Perfect Price’s Alex Shartsis on the role of AI in the rental space

US: ShortTermRentalz spoke to Alex Shartsis, co-founder and CEO of Perfect Price, to discuss the company’s newly-announced integration with TRACK, a property management software solution, as well as the role AI [artificial intelligence] has to play in the evolution of the short-term rental space.

  • Please introduce yourself, Perfect Price and the services you provide within the vacation rental industry.

“Perfect Price is a leading AI-powered dynamic pricing company, enabling vacation or short-term rental companies to more effectively manage price and availability. Our software offers “unrivalled” intelligence, transparency and control.” 

  • Could you please explain why your integration with TRACK is so significant to vacation rental operators: what will it allow them to achieve?

“TRACK customers tend to be larger property management companies that need software built for professionals — and that’s what we provide. Our dynamic pricing software enables TRACK’s customers to maximise revenue for themselves and their owners – in less time – by using AI.”

  • What sort of hurdles are property managers facing when it comes to instilling dynamic pricing in their organisations? How can this be effectively addressed?

“Dynamic pricing is sometimes perceived as risky or too complicated, especially for larger organisations: if you manage 500 or 1,000 properties you’re obviously doing a lot of things right, so why make a change?

“Perfect Price addresses the concerns of these larger property managers by providing AI-powered pricing intelligence within easy-to-use dashboards, so they can keep an eye on performance and address it quickly. Our algorithms consider real-time market data to provide the best price recommendations for each property.

“But unlike other pricing software, Perfect Price offers customers transparency into why those prices were recommended and full control over what prices are deployed. As a result, vacation rental operators can enjoy the benefits of dynamic pricing without any risk.”

  • How do you think the role of AI has evolved in the vacation rental space over the years?

“Apart from spotting credit card fraud, I’m not sure AI existed in the vacation rental space until we entered it, certainly not for business decision-making.

“Now, with AI, vacation rental companies can focus on what they’re great at: attracting and retaining owners, making guests’ experiences wonderful, and all of the things that go into that. Pricing can be perfect with a lot less effort.” 

  • Are you seeing any widespread AI trends which we will see in 2020 and beyond?

“There was a trend and there still is, but ending with companies liking any pitch with “AI” in it. They call it “AI pixie dust” because much of it is hype over reality.

“However, now people are recognising that there are problems AI can solve and problems it can’t. I think the biggest advancements AI will create for society are still ahead of us, whether it is us making markets more efficient, or something nobody’s thought of yet.” 

  • What do you believe will be the impact on the industry as a whole? Why should we be excited about this?

“Pricing can be really, really hard to get right. And if you get it wrong there are losers: either the owner, who is paid less or has a place sit vacant; or the renter, who is priced out of a vacation or not able to get a unit when they want it.

“With AI-powered dynamic pricing, property managers can make better pricing decisions. Not only that, but with our transparent interface and key insights, they can work with their property owners to help them understand those pricing decisions before they go to market.

“And then the ultimate beneficiary is the traveller, who has either more affordable off-season rentals and can make a trip that wouldn’t have happened otherwise — or has a place to stay when they really need it at peak times. Everyone wins with dynamic pricing.”

For more information, visit the Perfect Price website here.