Vacation Rental Software – Made for Professionals

Help attract frequent travelers with Expedia Group Members Only promotion

 

Now available in Booker Tools!

 

Expedia Group member travelers tend to spend more, stay longer, and book more often than non- members. You can target these high value guests by using Members Only promotions. Members Only promotions offer exclusive deals to over 100 million members across all Expedia Group sites.

Recent Expedia Group research tells us that discounts remain a compelling motivator for travelers looking to book, and they play an important role in fueling the return to travel.

  •  65% of travelers said they use a pricing filter when searching on a travel booking website.*
  • A room discount would make 50% of travelers more likely to book an extra night.*
  • 30% of travelers considering their first trip after the global pandemic will consider promotions and discounts when choosing their lodging options.*

While travelers are searching for discounts, it is more important than ever to design a promotional strategy that delivers a strong return on your investment. Using a Members Only promotion is a great strategy to target your promotional offer to the best possible audience and improve your visibility in search.

Target high value guests

Expedia Group members, on average, book twice as many nights and spend twice as much as non- members. They are also more frequent travelers. Over 60% of travelers in Expedia Group loyalty programs stated that they expect to travel several times a year.

Stand out in search results

Each Members Only promotion receives an exclusive badge that helps you stand out in traveler searches.

The Members Only badge adds additional visibility to your listing among your competitors in traveler searches.

Ready to get started?

It is easy to manage Expedia Group Members Only promotions directly in your Booker Tools software.

 

For more info about our software check our  web page.

How to increase your bookings?

Dear readers, check these tips by Booking.com on how you can increase bookings and improve overall performance on their platform.

1. ADD A FLEXIBLE – 1 DAY

Maximise bookings by adding a Flexible – 1 Day policy

Given the current uncertainty around travel, people are looking for more flexibility than ever before. Where appropriate, Booking.com promotes flexible rates to help make it easy for potential customers to find what they’re looking for. For more info check here: https://partner.booking.com/en-gb/solutions/advice/pricing-foundations.

2. ADD A FLEXIBLE RATE

Offer flexibility to guests by adding a Flexible Rate

In these uncertain times, guests are looking for flexible booking options that allow them to make last-minute changes to their travel plans. For more info visit: https://partner.booking.com/en-gb/solutions/advice/pricing-foundations.

3. ADD A NON-REFUNDABLE RATE

Secure guaranteed payments with a Non-Refundable Rate

With a Non-Refundable Rate, guests pay the full price if they cancel or don’t show up. This rate type is a great way to secure revenue. To find out more check here: https://partner.booking.com/en-gb/solutions/advice/pricing-foundations

4. ADD AN EARLY BOOKER DEAL

Secure bookings and revenue in advance

The Early Booker Rate helps you boost occupancy early in the season by attracting guests who book their trips well in advance. If you want to know more about this check here: https://partner.booking.com/en-gb/solutions/advice/pricing-foundations

5. SET UP YOUR CHILD RATE

Attract more families to your properties

According to Booking.com data, families stay an average of 28% longer and book a 27% higher rate than couples and solo travellers.

6. ADD A MOBILE RATE

Add a targeted rate to increase visibility in mobile searches

Booking.com data shows that 75% of bookings are made on a mobile device. Mobile is by far the most important channel for bookings, and it’s also associated with important booking behaviour:

● Repeat bookings happen more often on the app

● First-time bookings happen seven times more often on a mobile browser

For more info about Mobile Rates check: https://partner.booking.com/en-gb/help/rates-availability/rates-special-offers/setting-mobile-rates

7. OPT IN TO ONLINE PAYMENTS

Plan for future demand with Online Payments

Depending on the policies you’ve chosen for your property, Booking.com can pay you either by virtual credit card (VCC) or via bank transfer. This enables you to receive guest payments the way that best suits your business needs. If you want to know more about Online payments visit: https://partner.booking.com/en-gb/help/policies-payments/payment-products/introducing-payment-solutions-bookingcom

8. JOIN GENIUS

Join the Genius programme

Genius is a marketing tool that helps increase your visibility and connects you with Booking.com’s highest-value guests. Genius guests travel more, stay for longer and spend more per night than the average customer. For more info check: https://partner.booking.com/en-gb/help/growing-your-business/increase-revenue/becoming-genius-partner

9. BECOME A PREFERRED PARTNER

You’re invited to join the Preferred Partner Programme

Preferred is an exclusive programme that’s offered to the top 30% of properties on Booking.com. Partners must meet a set of criteria to join, but once a member they can expect a big boost in bookings on Booking.com in return for a small increase in commission. To learn more about Preferred Partner Programme visit: https://partner.booking.com/en-gb/help/growing-your-business/increase-revenue/all-you-need-know-about-preferred-partner-programme

10. SET UP A COUNTRY RATE

Unlock local bookings with a targeted Country Rate

Country Rates are special rates offered to travellers in certain countries and regions that can make your property more attractive to them. Making them part of your pricing strategy is an important way of capturing specific travel demand. For more info check: https://partner.booking.com/en-gb/solutions/country-rates

11. SET UP A GETAWAY DEAL

Attract guests looking for an Easter or summer getaway

Set up a Getaway Deal on Booking.com to capture travellers booking for the Easter and summer holidays.

12. SET UP A WEEKLY OR MONTHLY RATE

Secure more revenue with a Weekly and Monthly Rate

The latest Booking.com data shows increased demand for longer stays. Weekly or Monthly Rates can help you capture this demand by offering a discount to guests who book longer stays. – Weekly Rates require a minimum stay of seven nights – Monthly Rates require a minimum stay of 28 nights

We are hiring – Frontend Developer

 

Direct Booker is a Vacation Rental Management & IT Company with a franchise business model for almost 11 years. By providing Vacation Rental Solutions – Management for Homeowners, Booking for Travelers, Software for Property Managers, and Franchise for Entrepreneurs, Direct Booker positioned itself as one of the unique brands in the Short term & Vacation Rental Industry. Now it is time to scale globally, and we are looking for experienced web developers who can help us.

Our only focus is building Booker Tools. It is a SaaS Property Management System (PMS) and channel manager, a true driver of the day-to-day business of a Vacation Rental Management Company that helps them achieve business excellence, create new value and digitally transform. We have already developed some advanced functionalities that our competition is just planning to develop, and the biggest platforms in this business like Booking.com, Airbnb, and Expedia have recognized product quality and named Booker Tools as preferred connectivity partner in 2021.

Currently, our team consists of 5 highly educated and motivated experts, but we need new equally motivated and enthusiastic colleagues to share our vision and support the achievement of our goals. If you join our team, you will work on developing a Booker Tools system where you will improve existing and gain new knowledge in the latest backend and frontend technologies like PHP Laravel, Vue.js, React and React Native. If you have experience, are not afraid of challenges, and are eager for new knowledge, this could be an exciting opportunity for you.

Responsibilities

  • participation in all phases of system development and maintenance
  • development of clean, optimized, and well documented program code
  • analysis, research, and support in defining user requirements
  • continuous improvement of program code
  • maintenance and improvement of internal technological standards

What you will be doing

  • developing new features
  • building reusable code and components for future use
  • optimizing applications for maximum speed and scalability
  • collaboration with backend developers during API design and implementation

What we expect

  • 3+ years experience in web development (Vue.js | React | React Native – not necessarily each of them)
  • high level of motivation and responsibility
  • independence and reliability
  • team spirit

What we offer

  • working on a single product
  • full remote working option
  • incentive income and progress in line with performance
  • pleasant working atmosphere without deadlines imposed by the clients
  • office in Dubrovnik

For additional info on our projects, check out our website www.booker-tools.com.

How to apply

Send us your resume and cover letter at posao@direct-booker.com if you want to be part of a success story and join our development team. We will review your application as soon as possible and get back to you.

 

A stronger summer, together!

It’s a peak of the season and we believe that most of you are satisfied with the results so far.
For those of you who want to increase their sales and meet the needs of today’s travelers, we suggest you realize these facts.

This summer travelers are searching for stays in June, July, August, and September as the numbers of covid cases are lower and traveling is safer. However, in these uncertain times, anything can happen that’s why it is more important than ever to have flexible rates. After spending almost a year in a lockdown it’s natural that people need to stay out of the house for a longer time.
You need to set up long-stay rate plans. We know that you are seeking safety measures, so let the guests know about it.
In today’s world, everybody is using their mobile phones for everything also for booking. Remember to add mobile rate.

Read this blog article from our partner Booking.com to make sure you are not missing anything!

BOOKER TOOLS CONNECTIONS

Using Channel Manager is a basic requirement for success in the Vacation Rental Industry. Besides providing more visibility, automatic content, rates, restriction, and availability management on all booking channels, Channel Manager is a time saver and scalability precondition. 

Being present on multiple sales channels will help you to develop your business as Channel Manager allows you to advertise your listings on multiple channels by managing them from one place.

Booker Tools features Channel Manager connected by two-way connection with 10 sales channels. Our partner NextPax Channel Manager provides a connection to additional 40+ sales channels directly via Booker Tools.

Booker Tools Channels Manager is connected to:

 

#1 Booking.com

Booking.com was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It has become the go-to booking website for all things travel. Booking.com dominates the industry, along with Expedia. According to HotelTechReport, Booking.com and Expedia control approximately 95% of the online travel market.

In Europe, Booking.com drives 50% of all European online hotel bookings (Source Tnooz).

Booking.com charges a commission of 10-18% (15% global average) per booking depending on the location and the status of the property. Being a global leader in listing properties online, Booking.com caters to travellers of all kinds. Any accommodation type including hotels, hostels, motels, B&Bs, apartments, vacation homes, cottages, cabins, villas, resorts, boats, luxury tents, etc lists their properties on Booking.com.

Booking.com listed Booker Tools as Premier Connectivity Partner, showing our technology meets the highest technology standards in the industry . 

#2 Airbnb

Airbnb is becoming one of the largest community for hosts and guests, with over 150 million users. Airbnb was founded in 2008 as a startup, and today is the most popular booking website that completely revolutionized the way travellers book their stay and how owners market vacation rentals.

Airbnb’s crowd-sourced, cultural approach to distribution has transformed the hospitality industry.

Airbnb travellers want to experience a destination like a local look, as 74% of properties are located outside main hotel districts.

Airbnb listings range from air beds in apartments to enhanced castles. Guests can find property types such as hostels, bed & breakfasts, apartments, castles, hotels, camping, farmhouses, lodges.

#3 Expedia

Expedia is the world’s largest travel company handling flights, car rentals, cruises, activities, hotels, and vacation rentals. They have localized sites in numerous countries and as a channel, it has a strong global presence. Adding Expedia to the vacation rental marketing mix will generate extra exposure on the numerous sites that belong to the Expedia Group.

Expedia charges a commission of 12-20% (on average 16.5%) depending on the market and property type. Expedia attracts a large audience as they are offering a variety of travel products.

Expedia listings include property types such as hotels, hostels, bed & breakfasts, campgrounds, lodges, pensions, apartments, palaces, townhouses, farmhouses, and other vacation rental types.

Expedia listed Booker Tools as 2021 Preferred Connectivity Partner among best technology providers for Expedia.

#4 Agoda

Agoda was founded in Thailand and is headquartered in Singapore. Agoda has over 2 million listings and it is the strongest in Asia, particularly Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines. It forms part of Booking Holdings; the parent company behind Booking.com.

Agoda is one of the fastest-growing travel booking platforms in the world. In terms of its marketing approach, the company places a strong emphasis on providing customers with cheap or discounted accommodation.

Agoda charges a commission fee of 15%, and Agoda guests are travelers wanting to travel to less popular and rural areas in Asia because Agoda is often their only choice.

On the Agoda sales channel, every type of accommodation can be listed, from Luxury hotels to budget ones, apartments, villas, vacation rentals, and bungalows.

#5 TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor is most well known for its extensive library of over 600 million travel-related reviews on properties, restaurants, airlines, activities, and more. It also allows travellers to book and reserve services through the website. Reading about the experience of others is a great way to book (or not) with confidence.

With 455 million monthly visitors, according to TripAdvisor’s sources, this website is the top choice for travellers.

TripAdvisor charges a commission of 12-15% (on average 15%) per booking. The user of TripAdvisor is generally interested in reading candid guest reviews of everything from hotels to restaurants and attractions that are listed on the platform. Travel services offered by TripAdvisor include hotels and vacation rentals, tours and tickets, flights, and restaurant reservations.

#6 E-domizil

E-domizil was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany. Today it is one of the leading vacation and holiday home sites in the world with more than 450.000 properties localized in countries such as Croatia, Hungary, Cyprus, Greece, Denmark, Italy, Montenegro, Spain, Bulgaria, and many more.

E-domizil travellers prefer character, privacy, space, and a variety of amenities as well as a larger audience of families and group travellers. Listings include property types such as hotels, hostels, bed & breakfasts, campgrounds, apartments, farmhouses, and other vacation rental types.

#7 HomeToGo

HomeToGo is a price-comparison search service for vacation rentals, offering 18 million offers in over 200 countries. Founded in 2014 in Berlin, they work with more than  2,000 vacation rental companies worldwide in over 200 countries. The platform sees over 23 million visitors every month.

The portfolio of vacation rentals ranges from vacation homes, apartments, hotels, boats, castles, hostels, lodges, resorts, bed & breakfasts, campgrounds, pensions, and farmhouses.

#8 HomeAway / Vrbo

Vrbo is part of the Expedia Group and has its focus on providing vacation rentals in the United States. Vrbo is a network of 50 sites around the world, receiving 75 million visits per month. It focuses on non-urban markets, which has made it one of the strongest channels in 2021.

Vrbo caters to a wide traveller base. However, they tend to be more of a reference point for families than other channels.

On Vrbo guests can find a vast offer of property types including houses, apartments, cabins, cottages, bungalows, studios, townhouses, villas, resorts, hotels, guest houses, lodges, chalets, caravans, farmhouses, estates, bed & breakfasts, country houses, boats, and even houseboats.

#9 HostelWorld

Hostelworld has more than 13 million reviews across 17,700 hostels in more than 178 countries, making the brand the leading online hub for social travel. HostelWorld lists Hostels around the world, and headquartered in Dublin it has offices around the world such as London, Shanghai, Sydney, and Porto.

Hostelworld receives a commission between 10% and 25% for each booking that is made through their website or app. Travellers who crave unique experiences that Hostelworld facilitates with the best choice of hostels around the world.

#10 HotelBeds

Since the establishment of HotelBeds in 2001, their hotel portfolio now holds 180,000 hotels, including globally recognized brands like the Hilton, Sheraton, Intercontinental, Hyatt, and many more. They span over 185 countries covering Asia Pacific, Europe, the Americas, and the Middle East.

Travelers seeking quality standards with exclusive standards that they cannot find anywhere else will book their stay via HotelBeds. Hotels, resorts, apartments, villas, bed/breakfasts, hostels, boutique hotels, apart-hotels they all list on HotelBeds.

We stay at your disposal to get more information on how to list your properties via Booker Tools Channel Manager.
If you want to further develop your vacation rental business be present, be active and generate more bookings.

 

 

Our new international partner from UK

The_biggest_advantages_that_Booker_Tools_has_are_speed_innovation_and_automation

We had a lovely chat with our new international partner VillaMore from the United Kingdom. Adam Thompson, Commercial Director, and Ian Sheekey, CEO, recently visited Direct Booker in Dubrovnik, Croatia. The senior management team at VillaMore has over 50 years of experience in the Vacation Rental industry.

“VillaMore delivers first-class villa holidays, catering for the mid to high-end market. Currently, we have over 3000 properties live across Portugal, Spain, France, Cyprus, Greece, Croatia, and Malta, with new destinations being added all the time.

Offering a diverse range of villas to suit everyone’s requirements, they aim to become a one-stop shop for all destinations, focusing on families, groups of friends, and couples looking for a first-class villa experience.

This past year has been a challenging period for travel and vacation rentals due to the ongoing pandemic, with expectations of further difficult times ahead. VillaMore has implemented new safety measures across all of their villas to ensure the safety of all visiting guests and offered flexible booking if travel restrictions change.

“We would say our biggest success is establishing the brand in a very challenging climate and working with our suppliers and guests to ensure everyone receives the best outcome in this rapidly changing environment.”

VillaMore has used the past year to focus on streamlining the business, making the guests’ booking experience quicker and easier while maintaining a safe and secure booking environment. Part of this process was to change Channel Manager due to increasing villa numbers and automation across all processes.

“We have been using an alternative channel manager for a few years but realized as we increased our offering, the limited functions and unworkable speed limited our progress. Booker Tools has been great to work with, developing the system constantly, and we are excited about the huge potential of the system as we grow the business.

Booker Tools is a Vacation Rental Software developed by Direct Booker, a globally awarded Vacation Rental company. It was completely adjusted to the needs of agencies and is intended for anyone in the vacation rental industry looking for a technological solution.

“As VillaMore grows, the speed, flexibility, and automation of Booker Tools will be advantageous for our suppliers and guests. We aim to move the business towards 100% automation, including booking, payments, reports, and additional services.”

“The market is growing exponentially, and we see our business growing the same way.”

If you’re a Property Manager looking for a quality technological solution that will help you improve your business, try Booker Tools for free 15 days.

How does Revenue Manager work?

One of the essential tasks for any Property Manager or Vacation Rental Company is having successful Revenue Management. To understand how a Revenue Manager can help your business, it is crucial to understand what a Revenue Manager is.

Like a module that can significantly affect your revenue streams, being a successful and up-to-date Property Manager, revenue management should be an essential task for successfully developing a business.

What is Revenue Management?

Revenue Manager is a tool that strategically uses performance data, competitor rates, local market information, and other analytics that optimizes property availability and its price to maximize your revenue growth. What a Revenue Manager does is that it anticipates the demand 365 days in advance so that during high seasons you do not have to stress whether the selling price should be increased or decreased to optimize the sales for each property.

When appropriately used Revenue Manager module can increase your revenue and boost your business to a higher level in the long run.

Setting price for Revenue Manager – You will define the standard selling price for your property as a Property Manager. In your Revenue Manager, you will define the deviation of the price to which level the price can go down and to which level the price will go up. The module will follow the market trends and, according to your predefined information, will automatize the selling process

Setting Stay Restrictions (LOS) – LOS pricing model defines rates per length of stay. Some properties will demand a minimum length of stay of 4 nights, while some properties will be fine to accommodate travelers for two nights or less. Revenue Managers will strategically target to have a consistent occupancy pattern during high demand periods or special events. Travelers will be able to make reservations for shorter periods by paying higher rates or having a discount if they book a more extended stay.

Why is a Revenue Manager important?

Using a Revenue Manager should be an essential factor in any professional development in the Vacation Rental Industry. The goal of working with Homeowners is to increase their revenue and provide them with a successful business model.

Furthermore, this module can help you lower your operating cost as automation tools will do operating processes.

It is precisely the task of the Revenue Manager to raise average prices in addition to the maximum number of days sold so that the end result is the best possible.

How does Revenue Manager work?

Booker Tools has developed a Revenue Manager module that can help you automate the process and help you increase the revenue for your properties with less time invested.

Revenue Manager module makes regular calculations where the software will do three things for you:

  • Change rates and restrictions on all sales channels by the predefined rules and market trends
  • Sends you reports in case of excessive booking deviations
  • Sends reports to your Homeowner regarding the modifications (if preferred)

Furthermore, by using Booker Tools Revenue Manager, you will be receiving:

  • Optimization report – you will receive the request (ideally after the season) to make adjustments to initial rates & restrictions based on data and experience created in the previous season
  • Statistical report – your Homeowners will receive the report about their property market status (if preferred, according to your business model)

If you would like to get more information on our Revenue Manager module, Booker Tools Team stays at your disposal.

info@booker-tools.com

Technology is the key to solving all the problems of an agency that manages property units

We spoke with Nikola Grubelić, CEO and co-founder of a Vacation Rental agency, Direct Booker. The agency also offers technological solutions and products and the world’s leading franchise model in the short-term vacation rental industry. The business model relies on its technological development, Channel Manager & Vacation Rental Software, Booker Tools, preferred by the world’s largest booking channels (Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, etc.). Direct Booker currently manages +8000 property units and +100 000 bookings per year in 11 countries.

The beginnings of Direct Booker?

I managed one apartment 11 years ago, and that’s when I realized the potential of renting private accommodation. I suggested to my friend and today my business partner, Nino Dubretić, to start thinking of renting as a serious business. We invested money, and so the story began. I would say that the desire for constant growth, job creation, and constant investment in the company are factors that push us towards even greater success.

What’s the story behind Booker Tools software? Why did you even develop your own technology?

In the beginning, we used foreign technological solutions to run our business well and manage property units. The technology back then was not at the level it is today, so we had to combine the two systems because one had certain functionalities, which the other did not, and vice versa. Since there was no perfect solution on the market for our needs, this combination of the two systems was solid.

However, constant price changes disrupted our budget plans, i.e., the financial structure and partners did not understand our needs. They did not have a clear “development road map,” which eventually led us to start thinking about our technology development, so we began to develop Booker Tools. Initially, we developed PMS (Property Management Software), and after that, we started developing connections.

The great advantage of Booker Tools over similar solutions is that it was developed according to a travel agency’s needs to solve its business problems, such as distribution on booking channels and automation of various business processes. What problems did Booker Tools solve for Direct Booker?

I’ll give you one banal example; we would manually enter each credit card data into a POS device, enter the amount, and finally authorize and charge it in the Risk Department. However, when we merged the Payment Gateway, i.e., automated and introduced profiles of how the system will respond to certain reservations based on specific rules, it came to the point that we no longer needed the Risk Department.

That means, when each reservation enters the system, it is recognized, and it is possible to determine what kind of reservation it is, what is the cancellation policy, what the rules are, and based on that, makes a decision when the reservation will be pre-authorized and charged. Most important of all is that the charges are made automatically. Previously, the calculations were done manually for each homeowner individually, and now this is done automatically.

And how did Booker Tools evolve? It is developed based on the needs of Direct Booker as its biggest client. We develop certain modules in the system functionality and customize the system to solve our problems. Booker Tools is the answer to our problems. If we have a problem with distributing objects across multiple channels, Booker Tools is the answer. If we have a problem with the repetitive jobs we do, the solution is a content API connection that automatically sends content from the system to all the listed channels and all other channels. Repetitive tasks of object setups are history now; setups are automatically presented from the system.

Technology is the key to solving all the problems of an agency that manages property units. We develop all of these business practices as Direct Booker through Booker Tools solutions. We want to help other agencies in their development and digital transformation, showing them the benefits of working with Booker Tools, how it helps them and what problems it solves.

For whom is the Booker Tools intended?

Booker Tools is intended for everyone who is renting accommodation in a professional and quality way, understands, and is ready to get into technology. The biggest problem we face when we’re selling technology is that someone doesn’t trust us, why our product is good and who we are.

We are Direct Booker, an agency with 11 years of experience, which has developed a technological solution to make business easier for ourselves. Our results are visible. We have credibility, which is the first thing that needs to be presented.

The common belief is that a technological solution is expensive and cannot be paid for. We made it for our own needs; we created a financial form for agencies like Direct Booker, who manage property units and especially adapted to this uncertain situation. We have created a module where you don’t have fixed or monthly charges but charges according to the realized reservation, without cancellation or modification charges.

Why are we a quality partner for agencies? Because we provide them quality technology and go together through a bad period, if there are no reservations, we do not earn money either because we only participate in the percentage when the reservation is made.

Another problem when selling technology is that the user is never ready for digitization and digital transformation. A large number of agencies are satisfied with low-quality solutions, which are not adapted to their business.

Which technological innovation has Booker Tools brought?

Experience from agency business leads to our modules being more complex. We are not a classic IT company but an agency that solves its problems with its technology. I think our Revenue Manager is innovative. Smart pricing tools originate from the aviation industry, and they have brought yield pricing to perfection, which has been transferred to hotel and apartment accommodation. We believe that this module will significantly speed up our work processes, lead to better revenue, reduce the number of working days, increase occupancy, and ultimately increase profitability. We have automated everything from creating reservations, entering reservations to issuing invoices, generating a self-billing invoice to the homeowner, fiscalization, and regulation.

When we talk to agencies, people are thrilled with the complete system and see that we have gone deep into it. However, we did not go deep into it, but we are deep in this business, and then the system is our expression towards the outside. If we work well as an agency, then we must have a quality system as well.

In which stage of development is Booker Tools now?

The latest innovations in Booker Tools software are Revenue Manager, an automatic generating page, the ability to share inventory, can be said as a “market place” where inventory can be shared with another agency within Booker Tools. We are working on the development of a module for direct booking, which is currently a big trend in the world of renting accommodation. We connected to all possible channels and payment gateways, which means that we met all the criteria in terms of distribution, billing and modules that I have already mentioned.

We plan to automate certain business processes within Direct Booker from March to May. Our goal is to offer everything we make for Direct Booker to Booker Tools users as well. From May to October we will work on various integrations that we will connect to the system, eg contactless check management system, smart locks, system for operations such as Operto, Properly … We will add various integrations that will somehow complete our PMS for an agency that, for example, deals with cleaning and welcoming guests.

We will constantly work on the development of existing modules because our goal is to increase and improve them by 10-20% and introduce new ones every year. And most importantly, I think we will work on a universal/centralized inbox. Our idea is that the system Booker Tools should be a central place to manage all operations, including communication with guests. We have already started working on this development and reached a certain level. The idea is to integrate all booking channels into a centralized inbox and also connect with Whatsapp and Viber so no matter what communication medium we use to talk to a guest, we have everything in one place. The organization of e-mails by priority in the system is also very important. Practically, if you now have 50 guests and 50 e-mails, or 150 messages, the first has to be the one that is most urgent, that is, a message from a guest coming today, and so on in chronological order. So this centralized form must be in both mobile and desktop versions. After development, it is necessary to optimize the system according to user needs in order to have a better and simpler overview. There is a lot, development never stops.

What would you say, why is it important now that Property Managers have technology solutions like Booker Tools?

To do some work it is clear that you have to have a good tool, it has always been so. For example, if you go digging the ground and don’t have a good tiller and do everything manually, it is clear that you will need a lot more time and energy to do the same job that you would do faster using a good tool. The same is with technology, especially now that there is a crisis, because digital transformation is the key to success.

We must be ready that tomorrow, when tourism recovers, we can do the same or more work with the same or a smaller number of employees. This is exactly what is impossible to do without quality technology. Simply, those who follow the technology and are in line with the trends will always be better and achieve better results.

The key to everything is that we can do the same or a larger amount of work, generate more turnover and revenue, and ultimately more profit. And we can’t do that if we need more people, which we can’t pay. So, the key is the technology, but not in the sense that we are reducing the number of employees thinking technology will do everything instead of them. No, we need quality and satisfied employees who will, by using technology, be able to dedicate more time to other work processes than to frantically type, close and synchronize calendars. Technology will increase productivity and efficiency while employees will be able to dedicate themselves to improving the quality of business, all of which will result in higher profits and salaries.

In my opinion, this is what companies need to do, invest time and energy to move from this stage in which they are now, to technology, so that in the end they have clear benefits, both them as a company and their employees. When we talked to many employees, not business owners, it happens they do certain repetitive tasks that take their time and are not so productive in the end. Business owners, on the other hand, view investing in technology as a addtional cost, not an opportunity to improve their business. The point is to look at technology as an investment that will take business to the next level, and employees will be more satisfied and productive. This will result in an increased number of acquired property units, and on the other hand, employees will be able to dedicate themselves to improving the satisfaction of existing customers. All this together will lead to a revenue increase.

In the end, tell us a bit more how the payment works for Booker Tools?

We decided not to charge on a monthly, fixed basis but on the performance, ie percentage according to the agencies, understanding their current status and situation. Our goal and idea is to be a quality partner to agencies by offering them quality technology, meaning prosperous and modern technology with all current and future modules.

Software solution for professionals

Booker Tools, Channel Manager and PMS, was developed for the needs of the World-Award-Winning Short Term Vacation Rental Agency, Direct Booker. By using this software, agencies are the first on the market to get advanced functionalities with which this agency records successful business results for years.

We are proud to present you with our first partner in Montenegro, the agency Cipa Travel. We talked to the founder and owner, Petar Ivković, an entrepreneur with almost 30 years of experience in tourism.

How would you introduce yourself to the public?

I was born in 1964 in Subotica, Serbia. My parents moved to Sveti Stefan in Montenegro in 1968, where I still live today due to circumstances and destiny.

My career as a tourist worker began as a seasonal operative in the travel agency Kompas during my high school education.  Shortly after finishing school, I got a permanent job in the Montenegro Express agency, where I acquired basic knowledge and skills, with a special engagement in the operation of then already organized private accommodation. This was the second half of the 80s, and in that period, I was the Head of the Operative Department for private accommodation.  I am especially proud of the cooperation and service of the first organized programs in private accommodation with Yugotours, ADAC, Neckerman,…

At the beginning of the wars in the former Yugoslavia, and the Western market’s loss, Montenegro began to rely on neighboring markets. The Great Recession, sanctions, and the economic downturn in tourism in Montenegro forced me to open my travel agency in 1992 and to do what I know the best.

From the founding of the travel agency until today, there have been many downturns and re-rises, especially adjustments to market trends. Thus, in 2004, following the example of several well-known online booking agencies, I set up a complete offer of private accommodation online. Even then, I realized that this trend would be the direction that will be inevitable in future business. Since then, with our complete accommodation offer, we have been present on the Internet, changing our access to the market several times to survive and follow the competition.

What is success in tourism for you as a long-term tourism worker with great experience?

Success in tourism is undoubtedly a satisfied guest and partner— when the same guests come back to you for years.

How did you decide for the Booker Tools software, and how did you find out about it?

Since my agency manages more than 500 accommodation units, it is impossible to do quality work manually. For this reason, I was looking for an advanced and proven technological solution. With the recommendation of Viktorija Midžor from Petrovac, otherwise an associate of Booker Tools, I decided to use this software.

Which booking channels have proven to be the most successful in your business?

Booking.com, Airbnb, Tripadvisor, Despegar, E-domizil, HomeAway.

We know you use Booker Tools briefly, but can you tell us your first impressions?

First of all, ease of use is one of the essential items. Of course, specific prior knowledge is necessary for ease of use.

What are your predictions for tourism in 2021?

It is difficult to predict business in 2021 when it comes to tourism. Indeed, in light of the knowledge that vaccination against COVID-19 has begun, this year should be better than 2020, especially because Montenegro had an extremely restrictive attitude towards the entry of tourists into the country last year.

If you are an agency, such as Cipa Travel, which manages accommodation units, contact us with confidence and try our software for 15 days for free.