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PBSA summer revenue: How to achieve lasting revenue growth
In this blog post, we will look at your PBSA summer revenue options, how to make it work for you, and your ideal management tech stack.
The problem with standard PBSA contracts is that they cover 40-45 weeks every year, leaving rooms empty for 7-12 weeks. That’s two to three months of zero revenue on your units. So how do you achieve lasting revenue growth by tapping into PBSA summer revenue opportunities?
In this Cloudfox blog post, we will look at your summer revenue options, how to make them work for you, and how to set up a tech stack to take the pain out of management.
PBSA summer revenue: what are your options?
Let’s start with six ways to make your units work for you during those summer months.
1. Offer discounts to encourage loyalty
Offering discounts for longer-term stays, early bookings for new semesters, or even referrals is an easy revenue opportunity for PBSAs; because it relies on your existing tenant database. It also encourages loyalty, helping you reach higher capacity in rooms over time.
2. Reduce room clean-up services and check-ins by having longer stays
The great thing about longer-term lets is that they need fewer clean-up services and less admin. Making a simple change to your processes here will help cut costs over the summer.
3. Work with suppliers for better summer rates
Whether you are increasing your unit rentals over the summer or closing down, it is always worth contacting your supplier for better package rates. So consider your card transaction fees, parking services or WiFi packages - What do you need, and what can you live without?
4. Provide pick-up and drop-off services
While Mum and Dad often get first refusal for picking up and dropping off during the first term at uni, students often need a helping hand as time goes on. A great way to increase revenue across the year is to provide student pick-up and drop-off services. This could include a shuttle service to and from the airport or train station, or moving services for those who are transferring away from units over the summer.
5. Partner with language schools or summer course providers
Language schools and summer course providers often have an influx of new students coming to the area for the first time. They don’t know anyone or have anywhere to stay. This is where PBSA’s can provide a valuable service.
Check out providers like Kaplan International Language School to see how you can collaborate.
6. Cash in on local events and festivals (hotelling)
Things like the Olympics might not come to the UK very often, but there are several opportunities that you can provide accommodation for if you are in the right location. We mentioned Edinburgh Fringe Festival in our recent PBSA rate-setting blog - did you know that 2.2 million tickets were sold in 2022 for an event that was woefully underrepresented with reliable and affordable accommodation? PBSAs units are perfect short-term let opportunities.
At this point, we hope we have got you thinking. Now it’s time to consider how to make these opportunities work.
How to make summer revenue work for your PBSA
Every new or upgraded revenue stream takes an amount of planning and prep. Here are a few reminders on how to make these opportunities work on building revenue over the long term.
- Marketing - Ensure you go all in on promoting your summer stays or discount offers at the right time to the right people. Start with your tenant list and then move on to outreach. Outreach should include all of your usual channels, from socials to uni adverts, but it could also include being listed on directories like language school travel agents or festival websites.
- Make your offer location and intent ready - Whether you offer rooms for local festivals or uni summer schools, ensuring your offer fits the customer base is important. Spend some time working out who that is and what they need.
- Consider your kerb appeal - Often, a summer rental opportunity doesn’t mean revenue from an existing audience. How your buildings, units and amenities work for a different customer base will need to be considered.
- If you don’t want a headache, outsource rooms to a third party for management - Providers like Lavanda can manage the whole summer rental service for you. For an all-inclusive price, you have a reliable revenue stream set up in a fraction of the time.
Regardless of who manages these services, at the very least, you’ll need to set up your tech for new or increased revenue opportunities. Let’s take a look at what that might look like.
How to use your tech stack to automate processes
To make summer revenue easier to add to your workload, you should consider an online booking system that allows summer renters to check availability, view pricing, book accommodation and self-service support tickets.
You’ll also need to automate your comms, marketing and property management systems (PMS) early on so that your team isn’t worrying about filling new rooms while students leave from the ending semester.
Then there’s cash flow and revenue reporting because you’ll need to dig into those numbers as time passes.
We think an ideal tech stack might look something like this:
- Xero - Kings of financial data and reporting with a host of integration options
- Lavanda - A great short-term letting system from check-in to check-out
- StarRez - Simple community and marketing tools with an online client portal
- Inventory Hive - For detailed property inspection
Need that tech stack building for you? Or maybe you’d like help with bookkeeping - Contact us today and let’s chat!