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Why now is the time to respond to every review?

As we have seen, guests now are spending more time searching and checking for an apartment. Safety and cleanliness became a priority for travelers and they will look for accommodation that will fulfill their requests. It is now more important than ever to have excellent communication with guests. If you didn’t have time or knew how to respond, now is the time to check all the reviews and respond properly to each of them.

Did you know that today 84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations?

Reviews of the guests who were staying at your accommodation play a big role in attracting new guests. It is best to respond to all reviews you receive, whether they are positive or negative.

When guests were looking forward to vacation and it does not turn out as they imagined, it is likely that they will write a negative review.

For a homeowner or Property Manager, a negative review can be a huge discouragement. You should always keep in mind that you are not only responding to a comment to that one guest, but to all potential future guests who are likely to read that response.

If the guest wrote something that is not true, then of course you will politely deny it and let everyone know what really happened.

Rule number 1. Always thank guests for leaving a review

By regularly and honestly responding to all reviews, you are showing that you care about your guests and that you care about their opinions. Through guest reviews, you can get an insight into what potentially needs to be changed to improve the quality of your property and services.

Since guest comments are not always positive, this is an additional reason to respond and explain the situation from your perspective. Do not forget that in this way you create a positive reputation with potential guests. Start each response by thanking the guest for staying in your accommodation and leaving a review. For example, “Dear xy, Thank you for staying at our apartment and for taking time to write this review…”

Rule number 2. Never start an argument

Whether the guest’s comment is true or not, your answer must always be professional, as objective and friendly as possible, as it suits the host. Do not engage in quarrels with guests, just briefly and simply describe your view of the event.

Rule number 3. Remind the guest of the offered solutions

When responding to negative comments, do not forget to mention that you did your best to solve the situation. Describe all communication, the compensation offered quick fixes, replacement of broken devices – briefly all the solutions you offered them while they were staying with you.

Rule number 4. Communication is the key

The worst-case scenario for a homeowner/Property Manager is that the guest does not inform him about the problem while he is staying in the accommodation, and the homeowner/PM finds it out from the review. In that way, the host doesn’t even get a chance to resolve the situation. It is best to point out on check-in that they can contact you always for help in case of any problems.

With a helpful and prompt response to a negative review, you have the opportunity to show what kind of a host you actually are. From your engagement, potential guests will see that you take guests’ comments seriously and that you wish to offer excellent service.

Since people usually are most interested in negative reviews, there is a big chance that they will read your answer, too. Use this possibility and turn the situation around to your advantage.

Advice:

Guests usually leave comments on booking pages like Booking.com and Airbnb. They also use Google Maps to leave reviews. Regularly check reviews for your accommodation on all platforms and respond to them.

Why do you need Messaging API?

If you are unfamiliar with the Airbnb Messaging API, it allows you to respond to messages, queries, and guest requests through the Booker Tools system. And all this without the need to log in to the Airbnb platform. This way, you can save time because you don’t need to log in to your Airbnb profile every time. You have all your messages in one place.

Direct Booker, a World-Award Short-Term Rental Agency that manages over 7,800 units, has improved its business using the Airbnb Messaging API.

In addition to enabling faster and more efficient communication, faster search and review of reservations and conversations with guests, it also allows filtering by:

  • name of the apartment
  • reservation number
  • type of inquiry (reservation request, confirmed reservation, or offer)
  • query status (read, unread, sent, draft)
  • last modification

Thanks to this option, it is easier to manage many e-mails and find the one you are looking for faster.

Why message filtering is so important for Property Managers?

Filtering by day of check-in allows for a faster view and timely response to guests. When a large number of e-mails arrive, the e-mails must be prioritized according to the arrival date, as this eliminates the chance that the guest will not receive a response on time.

All in one place.

All notes regarding the facility, such as luggage, parking, check-in, are available in one place, within the platform. Access to all relevant information facilitates communication because you do not have to enter profiles on other platforms and look for the necessary information. Also, the messages are arranged in chronological order, which means that those messages that came last are at the very top.

Like Direct Booker, make a more advanced version of your business. We invite Property Managers who manage multiple accommodation units to contact us and try our Booker Tools software for free.

 

Camp Management Software

If we would ask travelers all around the world what is their first thought regarding bookings and travels they would definitely answer Booking.com, Airbnb, Expedia… For managing sales in short -term rentals it is necessary to use reliable technology, for example, our Property Management Software (PMS).

There are several solutions worldwide, and one of them comes from Croatia.

Booker Tools is a Croatian software developed for the needs of World-Award-Winning short term rental agency, Direct Booker. Channel Manager and PMS are used by thousands of users connected to 8000 properties in 9 countries.

It is a big challenge for finding a suitable technological solution for camps because of specifics in their accommodation units and business models. We asked Maggie Bačelić, Business Manager at a company that rents mobile houses for camps that are located in Pirovac and Vodice.

“I was looking for a technological solution that would make my business better. While I was googling PMS, I came across Booker Tools, which fits perfectly to all my wishes and requests.”

Booker Tools solutions are based not only on the needs of various users but also on the needs of Direct Booker, one of the most successful short term rental agency in the world, based in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

“The Direct Booker reference was a key component in choosing the software, as well as the fact that the software has proven itself in several countries, for several types of users and accommodation units with an annual turnover of more than 100 000 reservations. All of the above gave me the answer to my question – it is a proven and reliable software.”

Thanks to Booker Tools, a small company Direct Booker achieved enviable results of savings and revenue growth. Software was also offered on the market for camps, agencies, ho(s)tels and vacation rental owners.

“Booker Tools is a simple and practical technological solution to increase business efficiency – with an emphasis on saving time and a significant increase in the number of direct bookings. We have all regulations, invoices, fiscal cash register, calendar, guest details in one software. Booker Tools allows you to manage units in multiple locations and fulfils all the needs of users with more than 30 accommodation units. “

You can forget calendar’s manual closing, concerns about overbooking, price modifications and restrictions in each separate sales channel. Booker Tools allows users to automatically synchronize bookings, prices, restrictions, availability, and content across the world’s largest sales channels, communication with guests from one system (without individual login), direct reservations… All in one place.

“I would highly recommend Booker Tools to all camp owners. The software enables automation and increases business efficiency. I can easily see all bookings and details on one screen. There is a mobile application with which I can have control over my objects at any time. Plus, online device management in multiple locations and automatic entry of guest data. I need one user account for all objects with an overview of all important information in one place and automatic synchronization with Phobs.”

Booker Tools PMS can be connected to other channel managers for a better and complete software solution. It was exactly the ideal solution for this user, who connected it to the Phobs channel manager. At Phobs, they develop tailor-made tourism solutions and their customers are hotels, hostels and campsites.

“Booker Tools and Phobs are the perfect combination for my business due to the specific camping connections that Phobs has. The combination of Booker Tools and Phobs solved the problem of 24-hour booking control. I am delighted with the combination of Phobs and Booker Tools, which makes my job very easy. Previously, all reservations had to be entered manually via the web in the PMS software. It was not easy to track availability on our site, so we had fewer direct bookings. “

Booker Tools is more than just technology or software. Our customer support consists of professionals who, based on many years of experience working in the short-term rental business, offer consultation and constant customer support.

“I’ve been using a different channel manager for many years. I stopped using it for several reasons; one of them was the negative customer support experience. On the other side, Booker Tools customer support is excellent, with issues resolved as soon as possible. “

If you also manage a camp, agency, ho(s)tel or private accommodation, and want to check Booker Tools options, try it for free 15 days. We look forward to new partnership and expansion of the network of satisfied customers.

New Booker Tools connection, Hotelbeds

Booker Tools has expanded its connection to Hotelbeds, B2B portal which is focused mainly on the vacation rental owners and hotels. From now on vacation rental owners and tourist agencies can use Booker Tools to increase the visibility of their accommodation units to an additional 60 000 new travel agencies worldwide.

Hotelbeds portal is one of the biggest portals with a 15 % global market used by 180 000 hotels in 185 countries worldwide, and it is focused on selling the vacation rental properties.

Users of Booker Tools operation system increase the visibility of their vacation rental properties since they can advertise automatically on portals such as Hotelbeds and its partners. This way vacation rental property is positioned on the best possible spot.

This feature is useful because f approximately 100 000 unique online users monthly view this platform. What is the additional advantage of big portal is in distribution and expansion of reservation channels.

Hotelbeds is of course just one of several reservation channels with which Booker Tools has competition among. Among other competition are Booking.com, Airbnb, Expedia and more, and on each separate portal user has the inability to set prices based on the portal success and percentage of cancelled reservations, and how they are shown on each portal.

Additional advantages of channel manager are in the display of available units of system in real-time while simultaneously promotes all available vacation rental units through the portal which the user has chosen.

As final note why using channel manager is the key for the success of agencies and vacation rental owners is the information accuracy of vacation rental properties within the system.

Ivan, Booker Tools IT manager

The leading regional private rental agency, Direct Booker, focuses on technological solutions to make it easier for vacation rental owners.

They are barely thirty years old, all highly educated and enthusiastic, information technology is their daily preoccupation, and presenter Ivan Bogoje, 37, is the eldest in the eight-member team. Regardless of the time of year, the IT department of Direct Booker, the leading regional private accommodation rental agency, is always active.

Direct Booker is a combination of a travel agency and IT company.

Locals from Dubrovnik still perceive us only as a travel agency, however, since 2016, the company has been more focused on the technology. We have successfully combined the services of a private accommodation agency, with which we have been present on the market since 2010, and the development of high technology, keeping pace with global trends –  says Ivan.

Direct Booker was named the third fastest-growing company in Croatia last year by Lider Magazine, and prominent magazine Rentals United had classified it among the top 10 property management agencies in the world. Direct Booker franchises are present in 8 countries, but the company also has big plans for the future:

The future development of the company is based on four directions of development.

The first is accommodation management on the leading accommodation booking portals.

The second direction is developing service Booker Tools for owners who manage their units independently, and agencies similar to us.

The third direction is to further develop the franchise: our business model can work anywhere in the world where there are supply and demand for private accommodation, and fourth is our booking site for direct reservations, for which we have big plans in the future.

As an IT department they are particularly proud of independently developing  Booker Tools, a technology solution for renters who manage their units by themselves.

We started developing Booker Tools in 2017, and a lot of effort has been put into it. Years of experience and knowledge were applied on the product for those who do the same business as we do – renting private accommodation.

Today it is a complete technological solution, an all-in-one tool for vacation rental owners, as well as other agencies.

This is actually the same technology used by Direct Booker employees and our 22 franchises, just packed into one simple and easy-to-use web / mobile app.

It is very difficult for owners to function today without the right technological support.

There are many advantages of using tools like Booker Tools.

For example, if a reservation is made through Booking.com, the owners must go to 5 or  6 other online channels and close the calendar to prevent overbooking – Booker Tools do this automatically. Also, there are other useful services, such as managing prices from one source, logging in / out of eVisitor, invoicing, “booking engine” for your own website, etc. This ultimately means a big time saver for the owner and a minimal amount of effort, with a reduced chance of error.

The Booker Tools system is currently integrated with booking sites such as: Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, HomeAway, HostelWorld and TripAdvisor, and new channels are coming soon.

Integration with E-domizil and Hotelbeds platforms, as well as modules for enhancing guest communication and direct sales is currently under development. Let’s not forget that Google is growing and becoming a bigger player in the industry. So over the next half year to a year, we will be integrating with Google to provide user as many direct bookings as possible.