Numbers never lie. And neither do your business’s analytics. Every week, your property management software collects thousands of data points from each of your listings, guests and booking channels. But what if you weren’t allowed to analyze your own data how you wanted simply because your property management software said so? That hardly seems fair.
Many property managers dissect their listings’ performance to understand the health of their business and what can be improved. But many property management software (PMS) providers only allow you to analyze your data within their platform, essentially holding your business’s data hostage.
If you choose to partner with a PMS who claims ownership of your data, you won’t be able to manage or analyze your data as you please, meaning you could be deprived of analytic insights that can inform your decision making and future strategy. Instead, you’ll be stuck using whatever tool the PMS gives you.
We’ll explore how this data collection works, why some property management software platforms are doing this, and how you can be sure you don’t fall into this trap.
How does data collection work?
The property management software you use to run your business amasses data over time that holds enormous potential for driving decisions in your business. From the first touch with a guest during an inquiry through their checkout, a massive amount of raw data is accumulated.
Every data point that flows back and forth through channels and other third-party providers is recorded: rates, fees, booking volume, booking channel, property location, and more. You can use this data to track metrics that drive a variety of business decisions, in a multitude of ways, including tracking...
- Revenue per channel. Know which channels are working for what properties and where you should be investing your time
- Conversion rates. Whether converting reservations or five star reviews, track conversion rates so you know where to focus your efforts.
- Check in/checkout days. Create data visualizations by property to quickly analyze what changes you could make to your listings’ existing strategy.
This data gives you a massive amount of intelligence about your business, but you can only do so much with singular data in your PMS. Exporting this information to a simple Excel spreadsheet or your preferred quantitative analysis software will allow you to create financial models, gain insight into what’s working and what’s not, where to invest, where to scale back and more.
If this interests you, MyVR recently released a new reservation financial summary allows you to access all of your reservations’ financial data so you can easily analyze your listings’ performance, provide detailed reports to owners and perform your accounting all from one place.
Why can’t you access your data?
If your PMS owns that data and you don’t, you’re restricted, as you can only use it with integrations your PMS makes available to you. By owning your data, these software companies are trying to keep your business as long as they can by creating high switching costs as well as helping their integrated partners.
Property management software is great for managing your short-term rental business, but its specialty isn’t running custom data analysis. So, while there’s a chance they will have some useful canned reports, you might not be able to access your data and run in-depth analyses within your PMS as well as you can when you export the data into an Excel spreadsheet.
This makes all of the data your collecting virtually unusable and puts you at a competitive disadvantage.
Don’t fall into a trap
Make sure you own your data and that your PMS uses open data, meaning you have access to your data and can do whatever you would like without restriction. This should be a key factor when deciding which PMS is best for your short-term rental business, if it isn’t already.
MyVR allows our clients to export, manipulate and experiment with their data as much as they want, wherever they want. Because your data is your data. MyVR's open APIs empower property managers to use their data how they want so they can have maximum control over their business.