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Reporting: Analyzing your booking data, forecasting, and increasing bookings

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At OwnerRez, we track a lot of data about your bookings -- where they come from, when they were made, how many guests were there, how many nights they stayed, etc. We believe that you own your data and should be able to export it at any time, so we provide Excel and CSV exports of all main data elements -- Bookings, Quotes, Inquiries, Properties, etc.

We're taking a step further and providing reporting views for these statistics about your vacation rental properties, analysis that will give you actionable metrics to help increase bookings and increase profit per bookings. This is the first in what will be an ongoing series of posts about how to slice and dice your data to get a look at different perspectives.

Today, I'm going to show off the booking statistics and occupancy reports, particularly the Days in Advance and % Occupied reports. You can find these reports in your account under the Reports tab -- the Bookings statistics and Occupancy reports. Separately these reports are full of good information, but together they can help analyze your current bookings and future bookings to see if your rates are about right, too high, or too low.

The Days in Advance report provides a measure of how many days before the arrival date the booking was booked. It shows the average number of days between booked and arrival. A last minute booking might be 2 or 3 days, while a large planned event might be booked months in advance.

Here's an example report for this year:

Notice the variance between properties in the same month, and between different times of the year. Larger properties tend to book farther in advance, because larger parties have more planning to do and think farther ahead.

Very high days in advance numbers (note those 150-200 days in the example) indicate that your prices might be too low. If people are booking hundreds of days ahead, you're probably the lowest comperable price in the area, so you can increase that price. If its nearing high season and you haven't booked up, you can always discount the rates back down to fill up the calendar.

In this example, the owner would be well served to add a super high season in summer and nudge up the holiday rates.

The % Occupied report shows the percentage of booked nights to not booked nights. You can break this down by different time periods to give an idea of which months or years book more solid than others.

Here's an example report for this year:

This is a pretty typical level of occupancy -- more in the summer on season, less in the winter except holidays. Notice how the same properties with high days in advance from the other report (names removed to protect the guilty) also have high occupancy percentages. This confirms that raising the rates is a good idea.

You can also see that dead winter months are lower (Jan, Feb). This could be a good target for discounts and/or newsletters encouraging repeat guests.

7 Comments (add yours)

Dec 1, 2018 2:30 PM
Joined Feb, 2018 18 posts

You mentioned that these reports will provide "analysis that will give you actionable metrics to help increase bookings and increase profit per bookings".

So, how do we measure the profits? It looks to me like the Payment Summary report might be the right one. However, there are three summary fields to use, Total, Net Total, and Fees. I feel like the Net Total and Fees should sum up to the (Gross) Total, but they don't appear to.

How are the three summary fields related. And if (Gross) Total is not a sum of Net Total and Fees, what else is missing here and why?

Dec 1, 2018 5:34 PM
Joined Jun, 2018 385 posts

I would like to see (unless I missed it) reporting for total profit/total revenue/total bookings per channel (my hosted website, AirBnB, flipkey, VRBNO, Expedia, craigslist, marketing, rebookings, etc. This might help to where to double down or cut back. The last thing I want to do is to saturate myself in google or other analytics, trace back, analyze, research, optimize, panic, etc.

Would be nice, projecting how PriceLabs, flat pricing, seasonal pricing would compare against each other for a property. Probably hard to do!

Chris Hynes
Dec 2, 2018 9:06 AM
OR Team Member Joined Oct, 2012 1400 posts

Yep, the payment summary or booking summary reports are good.

Net is gross - fees, but the reason it doesn't add up on this report is the difference between the way payments and refunds add up fees. Fees on payments are positive and reduce the net, while fees on refunds are negative and increase the net refund. If you run that report for just payments or just refunds, you'll see what I mean.

I'll look into this and see if there's a way to make this simpler on the report so it can add up across.

Any other sorts of reports that would be useful?

@Ross, you can group these by listing site if you want. Or there are also specific listing site volume reports in the Analytics section of reports. What would you be looking for on the seasonal pricing analysis?

Dec 3, 2018 9:31 PM
Joined Jun, 2018 385 posts

Some people just charge flat prices year round. Seasonal pricing is a theory, but anytime you vary price, it impacts demand.

Dec 4, 2018 8:37 PM
Joined Jun, 2016 1120 posts

I tend to do my own reports that involve $$$ amounts due to the fact that 1) importing amounts from VRBO and AirBNB still does not seem to always work correctly (esp VRBO) - or maybe I am slow :) and 2) me having the refundable damage dep (vs secdep as card hold) and then refunding seems to mess up the money picture. So as avid OR user, after all these years, I still rely on my trusty spreadsheets an enter amounts manually as importing the amounts from other sites seem to mess them up. :)

I do tend to disagree , in some part, with assertion that if your property books far in advance, your prices are too low. With larger properties it is not so straightforward. if you do not book far in advance , you may not book AT ALL near term no matter how you drop price when it comes close (unless it is highest demand holiday). Why - you had it above: large properties take larger groups who need more time planning. It is not your last minute getaway type booking. Unless of course you want to discount 5 bd house price to that of a 2 bd last moment. Not many owners would do that as it invites undesirable clientele. .

Dec 4, 2018 9:30 PM
Joined Jun, 2018 385 posts

Of course, peak - shoulder and off season is each a separate problem.

Although I am not starting until early spring, 1/3 of my building is someone else's bed and breakfast (4 rooms). I watch at night like a hawk for lights in the room and cars in her drive. It is like a tomb Sun afternoon to Friday afternoon the last couple weeks. And she said January-March is dead dead.

So there is a theory that offering my 5 bedroom townhome also as a 2-3 bedroom during the offseason, expands your reach I would be happy to rent it at less just to not have it empty. Like $150 instead of $250 or so a night. you can always lock 2-3 bedrooms so they dont get messed up.

Dec 5, 2018 12:19 PM
Joined Jun, 2016 1120 posts

Ross C said:

So there is a theory that offering my 5 bedroom townhome also as a 2-3 bedroom during the offseason, expands your reach I would be happy to rent it at less just to not have it empty. Like $150 instead of $250 or so a night. you can always lock 2-3 bedrooms so they dont get messed up.

that works if you live on premises and keep an eye and you have a B&B set up. Mine are fairly secluded mountain stand alone log homes. So if I rent a 5 bd for 2 bd price, it will mean that there will be people who are unwilling or unable to pay 5 bd rate roaming 5 bd house and possibly bringing more people and in many owners' observation, it is lesser desirable clientele. I cannot lock off anything as it is not B&B but rather a standalone fairly luxury log home. So I will rather have it sit empty than rent for below certain price. Not worth the risk. I am 700 miles away.