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Honing its dynamic pricing formula, Vacasa wants to make homeowners more cash than Airbnb | TechCrunch

Vacasa takes a lot of pride in its pricing algorithm, which it touts as far more dynamic than the pricing schemes used by other vacation rental sites. Initially developed in 2010 by Vacasa chief analytics officer Scott Breon, the company’s revamped Yield Management 2.0 system aims to make homeowners more than comparable systems, leveraging machine learning to leave less money on the table. The newest algorithm hums along in near real time, analyzing market rates, home size, location, luxury classification and local events to determine the dynamic prices that make it a compelling alternative for homeowners used to figuring that stuff out for themselves.

“We’re looking for the optimal rate as opposed to what others are pricing at,” Vacasa co-founder and CEO Eric Breon explains. “Even if the competition is priced at $100, it doesn’t mean that the optimal [rate] is $95. If the competition is at $100, we might want to be at $250.”

While that’s an obvious boon for homeowners, the dynamic pricing system can leave inventory open when other sites are booked full, which is a plus for guests who might book last-minute. With on-the-ground staff to maintain the homes it manages, Vacasa also can integrate qualitative local information in a way the competition often can’t. “We give our on-the-ground staff a series of tools to help them convey ‘hey there’s this event coming’ or ‘hey there’s this spike in demand coming,’” product lead Travis Green explains.

Most vacation rental systems price a listing by inching it a tiny bit lower than whatever else is available, which means that per-night prices are primarily decided in relation to one another rather than in relation to external factors. Of course, Vacasa’s own recipe isn’t the only show in town — third parties have been offering Airbnb pricing engines for at least a few years now. Airbnb also offers its own smart pricing system, which slides listings up and down within a set of parameters defined by the host. Vacasa’s combined pricing system combines with its core business as a full-service management company, offering a one-stop shop for prepping a space and pricing it to make the most money possible.

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Honing its dynamic pricing formula, Vacasa wants to make homeowners more cash than Airbnb | TechCrunch.