Webinar Top Q&A: Software Best Practices to Maximize Your Profits

Ben Edwards of Weatherby Consulting joined Escapia for an in-depth look at best practices in property management software and how to optimize your business for consistent profit. Watch the recording to learn how to organize your data to unlock insights and ways to leverage the latest technology, including Escapia, to “run your business like a business.” 

Ben also provided answers to the most common questions received before and after the broadcast — read on for those insights!

What reports do you recommend checking on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis?

Daily: I constantly have the Escapia Business Dashboard and Performance Dashboard on my monitors. That way I can keep a pulse on the business. 

Weekly: I like looking at the year-over-year booking report to find underperforming properties and reviewing revenue/reservation pace prior to my revenue management meeting with staff.

Monthly: I make sure the Advance Deposit Report is in balance and old folios are properly closed, the Owner Balance Report and Accounts Payable Reports are in balance, and all the information looks accurate (no old owner balances or invoices unpaid). 

I also perform cash, bank, and credit card reconciliations and do a review of my balance sheet and income statement to ensure I understand what the numbers are representing.

What are the top KPIs that property managers should be tracking regularly?

Property managers should be tracking profit margin (EBITDA/Gross Rental Revenue) and “real” commission (Net Rental Income/Gross Rental Revenue) and establishing benchmarks for the number of staff based on the number of properties they manage.

We also track the Average Daily Rate, Guest Occupied Nights/Guest Occupancy %, Owner Occupied Nights/Owner Occupancy %, Total Occupied Nights/Total Occupancy %, and Revenue Per Available Unit.

What can you implement in Escapia to drive higher profit margins?

Consider using the MarketMaker rate opportunities included in Escapia's Opportunities Hub. The majority of the rate opportunities we see are helping us increase our revenue rather than decrease.

Second, make sure the system is removing travel distribution fees off the top of a reservation prior to calculating commission. Once the travel distribution fee is removed, then calculate a full management commission.

What are some things that most people aren't doing that they really should be doing?

I consistently make three recommendations to other vacation rental managers:

  1. Focus on efficient business operations to avoid bad data in the software, ensure you have the right number of staff, and provide strong strategic direction for the company. 

  2. Define business processes to help get a better understanding of the profitability of the business. 

  3. Make smart choices with additional technology expenses and provide superior service to owners and guests.

How easy is it to transfer information from Escapia into QuickBooks?

This is very straightforward. In our businesses, we simply take the Escapia month-end balance and input a journal entry into QuickBooks. It’s a matter of minutes per account. 

How can I monitor year-over-year performance of my properties?

The Performance Dashboard in Escapia is a great way to visualize year-over-year performance and to dive into the details with filtering options and different overlays. I also like the year-over-year booking report to give me a heads up on performance on a per property basis.

Escapia and V12.NET customers can reach out to CSM@escapia.com with any additional questions.

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