The History of Smartpricing: How We Created Italy’s First Fully-Automated Revenue Management Software
Who we are and how Smartpricing was born.
When I partner with a company or pay for services on behalf of Smartpricing, I like to read that company’s story. To understand what led them to launch their company and how much passion the team has for their service and their customers.
That’s why I want to tell you our story: the story of Smartpricing.
The 3 protagonists
Luca - CEO, administrator: Graduate in international studies from Trento and studied marketing with the University of Los Angeles. International experience in the tourism and technology sectors.
Eugenio - CTO, technical manager: Graduate in computer science. Worked for several years in “tech-travel” around the world, including Silicon Valley.
Tommaso - COO, operations manager: Graduate in economics from Copenhagen Business School. Worked in consultancy for Roland Berger and Google.
After a wet experience in London, managing short and long-term accommodation, I (Luca) was in Los Angeles and had just incorporated my first LLC (the American equivalent of SRL) with a partner originally from California.
This partner had several useful connections and, in just a short time, we were able to find our first non-hotel properties to manage.
Once the furnishing and general setting work was finished, it was time to integrate our management software.
After setting up the PMS (a management system for tourist properties) and the Channel Manager, I didn't think there was anything left to do.
I was wrong.
My American partner said that we were now integrating pricing management and automation software.
Having no experience with the technology, I had to ask him: "What’s the benefit? Why should we invest 1% of turnover in this?”
And it’s true: this software, which was used exclusively for holiday homes, cost 1% of our annual turnover every year.
Over 15 thousand dollars for the annual license!
His reply was simple: "You’ll see. It’s like magic. It’s like money raining down from the sky.”
In a few weeks, I understood why my partner was so confident: the results were in.
Prices were constantly rising and falling according to market demands, and the turnover of our apartments was skyrocketing compared to market averages.
After a couple of years in Los Angeles, I sold my stakes in the rental and subletting business, completed my marketing studies at the University of Los Angeles and returned to Italy.
With Eugenio and Tommaso we launched 1Dest.com, a company that rents and sublets tourist properties.
We immediately looked for a tool to manage prices automatically, just like I had previously done in the United States. Something that met our needs and, above all, that was automated.
In the end, we never found a good enough tool for the Italian market.
So we decided to build our own. A tool that would automatically manage the rates of all of our properties.
By testing various formulas and ideas during 2018 and 2019, we created a tool that gave us spectacularly consistent results: our apartments invoiced, on average, twice as much as their competitors in the area.
Speaking with several hoteliers, we realized that there could be a major gap in the market.
We sold the software to a few properties in our area and, before long, saw the effects were incredible for them too.
I will always remember how, in the first month of using our tool, we helped a property with about twenty rooms to increase its monthly turnover by 49%.
This was June 2019 compared to June 2018.
We then performed a little market research and realized that over 98% of small-medium hotels in Italy did not use any automated tool for price management.
We therefore decided to create a new company and create a new tool, made to measure for small and medium-sized hotels.
Thus Smartpricing was born in February 2020, a month before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the following months, we understood that with our little company, we had an important mission: to help small-medium European properties as much as possible during and after Covid-19.
Today, Smartpricing increases the turnover of dozens of hotels and bed & breakfasts across Italy, despite the pandemic and the enormous travel restrictions around the world.
If you want to see how Smartpricing works and personally test its easy-to-use features, and witness the accuracy with which it manages prices, we’d love to show you.