When you first set up a new vacation rental company, direct reservations may seem impossible. However, the work involved is extremely worthwhile if you have plans to expand the business. It may give you a bit of assurance that many owners of these businesses often struggle to get direct booking websites setup, and this is usually because they have never done this before.
It is often difficult to create a website that features the necessary information needed and that it is appealing to visitors. At the same time, you need to attract the right type of visitors to the website. But as the old age saying goes “where there is a will, there is a way”.
If you decide to hire an experienced and skillful website builder, it becomes much easier to obtain direct bookings. If this is what you need, we are the business you should be turning to. In this post, we will cover what to expect when you own a direct booking website, some of the advantages it can provide, and any procedures that are involved to help you get started. So if this interests you, we recommend that you keep on reading.
What Is A Direct Booking Website?
Here is an overview of the basics before you get started. Amight not know what is involved to own a direct booking site. Even though many experts suggest getting the site perfect before you can get your business started, you may not be aware of the details involved in this process.
With a direct booking site, you can expose your property to visitors, entice these people to make a booking with you, and secure their reservations without the assistance of a third-party listing site. So what should the direct booking site include? You can choose to add what you think is important.
Skilled and experienced website builders often provide custom tabs, allowing you to organize the content in which every way you would like. Here is an informational list of what you can expect to find on direct booking websites:
– A Bio or “About US” page
– Directions or instructions on how to get there
– Deals and Discounts
– Things to do or an Attraction Guide
– Photo Gallery
These are just a few examples of important things you should be including on a direct booking website. Just keep in mind, that you are the one that gets to decide what you want to include. On the site, you can showcase or advertise anything that you think might assist with increasing direct bookings.
Why Are Direct Booking Websites Vital For Holiday Rental Owners?
In all honesty, it will take a bit of time to design a quality website for direct bookings. But there are many benefits you can enjoy when you decide to use one of these websites for your business.
You can be sure that the advantages of an effective direct booking website will outweigh the early fees and labor. Here is a list of the most obvious benefits of owning one of these websites:
#1 Adds Value
There are many benefits on offer when it comes to direct reservations. The most important one involves providing your business with more value. When comparing direct bookings and OTA bookings, reservations are far more valuable.
#2 Fewer Commissions
Once your job is complete by sprucing up the vacation rental and the property is staged perfectly, and you have completed a few hours of administrative chores, you may find out that the payout you will receive is going to be far less than you expected. You may be confused when a $100 daily rate, only pays you out $74. The drawbacks of OAs become extremely obvious here.
Each of the listing websites has a fee or extra that you will need to pay. This is what is required for these types of websites to operate. These fees that these websites charge are used for paying for marketing, customer service, and the resources for guests and hosts. This is the reason why it costs a lot more to list the vacation rental properties.
You can save a lot of money when booking direct. Regardless of the type of listing website you decide to use, each one has a fee that they will charge. There is a list of these on our Vacation Rental Websites Guide. Even though OTCs can assist you when it comes to obtaining more reservations and publicity, you won’t have to worry about these costs when owing your own direct booking site.
The fees that you save on OTA commission could then be used to provide breakfast or welcome bags for your guests. These small things could assist you when it comes to gaining positive reviews or building up loyal followers. This will also encourage guests to directly book from your site.
#3 Longer Stays
When analyzing the value and perks that direct bookings can provide, it involves a lot more than only money. Even though you will be earning more or saving money on those OTA fees, you should also think about the amount of time that is devoted to these bookings. Greater value is also achieved through direct bookings since it saves you time and effort.
Any of the experienced hosts state that more work is required when their guest turnover is high. If you are managing check-ins and check-outs yourself, you probably know that preparing and cleaning the property for your next guest can take up at least half a day of your time.
To avoid these situations, many hosts prefer to target the guests who reserve a longer-term stay. There are fewer hassles involved with longer stays and this will also help to lower your vacancies, saving you both time and money.
There are different methods you can use to promote or advertise long-term stays. The nature surrounding these types of reservations and the option to directly book usually attracts longer stays.
Here is an example, in 2021 the “average stay” was 5.9 days for the direct bookings, while the “average stay” on VRBO and Airbnb was only 4.5 days. When guests are booking directly with you, your chances are higher when it comes to receiving at least one extra day.
Let’s take a closer look at this from your earnings. If you are getting 4 $100 per night reservations every month, before paying your OTAs fees you would be making around $1,800 every month from these bookings. If these bookings were all direct bookings, then you could be earning $2,360 on each one. This translates into a $560 increase each month due to direct bookings, which makes it possible for guests to stay a bit longer.
#4 More Control Over Your Property
Third-party websites have their own set of standards and policies that guests should be adhering to. Setting the expectation you have for guests is much easier to achieve when the guidelines are followed consistently. For instance, when you book with Airbnb, you are told what to expect in association with house regulations and travel insurance.
These principles can help your guests to gain a better feel or understanding of a property. However, for hosts, this can become quite restrictive. Once you have decided to rent out the property yourself, this implies you are able to handle everything on your own as well.
Fortunately, when customers visit your direct-booking website, you have complete control over the reservation processes from start to finish. You decide how you would like to manage payments, reservation requests, and check-ins. This can also help you to create customized services that you can offer your guests. Overall, this gives you more command and control over these procedures.
#5 Improve Visitor Interactions
The relationships that you build with guests will be stronger. Since your guests are in direct contact, you are offered the opportunity to develop a stronger and more personal bond with potential customers. When you achieve strong host-guest relationships, this will significantly benefit you and your business.
This usually includes word-of-mouth recommendations, outstanding reviews, and repeat reservations. This can help you to scale your business for vacation rentals for free.
As an owner of a vacation rental, you may have a goal to provide your visitors with value when they book directly with you, run promotions or discounts to keep your calendar full even over the slower seasons or capitalize on holidays such as Christmas or Valentine’s Day. Other businesses may find it hard to compete when you have covered all these fronts.
You also have more control over your visitor’s experiences when you form direct relationships by allowing them to reserve their vacations from your direct booking website. You could send out notes in advance to a visitor to establish if they have a specific request allowing you to match up to these expectations. Or perhaps they are traveling with an infant and they need a camp cot or changing table.
When you go the extra mile so that your visitor’s stays’ are more comfortable it will make sure you earn instant gratitude. This will also result in many positive reviews when it comes to their stay and your services, which can then be added to your website.
#6 Create A Personal Brand
When creating a website for vacation rentals, allows you to define your brand. This could include your color scheme, corporate values, a logo and helps to develop a solid reputation and trust with your future, potential, and past guests. When your logo and website are seen by any visitors, this will help these people to remember you and your brand.
When you incorporate consistent branding, this shows that you are professional to visitors and guests. When you have an exceptional direct booking site and a solid brand for your vacation rental, it increases your credibility as a reliable vacation rental business.
So perhaps you traveled once and you managed to secure a stunning vacation property booked through Airbnb. So did you tell your family and friends about your experience? Did you perhaps call or refer to the apartment where you were staying? Your brand is only a commodity rather than your own when it comes to internet travel agents.
Build Your Own Direct Booking Website To Enjoy Exceptional Growth
Direct booking websites are the best way to grow a vacation rental business. The most effective marketing tool you can use for your vacation rental is to have your own site that allows guests to book directly with you, market the property, and collect new leads.
It may take a bit of time, but in the long run, you will probably discover you will be extremely happy that you took the time and effort to create one. Call us today, to obtain your own outstanding, fast, and easy-to-use direct booking website.