Threats and opportunities

The Latest Trends, Threats and Opportunities in Hospitality

Welcome to Boostly Podcast Episode 567.

In this Boostly podcast episode, Liam Carolan interviews Thibault Masson, the founder of Rental Scale Up, about the latest trends, threats, and opportunities in the hospitality industry.

They discuss the fear in the industry caused by the Airbnb bust or bust theory, which refers to people noticing fewer bookings for their Airbnb listings since the summer of 2022, but doesn't mean a decrease in real demand for Airbnb.

Rental Scale Up provides a free newsletter that talks about the decisions and actions of big platforms like Airbnb and the impact they have on the market.

They also share data about the US and European markets and provide insights on what it means for the industry and what decisions owners and managers can make. Lastly, they discuss the importance of understanding how big companies think, which is beneficial to small players in the industry.

Overall, the episode highlights the importance of keeping up with the industry trends and understanding the strategies of big players in the market.

Here's the video for this episode:

Timestamps (audio)

00:35 – Intro
01:59 – Thibault Intro
04:49 – How Did Rental Scale Up come to exist
09:39 – How is the industry changing
16:05 – What are the biggest threats to host in 2023?
25:04 – Are there still opportunities
34:10 – What should people be considering around their pricing
40:41 – Quickfire Questions
44:27 – 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

Liam: There's a lot of fear I can see in the industry at the moment. There's some big, um, influencers talking about Airbnb bust or bust or whatever it is. What do you think is, is happening within the industry? So, one thing

Thibault: Airbnb bust, basically what it means is that people, uh, since last summer, 2022, uh, some people have started noticing that they were getting fewer bookings for their listing on Airbnb.

That's what it means, right? So here we're talking about eight channel. And people getting fewer bookings, right? It does not mean that your real demand for Airbnb has gone down. Right? Demand on Airbnb exploded again last summer.


Liam: Okay. So today on the Boostly podcast, we are discussing the latest trends, uh, threats, opportunities, and all the stuff that you need to know about, uh, within the hospitality industry with an absolute.

On the subject, which I'm gonna introduce shortly, but before we do, let me say Welcome to the Boostly Podcast. This is a podcast that gives hosts the tools, the tactics, the training, and most importantly, the confidence to go out there so you can get more direct bookings. My name's Liam Carolan. I'm Mark Simpson's co-host, and this is the Spotlight series where we, we shine the spotlight on services, businesses, and people that you need to know about.

So, Let me introduce to you a very special guest. This is Thibault Masson, who's the founder of Rental Scale Up Rental Scale is an awesome website, which I had the pleasure of discovering because I interviewed Tebow. And, uh, it is just an amazing source of information in the hospitality industry.

It shares loads of tips, uh, best practices to help owners, managers within the short term rental industry grow. Their revenues become more profitable. Avoid some of the, the pitfalls and, uh, to save time in your business. So you can get the newsletter by going to rental scale and I fully recommend you do so.

It's one of my favorite reads each week when it comes through. So les's welcome, Jibo. Along. Thank you for joining me today. How are you doing, Liam? Very

Thibault Intro

Thibault: happy, happy to be here. And hello to everybody on the, uh, the Boostly podcast.

Liam: Thank you buddy.

Thibault: I've been great. Been great. And it's, uh, it's, um, back in Netherlands after 10 days in India.

So, um, actually we were in the mountains of Stan. It was not that warm, but it's still, it is, it is definitely colder here. So, but no,

Liam: things are good. Nice, nice. So, um, can you give yourself, uh, a brief introduction? I know we've kind of, uh, teed it up there, but just introduction to yourself, how, um, and also I guess what rental scale ups, purpose and mission.

Thibault: Sure. Sure. And, uh, thanks for the good words. I have to live up to them now. . No pressure. That is true. So yes, rentals cut. We do three things, really, right? So we have a free newsletter. Uh, it goes out usually on every Thursday. And what we do, we do three things there. We, uh, we talk about what the. Uh, platforms are doing Airbnb or, or VR for example, and we try to re decipher what's behind the decision.

Now we say, okay, what's new with them? Why this is happening and what you should do about it. So even, even if you have a book direct strategy, for example, it is still very interesting to understand what the big platforms are doing. You know, for example, from, uh, introducing more flexibility to talking up about sustainability.

Any kinda thing they're doing because it has an impact on the way, uh, the rest of the market thinks. So it's very important what we do. We try to make sure people understand what they do. And I worked for five years at the headquarters of in tech and strategy. So I think I kind of, you know, pretty good idea sometimes on how big companies think.

And for, uh, little men or women like us, it's also very good, very interesting to understand how big, uh, companies think. Second thing we do is share data, data about, uh, for example, the US market or European market. And again, we're like, okay, that's data. That's what we see and that's where we think we what it means for you.

And that's maybe the decision you should be taking. The third thing we do, we talk about. Uh, I love tech. I'm, I have a my second life. I'm also the, the head of product marketing at Price Labs. It's a dynamic pricing solution. Uh, well I love that here. My goal with rental scale. We talk about all kind of tech, but really like, what are the solution, what's happening?

And for example, that's why we're very happy with to talking about Mark. Since obviously from talk we talk about book direct, all kind of like tools could be using for Buddha strategy. So that's really what we, we do big. Data and new tech.

Liam: That's cool. And I mean, that is a mammoth amount of experience just right there.

How did Rental Scale Up come to exist?

And, uh, you know, thank you for sharing that. So I guess before we get into the, the trends this year, how did rental scale up come to exist? What was the, um, when did you start? Getting into this stuff. Yeah. It's a, it's a

Thibault: great question. I mean, um, with my ex, this was an ex in my story with my ex, we built a fantastic house, uh, a villain Bali, um, in, you know, in the middle of, between the rolling rice paddies and the, and the, uh, the black sand beach.

Beautiful. On a secluded beach. Amazing place. And I was like, okay, we have a great place now and we probably need to get bookings to pay back what we borrowed to build this place. And I went to see several property immersion companies and they're like, great place, but we don't want it. We don't want to have it in our inventory.

And it was like, why? Well, it was because we were too far away from their agencies from where the offices were. It would mean basically like whenever there was a problem with the guest, somebody from the office would have to drive one hour and a half, two and one half, half back from our place. So they said, great place, but uh, yeah, we don't want this.

So I had to start getting bookings on my own, which is probably toy familiar to anybody on the Ley podcast, getting bookings on my own in my case. So I did create a website, uh, to get direct bookings as started blogging, , for example. And, um, what I did as well, I, I, I started listing on Airbnb, for example, and on, on HomeAway, vr and, and that's how I got to learn things, uh, how the platforms work and just for my own benefit, right?

I'm like, okay, I have to understand these platforms. I have to understand how they work, have to understand how to get dark booking. And pretty fast. I mean, it was like eight years ago, we became pretty big on Instagram, for example, because we knew it was a good place to be, is to get direct bookings, right?

Um, so that's how I got got started and people asking me, where can you do it for our, for us? And I were like, Hmm, that's interesting. Maybe I can share my experience. So I'll open a blog, which was called rental at the. And I wanted to get bigger clients to give more advice to, uh, you know, and to find clients.

I thought, Hmm, maybe I should go and speak at big conferences. And that's how I just, you know, I, I, I, I applied, uh, for a, uh, speaking gig at VRMA in Europe at the time. They had a conference in Europe and I found myself speaking in front of a room. And, um, yeah, that's, uh, that's uh, how in, in the room actually there was someone from booking that come there.

So that's how I got a job in the end, instead of pursuing new clients, stayed there for five years, uh, was great. Learned a lot, and at some point I wanted to do things on my own. So I really launched rental entre. Which I renamed Renolds Scale, and that was two years ago. And yeah, that's how it got started with Renolds Scale.

Liam: What I love about that story, uh, Tibo, is the fact that hospitality is something which has opened up so many doors and, um, I know the amount of value that you share and to think that, you know, in a perhaps another reality that, you know, the management company just said yes and none of the rest of it happened is is crazy.

Do you know what I mean? But, um, all of what hospitality gives people in general is not just. Obviously a good cash flow business, but it means that it upskills you. So when you're looking at this industry as a whole, and this is, this has worked for me, um, just being interested, being around hospitality, some of the great people within hospitality opportunities come your way and whether that is just things which will help your.

Hosting business or wherever it's actual opportunities where you can help others, which is exactly what now rental Scale up does. And now obviously, uh, being part of Price Labs as well, which is, is amazing as well. So helping all these people globally, um, is, is just a great story there. So I, I feel inspired by that.


Thibault: let's talk. Yeah, actually good work. Sorry, go

Liam: ahead. Go ahead. No, no, no worries. No worries. Um, yeah, uh, let's talk more about some of the trends that, um, that is happening at the moment and parti particularly, like say people listening to this are gonna be hospitality owners. Many of them are, um, interested in getting more direct bookings and that side of things.

There's a lot of fear I can see in the industry at the moment. There's some big. Uh, sort of influences talking about Airbnb bust or bust or whatever it is. Um, what do you think is, is happening within the industry, I guess, um, what trends have you seen that has changed since, say, times like the pandemic over the last few years?

How is the industry changing?

How is the industry changing?

Thibault: I think it's good. You talk about, uh, the app and bust. Mm-hmm. . What, what's interesting, so what's the admin robust? Basically what it means is that, uh, people, uh, since last summer, 2022, as some people have started noticing that they were getting fewer bookings for the listing on Airbnb.

That's what it means. So here we're talking about eight channel Airbnb and people getting fewer bookings, right? It does not mean that your real demand for Airbnb has gone down, right? Demand on Airbnb exploded again last summer. Uh, the idea is that this just more competition, maybe more supply on Airbnb resulting in fewer bookings per listing.

And what's, what's very important to understand is that a lot of the, a lot of the time a platform like or. Is a world of itself. It's got its own rules. It's got its own way to drive demand. Uh, it's got its own supply and it's, it, it, the trends that you see in Airbnb are, could be the same on, on, on or not.

For example, is very much European, depends way more on European demand. Less so in US on Airbnb, which is more us and. What I'm going here is that if you have your own, you know, if you really bought direct bookings and you have your own base of, you know, your own list of past customers and the things, and if you, uh, go back, uh, to them and keep on marketing, it does not mean that the Airbnb bust again.

So the fact that on the platform Airbnb, there's fewer bookings per listing, does not mean that it would. To you with your direct booking strategy because, okay, these are, I would say, different worlds. Of course, you can argue there's like macroeconomic effects, right? Everybody if like, you know, if everybody goes into recession, of course overall the men may go down and be threatened, but think about that, right?

Things are specific. I will, I, I will go again about Airbnb, right? Airbnb, basical. . Um, even right now, they are really aggressively advertising. They have, uh, uh, four new hosts to join that platform. Airbnb has a campaign called Airbnb. It great, I think, I think they're, they're doing such a great job to track new hosts, right?

So it's, uh, basically they're telling anyone, um, that they could, everyone, that anyone can become an occasional host. So they're going after people who want to put maybe their place or a bedroom. For, I dunno, a weekend, two weeks, three weeks on the platform. Um, so again, they are probably going after people who are different from the boosted podcast listeners.

Right? But that's the goal of Airbnb. They have, they want big, super easy for people to host. In the end, it's good for Airbnb because more supply means more pressure for prices to go down. So that's the other complaints about the Airbnb bust, that not only are you, we getting, people are, think they're getting fewer bookings, but a lower price.

Mm-hmm. . So Airbnb bust, it's such a great topic on the, so social media, right? Think about it, if I'm gonna do a TikTok video, post something on Twitter, if I talk about anything, Airbnb views, if I talk about something negative about Airbnb, even more views. And if I come up with a term like Airbnb burst, fantastic.

Right? So there's a, there's some kind of burst behind it, I would say. Um, I was talking yesterday with four different property managers, uh, in, in, uh, in the us in the Caribbean, and in. And I was like, how's it going for you guys? And he's like, what? Pretty good. Pretty good. So it is, and I mean it is. It does Defy reason you think I mean this?

No. There's wars going on and energy prices are still high. But people are still booking. Um, um, it's, it's what, what I was hearing is that people are still booking, and it's true in some market, like smoking market mountains in the US prices are lower or are not as high as they were. So basically they, they will not be increasing as, as much as they did in the past after the pandemic.

Uh, but in some places, like, you know, beach destinations, the booked up Caribbean booked up. It's, it's, it's fascinating. It's like, Um, we were so concerned with the recession. We're really afraid of that. But the need for traveling, especially still after those lockdowns is so strong that people are saving money to travel.

Now, what could be happening, they are saving money to state your property, which is great. But they may, may spend less, you know, going to restaurants or all the things that they want to do at a destination. Right. So we really, you have, look at my advice for horse is look at what your current guests are doing.

Uh, I guess if they're still coming, have they change the way they spend money and, cause I could really tell you as well, like maybe. We, we should maybe put forward the fact that you have a great kitchen where families could have meals and prepare themselves. Uh, it's way better than the hotel because again, if people don't want, you know, they say, you know what?

Not gonna go to Starbucks to have breakfast. We just going make coffee at home. You know, it's the moment to show up your or your coffee maker.

Liam: I love that answer as well because you've, you've, first of all, bust is a major draw on, like you say, social media is the first thing and it isn't necessarily what's actually necessarily happening, uh, within everybody's experience.

You know, like you say, micro markets, but also, and I'm so glad you mentioned that Airbnb are now really targeting those second rooms, the people who occasional homes, you know, where they live abroad and that side of things. And a lot of those won't take away, certainly from my market as a host. You know, tho those aren't gonna affect me because that's not my target guest avatar.

So I guess this always comes back to what you've, what you've said, which is that the market isn't shrinking from a global standpoint. There's micro markets which are still growing. And also it's looking at it as, who is my guest? How do I serve my guest? How do I contact my guest? And what can I do to get my unfair?

Of the market, which is still growing to a lesser degree, and what can I do exactly to, to attract them, which is cool. So what would you say then, looking

What are the biggest threats to hosts in 2023

ahead for 2023, um, let's go for, let's look at a question in two parts. Let's say, what are the biggest threats to most hosts in 2023? And then we'll swing it around to what is the biggest opportunity?

Thibault: Sure. Uh, I think one of. The threat actually complacency, because we just said, you know what, most market level market is gonna be good. Actually. You have, we have to think that, um, people are still price sensitive, right? What I mean is that even though it's booking may not be the same, the. As high prices as in the past in submarkets number one.

Number two is I said price sensitivity can be around many things. Like, uh, they can book your place at the price, but they will save money on other stuff. So make sure, but price sensitivity you that you address this, right? If you have a website, make sure you talk about this. Uh, if you have special deals or you know, like discounts on longer stays, [00:17:00] really, really make sure they are clear there, or again, or ways that you can help them save money by booking your place.

Very important. Uh, you know that there's like cheap supermarket, supermarket nearby, or there's free activities for the kids to do. That's important in, right? You want to address the fact that people are price sensitive this year. And number two, I would say it's. We are still after going after flexible policies, right?

We look at data, uh, cons, concession policies. I mean, here we look at data at price slams, for example. I can see that the booking windows of the time between the amount people book and actually is gonna stay at your place, the booking windows are getting longer and almost back to the 19 level. What the big difference that people still want to book something flexible, still way more than people compared.

Uh, again, make sure your, your policies are really well spelled out and people know with the book with you what's gonna happen if they have to cancel. They have some concerns. Um, so that's, that's really the, the things that's, it's like complacency here on like, yes we see getting bookings, but I'm like, yeah, but make sure you're still addressing, uh, things.

Uh, sorry. Another danger is we talked about this with the Airbnbs other supply, uh, in the sense that, um, in the US in Europe as well, um, In the us Look at, you know, since summer 2020, I mean there was, it's crazy to think about it, but Covid hit in, I think March, 2020. It was disaster. It was the end of the industry, right?

Everything. And in the US it started booming already. Summit 2020, early, three months later, crazy. So, of course, and it is, it, it is been relentless. Relentless boom. Meaning like people have had two years who say, you know what, this shortterm rental thing, I'm gonna invest in it. I'm. Get no, uh, places built or put some money in a condo or something.

Right. Which means that end of last year and this year, we have lot of new products, lot of new properties coming into the market. And add to this, again, Airbnb, telling anybody that they can list, you know, uh, a bedroom or garage and whatever. So there's a, there's a lot of supplier there. That's something that's really happening.

And you, you also have to, um, uh, in your mind that, again, during the boom, some people said, I'm maybe gonna get a. A fourth rental, I'm gonna just borrow money and get this. But now that the interest rate interest, sorry, interest rates are higher, some people may have issues with, uh, paying back the loans.

Mm-hmm. . So, and if ready to do anything, get bookings or to get some revenues, which could mean lowering the lower, lowering their, um, uh, their ADRs, their, their, the rates they're setting. saying four. So that's something, again, this, the, the, the, the impact on supply is big. There's still new supply and some people I may have, for example, to sell something and a person buying the rubber dead sold has to buy it with a right, with a, sorry.

It's the, got a Dutch squared in my hand with interest rate. It's higher. Mm-hmm. , uh, which means that themselves, they're gonna have to make more money to pay for that. So it's, it's, it's, it's it's attention here. Supply. That's not gonna go. Um, another factor that, that some people may not have in mind here necessarily.

It's, uh, um, currency punctuation, that's a big word, but basically, um, what we've seen during the first two years of the covid crisis that are world contracted mm-hmm. our world. People in the US traveled in the US then a bit more towards Mexico and and Canada. When, I mean the border with Canada was closed for, I don't wanna say two years, but at least more than a year.

It's crazy. The border in the US and Canada, we forget it. Think about it. It's just can't believe this. The people were traveling north, within America, same thing in Europe. We've all traveled there in, you know, in uk, within uk and then France. Within France then started to go, you know, across Europe. It's not too far in case I think it was happening, they could still drive back to that country before the border shut down.

It was a crazy, crazy thing in the us uh, sorry. In Europe we were really newspaper to see which country was opening up, closing. And you have Brits, uh, stuck in Spain for. Crazy thing. So we were like, you know what, I'm gonna be very careful what we see now. And that's, we hope that, uh, travel is going to globalize again.

Like right already last summer, way more Americans in the street of Europe, way more Americans could hear the Americans in the streets in Paris or Milan, where I was. Uh, clear. Um, even though the door is high, it's a bit lower. It does mean that Europeans also also want to go to, to the US and we look at data, for example, around the Orlando markets for Disneyland, Disney World, uh, in California and Florida, it's up, right?

Europeans are back, which is good. Um, and our China has reopened. So what's interesting as well with China is that. It does drive a lot of bookings. Uh, and people still think that Chinese people are trying as groups only as group, which is not true in, since that it's not, not all of them, right? You have a slave of the market, people from Shanghai, they will book villas in Bali, for example.

I, I know Bali a bit, and they book, they do book villas in Bali. They do book. They're not gonna book Villa like mine. Uh, far away from the cities. What they're gonna book is a nice villa, which service close to restaurants and shopping areas, but they do book vacation rentals. We should not forget that.

Anyway, so what we hope is that it's gonna start globalizing and which is mean as a risk. Is that something we forgot? If you had a business before that, um, uh, currencies fluctuates and again, I. Euro in dollar. I mean, the value went up plus 13% and minus 20% in just one year. Crazy. So it means that if somebody's booking with you right now for the summer and then cancels, you can, you may have to pay back, you know, to give back the money, uh, in their currency.

With the currency. That has changed. And that's a kind of risk that we used to think about, especially for a bigger company. We used to think more before Covid, and now we kind of forgot that we are gonna get people who don't pay down currency. That's not a thing to have in mind. So it's, it's a good, it's a good thing to, to have in mind again, yet think about what you're gonna do and if you have to pay back.

Uh, again, think about cons, co social prices. Make sure that you are clear about the currency in which you have to pay back a cancellation or make sure as well, um, uh, on, on which date the amount you're considering. Are you considering the amount taken? On the day of your booking or the stay, I mean, lots of things have in mind, but just make your life.

uh, another thing you have in mind, go ahead.

Liam: Just, just gentlemen, that's such a good point because we get bookings from all over, over the world and certainly now things were open again. Um, I was one of those people you mentioned, uh, you know, sort of staying in the UK and, and now I'm one of those people who have traveled abroad last year, and I'm certainly considering going across to the states, um, either this year or, or certainly early next year.

So I match the trend and I guess this is how people listening feel and how our guests feel as well. Um, and that's such a good point about the currency conversion because I've seen the rate drop. You know, certainly working with Bo Lee seen the websites. A lot of our sales are based in US Canada. Mexico and I've seen the price change wildly and I hadn't thought about, obviously based on a cancellation policy.

I mean, a lot of our bookings are, are now direct, uh, in, within my hospitality company. That's something which I hadn't had in mind, which is why I love speaking with Tibo about this stuff, which both myself and other hosts out there can be, can be thinking about. Um, but yeah, you were gonna carry on with, with, with a point and, uh, I'd love to dive into what you think the opportunities are.

Um, especially if I was a new host, um, diving into the short term rental industry because there's a lot of. A lot of worry over,

Are there still opportunities

you know, the last two years have been very good. Is it, is it a case of, um, are there still opportunities to be found? And if so, what, what are they, how, how can I capitalize on them?

Thibault: Hmm. Let, let me talk about something, um, bittersweet then as a transition layoffs. Layoffs is never a great topic. But you, there's been, there's been lots of layoffs in tech recently, right. And even layoffs in our industry. Right. There's a very, the, I think the, the biggest, uh, product imagine company in the us, which is called P Casaa, also laid off a lot of people and had changes.

So how do you think about layoffs here? I mean, um, in a way, layoffs in tech, um, uh, are. Uh, worrying for some of us, right? If we have, if you have high-end properties or if you were trying to think, uh, you know, to attract remote workers, maybe you may think that it's the end of attracting remote workers because all these, these companies that were super, you know, remote work friendly, maybe some of these employees are like, Hmm, maybe I should show place at the office more often so that I don't get fired.

Right? Um, so, um, I, I think companies like Meta and Rest, these big companies get, you know, again, it's, again, it's, it's like Airbnb bust. It's, they are, they attract news in the sense that people want to know what's happening with them, but it's not the majority of the market, right? Mm-hmm. , uh, you're still gonna get remote workers, you're still gonna get Nomad, so you should still go after them.

That's, that's still an opportunity wherever you are, right? There's probably people like me, like. tomorrow I'm driving back to France, see my family, and I'll be working from there. Right. Um, because that's how it is nowadays. You're like, no, I'm gonna be working. And again, two days off and work a bit more.

So wherever you are, even as your new host, you have to think that attracting people who are, uh, not just like no digital Noma, but people who happen to, you know, they just have a job and they will be expecting to be able to work from your place two days. . Mm-hmm. , that's something you want to do. So still being able to show that there's a.

There's a, there's a good internet connection, modern than ever. It's very important. Right? So that's, that's, these things are, again, that's my message. Like, yes, there's like some, some gloom and doom in the news, but think as well that in the end it does mean that's whole remote working, which don't, no matter that's still happening.

And it's, again, it can touch any corner of, of, of the world really. Right. Because may, it may just be somebody. Live from in your city, was coming back to visit the family and also needed a place where to stay and where to work, and you could be that person. Speaking of VA Casaa, VA Casaa again, is, is is an interesting case because remember when I talked about, uh, how I started, right?

I was in Bali, I had a property, I wanted to give it to a property manage company, and they could not because it was too far away for the company. As an employee that also talks. How it is, it is very, our job is very operational. In the end, they couldn't do it because sending a, sending a, a, a somebody to help or to to visit a client, they couldn't, a customer travel, they couldn't do that.

Mm-hmm. , uh, that's the limit of a casaa, right? You can, it's so big. At some points, it's hard to be relevant in every market and to be good in every market. That's, there's a limit to that. And again, that's, and I used to [email protected]. And I can tell you the reviews on average for large companies, the guest reviews the score was lower than the average score of the small host like you, right?

Small hosts have a higher review score. Again, it's very easy because it's, it's, you have a few properties, you care about them. It's your own money. Uh, it's your own money. You wanna make sure it's successful. You do everything to be successful, you care. Uh, you know, if you're a large company with, I think, like I said, had 40, I wanna say 60,000 properties, sorry.

It's kind of hard that on the ground everybody cares as much as an owner. Uh, it's kind of, again, to make sure that the, the, the guest experience is just as good across so many properties, right? So again, so, so if you hear this kind of layoffs in the industry, does that mean that the industry is doomed? It means that it's just very hard to replicate the kinda experience you provide on the bigger scale, right?

Yes. So in a new, new host, making sure you make clear what you state for how different your property is, uh, your own story. Uh, it is, I. Um, the other thing I would say for a new host, I talked about Airbnb at the beginning, right? Um, um, when I [email protected], uh, sorry, when I [email protected], um, um, we were introducing new features on a website, like new filters, for example.

Uh, work friendly, no, make sure your places work friendly, which means you have a desk, there's a good connection, and the rest really look at websites like Airbnb and book. If you see them introduce a new filter. A new option. They made tests for that. It's getting them bookings, it's getting them money. So it does mean that whatever the surfacing you know about, you know, being sustainable or work friendly, that's something you should point out If it's, if it's true.

You should put that on your website because it means it's, it's attracting demand, right? So, uh, be smart. You don't wanna join them, great, but look at what they're doing and how can you take inspiration from them. Again, what they do on their website is a signal showing you, okay, there's demand for that.

There's demand for that. Uh, so it's very important, again, for, as your new host to look maybe at properties that are similar like your. And look how Airbnb book com is presenting them. For example, in their, their property page, listing page. How are they presented? What, what features are put forward among all the features, what amenities are put forward in this similar property?

Because if this is put forward, for example, uh, the great internet connection, the, the kitchen, uh, or the, the area, all these details, they've been studied by these big companies. It means they're very important. That's what you should also make sure you are pushing. Make it very obvious in your own listings, learn from them.

Liam: You know, I think the opportunity there is is massive and there's so much to digest and thank you to you very for, for that because the opportunity is to be different. You know, you, most of our hosts are. Management companies or or single hosts who manage their own sort of properties and the benefit is there.

They can really niche down. They really understand, like you say, they care for their, the guests experience and they're experts in their own. Niche in their own area. Many of them, you know, have, have lived in the properties or have stayed in the properties and have, uh, you know, experienced what their guests are gonna experience, which is why they're able to achieve these, these awesome reviews.

And I guess that is the opportunity to really understand the market of what, what you're going into or what you've got at the moment. And to really deep dive into some of those amenities which, and amenities, which. We'll allow you to attract the guest that you're after. Um, I was lucky enough to go on this week actually.

And, um, I listed a new place. We were recording training videos for some of my staff and I thought, Hey, who better than I'll dive in and do it. And I was surprised by the number of additional options that wasn't there before and all of the changes. And that has now encouraged me to go back through all of the listings and think well, If there's people listening to this, and you've been listed on, Airbnb for a little while now, like you say, they're, they're constantly introducing these new features.

Go on there and either tick, yes or no to everything. So know that you're, that you're interested and what you're actually providing your guest, and particularly the sustainability options on there. You know, like. There's many that I could tick yes to that I just didn't know that I could tick yes to.

So things like, we've never used straws in our places, you know, the really basic stuff, but you'd be surprised that it's not all, um, you know, have you got solar panels? Have you got, uh, heat pump or all of the things which would cost thousands? A lot of these things can just go through and you can tick these boxes because you are already ready doing some of them, which is really.

So one of the things which I'd like to, to come onto would be, and we spoke about this briefly a little while ago, was the pricing side of things. At the moment, I see hosts, especially those newer hosts who've just entered the market, who are dropping down their rates massively to just attract those bookings.

Um, and also from my point of view, I'm, I'm trying to keep prices high to keep. Keep the, the income good and keep it worthwhile for our clients. And also, um, for every price that you, you know, every pound that you drop you, your, your costs are still the same. So at the end of the day, you're losing margin massively on a massive scale.

What should people be considering around their pricing?

What would you, your advice be, draw it on your experience for, from price labs. What should people be considering around their pricing at this sort of time? Um, when we're currently, as we record this, we're off season, um, you know, the, the market conditions in some places are a little bit tougher. What would your advice be around pricing?

Thibault: The, the first thing is try to have an idea of your market. Um, How do people book new Market? For example, maybe right now it's off season, but maybe right now people are booking for Easter and Summer, so booking wise may be big at the moment, right? But Or not, I don't know. I don't know where you are. It could be in Australia.

It could be in the uk, right? So you ha you need to use tools like, Companies, price Labs and other competitors, right? They provide, uh, market reports, right? For example, price Lab. You go to something called Market Dashboards. You enter any address in the world, any address in the world, and you can, the rate is surrounded like two miles or 50 miles or kilometers if you want.

And then you can see patterns in that market around your listing, around your house, right? Uh, how far events are people booking? How is it booking right now? What's the average, uh, what are the average daily? Uh, people are booking for, um, all these kind of things. You need this information because I can't give an answer just like this, cuz as you just said, it's like your pricing will depend or, you know, of obviously how high low your market is, how your market is pacing, which means, uh, how far, how fast people are booking right now, or booking for the future.

Um, that's the kind of things you're getting from a a, a report. The thing I will still say here, Liam, you talk about new hosts, it is something we all know that new hosts have to buy their reviews. Say, subsidize the reviews. What I've been here is that, um, let's talk first about the platforms On a platform like, um, Airbnb.

Uh, you need at least three reviews, my guest to get a review score. Uh, and, and you know, when people, sometimes when you're looking for a place, an Airbnb guest, you say, I'm gonna look on the places that whose score is above 4.8. And you should, because 80% of properties are above football. Eight. So anything below football, eight on Airbnb or eight on, I'm like, not even, even, not even gonna book, not even gonna look.

So, um, but to get, to be, if you have a new property and somebody says, filters out any properties, no, that's below 4.8. Even if you have one review that's like a five, you won't show up because you need three reviews to get awarded a review score. That will then be, [00:37:00] uh, put on your listing page and that will also make you start appearing in the filters.

So egg. You need to show up. In these filters to get some, uh, bookings. And when you get the bookings, get the reviews, and you get the reviews, enough reviews, get the review score. Same thing on any platform. So to kickstart, you have usually to lower your prices, let's say by 20% down from what you think should be your price at that moment for that season.

Right? And, um, don't, you know, um, Again here, you have to be smart. That's why if you have tools like, you know, if you have two like price labs, it's easier to say, I'm gonna lower prices only for next, next three months or next two months. The rest will be on on their market price, right? Uh, on Airbnb you can do this.

Airbnb, you will. Airbnb is more like, there's something automatic that you can do with them and you lower your prices. But until you've got three bookings for the first three bookings you get, uh, if that booking is, is in summer, [00:38:00] sadly your prices will be a bit low. So again, you have my advice. Lower your, you need these reviews even on your own direct website.

You need reviews. So you need to attract reviews. So you do need to lower your price, but be strategic about it. Maybe get reviews in a lo in a, in a, in a off season month where you're below anyway. Um, and, and whenever you said prices, obviously you have exactly as the am said, you have to make sure you above your cost plus some margin, right?

The margin being like something bad happens, you have to replace something. You never. B, no cost plus some kind of margin in the buffer, right? Um, uh, I, for example, what's interesting in price types, you can set a minimum in your free prices, but usually the tool would never go to your minimum. It's more like a fail safe, right?

So to make sure you have this, whenever you use direct pricing or regular pricing, when you make your own prices, you have a grid, you, you know how low you want to be, and it's okay. Sometimes you go. As an example I just gave to get the first reviews and then increase your prices.

Liam: That makes sense. And do what you, you, you certainly got my mind worrying around all the things that I can do as a property manager, and I'm sure people listening to this, um, will also feel the same about all the things they can re-look at their pricing stretches.

Strategies and particularly it's so much easier to manage with a pricing tool. I mean, I, I use price Labs within my hospitality business and, um, it just makes things so much easier, like you say, to be able to set minimums to really strategically look at that. And also for any property managers listening to this, it also means that you've really got a good idea of the seasonality.

Obviously you've got market dashboard and, and that side of things, so it's really worth looking at as well as there, there's other. Other op, you know, pricing software out there as well. So yeah, as we reach the end of these Tebow, I really feel that, I mean, first of all, I feel from the BA basis of what we've discussed, discussed that there's not [00:40:00] as much doom and gloom as there needs to be.

That there's still ways to create. Good income and not only that grow in this period, and especially, one thing that I was talking to her other hospitality managers about is that actually this is a great time to grow. If you've got expertise, if you've got a direct book and website, if you've got access to pricing tools and if you can be the.

Expert in your chosen area, as we've just said, that uh, smaller entities, it's easier to become that expert to really cater for your target guest. Then you could actually grow during this time and, and take some of these opportunities from some of these great big, um, entities. You know, some of these big companies who have got these 60,000 employees and things like that who may not be.

Quickfire Questions

The best job. So yeah, as we come to the end, we'd love to just do a couple of quick fire fun questions just before we bring it to a close Tobo. So, uh, what is your favorite karaoke song to sing when you go to a bar?

Thibault: Oh my God, I guess it's living on a prayer. Bon

Liam: jolly Love it. Living on a prayer that is a classic.

Um, what time period would you travel to, if you could, with a time machine? Would you go past, future, and if so, What sort of time period would you visit and why?

Thibault: Huh. Um, let me pick the, um, early 20th century. Uh, I would love to see New York the earliest 20th century where it was full of promises. That would be interesting period to see.


Liam: I like that. I like that a lot. And then, uh, we al always, we tend to ask as we close, um, this is what mantra do you live by? But I know we've had you on before and you've shared your mantra. So instead, what I'd love to ask is what resource. Should everybody listening to go and check out, whether it be a book, a podcast, um, a movie, anything you like at all?

Thibault: Huh? Wow. Okay. Um, it's a book has nothing to do with the industry, or could be, it's called Indestructible. Indestructible. It's about, uh, avoiding Destruction. And it was written, I forgot the name of the author I should know, but basically there's a guy who 10 years ago wrote a book. I had to make sure people, um, uh, are uh, addicted to any app on any service.

So a great book, but Evil in a way. And 10 years later he wrote a book about hard not to get distracted. And I love that book. I read it and I used it. Um, uh, you know, it's from, you know, how to, you know, make sure you're not slave your full identifications. Make sure you have time with your. Uh, make sure you, uh, timebox your calendar to find time for your rental business from your other job, another job, making sure you have time for your family in your calendar.

It's, uh, I think it's really important, especially for entrepreneurs. Uh, I like the book. Uh, it's not, it, it uses data and studies and it is very concrete, uh, into ways you can regain your own time and have, say, really happy. So that's

Liam: my advice. Amazing. I did just check out. And that's, uh, that's definitely one that's gonna go on my audible list, and that's by, uh, NAI, e l I think his name is N I R E Y A L, uh, indestructible.

How to control your attention. Um, and choose your life, which sounds amazing. So thank you for that. Share. That is definitely going on my, my list, so I'll throw it open to you. Nabo, you share so much value with us today. How can people come and get in touch with you and, uh, where should they go and check out?


Thibault: it's been a pleasure and uh, if you wanna know more, just go to rental,, and um, you can search for the free newsletter and you get every. Um, stories like I shared today in your inbox. Of course, you can also, uh, send me a connection over in on LinkedIn Tibo if you could, . It's, I know it's hard to find sometimes, but it's, uh, I'm sure show notes.

You find my name and was very happy to, to talk there. Again, rental or over.

Liam: Awesome. We will definitely be adding that to the show notes and, uh, thank you so much. That is one which, um, as we said before we started recording this one, which I do listen to every time, uh, or read every week when it comes in.

Um, it's one of the ones which, uh, I, I get a lot of emails, which instantly gets unsubscribed to, um, but that is one which I look forward to each week and, uh, shares a lot of interesting news and gets me thinking, which is exactly what this, this podcast has done. So thank you so much, sibo. I think that brings us to a close.


Thank you so much. If you're listening to the Bod Boostly podcast, or if you're watching on the YouTube channel, uh, we know there's a lot of places you can put your attention, and we really appreciate you putting your attention with us. I hope this has inspired your hospitality journey and we look forward to, uh, to seeing you on the next one.

Was there any last thing to share at all, Thibault? Any, uh, any last moment shares? Have I, did I miss any question? That's

Thibault: it. That's it. Thank you all for listening. Uh, very happy value. Any questions? If you don't agree with me, again, write to me, let me know. Aam, thank you for being such a great host. It's, it's, it's a pleasure talking with you.

Thank you for having me.

Liam: Thank you buddy. We'll see you on the next one. Bye for now. Having a blast.

Thibault: Gonna get it on the Bostly podcast, Bruce Lee. Let Bruce Lee cuz it's so hard on the tee, is loose leaf picking up those rhymes. Don't write it, just do it loosely.

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