• Vacation rentals can be life-changing. But due to a surge in popularity, the requirements of the job are more challenging than ever. VRMB Communities is a private forum that helps thoughtful owners & managers automate and delegate tasks, so you can focus on the activities that win loyalty and direct bookings. Preview Private Forum Here

Midweek Motivation Unconstrained Demand

This week's tip is inspired by our interview with Amber ambercarpenter of DemandIQ (full interview below). It is aimed at anyone who has a website and a basic property management software.


"Unconstrained demand" is the traveler demand for your vacation rental property(s) without the constraints of availability or rate rules. Including beyond 100% occupancy. Your 'unconstrained demand' for nights is much greater than the 'demand' that actually makes a reservation. Because when a guest arrives at your website and types in their dates, a scary percentage of the time they do NOT inquire/book simply because no "supply" shows as available.

Why do travelers get the 'no availability' message?

Typically either because (a) we don't have the inventory for those needs OR (b) we do have the inventory for those needs but our rate rules do not permit the booking. The "mistake" here is showing "no availability" thus ending the traveler's pursuit (or more likely sending them to a competitor).

There was traveler demand, but for whatever reason, we could not fill it.

Here are three good steps to begin thinking about your "Unconstrained Demand" aka. earned booking potential left on the table...

1. Estimate Your 'Unconstrained Demand'
Because the first step to capitalizing on 'Unconstrained Demand' is putting a number on it. Imagine if you left every night open on your booking software with no rules. How many nights booked would you most likely generate? The mere act of estimating this number should give you a rough idea about potential upside.

2. Alter Your “No Properties Available” Message
This is the equivalent of a 404 Error page on your website: the visitor was looking for something and you don't have it. The more personal and authentic about your "no availability error" message, the better chances you have of keeping the guest in your orbit. A little "talking head video" explaining how you're a small company would work well. Here's one that Terry Terry uses for his new inquiries. Here's one I just created as a specific example.

3. The "Alternate" Property
Add an additional or "Alternate" unit or property to your property management software along with a description explaining this alternate option and a form to fill out to inquire (not a paid booking, just a qualification of interest). This Alternate Property acts as a the pressure release valve of the boiler decision making process. Instead of being forced into yes or no (booking or no booking) it gives the guest an open-ended route to reach out (and not head to your competitor's website).

Small batch businesses (52 widgets as TeenaNH TeenaNH says or "10 Oxtails" as I put it) have limited inventory by definition AND we have lifestyle limitations that impact our rate rules (ie. this is not your everyday supply/demand business story). But the more constraints we add, the fewer bookings we get. There's no need to view this as all or nothing. More of a sliding scale: the more effort we put into capturing the "unconstrained demand" the more money we can make (if that's what we want to do).

And now a question for the community...

What other ways can you assess & capture your unconstrained demand?
 
Last edited:

Terry

Ambassador
Inner Circle
Wing Fighter
Columnist
Matt Landau Matt Landau, love your video. Amber is really on to something here. When I introduce ConradO ConradO, via a virtual meeting that went on for about twenty or thirty minutes I knew I was onto something. I think I said two words in the meeting and I could tell Conrad loved it instantly. Now that Demand IQ has been bought by KeyData there has never been a better time to think about our own websites and the future of demand.
 

DMartinez

Ambassador
Inner Circle
Wing Fighter
Yes, love the concept especially as there is nearly no room or homes available in our VR community until next year! This will require a couple more re-listening sessions as it is thick, deep with info, especially for the smaller non-tech/marketing little people ... who want to play with the big boys and girls.

While I know you asked for an answer- first I have a few more questions on the nitty-gritty and the "how'd he do that?" piece.

Next up is to finally do a video response, especially now given I'm vaccinated, the salons are finally opened and I can actually get my first haircut 💇🏼‍♀️ today in over a year😱, added "worry weight" notwithstanding.

Please include the links/info for the Tracker sites -ShoutOuts and Navis(?), PaceReport (though it seems irrelevant). I'm surprised that KeyData was not included too.

How does this also apply to dynamic pricing sites?

Starting at my beginner's level, however...
I did check out the get Terry Terry subscription via the BombBomb link at the footer which I plan to explore more closely. What other's are there now?

Matt Landau Matt Landau - it appears that yours is a function of the website. What are the mechanics, the how-to's, for doing something similar?

Your script is great (of course). I Will be tweaking it for my purposes later..but for now...on to the beauty salon 🎉🥳 🧑🏻‍🦳
 

DMartinez

Ambassador
Inner Circle
Wing Fighter

Terry

Ambassador
Inner Circle
Wing Fighter
Columnist
This week's tip is inspired by our interview with Amber ambercarpenter of DemandIQ (full interview below). It is aimed at anyone who has a website and a basic property management software.


"Unconstrained demand" is the traveler demand for your vacation rental property(s) without the constraints of availability or rate rules. Including beyond 100% occupancy. Your 'unconstrained demand' for nights is much greater than the 'demand' that actually makes a reservation. Because when a guest arrives at your website and types in their dates, a scary percentage of the time they do NOT inquire/book simply because no "supply" shows as available.

Why do travelers get the 'no availability' message?

Typically either because (a) we don't have the inventory for those needs OR (b) we do have the inventory for those needs but our rate rules do not permit the booking. The "mistake" here is showing "no availability" thus ending the traveler's pursuit (or more likely sending them to a competitor).

There was traveler demand, but for whatever reason, we could not fill it.

Here are three good steps to begin thinking about your "Unconstrained Demand" aka. earned booking potential left on the table...

1. Estimate Your 'Unconstrained Demand'
Because the first step to capitalizing on 'Unconstrained Demand' is putting a number on it. Imagine if you left every night open on your booking software with no rules. How many nights booked would you most likely generate? The mere act of estimating this number should give you a rough idea about potential upside.

2. Alter Your “No Properties Available” Message
This is the equivalent of a 404 Error page on your website: the visitor was looking for something and you don't have it. The more personal and authentic about your "no availability error" message, the better chances you have of keeping the guest in your orbit. A little "talking head video" explaining how you're a small company would work well. Here's one that Terry Terry uses for his new inquiries. Here's one I just created as a specific example.

3. The "Alternate" Property
Add an additional or "Alternate" unit or property to your property management software along with a description explaining this alternate option and a form to fill out to inquire (not a paid booking, just a qualification of interest). This Alternate Property acts as a the pressure release valve of the boiler decision making process. Instead of being forced into yes or no (booking or no booking) it gives the guest an open-ended route to reach out (and not head to your competitor's website).

Small batch businesses (52 widgets as TeenaNH TeenaNH says or "10 Oxtails" as I put it) have limited inventory by definition AND we have lifestyle limitations that impact our rate rules (ie. this is not your everyday supply/demand business story). But the more constraints we add, the fewer bookings we get. There's no need to view this as all or nothing. More of a sliding scale: the more effort we put into capturing the "unconstrained demand" the more money we can make (if that's what we want to do).

And now a question for the community...

What other ways can you assess & capture your unconstrained demand?
Matt Landau Matt Landau, excellent podcast. I just listened to another podcast with Amber and Jason Sprinkle from KeyData. Jason gave you a huge shootout saying it is a must listen to podcast.
 

Robin

Counselor
Inner Circle
Unconstrained demand! What a great concept and such an intelligent way to view the opportunity that is out there for vacation rentals. The podcast is a must-listen-to and will open your mind to new possibilities as we try to better serve the marketplace. Nice work Matt Landau Matt Landau and Amber Amber!
 
Top