Managing short-term vacation rental apartments demands a lot of time. It is no surprise that property owners resort to online travel agents (OTA) for acquiring regular bookings. However, success with OTAs means giving away 15-20% of your ROI.
Imagine how you can maximize earnings by putting in work to increase your direct bookings. In this article, we’ll share trade secrets to get direct guests for your vacation rentals.
Not Just Another Website
Stand out from the competition with an optimized website that ranks on the first page of Google and other search engines. Further, as much as 35% of online bookings are done through a mobile phone, a mobile-responsive website is vital to your business.
Web design should be simple with the incorporation of clear images, essential packages, and promos. The call-to-action button should be immediately visible, and the process of booking should be quick and easy, ideally with a simple date picker (from – to – number of guests)
Advertise to Website Visitors
Keep track of those who visit your website so you can better advertise to them. Re-targeting is an effective advertising strategy aimed at guests that have previously visited your website, or have used any of your short-term vacation rentals. The ads are displayed on several websites across the web for maximum outreach.
Simultaneously, if you have contact information for web visitors, you can reach out to them personally and help them complete their direct booking with you. Mention complimentary breakfast or a promo you have the week they are staying with you.
You can also offer incentives for direct booking. Loyalty programs and earning points that can be redeemed at your vacation homes encourage repeat bookings.
Be on the Same Playing Field as Hotels
Traditionally, a short-term rental owner or manager utilizes meta-search engines (such as TripAdvisor or Trivago) to maximize direct bookings. They indeed help property owners boost their ROI but still they charge a certain percentage for commission.
Google, however, is leveling the playing field by introducing their Google Hotel Ads program where vacation rental owners can have their properties listed over different Google products, including google maps for smooth user experience.
This program removes the need for an OTA and gives you the right to manage your short-term rental listing with more freedom. With the right strategy, you can get your website link to appear top of comparison results and get more leads to your direct and commission-free booking page.
Tap into the Power of Social Media
Studies show that consumers are most likely to search for businesses on Facebook. This is not different for travelers looking for accommodation. Guests read up reviews and skim through promotional ads and photos on your Facebook page. Maximize FB’s potential with a direct booking system conveniently added on your Facebook page as a plugin and Book Now button.
For this reason, consider using a booking engine. Nuevah offers an easy to install Facebook plugin that allows guests to book vacation home rentals on your FB page. Integrating a booking engine to property management system and channel manager also allows for real-time viewing of available rooms. This way your guests can book quick and easy, ask you questions on Facebook chat if needed, and your property availability is automatically updated.
Stay Competitive with your Rates
Whether on business or leisure, guests are drawn more and more towards cheap and quality vacation rentals instead of pricey hotels. For one, they save money, get more privacy, and connect more with locals. It is very important to offer them the right pricing. Make sure that your short-term rental is always competitively priced. Rate management tools such as Nuevah offer a quick way to update your pricing across all channels you are listed on.
When it comes to managing your listing, Nuevah also has a channel manager can help you out. This powerful tool helps you avoid double booking and stay organized with your calendar. You can integrate it with all major booking OTAs in real time, guaranteeing 100% occupancy without worrying about overbooking.
Level up your property management game and increase revenue with the right tool. With a bit of elbow grease, you can ensure the shortest vacancy for all your rental units. The use of advertising tools, optimized websites, social media, booking sites, and channel managers all contribute to skyrocketing direct booking.