and we like to back it up with data. We have the experience needed to conduct complex statistical analysis and uncover insights that may not be apparent on the surface. While most companies track reservations, the most common obstacle we encounter is the lack of any other data.
Without market data its hard to benchmark performance and find opportunities in the market. Without historical unit counts and availability it’s hard to discern a portfolios true performance and growth. Without forward looking data it’s hard to optimize rates for stay dates that haven’t happened yet. Sometimes we can derive some of these metrics from other sources, but it takes time, work, and money. Key Data provides all of this upfront and really sets the stage to maximize a consulting engagement and prime a company for accelerated growth in the future.
Key Data and RevPARTY combined can take your vacation rental to new heights.