Spotlight series with Price labs

Pricing Your Rental The Right Way With Dynamic Pricing Tools

Welcome to Boostly Podcast Episode 521. In this podcast episode I will be talking with Anurag and Thibault About Price Labs.


Here's the video for this episode:



Timestamps (audio)

00:00 – Intro
00:53 – Anurag and Thibault Intro
06:33 – What is Price Labs?
12:43 – Is there metrics that every host out there really should be measuring?
18:31 – RevPAR solves that problem?
25:05 – Making the most of the high peaks?
32:42 – How does it feel helping so many people
38:45 – What is your favourite piece of tech
40:13 – Quickfire Question
44:59 – Outro 

Whilst you’re here

Follow Boostly on the following channels to get more tips, tactics and knowledge on how you can increase your direct bookings

Visual – YouTube 

Audio – Boostly Podcast




Transcript from the Episode

[00:00:00] Liam: Welcome along to the new episode of the Boostly podcast. Today we are shining the spotlight on Price Labs and also on the Book Direct Blueprint, which is an up and coming book, uh, sort of collated by Mark Simpson and really talks about. Industry experts and leaders from all areas of hospitality and services that you need to know about as a host yourself.

[00:00:24] Today we're really excited cuz we're actually joined by, uh, two of the, uh, members from, uh, price Labs. Uh, we've got Anurag, who is the co-founder of Price Labs, and we've got, uh, Thibault who is the head of, uh, he's kind of the outreach and growth side of things. Is that right? Tebow? Yeah. That's about. Awesome.

[00:00:45] Awesome. So today we're gonna dive straight, straight into it and, uh, really bring those guys into the conversation and, uh, yeah, let's find out more about Price Labs and why it's something that you as a host need to know about as well. So welcome along Anurag.

[00:00:59] Anurag: Thank [00:01:00] you so much Liam.

[00:01:01] Liam: And welcome along Thibault.

[00:01:03] Thibault:

[00:01:03] Hello Liam and hello to the whole Boostly family.

[00:01:06] Liam: Thank you so much for joining us. So let's dive straight in and first question, we'll go to you an reg, which is, how did the book come about and why did you get involved in, in the book Direct blueprint?

[00:01:18] Anurag: Yeah, so the, so the, we generally, uh, I don't know if everybody knows about Price Labs or not, but we are more on the data and dynamic pricing side of things and not necessarily.

[00:01:31] You know, the book Direct Movement directly. Uh, what what has happened over the years is a lot of our customers do have their own direct booking websites and they, this question always kept coming up that, Hey, I'm using you guys for dynamic pricing. Uh, it gets published through my PMs to these. Different OTAs, uh, but how do I get those dynamic prices on my own website, which a lot of times they were hosted, uh, via [00:02:00] some WordPress plugins, um, or things like that, right?

[00:02:03] So this question kept coming up, and at one point, many, many years back, I, I reached out to Mark to say like, Hey, What's up here? Like, what do we need to do to, to get these rates? And he, he gave a very clear answer, uh, of, of like how this distribution is supposed to happen. Uh, but, uh, but frankly, mark and I started talking right about then about this, about other topics as well.

[00:02:26] There were other members of the Bus Lee Community who were, who were using Price Labs. So he had heard of us, um, I think earlier this year. He reached out to say, Hey, we are, we are doing a follow up book, uh, on, on, on book direct, and. We want to get thoughts from multiple perspectives this time. Uh, and the thought was, can a big group of us, which who each specialize in a certain part of this vacation rental ecosystem, uh, come together and, and write a chapter on, on what they know about it?

[00:02:55] Um, so that's where it started off and, and we was happy to contribute. Uh, [00:03:00] Put down whatever little, uh, we know about Book direct and a lot that we know about revenue management and, and married them together and, and put our chapter out.

[00:03:10] Liam: I mean, revenue management and particularly well, whether it's book director or not, is just so important.

[00:03:15] I know that I used to spend the days trying to choose the perfect rate and I ended up on that typical host who ended up where I had two different pricing. One for winter, one for summer. Exactly. There's, there's, there's a part of, I'm lucky enough to see some of the, uh, your chapter beforehand, and you're absolutely right.

[00:03:33] That's exactly what most people do. It actually mentions it in there, and whether I had lots of bookings sometimes or no bookings to others, that was, that was what the result was. Just by having that. What message would you say to people who are listening who are in that similar boat?

[00:03:50] Anurag: Um, you, you mean the boat of setting maybe two rates per year?

[00:03:54] Uh, my number one message to anybody who has never dabbled into revenue management [00:04:00] or dynamic pricing is if you have access to it, you, you probably have somewhere where all your bookings sit. Just go look at different months and see how each month has performed over the years. And you'll start to see a pattern like summer.

[00:04:15] It's not summer and winter. Um, if you break it, July and August are probably different, although they're both in a lot of places. Peak months, June is probably very different from August. Uh, and, and so like you can break it down by month, but then you break it down by day of week and you realize, okay, there is a weekend versus weekday pattern.

[00:04:35] There's so much going on that setting two rates, all is, uh, is, is not the right thing. So like the, the least I tell anybody. Look at seasons a little more granularly than just summer and, and winter, because there's also a shoulder season in between where if you're not looking at it carefully, you either price too high or too low.

[00:04:55] Look at the week patterns. And one of the like real, uh, [00:05:00] sort of no brainers that we see in our industry is. Because the industry is so fragmented, uh, there is a lot of supply out there unless there's a big holiday coming up or things like that. Generally speaking, we see having rates lower a little bit as a data approaches and it's still not worked.

[00:05:19] Does give very good results. Like a lot of these might seem like, hey, you don't need an algorithm to do it. Uh, but a lot of the benefit of the algorithm is within these three key areas. Like, uh, if, if you can just tackle these three, which are all sitting in your own data, you'll be able to tell. Okay. 80% of my bookings come outside of, you know, 20 days.

[00:05:41] Um, and which means that if, if I'm still unbooked in the next 20 days, I need to start doing something to get those, those dates booked, for example. So, like where that number is, is different for everybody. Uh, depending on location, depending on what kind of clientele you have, um, and what kind of portfolio you have.

[00:05:58] Like business travel happens last minute. [00:06:00] Beach travel people plan months ahead. So like the answer is different for anybody, but it's sitting in your data. Uh,

[00:06:07] Liam: I mean, I'm a massive fan of, of, you know, price Labs. I'm a host myself outside of Boostly, and, and I, I use Price Labs, which I'm, I'm proud to say, and it's one of the things which until you try a service, like, like, Price Labs, you don't realize how much money you're leaving on the table, which has been so important and eye opening for myself.

[00:06:24] Thibault, I'd love to to come to you and there'll be people listening to this and perhaps haven't heard of Price Labs as, as crazy as it sounds, and I'd love to just a, what, what is Price Labs as like an elevator pitch and then why should, should hosts really considerate.

[00:06:40] Thibault: Basically, price Labs will help hosts increase their revenue.

[00:06:46] Um, increase as well the occupancy and save them time. What I mean by increases revenues is, for example, if there's in the future, there's a demand spike. Uh, and you don't know about that price, SLAP will be able to [00:07:00] detect this, uh, spike and increase your prices automatically and push them to, you know, um, Airbnb verbal booking or your website if you integrate it.

[00:07:12] Through your PMs, for example. Um, and so that you don't miss out on this. Imagine there's like, you know, there's a marathon, there's an event happening, and you don't know that in your, not in your city, but nearby people would book in your city. You don't miss out on this same thing with your occupancy, right?

[00:07:29] I think, uh, it's exactly what, uh, uh, Andra was touching upon as well in the sense that, um, for example, if you. It's not just about pricing, it's also about, for example, um, minimum stay rules, right? You may have two in the future, two existing bookings that are, you know, matching your, you know, minimum short, minimum, um, minimum stay rules.

[00:07:52] But maybe you could be a bit more flexible so that you can accept, like, let's say, five fortnight booking between these two [00:08:00] big bookings you have. And, but you need to automate that. I mean, it's if, if, if every time you, you know, you want people to make, make it so that people who are, you know, on instant booking, on Airbnb, on, on, on, on booking and they want a book, you should be able to say you.

[00:08:16] If, if I do have two existing bookings, yeah, I'm okay for a shorter minimum stay. And maybe why not say, you know what, I'm okay with a shorter stay, but I'm gonna bu the price by 10%, for example. That's just an example. But you can do that because you can basically put rules and we'll go override in the.

[00:08:34] So that the pricing algorithm really obeys what, how you are running your business. And that's the thing I wanna say about saving time as well. Because if you have like more than one listing two listings, you have some ways to do things in bulk. So suddenly you can update, let's say you can put together if you have, like, if you're present, if you are active in two markets, for example.

[00:08:53] But you can do, you can give a different pricing rules, uh, different patterns to. Listings in one market [00:09:00] compared with other, other, other things. So again, more revenues, more occupancy, and probably saving time

[00:09:06] Liam: as well. I mean, that's one of the things you touched on there is, is the time that it saves. How much time, uh, sticking with your self tibo on this, how much time should hosts really be spending on tweaking and, and spending time looking at, uh, their, their rates and revenues?

[00:09:21] Is it something that they should be doing daily, weekly? Um, Yeah. What would your advice be around that?

[00:09:27] Thibault: Um, on set board as same board as Yulim in a sense that, uh, I was also a Price Labs user before joining the company. Uh, uh, and I have three properties, right? So I would say in terms of time, it's, it's very tricky because I remember before using all this, I would spend my Monday morning was first thing in, in a, in a week, Monday morning, go back to each and every calendar, make sure everything was okay, updated.

[00:09:52] Um, uh, if I had a booking, make sure the booking was there and making sure maybe I need to lower prices, as you know, and [00:10:00] saying, oh, okay, next 30. I had these like crazy. Excel sheet, uh, where basically I would enter my base price, my central price, and we say, okay, next, like a scaling stuff, like in next 30 days, I know like every day coming back to the day closer to us, I would discount my prices and I would copy paste this and try to put this in the systems on Airbnb in the rest to be more aggressive to travel bookings.

[00:10:23] So that's . I got, I got my morning mornings back by using price Labs. But what's interesting though, It's, it's, so, um, it's really important first that people, when they start using a tool like Price Lab or any tools like this, right? There's some kind of, I'm working on the onboarding of users at the moment, for example, right?

[00:10:44] And something super important that people set up the base price, the central price, like the, like the, the everything on which the, the, the pricing will. Evolving. It's super important to re spend time and say, okay, what's my [00:11:00] central price? I can have, and we have tools that can tell you, okay, what's happening in your market?

[00:11:05] That's what we see. We also give you advice on what your vice price should be. Right. So spending a lot of time on this and spending time. So thinking, okay. Maybe also need to put some kind of minimum price and set up some, setting up some rules. I set my minimum stays. Maybe I'm, I'm, you know, maybe far out in the future, a year from now, I want bigger, bigger stay.

[00:11:22] So only want seven, seven day, night, or seven nights stays, for example. So thinking first this rules carefully, and then you don't have to do it every day, right? Normally you, you, you set it up and you start looking at things, how they're rolling for you, if you have a few profit is and. I would say you need to go back to them.

[00:11:41] It's not seven. Forget either, right? You need to go back and say, okay, I, I, I, I save the base price first. How's that going for me? Right? Is, is, is Price Lab now using my own data, occupancy data and using the market trends? Are they, have they changed their prediction for based price, for example? So I would say it's [00:12:00] saving you time, but it's also making you think about other things to do.

[00:12:04] And you do need, for example, to get back, if you have driving one property, just go back once a week to see how things are going. This is how things are predicted. Um, and again, making sure you are, um, you, you really, really go and check whether things are really as you as you want. It's really, really important because it's, it's, I think mistakes.

[00:12:21] Some people do. They think these are magical tools, right? There's a pricing algorithm. Yeah. But what's to make it work? You have. Put your own rules on top of that and then check, um, I hope makes sense

[00:12:34] Liam: to, uh, that does absolutely make sense, especially from, from a hosts who, who's, who's used it. It absolutely makes sense.

[00:12:40] So, Anna, coming back to you now on there, is there metrics that every host out there really should be measuring? Cause I know you love numbers. I know it is, is you're the numbers guy. The, um, is there metrics. Each host should be measuring and should they be measuring it from the first unit? You know, the guys who are doing it as side [00:13:00] hustles, um, right up to when they run it as a business.

[00:13:02] And, um, yeah. What is, uh, what is your thoughts around that? Should there be more hosts using these measurements? And is there specific, uh, sections of price labs that can help them with this?

[00:13:14] Anurag: Yeah. So, uh, if one, it doesn't matter if you have one property or 10, or a hundred or a thousand, uh, everybody should be measuring, uh, in some ways what they're doing.

[00:13:24] Right. Um, there are two very common measures that, that I've seen, and, and the, the things that you measure will change as. Depending on the scale, right? If you have your own property, for example, you know very well exactly, uh, how many dates are available, what if you are blocking certain dates and things like that.

[00:13:44] If it's your second home, likely you are okay selling every night, uh, in the year on it, unless you're, you're going and staying there. Uh, one of the very common metrics. Everybody loves to look at is occupancy rate, which, which is very [00:14:00] straightforward, right? Like, I mean, I have 31 days in July I sold, say, uh, 25 of them were booked.

[00:14:07] So my occupancy rate is 25 by 31 times hundred, whatever that comes out to me. Uh, and, and those percentages help you get a sense of, okay, how, how, how well is. Resource in some ways utilized. So if you think about your home, uh, in any given month, there are a fixed number of nights you can sell. Like, so travel industry is different than a lot of other industries like manufacture goods in some ways.

[00:14:35] Uh, you can create more of something and, and then go sell it. So like if you sold a few things for too cheap, you make more of it and then realize there's a lot of demand and, and you can have the chance to find the right price, uh, nights on your. Are, you can't create duplicates of that. Like once you've sold it to somebody, you, you've kind of sold it.

[00:14:56] So while occupancy is a great measure to get a sense of like, [00:15:00] hey. If you're 0% occupied for like the upcoming month, that tells you a lot, uh, that, Hey, maybe my prices were too high. But if you are heavily occupied, if you're 80% occupied for the next month, uh, it, it's harder to tell whether it's a great thing or not because maybe you're 80% booked because your price was too cheap.

[00:15:21] A lot of demand was still there to come and, and, and you got sold early. What helps in such cases is, is a metric, uh, revenue as a metric when you have one property is perfectly fine to use because, uh, uh, revenue is also in many ways what should matter to every, uh, every, uh, vacation rental owners to say, okay.

[00:15:41] How much money am I making out of this? Uh, doesn't matter if I'm 80% occupied or if I'm 40% occupied. If I made enough to cover whatever expenses I have and mortgaged and enough for, for me to live by, then I'm fine with it. Right? Once you get to a larger scale [00:16:00] and when you, you're managing somebody else's properties, that's when you get into, okay, is revenue the right number?

[00:16:05] Because maybe last year we. You know, $20,000 on these, or, or pounds on these 10 homes in this month, and this year we made double of that. But maybe the number of homes you were managing has increased. Last year you were managing 20, this year you were managing 30. Uh, so you have to think of a, a, a few more involved metrics.

[00:16:26] Uh, one of them is called drift par. Um, and, and essentially saying, don't look at total revenue, but look at revenue per unit. Per night or, or things like that. Um, for somebody who has one property, just looking at revenue and occupancy is good enough. Like those two will will tell you enough.

[00:16:43] Liam: You know, I, I love that you've mentioned the, the, the story of, of if all the time we hear hosts who say, Hey, I'm a hundred percent occupied, and my instant reaction is, you're too cheap.

[00:16:53] You know, it's, you're charging enough. Yeah. You know, it's, it's sometimes worn as a badge of honor, whereas actually if you're that [00:17:00] 80, 90% occupied, potentially you, you're selling it at the right level again, depending on, on the product. But, um,

[00:17:07] Anurag: so on that one, very quickly we see some, some, uh, folks who sign up with us where they are used to their entire next year's calendar being 80%.

[00:17:18] At the beginning of like anytime, uh, like they, if, if they join today, they, we see that, okay, 80% of the future years, nights are already booked. And we look at the market data and we are like, that is, that is not normal because in your market, like half the bookings come within the last three months. So there's, you must be selling very cheap if like, you know, even more than three months out of that book.

[00:17:43] So, yeah, anybody who says same, I'm a hundred percent booked all the time, is, is either doing it really well, like people said, selling out for a high price far out and then figuring out how to fill the gaps and things like that. Uh, or. Potentially [00:18:00] is, is selling too cheap and, and very frequently it's a lot of like, I don't think anybody has mastered revenue management to the point of, uh, of, uh, saying, yeah, I'm a hundred percent worked in, I'm making as much as I

[00:18:10] Liam: could.

[00:18:11] Yeah. It's, it's always, uh, always more to discover isn't there? And there is always, yeah. The other metric that you mentioned there, which, uh, I didn't really know about until I got to about seven, eight properties was RevPAR. It was, it was an eyeopener for me because I used to think, well, am I comparing total revenue?

[00:18:29] Am I comparing occupancy? But RevPAR solves that problem where I can compare units. To a degree, you know, against each other. So definitely one to, um, to check out for anyone listening is, is, is Rev.

[00:18:42] Anurag: Rev. And to the other question, Liam, we, uh, so we, we provide dynamic pricing, but we also have. We call it portfolio analytics, but it's essentially a BI tool.

[00:18:54] So if you connect your property to Price Labs, even if you don't want to use dynamic pricing, the BI tool is [00:19:00] free. So like you can go and look at those kinds of metrics for your own portfolio. Look at seasonal trends. Uh, Within our product, uh, without, without using dynamic pricing if, if you want to.

[00:19:10] Liam: Um, that's really cool.

[00:19:12] Um, so Tebow, coming back to yourself. The, um, the, the one thing that you probably get to talk to a lot of, lot of hosts and the one thing that I sometimes hear people worried about for, uh, dynamic pricing or some of the worries and the objections, some of them say, you know, well, you know, it, it costs, which of course it does.

[00:19:31] I'd love to find out. Your reply would be to the, the people who are worried about the cost of the software, but then also the, I hear a lot of people say, well, I'm worried that all of a sudden my rates are gonna go up too high. And, and they're worried about the perception of, of what their guests will feel like if, um, you know, if they've stayed with 'em before, what would be your advice to those hosts?

[00:19:55] Thibault: Sure. Um, these are great questions. First I, [00:20:00] I will talk of the cost of opportunity of not using the tool, right? For example, of course, you know, we all love book direct and you know, non properties. I want as many booking as possible, but I'm also an Airbnb, right? And if you're listing your place on Airbnb right now, if you start listing with them, but default, they have their smart pricing turned.

[00:20:22] So many people don't realize that, but they are using, or Airbnbs making them use their own dynamic pricing tool, which is called smart pricing. Right. And what's interesting that if you think about the goal of this tool, the goal of this tool in Airbnb is to make sure there's a lot of bookings happening, right?

[00:20:40] Because Airbnb's taking commission on that. So the goal of his timing tool basically is to make sure the price not too high. Is is high enough, you get bookings and everybody's getting good revenues because they get the house fee, but it's not too high that people would not be booking, right? So it does mean that [00:21:00] probably the prices are lower.

[00:21:02] It would be if it was not determined by a Airbnb's own interest here. So there's a cost opportunity, just as I said, if you're just not using, for example, any tool we talked about, you know, how you're missing out on demand spikes, but even if you're just using Airbnb's own tool, there's probably a cost opportunity here too.

[00:21:20] So that's number one. Number two, so what's interesting with Price Labs actually, and, and uh, again, that's what I was, I was a client with a customer with them, is, The structure of the cost is actually, is actually the best value for money in the industry in a sense that, um, it's just, it starts, I think around $19.

[00:21:38] If you have one listing, for example, and it goes down if you more, more listings you add. But it does mean that, uh, it's a fixed, it's a flat fee, right? Uh, it's not like the more bookings you get, the more booking make money we're making. Right? If you're successful, we're very. It's still the same price, not taking more.

[00:21:56] So that's also something to, to realize here, it's a bit different, right? It's [00:22:00] not like, uh, again, a pla a booking platform that would take a cut every time you have a booking. No, we're a flat fee. You're successful. Good for you. That's more money for you. Um, um, I think you had another question around the, um, so another fear.

[00:22:15] Users would have, what was it again?

[00:22:17] Liam: Yeah, absolutely. So the other fear that users sometimes have is that they're worried that the prices will be too high. The perception from their previous guests will, that may worry them. It's, I

[00:22:29] Thibault: think it's a, it's a, it's a great question, right? Uh, it's a, it's a great question.

[00:22:33] So again, there's, there's several things to have in mind here. Um, first, um, If you want to, you can always set up a maximum price. You know, if you want to, right? There's in Price Labs you, it's very easy. You see the, you see your listing, you see this base price. You see minimum price. I will tell you always set up a minimum price, right?

[00:22:53] Never know why not, but, If you really want to consider a maximum price, if you really want, you're [00:23:00] afraid of stuff, even to get started to see how it goes, right? But I would not encourage to do that because you made me start again, these demand spikes, right? Um, now, uh, for your former guests, um, You could imagine, maybe you have, you know, a special pricing for them in a sense that maybe you tell them to use, uh, you know, you have a special grade, a special pricing.

[00:23:23] You send them by email and let them know about this, right? Uh, but it's you. That's where you have to, you have to think about several things here, for example, um, Do. Are you in a market where come back the flowing year, right? If not, for example, I have a property in Bali. It's a once lifetime destination.

[00:23:41] People who saw price last year will not be the same people who see a price next year. So I don't have the issue right. Second, if people are really loyal to me, it's great. So maybe we have a special pricing and you know what, if they book, you can tell me by email and they book, they have this special price, why not?

[00:23:58] I communicate to them and then I would [00:24:00] block those dates in my, in my PMs, for example, in my tool. And then that automatically those days will be blocked off in price Labs and no issue for them. Right? So it really, really depends here. And, but there's, there's indeed in the end it's also. Interest, right, as a host to make the most, as most money as possible.

[00:24:19] Because also what you can do in the end, so maybe at times lower than you used to be. For example, you know, in the coming next two weeks you have, you don't have any bookings. Maybe the tools are gonna tell you, Hey, you have to lower your price because you really last minute, you always a bit too high. In this case, if you have people who booked with you last year and rebooked now last minute, they will have a lower price.

[00:24:40] So it's, it's also, you know, This is what, you know, I would say the rules of like the demand and supply are, so of course you have to take care of your past guests. Make sure that whether it's really, is it really important in your market, if you have a loyalty program, use loyalty program would direct very important.

[00:24:56] But as well, you know, don't miss out on spikes and prices can go [00:25:00] up and also can go down,

[00:25:01] Liam: right? I completely agree with you, with the, like you say, just making sure you're making the most of those high peaks is just so important because as, uh, Anna Rag said, the the amount of stock that you have, you don't get that time back.

[00:25:13] You don't get those nights

[00:25:14] Thibault: back. And I understand, I mean, whenever we do, uh, somebody in my team coalition, she does customer testimonials, right? And. A lot of time we have, we hear people saying how uncomfortable they were or unsure they were when saw how high the price could go. And I and I get that right.

[00:25:30] It's like you're like really? And sometimes Yeah. Yep. Really? And it's like half you don't believe and then you like, oh my God, what did I do All these years not thinking about this. For example, I know another island, we have a property where big sailing regatta, the whole island. Usually everybody's coordinated.

[00:25:49] The end season, the, the la, the high season ends on the same day for everybody on the island. It's probably like this in some markets, right where this selling regatta happens a week later. A lot of [00:26:00] demand for that, but everybody lowers their price. That's crazy. You know, thanks to price, I've always been able to, you know, improve my pricing there and just like doubling my revenues for that week, which is just Makes sense.

[00:26:12] So I'm not betraying anyone. Just like this. People can book elsewhere, right? If they want to.

[00:26:17] Liam: One thing that we were saying in Boost Lee is get comfortable being uncomfortable. And that's how you know you're growing as, as, as a host and as a person in general. And one of the things that had done for me is it reset the kind of level that I thought the, the price should be for, for, you know, using price labs and also with the extra revenue I could put that back into guest experience.

[00:26:36] So we bought that a drinks fridge, uh, for one of 'em. We improved our guest books and, and things like that. That's the other thing from a host point of view is that you can then reinvest in your unit and actually improve the experience for your guests. Because at the end of the day, if cash flow is king, and if you've not got enough cash flow to do the things you want to do to keep that guest experience where you want to, then you know, it's a downward spiral at that stage, which is where [00:27:00] having price revenue management really comes in.

[00:27:03] Something,

[00:27:03] Anurag: uh, sorry, sorry. Something I heard on those lines actually, uh, from, from a customer is, They, they saw something similar, but it was an event they didn't know about, and the prices went up like two or three times and somebody booked it and then they were worried that, okay, like, uh, what do we do?

[00:27:23] Like, uh, they might be disappointed because, you know, it's, it's a nice two bedroom, but it's, is it worth three extra price? I usually sell at, and somebody else in their community suggested, Go all out on like put a nice bottle, bottle of wine out, get flowers ordered. Do do whatever you want. Like if you made 400 extra.

[00:27:45] And you're, you're worried about, what would the guests say? Put a hundred bucks in and reinvest it back in their state like nothing else. Uh, and then see what happens. And, and of course, like they get got, got a glowing review about like how good the hospitality was [00:28:00] and, and everything else, right? So like, uh, you can do something like this as well when, when you get those one off lookings where something big is happening and you end up charging more, uh, put it back right in that

[00:28:11] Liam: stay.

[00:28:13] Adding value to it is, is absolutely key. Um, so Anex sticking with yourself, I'd love to know, um, a little bit more about the history of, um, price Labs, obviously. Right. You know, if you can, uh, Give us just a brief overview of, of how Price S Labs came around and also was there a wow moment where you went, you know what, this is something which we are gonna do.

[00:28:36] This is what, what I wanna solve this problem in the hospitality industry.

[00:28:40] Anurag: Yeah. So, um, I, we started Price Labs in 2014, um, and early 2014, I think it was Jan or Fe. Uh, my co-founder Richie was studying at, uh, at Northwestern University in Chicago, and I used to work in Chicago for United Airlines doing the same pricing and [00:29:00] revenue management algorithms There.

[00:29:02] Uh, and we had known each other for about 10 years at that point. Uh, we, we were together in undergrad, so he, for the summer, he was planning on listing his, uh, spare bedroom, his roommate's spare bedroom, uh, on Airbnb. And as he was going through the process, he's like, Hey, Airbnb does, doesn't give any indications.

[00:29:21] So this is 2014 every Airbnb, we didn't have smart pricing and things like that cause it's. It's travel, it's fixed resources. Like, I only have three months off this room to sell. I want to make sure I'm selling it at the right price. Like how do I, how do I do this? And, and he and I started talking. He's like, if airlines can do it, why, why shouldn't it exist in, in short term rentals, right?

[00:29:42] Mm-hmm. . And we were like, okay, that argument makes sense. It should exist. Like, and then we started our, our phone. Like, how do we, how do we make this happen? Uh, the biggest challenge at that point, Airlines, hotels, they all have like droves of their own data. Um, and a lot of [00:30:00] Airbnb hosts, if you have one property, uh, or a lot of, like if you are not even on, like at that time Airbnb wasn't as big.

[00:30:05] Like if you're on vacation rental owners with one property, that that is not enough data for. Anybody to be able to say, Hey, uh, something big is happening on like September 15th, let's increase prices. Because if you have one property, it's either booked or not booked. Once it's booked, you can't do anything.

[00:30:24] Uh, and if it's not booked, how do you tell? There is a lot, there's high demand, right? So we started, then we, we found our third co-founder, who was an engineer, thankfully, to, to start gathering all of this data, to start scraping, uh, different OTAs to say, What's available, what's selling it, what price, and then we built.

[00:30:44] Sort of a system to say, okay, when a lot of things are selling fast, we increase prices. When they're not, we decrease prices. And that was sort of the first version of it. We put it out, um, learned a lot from the feedback we got from folks in Chicago who tried it. Uh, in [00:31:00] 2016, we sort of did, uh, Relaunch. Uh, by then we had figured out a lot of things, like seasonality is important in this industry.

[00:31:08] Like, uh, day of week adjustments are important. Uh, events and holidays are, and booking window, like how far out it is, is important. So like by then we had figured out a lot of these things and we bought it all in, into our algorithm. Uh, but even then it was just Airbnb at that point. Um, And this is again, feedback we kept getting from people to say like, Hey, Airbnb is a slice of the industry.

[00:31:32] It is not the industry. Uh, if you want to do something in this industry on pricing, you need to hook up with property management systems. And at that time, we had no clue what these meant. Uh, so we started talking to a few like customers who were. Using us to, to see recommendations and then plugged them into their property management system.

[00:31:51] Told us, Hey, just integrated with my property management system and, and customers made those introductions for us. Uh, started off there, uh, [00:32:00] being on a journey to figure out what this industry's about. I think now we integrated about 90 property management systems and there are so many more that we don't integrate with.

[00:32:09] It's a vast, vast industry. Uh, so yeah, it's been like that, uh, constant. Figuring out how does this work? Like, uh, first figuring out how to get data, then figuring out what to do with the data, then figuring out how do we get the price recommendations into the property management systems. Like all of this has been sort of, uh, a lot of small aha moments along the way, but it's been fun.

[00:32:33] Yeah.

[00:32:34] Liam: I love that. I love the, the fact that you saw, you know, in another industry and go, Hey, why, why doesn't that already exist? And then you've gone out and created it. Uh, how does it feel helping so many people? You know, it must, so then how many, um, active, I guess, users are there of, of price Labs and how does it feel helping so many people?

[00:32:52] Anurag: Yeah, so we have about 20,000 customers, uh, and um, amongst all of them, there are about 160,000 [00:33:00] properties that that use. Price Labs, uh, feels great, feels also like very, uh, uh, we want to make sure we are doing everything we can to keep improving the product. So like, it, it's also joy and responsibility, hand in hand, in some ways.

[00:33:15] Uh, so, so yeah, it generally feels. That's

[00:33:19] Liam: brilliant. That's brilliant. So, um, I really get a sense of, of really where Price Labs has come from and, and the, uh, you know, sort of the aha moments, like you say, across, across the way. Um, Tebo, I'd love to know a little bit more about how you came to be part of Price Labs, and of course you've got your, um, awesome sort of new site, the, uh, rental scale up as as well, haven't you?

[00:33:40] As, uh, so I'd love to know more about yourself, uh, for the audience. Yeah. Ex

[00:33:44] Thibault: exactly. I'm, uh, excited. Uh, I'm excited and Exactly. Sorry, it's a bit . Uh, I'm under the weather today, so I'm trying to find my words. Bless

[00:33:57] Liam: you for joining. It's [00:34:00]

[00:34:00] Thibault: a two year old, managed to get me sick after trying for whole week the coughing.

[00:34:07] Yeah. So, uh, well, yeah, I've been blogging about the industry for a while, uh, first and doing the name rental entrepreneurs and under and. And the rentals scale up and, and, uh, so rentals scale up really started growing two years ago. And, you know, talking about what the big players are doing in the industry, like, like Airbnb booking or showing data about, you know, um, um, what's happening in the us what's happening in Europe, and talking about new, you know, new players, you know, uh, like Boost Leaf for example, or any kind of new tech.

[00:34:37] Um, really that people should know about. So we have a weekly newsletter that's free. Uh, it's out every Wednesday. And basically we, you know, we help people understand what's happening in industry and we have a voice, so we try to just say, okay. That's what's happening. And so quite a few times break news actually.

[00:34:55] Uh, okay. That's what's happening. That's what we think it means for, for you guys, [00:35:00] and that's what we think you should be doing. So we try to not be like reporting. Also, we try to give advice because obviously, you know, as we host ourselves, we say, try to make sense of stuff. Mm-hmm. , um, and, uh, for some reason still unknown to me, uh, Richie and Rag and Sonata, founders of a, a.

[00:35:19] A price lab liked rental scale up. So, uh, yeah, we, uh, joined the rentals. Uh, the, uh, we joined the Price Lab family in August, 2022. Uh, I think what's, what's, what's really, what's really good here is that basically it enables me, for example, rental scale up. To have access to all the market dashboards. So Bucket Dashboards, a product in Price Labs where basically you can enter an address and find all kind of like data around the market, you know, number of listings, and, and, and you can divide it by, you know, I wanna see any data for two bedroom places and data trends, booking paste, kind of things like this.

[00:35:57] So I can have this, for example, where I'm talking, [00:36:00] imagine I want to write article at France. So I want to write article about a market somewhere. Uh, suddenly I have access to real data and real trends thanks to Price Labs, because they get that data from different sources from Airbnb, vr, their own sources.

[00:36:16] So it's. And believable for me, for, for the content. Right? And, uh, and, and for Price Lab also, it means that, for example, price Lab, nice. The sponsor of every, uh, show we are doing or every content we have, right? It's also a way we need to help people again, understand what Price Lab is about. And that's good for people who have like one, two properties is what people have, like thousands of properties, right?

[00:36:38] They're gonna use the tool differently, but in the end, the algorithm at the heart of it is the same. That's how it plays out. Rental Cap and price Labs.

[00:36:46] Liam: I love, I love this, you know, sorry, unc. Certainly, we'll, we'll check you out and I'm sure people listening are gonna come and check you out as well. The, the data is just so important, isn't it?

[00:36:54] And one of the features I absolutely love is the fact that as a host, you may not know where your base price [00:37:00] can be. So you can use the, uh, you know, sort of the selection, the, the, the, the tool, which where you can select your number of bedrooms, you can select whether it's high end, mid, you know, sort of budget.

[00:37:11] And it'll give you an. Of, of base pricing and like you say, you can dive into the analytics of it as well. So yeah,

[00:37:18] Thibault: what's also very important for, for, for host like us, we always want to know, okay, okay, that's, I know what's happening to me, but am I the only one? Am I crazy? What's happening in the market?

[00:37:28] Right? And suddenly you get this data, you can even like fine tune stuff and, and you can select like you. Some properties that you all wants to have an eye on and see how they're doing or have them in part of a set on which you're gonna compare your own performance against there. So it's really useful, again, in value.

[00:37:45] A property's very unique, but I know a few places that are somewhat comparable. So it really involves me to read to also fine tune on what Mount Properties compare against and see that in Price Labs. So I, I found it very, very, very powerful. [00:38:00]

[00:38:01] Liam: One of the things that we love to do is, um, I mean there's so much more we could, we could talk about.

[00:38:06] I'd love to dive in, like the integration. There's so much. But, uh, as we get towards the end of these, we love to just do a couple of quick fire questions. Um, just find out a little bit more about your, and sticking with yourself to you, Bo. Um, you mentioned your properties in, in Bali. Did you say. Correct.

[00:38:21] Yeah. And, uh, where, where is, so question number one is, is where is your favorite holiday destination? ?

[00:38:28] Thibault: Um, so I have one property in, uh, in Bali and, and then the other in the Caribbean, because I actually live for quite a few years in the French Caribbean. So my favorite destination is gonna be that island in the Caribbean.

[00:38:42] Yeah. Nice.

[00:38:43] Liam: I like that. Um, aag, uh, what is. Favorite or the most recent, either of those piece of tech that you, that you bought? So, tech or um, app or tool?

[00:38:57] Anurag: Let me think about it. [00:39:00] So, uh, one, I'm, I'm wearing these, uh, that, that's definitely one. But I used to have so much trouble with, uh, With webinars like this or video calls where I would be constantly holding my, uh, like the string mic next to my face so that like, you know, I could be heard.

[00:39:21] Uh, I bought this webcam that, that sits on top of my, uh, uh, monitors. Uh, that, that the reason for that purchase was. Um, because I have a laptop and I was people who were always looking the side of my face and I got this. And as, as a surprise, it also has a builtin mic, which works like 10 times better than anything else I had used before.

[00:39:46] Nice. And it's like a $20 camera with a builtin mic. I'm like, this is. Amazing. Like, uh, yeah, like my, my last eight months have been tremendous because of that. I don't know if you wanted vacation rental tech

[00:39:57] Liam: or tech. No, no, no. Any, any tech at all. [00:40:00] What, what, what are the headphones? I always love to find out what, what are the headphones that you use in this?

[00:40:03] They are Samsung

[00:40:05] Anurag: Galaxy, but

[00:40:06] Liam: Nice. Nice. It's, uh, we'll, we'll, uh, I'd just love finding out about tech and that sort of thing, so sticking with yourself and Reg, the next question, quick fire, is, uh, what is your favorite food,

[00:40:18] Anurag: favorite food? I, it is hard, hard to name one, but I generally love, uh, Chinese food a lot.

[00:40:27] Uh, and I'm saying I love Indian food and eat that all day. But Chinese food is what I don't get to eat every day. So like if I'm, if I have to go out, uh, or order in Chinese food,

[00:40:39] Liam: Nice. Nice. And, uh, Tebow, coming back to yourself, uh, what's your, what is a compliment that you can remember receiving or the best compliment that you, that you've received?

[00:40:52] Um, I

[00:40:52] Thibault: like what you write. I'm gonna say . It's like, because, you know, you write this, this newsletter, this content, right? [00:41:00] And you send it out to the world and you have no idea. It's, it's scary. Is it relevant? Do I make sense? People get it. And then you go to a conference, for example, I was at V Man in the US a few weeks ago on a price slash booth and.

[00:41:13] People see my name like, oh, that's who you are. I love what you write. I'm like, wow, thanks. Because it does validate in a way, what you've been doing, which is, again, it is scary because in the end you want to help people and you create this content, but you know, the feedback loop is, you know, is can't be, there's nothing better like people telling you, like, yes, that's very helpful.

[00:41:35] Thank. I love

[00:41:36] Liam: that. I love that. And we always end with, with the same questions, so we'll come to you first. Aag, what, what is, um, one mantra or motto that you like to live by?

[00:41:47] Anurag: Ah, so it's a quote by, I don't know if it's actually by him, but in popular media, it's attributed to Albert Einstein and it says, uh, make everything as [00:42:00] simple as it can be, but no simpler.

[00:42:02] Uh, and and the thought is essentially that when you think about solving a problem, you can, you can create a very complicated solution to it and try to attack it that way. But if you. Try to get to the bottom of like, Hey, what is, what's the problem? Um, there's often a simple solution potentially waiting, um, that you should try to get.

[00:42:27] Uh, and the second part says, but not any simpler because sometimes it's not a simple solution and, and you shouldn't choose the incorrect, simpler solution just because it's simpler. Uh, so since that's kind of, uh, in many ways, like we try to do that at Price Labs, especially on the data science team to say, okay, um, When we have, when we want to predict something there, there's, you can throw the kitchen sink at it, but then can we do it in a simpler way that's a lot more understandable and gives us good results?

[00:42:57] Uh, and, and we would pick the simpler any [00:43:00] day.

[00:43:00] Liam: Um, it makes sense. I like that. I like that. And Tebow, same question to yourself. What, uh, mat, mantra or motto do you live by? All right.

[00:43:08] Thibault: I think I would say. Uh, let me pronounce it right. So with independence is not a dogma, it's a result. Uh, and it's, it's, it's something I came across actually this year because I was difficult here and I, I took with a coach actually, but, you know, uh, a few things and I realized that love decision I was making was like, oh, because I want to be independent or, or I thought, Being independent, for example, meant a few things like, uh, you know, if you have your own business, for example, or, uh, or if you want to work, work remotely or all kind of things like you being independent for me meant a few things.

[00:43:51] That's, that's what it is. It was like a very strict definition. And actually by doing this, following this very strict definition, I would end up being completely not [00:44:00] independent. I would be depending on other things. So that's when talking with these coach's like, no, no, you are independent. That's, that would be a result.

[00:44:09] That would not be, it's like, no, it's, it's not a few things you you're doing, it's the result in the end you should be doing. So it's like focus more on the end result and if some things are not conducive to, uh, getting to that result, change. So, yeah, it was

[00:44:24] Liam: interesting for me. That definitely resonates with me.

[00:44:26] There's, there's a chap called, um, Alex Harmo, who I, I follow, and that reminds me of, of some advice that I've seen from him, which is not looking like you say for the result, but look, towards what degree does it move you closer towards that goal. You know, like imagine building a bridge across a Rav. Is it an extra brick in that ravine that you, you don't want the result instantly because they're some likely to to happen.

[00:44:49] So, but does it bring you closer to it? And we should measure by, by degrees like that. So, um, awesome. So in terms of, uh, for everybody listening, we should mention [00:45:00] just before we go, that the book is gonna be out December, 2022. So depending on when you listen to this, you need to go and check out the book Direct Blueprint and you can do so by going to

[00:45:15] And depending on when you're listening, you can either pre-register for the book or you can actually make the purchase there. And so thank you so much for, for joining me tonight, AAG and Tibo, that's superb to speak to and really find out about Price Labs. I've learnt lots and I'm sure everybody else has as well.

[00:45:33] Um, is there any questions that I've missed or any final thoughts before we go? If we come to you First, Anna.

[00:45:40] Anurag: Um, not really, but, but to reiterate what you said, Liam, uh, the book is out in December and a lot of us have put in, uh, significant amount of effort in, in writing it and bringing in very varied perspectives.

[00:45:55] So, would love, would love to hear feedback similar to Tbo said. Uh, [00:46:00] Put in all this effort is positive, useful. Like, we would love to know, uh, to, to see, see, see that feedback. Um, but yeah, if, if there are any questions that we couldn't answer or you had or anybody else had that, that they won't answer, um, feel free to reach out to us.

[00:46:17] Uh, email is usually the best way. I'm at Price Labs coo. And, uh, if not me, you can always go to our website. There's a chat button, and then leave your question there and we'll get back to

[00:46:31] it

[00:46:31] Liam: as. Awesome. And we should mention as well the, the tips that you share in your chapter. I mean, first of all, there's, uh, you know, there's a link at the end of the chapter to find out more as well, but there's very actionable advice and certainly the, I'll leave it as a, as a.

[00:46:46] Cliff hanger for, for people listening. But you really change the way I think about OTAs and direct bookings in terms of how I cost things up and uh, it's such an important bit of, bit of information in there, Tebo, how can the listeners [00:47:00] get in touch with you and is there any final thoughts, uh, before we go?

[00:47:04] Thibault: Sure thing. Uh, again, first, yeah, thanks for having us and, uh, well rent holds scale is is where the website is and you can contact me there, obviously . I also haven't dressed at Price Labs, but it's . I would've to spit out my first name and last name and it's, Gonna be a culture for people listening, it's too complications.

[00:47:25] Go to, uh, basically rentals scale and contact, I will be there. I could either contact me for price slabs or for rentals scale. I'd be happy to answer that. And also something to, I wanna make sure indeed, that these are free trial people could try us out for, for at least 30 days. So just to give an idea of how things would be, and it can even.

[00:47:44] Try out, put your listing and use your own data to see how prices would be without having to push those prices to Airbnb or to book into anything. So you can really, uh, do this in, in, in, in, in private box [00:48:00] safe, but you can see things for yourself. I think it's very, very important as well. I think it's the, the best tip I can give for people who are, regardless of the tools, right?

[00:48:08] Wanna make a decision, want to make a big decision like this. Should I be, try, try, try starting using this. You know, put your link to one of your listings, check out the price predictions for yourself. Trick things a bit, and you don't have to already push the prices, just, uh, you know, learn by doing. And if you're comfortable, do it or reach out to us if you have doubts.

[00:48:32] Liam: I love that it's about taking action, isn't it? And I'm sure there's gonna be a lot of people off the back of this podcast and the book who, uh, who come to you guys because, hey, it's helped me and, uh, it's, it's one of the few things which I say it's a no brainer. You know, it really is something which, uh, uh, hosts should get involved with.

[00:48:48] So, Thank you very much guys. Uh, been an absolute pleasure having you on. Apologies we've run slightly over time. It's been a slightly longer one than we've planned, but really appreciate your time and I also appreciate the, uh, [00:49:00] guests and the people, uh, listening to this podcast. I know there's lots of places you can put your attention.

[00:49:04] I really appreciate you spending it here on the Boost Lee Podcast. So that's it from us. Thank you very much and uh, goodbye. We'll see you on the next one. Having a blast. Gonna get out on the Bruce Lee

[00:49:14] Thibault: podcast. Bruce Lee

[00:49:15] Anurag: led Bruce Lee cuz it's so hard on the tees loose leaf. Up those rhymes. Don't write it just to it loosely.

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