How Hartfield House Hostel Combated Seasonality By Making An Extra £3.4k In 30 Days

Nestled among the towering mountains and serene landscapes of Scotland, Hartfield House Hostel is a hidden gem on the North Coast 500 route. Comprising a Visit Scotland 4 Star hostel with a capacity of 31, The Bunkhouse accommodating 19, and venues for weddings, events, and group activities, Hartfield House offers a unique retreat in the wilderness.

Recently, the hostel has seen substantial improvements in revenue, thanks to the adoption of Preno’s dynamic pricing tool. In the past 30 days alone, dynamic pricing has generated an additional £3,473.00 with 566 automatic pricing adjustments.

“Now we are on target to make it through the winter. It’s as simple as that, to be honest.”

We sat down with Jess Whistance, the owner of Hartfield House Hostel, to delve into her experience with Preno’s dynamic pricing and how it has transformed her business.

30-Day Revenue Surge: Hartfield House Hostel's £3.4k Gain with Dynamic Pricing

Jess’s journey with dynamic pricing began when a consultant identified a significant gap in her pricing strategy. “Previously, up until this year, we’ve just had a set rate throughout the year. It was only when we went to a consultant who said, ‘I think you’re missing about £100,000 here,’ so we really had to change our point of view,” she explains.

Recognising the potential for revenue growth, Jess decided to take the plunge into dynamic pricing. “So I spoke to a revenue management consultant, initially to talk to him about possibly doing that job for us, in terms of taking all of our revenue management on, and it was ridiculously expensive. So we decided I could probably learn how to use dynamic pricing myself. Between that and watching Preno’s help videos. Yeah, it was really simple to set up once we’ve got the hang of it.”

One of the most significant shifts Jess experienced was a change in mindset regarding pricing strategies. Initially, there were concerns about customer reactions to fluctuating prices. “We thought there was a ceiling on what you could charge, when actually you can charge whatever people are willing to pay when there’s very little accommodation around, it turns out,” Jess shares.

The results spoke for themselves.

“Some of our rooms, because it’s last minute and it’s down to the last one, have, say, gone from £40 to £80. That’s a bit of a shock when that comes in, and you think, ‘oh my god, that can’t be right.’ Since January, when we put that in place, we’ve not had a single person say, ‘that’s a bit expensive’ at all. It’s really just around changing my mindset.”

30-Day Revenue Surge: Hartfield House Hostel's £3.4k Gain with Dynamic Pricing

Jess is keenly aware of the importance of seasonal pricing and plans to offer more affordable rates during the winter to attract guests. “We’re not costing ourselves out; we are going to do winter pricing, which will be much, much cheaper. So people can get a really good deal in the winter. But yeah, it’s been really, really successful for us and massively helpful.”

Running a seasonal business presents unique challenges, particularly in generating sufficient revenue during peak months to sustain operations through the off-season. For Hartfield House Hostel, dynamic pricing has been a game-changer. “We’re a seasonal business. So we have five months of the year when we don’t really take bookings, because we’re on the edge of a mountain in Scotland. We need to generate an extra £100,000 in order to make it through the winter each year. So we weren’t making it through.”

With Preno’s dynamic pricing tool, Jess is now on track to meet her revenue targets.

“Now we are on target to make it through the winter. It’s as simple as that, to be honest. Without that additional income in summer, we are literally at zero by the time we get to March next year, and start opening again. So yeah, it’s the difference between keeping going and not.”

The automation provided by dynamic pricing has been invaluable, making 566 pricing adjustments in the past 30 days.

“That’s been massively helpful, you know. If you think about it, if I’d made those individually, I’d be on all the time, whereas I only go into it weekly at the moment. In fact, I haven’t been in it for the last two weeks. That would be unmanageable if it was done manually. Our last system was just manual, which is why we didn’t do it right.”

For businesses considering a move to dynamic pricing, Jess’s journey offers a valuable insight:

“I kind of had an inkling that, you know, we would generate a little bit more, but when I started to see how May was looking, and the other months, I did a quick calculation. And yeah, I mean, it’s amazing. It’s really good.”

If you’d like to try Preno’s Dynamic Pricing and see how it can work for your business, sign up for Preno’s 7-day free trial.


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