Como Lakeside Cottage is a property located in Oliveto Lario, we started cooperating with the owner in 2017.
Fabio, the host, was trying to increase performances and was no longer able to deal directly with distribution and manage reservations.
At the same time the owner wanted to keep control over the apartment and continue to manage cleaning and check-in.
Read this article to understand how a co-hosting relationship works and the power of revenue in vacation rental.
Teamwork and task division
As with other owners, the task division was immediately fundamental:
- Lake Como Rentals: online distribution, bookings management and contact with customers until check-in
- Owner: reception management, cleanings and communication of privacy data to authorities
Teamwork is also very important on issues such as:
- Pricing: dynamic pricing, based on historical and demand data. But always agreed with the owner
- Feedback: improvements of the apartment where possible to increase the rate or occupancy
Goals and Conditions
Goals of the collaboration were clear:
- Boost online distribution (increase from 1 to at least 3 sales channels)
- Improve indicators such as total revenue and booking quality
- Strengthen direct bookings through new channels
But under what conditions?
- No restrictions, duration or exclusivity
- Possibility to close dates and sell directly
- No fixed costs, just a commission only on online sales
- Minimum agreed rate to sell online
The three lines show us the results from 2017 to 2021:
- Blue: nights sold online
- Orange: average net rate
- Green: nights sold directly by the owner
- Occupancy increasing constantly from 2017 to 2019, generating a non-stop calendar
- From 2020, after a discussion with the owner, we focused on quality: rate increase based on demand data and customers needs
- Direct bookings: constantly increasing, the owner is working on returning customers
The pursuit of quality
Now let’s compare:
- Orange bar: number of online bookings
- Blue line: average length of stay
The total number of online bookings has decreased (we should consider pandemic and direct bookings increase), while the length of stay has increased.
For the owner, this translates into a reduction of management costs such as check-in and cleanings, as well as greater control over the accommodation.
Also in this case, the history and the study of market data were fundamental to understand where and how to intervene by “betting” more on the minimum nights required, without penalizing the total revenue.
Rate history and focus on specific customer
In 5 years the average daily rate has gone from 70 to 106 euros, why? And above all, has the total revenue collapsed?
By working on customer feedback, on the calendar and being in close contact with the owner we were able to do a few things:
- Understanding strengths: highlighting them and making them perceive as value. A private parking on the lake is not so common and can be monetized
- Acting on weaknesses: anticipating the customer and losing value. Self-check-in from weakness to advantage
- Buyer personas: identify a specific target, willing to pay more to come here. Pet-friendly customers are a specific target on Lake Como and have clear needs and high budget
Let's recap co-hosting model
We achieved excellent results by working with the owner and by listening to each other: he waas open to suggestions, we paid attention to his needs (closures, accommodation recovery times).
If in 2019 it was an apartment with an incredible occupancy, now the calendar is more based on quality, specific customer research and high sales rates.
- Check-in (self)
- Guest management from check-in
- Police headquarters, tourism 5
Lake Como Rentals:
- Analysis of customers, market demand and rates
- Management of calendars and online distribution
- Customer contact until check-in
- Social Media management, Google MyBusiness and other channels for direct sales