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Every STR operator has to focus on Revenue Management in 2024 (Ep 622)

Ep 622

Apply for our revenue management service at https://freewyldfoundry.com/rpm

In this conversation, Eric Moeller and Jasper Ribbers discuss the recent developments and updates related to Freewyld, including real estate, hospitality, revenue management, and the launch of Freewyld Foundry. They also delve into the importance of guest experience, brand identity, and the impact of revenue management on short-term rental businesses.

The conversation delves into the importance of revenue management in the short-term rental industry, emphasizing the need for a dedicated focus on revenue management to drive business growth and profitability.

It also highlights the impact of revenue management on property performance and the potential for significant revenue growth through strategic management. The conversation explores the role of revenue management in maximizing property revenue and the importance of aligning brand, story, and marketing with a robust revenue management strategy.

Takeaways

The success of Freewyld's real estate and hospitality operations, including the performance of current cabins and the development of phase two properties.
The importance of guest experience and brand identity in creating a unique and memorable stay for guests.
The significance of revenue management in optimizing short-term rental businesses and the launch of Freewyld Foundry to offer services in branding, marketing, and revenue management.
The evolving landscape of short-term rentals and the need for a daily focus on revenue management to adapt to changing market dynamics. Revenue management is a critical aspect of the short-term rental industry, requiring dedicated focus and expertise for business success.
A robust revenue management strategy can significantly impact property performance and drive substantial revenue growth.
Aligning brand, story, and marketing with revenue management is essential for maximizing property revenue and achieving business success.

Grow your short-term rental business OVERNIGHT SUCCESS

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Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts.

Chapters

00:00 The Evolution of FreeWyld: Real Estate and Hospitality Operations
13:06 Crafting Unforgettable Guest Experiences: The Power of Brand Identity
23:19 Adapting to Change: The Future of Short-Term Rental Businesses
30:12 The Importance of Revenue Management
47:14 Maximizing Property Revenue Through Strategic Management
49:08 Aligning Brand and Marketing with Revenue Management

Read The Script Here

Jasper Ribbers (00:00.916)
Welcome back to Get Paid for Your Pat today with the one and only Mr. Eric Muller. He's been, he hasn't been on the podcast for six months. So welcome back, Eric.

Eric Moeller (00:12.238)
Thanks for allowing me back in Jasper. It's been a while.

Jasper Ribbers (00:15.572)
It's been a while. Yeah. Yeah. I'm excited to get an update from you. And I'm sure the listeners are excited as well. There's a lot going on behind the scenes of FreeWild. And I know that's been your main focus for the last six months. So we have a lot of updates for everybody. We have some announcements, some exciting stuff that we're working on that we're going to announce to the…

audience today. So, so yeah, why don't you give us a quick update? Like what, what are you being focused on for the last six months?

Eric Moeller (00:47.342)
man, where do we start? man, we got, we have so much happening in the last six months. Yeah. I mean, everything from the real estate that we have going on in auto wild, you know that we can talk about like the, how well the current cabins are doing in that marketplace. and that was, that's been a big focus of ours right recently is, is really,

Just understanding like our level of hospitality and marketing and pricing, just everything that goes into operating, the cabins alongside our brand. I really just kind of testing that. And, it's been, it's been a great result the last six months since we've been live. people are loving it. Guests are loving it. They're loving a wild mode. you can touch on the revenue side, but the revenue has just been incredible.

to see up there and our properties have quickly become some of the, the top, performing listings in the marketplace, which is very exciting. and then along with that, we've been working on a phase two of the property as well, which we have, this week we have our first, approval call with the, building department. So we're going to find out what we can actually build up there, which has been a huge, I mean,

It's so funny, man. Like when I thought to real estate developers and, and, hospitality developers around the country, you know, when they, when they hear that we're building in California, it's always like, you know, it's, they feel our pain because trying to do anything in California just takes a long time, construction wise. but we're finally there, and we're going to find out in the next, few weeks what we can build there.

and the goal is to get about another 15 cabins. So we can break all that down, but we've had a lot, man. We've had a lot from the performance of the current cabins to the development of phase two, hiring new team members, raising money, and then kicking off some new services under the brand as well. So it's been a, it's been a busy six months without a doubt.

Jasper Ribbers (02:59.476)
Mm -hmm.

Jasper Ribbers (03:03.028)
Yeah, yeah, I can't believe it's almost we're almost halfway through 2024. It's just so crazy. Like every year seems to go faster.

Eric Moeller (03:11.758)
Yeah, yeah, it's crazy, man. Freaking nuts.

Jasper Ribbers (03:13.748)
But yeah, just to kind of give a recap, you know, for if there's any new listeners, like we bought this property in Idlewild actually in September 2021. And we restarted renovations last year in March and we relaunched the property with four cabins in October, officially under the FreeWild brand. So our first real FreeWild property. And it's been pretty awesome. Like it's so much more fun to operate a FreeWild than operate that.

the old cabins as they were. it was, that was just not as exciting and like, you know, it was a different energy, right? Now we're like, we have a team where we're all focused on really optimizing and putting the bar like super high and delivering a world -class experience, whether it's for the guests, whether it's the pricing and the revenue management side, the guest experience, like everything is just so much more dialed in and it's more fun. It's more fun to work that way. and we'll share some results.

Eric Moeller (03:49.262)
Mm -hmm.

Jasper Ribbers (04:13.652)
about the revenue that we're generating and everything. But why don't you touch a little bit on the guest experience? Because we've been crushing it. All of Four Cabins are now guest favorites, which is amazing. April was our first month where we had 100 % five -star reviews. I think that we had like 46 check -ins and we didn't get a single non -five -star review, which is amazing. And hopefully soon enough, we'll be in that top 10, top 5%.

Eric Moeller (04:30.638)
Mm -hmm.

Jasper Ribbers (04:41.396)
category where you get the golden accolades around the guest favorite batch that would be really amazing. But why don't you touch on the customer experience? What are some learning lessons from the relaunch on that?

Eric Moeller (04:46.158)
Yeah, yeah.

Eric Moeller (04:55.63)
Yeah, I think, you know, the biggest, the biggest thing that I really wanted to focus on when it comes to the guest experience was, really living true to the brand that we were developing. and look, I majority of our bookings are coming in through Airbnb right now. We have a nice, steady direct booking business that's coming in that we're focused on growing for sure, but it's, it's always a tricky, a tricky task and going from.

an Airbnb guest to bringing them through and connecting them to the brand that we have around the properties. Right. I think Airbnb guests are just kind of used to checking into regular Airbnbs and you know, they look at the properties as an Airbnb, not as a free wild. Right. So for me, that was one of the first things that we wanted to handle was like, how do we get a random guest that books finds our property and you know, it's branded as free wild.

to really connect with the brand when they're at the property. So obviously, you know, the standards are always there as far as like turnover with, with our teams that are on the ground, right? Making sure that that's, that is dialed in as a machine and that they're well trained and supported to deliver the same product over and over again. And that was the first major hurdle that, that we focused on.

And then the second was, okay, when a guest books to the moment that they leave, how do we make them feel like they are the only guest in the world that that matters to us at the moment? Right. And it's like, regardless of how many guests that we're taking care of, we wanted to really over deliver on the customer service side. So, we put a lot of personality into the communication with the guests. the.

solving of problems and how we solve the problems as they come up. So we, and the way that we communicate with our guests, we're communicating to them as if they're like our, our guests staying at our, our guest home at our house, right? Like they're, we're welcoming them into our properties. So we have quite a bit that is automated through our technology and all of that, but.

Eric Moeller (07:15.886)
You know, implementing unreasonable hospitality to truly connect with the guests was something that we've been focused on over the last six months. And it's been, it's been amazing. We've had, you know, a couple of challenges that have come up with running older properties, you know, like plumbing and electrical issues and, you know, items that we have on the listing site that have gone missing that we didn't catch, you know, during the turnover.

And it's all about how, you know, we, with unreasonable hospitality in mind, how we're approaching it and solving those problems. it's been freaking awesome to see how well they've been received, you know? And, regardless of how bad the problem is, as we're approaching it through the brand of free wild, leading with unreasonable hospitality, we're getting incredible results with the guests feeling like they are being well taken care of. And, and we see it, they're coming back. They're rebooking. We just had a guest who.

stayed at one of our cabins, absolutely loved the experience and immediately booked, two other cabins, in a few months from now to bring all his friends. And now he just hit us up saying like, Hey, I want to book for Christmas and bring all my family and the other cabins. And we're starting to get that where, where guests are now connecting with the brand and they're excited and, and they're texting us separately about their trip and just like, as if they're texting a friend.

And that's really cool. It's really awesome. And it's something that for the FreeWild brand is really important to us. So yeah, I think leading with unreasonable hospitality and like the brand identity has had a incredible impact on the way that this property is performing.

Jasper Ribbers (09:00.116)
Yeah. Yeah. What's really cool to see in the reviews is that a lot of people have mentioned like things like, this is the best Airbnb I've ever stayed at, or it's like the best place I've ever stayed at. You know, we're getting some really incredible feedback. Let's talk a little bit more because one thing that's unique to our brand is that the fact that we're inspiring people to disconnect from devices, right? And spend quality time.

without technology, so playing board games or having conversations, music, all of that. How do you, do you feel that people are really connecting with that side? Because I think that takes a while to really like create that culture and brand, right? Like, do you feel people are connecting with it?

Eric Moeller (09:43.278)
Yeah, it's, it's interesting. I don't know if you, you know, this weekend we were getting some messages from, from guests, asking specifically about, and these are Airbnb guests, right? asking specifically about the wild box, which is our, for the listeners, the box that, that, that we put in each cabin that inspires people to lock away their cell phones and then.

We have different things in that box from Polaroid cameras to games to conversation cards, all of this, like, curated between our team to curate a special experience for our guests. And yeah, we're getting a lot of amazing reviews on that. We're getting re you know, to the point where people are now taking wild mode home with them and implementing it at home with their kids or with their, with their partners.

and sharing that with us offline, which is amazing. So, it's not every single Airbnb guest, cause what we recognize is like, obviously until we really get the brand recognition to a point where they're connecting with wild mode and they're seeking us to disconnect, there is this point of education where we have to bring them through the journey to teach them about like, Hey, you're at a free wild. That means that you should enter into wild mode and disconnect a bit.

so yeah, we're bringing them, the guests love it. we educate them through the, the welcome sequences and, and, different, different touch points throughout the property and their stay. and as of right now, the guests are absolutely loving it. which is amazing, you know, and this is the whole point of the, the brand is to help more people disconnect from technology while on vacation and connect.

with the things that are most important, right? Of like being in this amazing place, being in this amazing space, connecting with the people that they're with, you know, under and just like connecting with nature while they're up there. So, yeah, I love that. And I'm excited to go deeper into that with the technology that we're going to be introducing into our future properties as well.

Jasper Ribbers (11:56.948)
Yeah. Yeah. I've definitely noticed that like there's some of the messages where people are saying like, Hey, this this Bob most sounds really cool. Like I'm going to tell my friends about it and things like that. So, but I think it takes time, right? To, to really like build that. And it's cool to hear that, you know, we're getting some people who are literally coming back with their friends and with their family, cause they want to, they want to share that experience that they had with, with their friends and family. Right. And.

Eric Moeller (12:19.95)
Yeah.

Jasper Ribbers (12:26.26)
know, eventually, yeah, it'd be cool if people start saying, hey, I'm staying at a free while this weekend instead of like I'm staying at an Airbnb, right? That would be pretty amazing.

Eric Moeller (12:32.986)
Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. That's the goal.

Jasper Ribbers (12:37.972)
Yeah, it's an ambitious goal, but we'll get there. Let's talk about FreeWild Foundry. So this is something that is new that we haven't really, we haven't spoken about on the podcast. We haven't really announced this to our community yet, but we've essentially, we've rolled out a number of different services that we're offering through the brand of FreeWild, aside of acquiring these…

old school vacation rental properties and turning them into modern short -term rental experiences, we're now doing a number of other things. So why don't you explain what's behind Free Wild Foundry?

Eric Moeller (13:19.726)
Yeah. I mean, look, any entrepreneur knows this. Any real estate entrepreneur knows this, that like buying real estate, designing real estate, developing real estate and getting real estate cash flowing is a patient game to be a part of, right? Like we can, we're moving as fast as we can to buy new properties and develop new properties. But you know, buying real estate, unless you're, you've been in the industry for a long time and you have the machine going.

It takes a while to ramp up. And as we are building out phase two in the Ida wild, and we have, we're negotiating a few more purchases right now in a couple of different States and we're raising money for the real estate equity side. And we're talking to different investors. Like this is a long -term patient game that we're, that we're playing on that side. through that we've been developing out.

A lot of different skillsets and services within free wild that we are now starting to offer to the market, started to offer to other operators in the, in the space. Right. So as we, over the last six months, we've also been building this incredible team and you know, we hired our first, full -time, team member Kay, who's leading up marketing and branding for the company. and we're in negotiations to bring out a few other team members.

Through this process, we recognize that we have a really awesome opportunity to bring what we're doing really, really well in FreeWild as a service to a select few clients in the market space. So we launched FreeWild Foundry, which is a service brand underneath FreeWild that focuses on three main services. Number one is what we're calling the Partner Program. That's where we're partnering with

real estate developers and landowners that already own property that align with an asset that aligns with the free wild brand where we come in and we act as the flag, the flagship property and the operating arm of that specific property. So think of the Marriott model.

Eric Moeller (15:35.47)
in that way, right? So we see that as a way to expand our business pretty quickly without having to buy the properties ourselves. Number two is branding and marketing. So we've been working with a handful of boutique hotels all throughout the country, helping them develop out their branding and their messaging and their unique identity the same way that we did with Free Wilds. And it's been freaking awesome what we're doing there. We're working on

three hotels right now, two in California and one in Arizona. And then third is what we're calling RPM, which you Mr. Jasper leading up and bringing the most value in that space. It's called a revenue and pricing management. So through this, and we should chat about like the success that we've had with free wild, but yeah, the RPM program is really us stepping in as a extension of.

a operator's team to run 100 % of revenue management for them. And we have six clients there, right? How many listings total about 200?

Jasper Ribbers (16:45.62)
Yeah, 200 ish.

Eric Moeller (16:47.534)
Yeah. 200 ish listings all throughout the country. And, you know, the results that we're getting are pretty nuts, right? So we, we're seeing revenue increasing by 10 to 20 % for these, for these operators. And, you know, these are bigger operators, right? People that running 30 to 200 listings, 150 listings ish. so yeah, yeah. The free well foundry is really our way to bring our skillsets and what we do extremely well.

under FreeWild as we're raising money and building out our larger locations. We're now leveraging our skill sets as services for a select few of clients in the market space.

Jasper Ribbers (17:31.764)
Yeah. Yeah. A hundred percent. Yeah. And I mean, my, my focus right now is mainly RPM. I'm really trying to like, cut everything, everything else out because I, I just love, I just love this revenue management thing. It's just so, it's so much fun, to, to manage these portfolios. And I think it's like the idea. It's crazy. Like we've only been doing this for, you know, what is it about six months or so?

but it just feels like we've been doing it for so long. But I think the initial idea came just from looking at the results that we're getting, the initial results that we're getting for FreeWild, right? Where we saw like some of our units are doing like double the ref bar compared to the top of the market of similar listings, right? With our studio, Black Mountain. And we realized we're like, wow, you know, having a daily focus on revenue management,

Eric Moeller (18:18.958)
Mm -hmm.

Jasper Ribbers (18:27.54)
And really understanding the data and looking at every day, looking at market data, looking at what bookings are coming in and really like adjusting, you know, and focusing on revenue management on a daily basis just gave us so much, so such big results for, for free well that we realized, Hey, you know what? There's, there's, this is value that we can add to order or people's businesses. Right. And we learned that a lot of operators don't have that daily focus and don't really know.

what that had to look at and how to drive decisions in their revenue management. So yeah, it's been pretty awesome. And we can dive in, we can go a little deeper into what the service is and how people can get involved.

Eric Moeller (19:06.094)
What's

Eric Moeller (19:11.31)
Yeah. Well, let's let's chat about, let's chat about the results that we're getting. And I'm curious, like, and I'm sure people will be curious to what we've been learning about revenue management, because to me, this is, you know, I've been preaching to the short term rental world that hospitality brands was the future of short term rentals, right? I started talking about that early COVID days.

of saying like, you know, the future of shorts or mentals is a hospitality brand that guests can connect with. And you see that now, like fast forward a few years, like all these new hospitality brands in the shorts or mental space are popping up and everyone's trying to develop this like new experiential based unique style brands. They're not identifying anymore as just Airbnb companies. Everyone has some type of hospitality brand to them. Right. And.

Now, what I see is the future of short term successful short term rental companies is like the next biggest opportunity is for companies to really dial in revenue management. Because I think what I, what I did all the way up until we started doing this for free wild, when I see everybody from our students, the biggest companies in the space, you know, unless they're in a position where they have funding to hire out.

big revenue and build out revenue management departments in their companies. For the most part, 99 % of short -term rental operators and specifically that mid -tier operator that's like running a million to $10 million worth of revenue. They have a pricing tool. They have one person, usually the owner of the company that goes in and presses a couple of buttons. They have some type of strategy in that pricing tool.

but they have no idea what they're actually doing in there and there's no real strategy to it. Right? Like I think, I think 90 % of the companies that we've spoken to are in that position. 10 % have some idea of what they're doing. Right. And I'm making those stats up, but that's kind of what my gut is telling me. So I feel like, I mean, do you agree with that? Like, I feel like the biggest opportunity in short term rentals right now, cash opportunity.

Eric Moeller (21:35.022)
is really defining revenue management in your in your business. So like, what have you learned by, you know, working with these companies and, and seeing like the difference between like the students that we used to work with and now, you know, our clients like, you know, Hyro and their companies and, and the results that you're getting, do you agree with that?

Jasper Ribbers (21:51.988)
Mm -hmm.

Yeah, a hundred percent. And, you know, I think the market has changed so much, right? Where a couple of years ago, like in 2021, 2022, you could, you could get away with the said it and forget it mentality when it comes to revenue management, because there was just so much demand that, you know, and we see this in every single of the clients that we work with now. You know, we look at their revenue history and we see like, Hey, 2021, 2022, they were doing, they were doing great.

And, you know, there was no, you know, there was no need necessarily for people to really start diving into the revenue management side because we're making so much money. It was more important to just get more properties, you know, just get as much as possible on the Airbnb and a lot of channels because it's just, it's just bringing in so much cash. But then 2023 is when everything started to change. I'm sure everybody who's listening can attest to that.

2023, it changed and 2024 is kind of an extension of 2023, where now with the added inventory, like all that money that people are making attracted so much supply. And now that demand is not there anymore. And so now we have to really compete and we have to stand out and we have to literally, everything has to be dialed in from the marketing, from the guest experience and the revenue management. This is something that a lot of operators I think have overlooked.

And right now, like you can't, you just can't get away with just the set of them, forget it mentality of like looking at your price laps or wheelhouse like once or twice a week and making a couple of adjustments. It's just, you know, it's just not working anymore. and we see that I see that for all of our clients. I literally see it in the data. you know, you're, you're going to be left out if, if, if you continue to have that mindset when it comes to revenue management.

Eric Moeller (23:33.486)
Yeah.

Eric Moeller (23:46.542)
Yeah. I mean, you know, one thing that, we started talking about in the beginning of the year and what we recognize it's like, unless like someone needs to be, if you're a short -term rental operator, regardless, regardless of size, but especially professional property management arbitrage or ownership, like if you have multiple listings, you have to have someone who's obsessed with revenue management in the business.

Right. You need somebody who is in there daily. Jasper, you with me? Okay. All right. You're frozen on my side. All right. Cool. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You need somebody in the business that's obsessed with revenue management and who truly understands how to manage, manage the entire process and is in there on a daily basis. Right. Like the,

Jasper Ribbers (24:23.188)
Yep. Yeah, I can hear you. You're freezing up a little bit, but it's all good. So it's cold. It's cold. So.

Eric Moeller (24:46.414)
to your point, like the set it and forget it thing. I mean, we've been talking about this for years, but specifically for revenue management, it's a whole new game now. and most, and what I've also found is like most people, they, they, again, what I said is like, they have a pricing tool and they have somewhat of a strategy and idea that they're doing. And they're in there once, once or twice. And if a property is not booking, they just dropped the price, right? there's, that's not a strategy, right? You don't,

You know, if you're trying to, if you're trying to sell a product and it's not selling the way that you want it to, you don't just go and slash prices, right? Cause like that, that doesn't help you sell the product that, and that doesn't help you grow the company. Cause you're taking money away from the company. You got to figure out the demand. You got to figure out where customers are coming from. There's gotta be a strategy to attract people to your product. and pricing it in a way that's going to attract them.

But then also knowing what's coming down the line, right. to, to adjust it quickly based on the man that could be two or three days down the, down the road, right. There, there's such a different play that I now see like the, the huge value of this. And, you know, just talking about, and let's talk about the results for free wild, you know, and then we can talk about RPM clients. you know, like that was your realization.

You know, like we're raising millions of dollars for these properties. We have investors that are putting pressure on us to perform at high levels. And, you know, we're asking ourselves is like, how do we, okay, the, the brand looks good. The listings look great, but how do we stand out? And like, how do we maximize revenue here? And you recognize that you recognize like, Hey, we need a, we need to own this and we need to have some type of strategy in place. And it's been what six plus months that.

that we've been running that now. And, yes, we have great operations. Yes. Our properties are beautifully designed, but one thing that I've noticed with the way that we running the properties now is like, we have a lot. I mean, you know, last month alone, we're, we're having a lot of turnover on these properties and our revenue was through the roof. And, why don't you talk on that a little bit of like the realizations that you found.

Eric Moeller (27:10.094)
by running free wild and the results that we're getting maybe rev part wise revenue wise the whole thing and just kind of be open book around that.

Jasper Ribbers (27:14.516)
Mm -hmm.

Jasper Ribbers (27:20.66)
Yeah, for sure. I mean, I'd say the, one of the biggest realizations is, is that you, you have to, you have to do a lot of trial and error and experiment and to really understand the markets, right? Cause there's, we have a lot of data to look at. but it's like, now that I managed six different portfolios, I realized every market is a little different and all the properties are a little different and you don't really know how much revenue you can generate until.

you try to really focus on maximizing it and seeing like, Hey, how much, how much can I price that weekend that can I price it at 500 or 400 or 300 when they're, when are people, what are people willing to pay? Right. It's a, it's a big learning curve. Like it's a huge learning curve. It's revenue management is not, it's not like there's this one strategy that's going to maximize, you know, every portfolio and every market. It's every day.

new information becomes available, right? Because every single booking has information. And that's one of the biggest thing I learned is like, you have to really look at it every single day to learn. Because I learned so much about the market I had about in the last six months, right? And I see that on the portfolios that we're managing now as well, is like, there's such a learning curve. And, you know, when I was at the revenue management conference back in Nashville that you were at as well,

You know, one thing that's one of the most well -known revenue managers in our industry told me, he said, you know, revenue management is more, it's more of an art than a science, you know? And I remember him saying that and I was like, well, I don't know, like, cause there's, you know, it's a numbers game, right? We have data, it's strategy, it's analytical. But now looking back, I realized like, yes, that's true. It really is more of an art because there's just so many unknowns and so many.

uncertainties and it's so dynamic, like every, you know, it constantly changes, right? So that's why it's impossible to have a set of navigated strategy that can never be optimal because it constantly is changing. So we have to constantly adjust as well. So, you know, I'd say that's probably the biggest realization I had. And, you know, what really excites me is because I'm managing different portfolios and different

Jasper Ribbers (29:44.276)
markets, and there are different type of markets, right? There's a beach market. There's a lake market. There's a mountain market. There's city markets, right? And those are all very different. And it's really cool to see that when I implement a certain strategy in one portfolio, I see that it works to then use that and implement it in other portfolios as well and see what the results are, right? So yeah, it's just a…

It's just, I mean, I've really fallen in love with this process. It's just so much, so much fun for me. but it's a, you know, it's, it's, it's, it's a very long learning curve. And that's why I think to your point, you were saying. You know, every company should have somebody who was focused on revenue management, whether it's you do it yourself. You hire a service like ours, or you hire a full -time revenue manager. If you're going to do it yourself, like you have to love it.

Eric Moeller (30:15.886)
Hmm.

Eric Moeller (30:39.854)
What?

Yeah, let's touch on that real quick. Let's touch on that real quick. And I do want to go deeper into like the actual numbers that we're, we're getting, result wise on free wild and maybe one of our clients, but just to touch on that real quick. cause we talked to a lot of companies that have, you know, 20 listings, 30 listings, a hundred listings, 200 listings. And if they don't have a revenue management person in place, it's typically the owner of the company or one of the owners.

Jasper Ribbers (30:42.772)
Like you absolutely have to love it.

Jasper Ribbers (30:49.972)
Mm -hmm.

Eric Moeller (31:12.366)
of the company that's in their pricing tool, just price clicking around and doing some things and they feel like it's a strategy, but it's not really going somewhere. And yes, that those are the directions. It's either you become the revenue management expert in your business. You hire a salary revenue management expert in your company or you hire service. You can't, you can't do this, listen and forget a thing anymore. Right.

So let's break that down. Like for you to become a revenue management expert, you got to be as obsessed and excited about that process as you are Jasper for free wild. That's how we got this whole place because like you love the art of revenue management, right? And you took, took it on and now we're taking on other people's portfolios doing this. So for the people that are listening, like if you're not, if this isn't a part of the business that excites you, like for me,

I'm not the person. I'm not the guy. I'm not, I'm not the guy that's going to be in setting all this stuff up. Like I understand it. I I'm excited about the results of it, but to sit down and implement the way that you implement it's that's not my thing. Right. I, I know where my strengths are and what excites me. So for the, for the owners of the companies that are listening to this, it's like, if you're not that person, you got to quickly find either the service or the person to do it for you.

and then you have to act as the CEO to lead that service or that person. Cause the other thing like hiring a revenue manager in house is very challenging because you have to, as like a team member, it's rare to find somebody who has the knowledge of the short term rental industry that knows how to create a revenue management strategy at a high level. Right. it's very, very difficult to find that person.

Jasper Ribbers (32:52.084)
Mm -hmm.

Eric Moeller (33:09.262)
And when you do their, they're very expensive, cause they're at a high demand, right? They have lots of options and then the service side. And this is why we wanted to roll out RPM as a service to the industry is because like we looked at all the other services and they're, they're good for what they do, but there's, there's a level of old school approach that, that I'm noticing for a lot of the services that.

Jasper Ribbers (33:15.892)
Mm -hmm.

Eric Moeller (33:36.462)
that are out there. Like they do one or two things that are really good, but they are managing a lot of portfolios and they don't go into depth for it. And what I see is a lot of, business owners, operators who hire these services, they go in with the same mindset of setting and forget it. They hire the service and then they just kind of let them do their thing. Right? So my advice to that is regardless of who you hire, if you hire RPM or

anybody else that offers a revenue management service, you have to act as the CEO to lead those companies to get the results that you're looking for. which is a lot easier for operators and business owners to do because it's you're doing that anyway with all your other team members, right? you, you don't have to be the expert there, but you do have to hold the standards and, and shoot for the goals. So I just wanted to touch on that real quick because there are different options out there.

And I think if companies do this correctly, the amount of lift that they can see on revenue is incredible. Right? Like, let's talk about that real quick, as far as like what we're seeing for clients, right? Like we go in there with a very specific, the only clients that we take on our clients that we feel pretty damn confident that we can have a pretty awesome growth on their, on their revenue. Right. and it's typically not us like,

Jasper Ribbers (34:43.124)
Mm -hmm.

Eric Moeller (35:03.534)
our clients aren't investing into their properties, painting walls, do new, you know, marketing or doing anything different other than passing the baton of revenue management to us. And then we're seeing this incredible growth. So once you talk about that, feel free to use like an example, or just overall, like what are the results that you're seeing with us taking over the revenue management, like money sitting on the table.

Jasper Ribbers (35:18.1)
Mm -hmm. Yeah.

Jasper Ribbers (35:25.264)
Yeah. No, and, and, you know, I think that's an important philosophy that we have. Like we don't go in with a mindset of like, we're taking over the work and we're just, you know, kind of delivering whatever performance that was already there. Like our goal is to generate, to make it a win -win where the client makes more money even after paying for our fee. Right. And that's exciting to me because that night everybody makes more money, right?

And so far, like we're, you know, we're hitting that for every single client that we've, that we work with. and that's exciting, right? I mean, I can give an example of, gyro, which who is actually going to be on the podcast in the next episode. So we'll, we'll share a lot of details around his business, but you know, we were able now to raise his revenue literally like 35 % compared to before we started managing for him. And that's huge. That's huge. You know, our goal is like 10, 20.

Eric Moeller (36:21.23)
Wow, massive.

Jasper Ribbers (36:24.276)
But obviously like when we're, you know, when we're going to say like, Hey, we got the 20 and so we're going to, you know, stop and just keep it at 20. Obviously we want to raise it as much as we can. And it's possible. Like it's, it's definitely possible. We go from set it and forget it to active, active management that we do. And one thing I should point out as well is like, we don't just do the pricing and everything in price labs on setting the prices. We also consult on the other departments.

because other departments drive the revenue as well. Right. So we need to have the marketing dialed in. We need to have certain operational aspects dial in, right? We need to have distribution. Every part of the business essentially feeds into the revenue management. So that's, that's something that's important where when I'm on a weekly call, my clients, yeah, well, I do during the week, I do all the work, but then also on those calls, I tell them like, Hey, there's an opportunity here to improve your marketing. There's an opportunity here.

to improve your operations, right? Jairo, for example, he didn't have, his team didn't have the ability to, for example, to leave a review for every single guest and respond to every single review and have all the listings being updated on a weekly basis, which is very, very important. So we helped him to hire a virtual assistant. And now he's very happy with that because he's less work, even less work to do.

but also now the virtual with the virtual assistants, like we can do all the things that he wasn't doing before we started working together. Right. And, you know, I met him in Miami last, last weekend or for the last week. And that for 35 % increase in his revenue, it's a huge difference for, for his business. because he does the, the master leasing and you know, when we started working with him, like he.

he wasn't very profitable. Like we reviewed his P &L for 2023 and there was really no profit left at all. So you can imagine that if you're making, if you're putting in a million and you're spending a million, then your profit is zero. Now you add 35 % to that million because that revenue is going to go right into your pocket. Now you're making a 350k profit. That's a huge, huge difference. It's just massive. And yeah, and that's…

Eric Moeller (38:44.782)
That's insane. That's insane. And think of, think of like what you ha what most operate. And this is why I love, this is why I see this being one of the biggest opportunities for professional operators right now is to really own revenue management is, you know, gyro, everyone will hear a story. So we'll save the details, but like he's a professional operator. Like he he's a smart man. He runs, you know, he has another

Jasper Ribbers (38:47.892)
I'm sorry.

Eric Moeller (39:12.014)
very successful company. He knows how to run companies, does a great job at what he's doing, but just by, by approaching revenue management, the same way that most people approach revenue management, he was leaving hundreds of thousands of dollars of profit on the table. Right. And just think of the amount of work that, and this is why I saw this as such a aha for me as an operator of like saying like, okay. Like this, we got to take super serious.

is like the amount of work, most operators to earn that extra $350 ,000 in their mind, I have to go out and get more properties, right? Which is so like such a labor intensive, high risk, approach to making that type of money where most of these operators like, like high row that are, you know, mid level operators that are,

You know, running, let's just say dollar wise, a million to 10, $15 million worth of bookings. they're leaving that much money on there just by ignoring revenue management or approaching revenue management in an old school way. Right? So that's what I freaking love about that man. Like $350 ,000 is a lot of money to come back as profit to a company for.

for not having to reinvest or bring more listings into your business. Now just imagine as he starts scaling and adding more listings to his property, to his portfolio and already having the RPM strategy in place, like immediately he's maximizing revenue on these listings. We don't have to go through that discovery phase anymore, right? So it's incredible. I really like, man, I,

Jasper Ribbers (41:00.788)
Mm -hmm.

Eric Moeller (41:04.91)
Set it back in the day. Like I, it's funny. I look back at like what you and I have preached to the industry. it hasn't been a lot. It's been like the same message for the most part, but the first step was like, okay, you got to build systems, right? We can't keep approaching business this way. We got to invest into systems. And that's where legends X came from. And then it's like, okay, well, we got to build a hospitality brand. That's the future of short term rentals. And now two, three years later, we see that everywhere as like one of the most popular things.

This is my next prediction is like revenue management is the, the next biggest, profit, profit vehicle in your business is developing a real revenue management strategy. I think that's like your, your branding needs to be dialed in. Your customer service needs to be world -class. You have to solve a very specific challenge for a very specific traveler and you have to focus on your revenue management.

Jasper Ribbers (41:50.356)
Mm -hmm.

Jasper Ribbers (42:02.196)
Mm -hmm.

Eric Moeller (42:04.526)
Either hire somebody or become an expert within your own business.

Jasper Ribbers (42:06.452)
Yep.

Yeah, yeah, a hundred percent. And one thing that I realized through working with Hiro, cause you know, he's looking at onboarding new buildings, right? So he does, he does master leasing. So, right. So there's all these buildings and he looks at like, okay, how much can I, how much do I have to pay to rent this building? And how much can I make on the Airbnb? Right. He's now looking to onboard a new building that before we started working together, the numbers didn't make sense. Right.

But now that he's increased his revenue, now suddenly that building does make sense, right? Because 35%, that's the difference between, okay, we're not gonna make any money on this building or we aren't gonna make money on this building, right? So that's what's really cool as well, like saving in time so he has more time to go out and find these properties. But also because his revenue is so much higher now, a lot of more buildings make sense for him to add to his portfolio. So it's a double whammy.

Eric Moeller (42:51.79)
Yeah.

Eric Moeller (43:04.75)
Yeah. Yeah. A hundred percent. Yeah, man. It's amazing. And then, you know, he's now taking that profit and reinvesting into his existing listings, which are now becoming more desirable, and earning more money. So it's like, it's an incredible flywheel for a business, right? so yeah, I think that's, that's one of our biggest, predictions moving forward is like, and, and suggestions to everybody is to like really master this within their business.

Jasper Ribbers (43:07.508)
So don't move away from me.

Jasper Ribbers (43:35.956)
Yeah, a hundred percent. But you have to, it's such an intense process that like you have to love it. You know, if, if you're not loving it, then I mean, I guess that's probably true for everything. Right. I think that's one thing that I've learned over the last few years is, is we really got to just focus on like what we do best and what we love doing. Cause everything else just takes away from that. Right. So, so yeah, I think that's, you know, that's, I think that's one of the biggest, most important messages that we can bring.

Eric Moeller (44:00.014)
100%.

Jasper Ribbers (44:05.524)
you know, to the, to the listeners today is, is like, make sure that if, if you want to, if you want to still be around in, in three, three or five years, like you have to find a solution for, for the revenue management side, either you love it and you do it and you spend the time on it. You learn, you have to learn it first. We have a course for that too. or you have to hire a service or hire a full time in the house.

Eric Moeller (44:32.078)
Yeah. And for anyone who wants more info on this stuff too, on how we, you know, how our service works, you guys could check that out at free wild F R E E W Y L D foundry .com slash RPM. And, we, we put up a page so that you'll be able to kind of read through our process, the whole thing. and then, to be clear, this isn't our service, isn't for everybody. It's really for.

companies that are in between that one and $10 million range. and, also focused on scale, you know, looking, looking to grow. And we found like our service really, really works extremely well for the rental arbitrage companies and owner operators still works for property managers without a doubt. But, those are those two companies models.

right, which is, or the, you know, the, the business owner. So yeah, if you guys want more info on that, check out, free wild foundry .com slash RPM. and, yeah, man, to wrap this up, any other, any other takeaways or anything that you want to share on free wild itself that you've learned through the, the revenue management side.

Jasper Ribbers (45:29.3)
Exactly.

Jasper Ribbers (45:50.356)
No, I mean, you know, I think the biggest thing is what I mentioned. Like it's a, it's just such a learning curve and everything's constantly changing. so we have to really focus on the, on every, we have to look at every single booking. Another thing I learned is like, you, the people are willing to pay a lot of money for the right type of experience. you know, our black mountain studio, just that, that thing has just completely blown my mind.

the results that we're getting there.

Eric Moeller (46:19.53)
Yeah. And, just, just for the listeners on that, cause I think we're going to be talking about that unit quite a bit, in, in coming podcasts and on our social media and all that. So if you guys want to see that unit, go to free wild .com slash black mountain, and, you'll be able to see the actual cabin that we're talking about, but that cabin is like,

I mean, it talk, it talk about the results on that and like what's happening. I mean, it's a beautiful cabin, beautifully designed, has awesome views of the mountains and trees, hot tub. It's got a fireplace. Like it's a perfect designed type of cabin and size for that area. But then putting the RPM strategy on top of that has really, the results have been incredible. So yeah, what do you, what do you, what are we seeing there as far as that one cabin?

Jasper Ribbers (47:14.036)
Yeah, so I have the numbers in front of me here. All right, so we're talking about a studio in Idylwild, right? The average studio in Idylwild makes about $24 ,000 a year. The best performing studio outside of ours makes about $37 ,000. Now, our studio is projected in 2024 to make 72.

Eric Moeller (47:43.086)
Wow, wow, I didn't realize that.

Jasper Ribbers (47:43.572)
So that is, to put that in perspective, that's like almost double what the next best studio generates as far as the data that we collect, right? Through ARD name, price lapse, and all of that. So that's pretty amazing. That has really blown my mind. I didn't think it was possible to get to that level. I mean…

Our ref bar on that studios so far this year is just over $200 where the average market ref bar is like 75. So that's like, you know, it's two and a half more than two and a half X. which, you know, that, and to your point, like when you, when you have like a really high end experience, like that, the higher end experience will, the, the more money you can make by leveraging the right strategy.

when it comes to the revenue management side.

Eric Moeller (48:41.898)
Look, man. And it's not, this is the thing. Like it's not much more work building free wild than what I did in the past with building our arbitrage and management company. It's like, it's not that much more work to focus on a brand and a story and design and a specific asset. And all like it's all.

It's, it's right around the same amount of labor that goes into creating that. And, but the results are so much bigger because of the intention that's put into every single aspect of this company. Right. And like, we put so much intention into the brand and the story and so much into the way that we market the way that we tell that story through the design of the properties, through customer service, unreasonable hospitality.

and now with RPM on top of that, like we're figuring out how to maximize revenue on a beautiful property. It's like, everyone has access to this. Everyone can do that and everyone can create something that's unique to them. Right. Which is so exciting. And it's like, you just have to make a decision. And this is where I see a lot of, a lot of operators that we're talking to some operators, like, maybe you can have a Sergio on here one day to talk about his, his success, but like,

You know, certain operators, Sergio is a perfect example of like that mindset of like, yeah, I know this is my weakness. I don't want to do this. I believe that you guys can drive these results. I want to hold you to those results. Now here's the Patango run with it. Right. And it's like, okay, that was easy. Let's, and we're getting awesome results from that. and then we talked to other operators that are so controlled that hectic host model, right? Of like,

I have to be in control of doing this and I'm so afraid of movement. That's where the stalemate really comes in people's businesses. So I really do encourage everyone who's like listening to this. If like, if you're a professional operator looking to grow, you got to either develop the skillset of revenue management and we can support on that. We have a, you know, we have a program called cashflow mastery. Get paid for your pad .com slash cashflow mastery.

Eric Moeller (51:03.054)
that can help people in that side. And then of course we have RPM that can support you on for the bigger, the bigger companies, but they have to take on, they have to really own that part of their business because the moment that we can start matching brand and story and marketing and amazing customer service with a real revenue management strategy, you quickly become the top performing company in your marketplace. And it becomes very difficult to compete with you because most people, most companies,

are missing most of those elements in a company specifically revenue management. So yeah, I think, dude, I think the people that take this on are just gonna, they're gonna, they're gonna realize a lot of money that's been sitting.

Jasper Ribbers (51:40.18)
No, 100%.

Jasper Ribbers (51:48.436)
Yeah, yeah, 100%. And that's why it's so fun to do this. I love making people more money because everyone's happy.

Eric Moeller (51:51.79)
Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Dude, 72 ,000 for Black Mountain. That's incredible.

Jasper Ribbers (52:00.5)
I know, it's so crazy. Awesome, man. Well, any final thoughts before we wrap up?

Eric Moeller (52:07.47)
That's it, man. Appreciate you having me back on here. We'll jump back on and give some updates on what's happening with the development in a couple of weeks. fingers crossed. We get an offer accepted on a hotel cabin hotel that, I've been negotiating for the last four plus months. so hopefully next time I come on here, we have our second property. and then if anybody wants to, find out more of what we're doing on the

the service side, just check out free wild foundry .com.

Jasper Ribbers (52:41.684)
That's right, freewildfoundry .com and then slash RPM if you're interested in the revenue management and you're doing, we're being pretty selective with the people that we work with, but feel free to apply. And with that said, that's it for today. I'm sure we'll have Eric on in the next couple of months. Bless you. He's kind of dying right now, but.

Eric Moeller (53:02.734)
Cough cough

I'm joking. Sorry, guys.

Jasper Ribbers (53:10.164)
All good. You still alive?

Eric Moeller (53:17.23)
back sorry

Jasper Ribbers (53:17.844)
Yes, he's still okay. Don't worry. Don't worry everybody. He's still alive. Yeah, we'll do some more podcasts because we have so much going on and I feel like right now Free Wilds just, you know, the hockey stick thing where it's like, it's about to explode. I know. I have that feeling. Yeah, so we'll…

Eric Moeller (53:22.318)
That's it.

Eric Moeller (53:35.566)
Yep. Yeah. It's pretty crazy, man. Yeah. We didn't even scratch the surface on what we're doing. I mean, the conversations we're having with investors are just so freaking exciting. You know, we got some investor commitments, over $3 million on our next purchase, which is really awesome. A hundred percent of our, development has been committed to hiring some really amazing people.

Yeah. Yeah. It's, it's, it's awesome to see what's happening. So excited to be a part of it. and, yeah. So we'll jump back on and, that's it. Y ‘all appreciate you having me on Jasper.

Jasper Ribbers (54:18.068)
All righty. Yeah, thanks for jumping on and to the listeners, hope you enjoyed this episode. We'll definitely do a few more podcasts in the near future. So with that said, thank you for listening and we'll see you next time.

Eric Moeller (54:32.782)
adios.

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