Posts

From intern to Head of Department

Daniela Sorak is proof that hard work pays off. Six years ago, after finishing her Business Economics studies, she began her career at Direct Booker as an intern. Today, she is the Head of Property Development Department.

Always professional, meticulous, and dedicated to work. She is constantly thinking about how to improve the business. In her free time, she attends various courses to become better at her job. Directors say she is a person who respects hierarchies and rules and enforces them within her department.

She told us a little more about herself, the department, and colleagues.

What does your work involve?

It includes the organization of work within the department, distribution of tasks, communication with partners, testing implemented changes in the system, monitoring and elaborating proposals for changes and improvement of the system, and the department’s work in general. I provide help and support to colleagues in performing daily tasks and users regarding the use of the system.

What do you like most about your job?

The dynamic atmosphere and the fact that I acquire new skills and knowledge with the development of the business. I love learning about new things and the excitement that comes with new knowledge and curiosity. And the inevitable, great team.

What characteristics should people working in this department have?

Ability to adapt to work tasks, good mood, follow the rules, think outside the box, team spirit and player, independence in doing work, cooperative behavior (asking questions and offering suggestions, proactive behavior and interest or in short (independence, honesty, and integrity, positive proactive action and willingness to work). Additional pluses are if they are coffee and sweet lovers and will bring sweets to the office every day. #healthylifestyle

Who’s on your team?

We are a team of 7 amazing people (dragons) :). All of them are dedicated to the work. They are always thinking about solving the tasks and improving their work. Of course, it is stressful sometimes considering the work’s dynamism, but there is nothing that we can not solve as a team. We have a solution to every problem.

What are the most common issues in your work?

It depends on the tasks and work within the department. The problems are various and vary every day. On the one hand, we cover support for all partners, independent users and franchisors, and colleagues within the company. On the other hand the development part, therefore the problems and issues depend from day to day (as I mentioned earlier), some of them are:

-customer support to system users (setting up prices, restrictions, establishing a connection), and any questions related to the functionality of the system

-customer support when reading syn records

-assistance for preparing properties for set up on various booking channels

-questions about updating, adjusting and editing the content on the channels (caused by system modifications or new connections from the channel)

– how to use most optimally certain functionalities in the system, etc.

 How do you deal with stress then?

Always with a positive attitude.

Where do you see yourself in the future in the business world?

I want to develop in management and gain additional technical skills to learn all the secrets of this business. I also want to improve my skills in different areas (technology, management, and development sectors) to better understand the company’s framework and expand my knowledge and skills.

Lastly, how do you spend your free time?

Perfect free time is with my family, friends, and a dog. I like to watch a good movie or series (mostly SF), anime, gaming, read a good book, travel, and stay in nature… Also, I try to attend as many courses from various categories to expand my knowledge and experience. I am currently attending courses for programming and the Japanese language.

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.

 

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.

 

Our ultimate goal is that satisfied customers become promoters of our technology

Mario Muhoberac, one of the favorite employees of Direct Booker by his colleagues and partners, introduced himself in a few sentences. Mario’s journey at Direct Booker began five years ago, and during that period, he changed four departments, which shows his multitasking skills.

“When I came to Direct Booker, I started in the Information Department. Then I became Coordinator; after that, Sales Advisor for Booker Tools. Now I am in the Property Development Department. Our department currently consists of 9 employees. Our tasks are: preparation and setting up accommodation units on booking channels, solving technical problems, education, and set up with users of Booker Tools technology, technical assistance, and support to our franchise partners. “

Tell us what you like most about your job, and what motivates you?

“The job is interesting; we help partners maximize their income and improve their business. What I love about this job is the constant opportunity to learn and progress. The business environment is dynamic, every day is different, and we are constantly expanding the network of users.”

Mario shared with us how his typical working day looks.

“When I work, I always wake up at 6.50 in the morning. The first thing I do is making a shake for breakfast, which gives me energy for the whole day. After that, I drink coffee and go to the office. During the workday, I do meetings online, setup with users, and solve current problems. After work, I never miss workouts, and due to the current situation and the inability to go to the gym, I do it at home or in nature. Evenings are for my loved ones, and I try to go to bed earlier to prepare for a new workday and new challenges.”

What was your work experience before Direct Booker?

“I started working at the age of 18 in the Valamar hotel group in Dubrovnik, Croatia. I stayed there for eight years, in various positions such as janitor, pool lifeguard, tennis center coordinator, hospitality desk. All this work experience taught me how to be organized and effectively do business tasks and work in a team.”

The Property Development Department is there for Booker Tools users, as well as for franchise partners. How many BT users do you currently have and how many franchisors?

“The current number of Booker Tools users is almost 100. It is important to emphasize that the users are independent vacation rental owners with several accommodation units to those with 20 or more, then agencies similar to Direct Booker, ho(s)tels, and campsites. BT users are diverse, and more and more of them are deciding to use our technology, which is continually evolving. And as far as franchise partners are concerned, their number has grown to 22. There are franchisors from Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Slovenia, Italy, Poland, and Peru.”

What is the most significant benefit of Booker Tools software over other similar PMSs, in your opinion?

“Booker Tools was developed by Direct Booker, a World-Award-Winning Short Term Vacation Rental Agency. So the software is made by professionals for professionals. Users first in the market get advanced functionalities with which DB records successful business results. The quality is confirmed by numerous awards, the most recent came from Booking.com for Premier Connectivity Partner in 2021. “

Why do franchisors most often ask for your help?

They ask us to help place facilities on world booking sites, manage prices and restrictions, and solve all current problems. The department strives to be always available to its franchise partners and enable them to improve their business.

How do you measure and monitor the satisfaction of your customers?

“We monitor customer satisfaction through feedback conversations with them. By monitoring their satisfaction with our service, we strive to improve our organization and the way we work. Our ultimate goal is for satisfied customers to become promoters of our technology.”

 How do you deal with stressful situations at work, especially during the season?

“Hm, it’s not easy, but it’s much easier with my colleagues. There’s always a good mood and a positive atmosphere in the office, so one funny comment is enough to get over stressful situations. :)”

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

“I still see myself in tourism. In addition to tourism, I would also like to continue to be part of technology development. Tourism and technology are the perfect combinations for me.”

“We don’t have to keep individual calendar of availability, because we have one that covers everything”

Anyone involved in Property Management knows how important it is to have a quality technology solution that will make business easier, save time, and prevent overbooking. Such solutions are called Channel Manager and Property Management Software (PMS), and Booker Tools is one of them.

Booker Tools is a Croatian product designed for agencies, ho(s)tels, camps, and vacation rental owners. It was developed by a World-Award-Winning Short Term Vacation Rental Agency, Direct Booker, which was recently placed on 7th place on the list of TOP 50 PRIVATE ACCOMMODATION RENTAL AGENCIES IN THE WORLD by world-known Rentals United. The software was completely developed for the needs of the agency so it can be said, it has everything one property manager needs for a successful business.

One of the users of Booker Tools is Hotel Storia from Čapljina, Bosnia and Herzegovina that has 25 units with 60 beds. The hotel is situated by the Neretva River, surrounded by the natural beauty of Herzegovinian vineyards. We decided to talk with Tamara Glavinić, the hotel’s Marketing Manager about their experience with BT software.

“Regarding the fact that we are a new company on the market, we were looking for a technological solution that will make our business as easy as possible. Following the recommendation of the Direct Booker office in Mostar, we found out about BT. “

Overbooking, manual management of reservations, prices, and availability of accommodation for each booking channel separately, are a thing of the past.

“BT has solved the problem of overbooking and enabled us to manage availability data from one place, synchronize price lists on all platforms and automatically receive an e-mail when the reservation is made.”

The biggest advantages of BT are the automatic synchronization of reservations, prices, restrictions, availability, and content on the world’s largest booking channels; communication with guests from one system (without logging in each individually), direct reservations… All in one place.

“We don’t have to keep an individual calendar of availability for each online booking platform separately, but we have one that covers everything. All this makes the job less stressful because we don’t have to check multi-page calendars every day. When entering a reservation into our program, we simply go to Booker Tools, reduce the number of available rooms for that date and we are sure that everything has been updated on Booking, Expedia, and other platforms.”

Except for the top-notch technology BT offers, there is also a Department of Customer Support. They are always available to all users if they have any questions related to the software.

“Customer support is impeccable, in fact, I think the people who work in that Department are responsible for us being your client. They are always available, kind, and willing to help. I highly recommend Booker Tools, because of its ease of use, reasonable price, and already mentioned customer service.”

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

“In a job like this, the most important thing is to always understand who is sitting on the other side”

Read something more about our colleague Ana Raguž who started her career in Direct Booker at Information Department, continued in the Research and Development Department, and has recently taken a new position, as a Senior Business Developer. So far, Ana has lived, studied and worked in two world capitals.

Tell us, how did your life look like outside of Croatia?

From my early youth I knew that part of my life journey would be with a suitcase in my hand. When I was 21 years old and completed my undergraduate studies at DIU International University, majoring in International Relations and Diplomacy, I decided to go for a master ‘s degree abroad. After applying to colleges in Barcelona, ​​Vienna and other European cities, eventually I decided to go in Paris and studied master’s degree in International Business Development and Consulting.

My next destination was Belgium, Brussels, where I perfected my French with work experience, which made my life and work in France easier. France is one of the countries where you just have to know language to be able to live everyday life, and certainly the goal of my departure was to build myself in an international environment.

The most valuable things I have gained abroad besides language, are friendships that will surely remain for the whole life. and travel that were an integral part of the bucket list.

Tell us a bit more about your Department and work @Direct Booker?

I currently work in the Global Partnerships Department, as a Senior Business Developer. Although I’m in Direct Booker for some time now, my current position is from October 1st this year. The advantage of working in a company like Direct Booker is that with young staff and professionalism at a high level, perceptions do not play a major role, but only the quality of work.

There are no strict working hours or standard schedules in my Department. Access and communication with potential clients or partners are the most important in our job. Everyday brings something new on the table. 🙂

What are the goals and specifics of your business?

The goal of Senior Business Developer is to achieve cooperation with as many foreign partners as possible through communication and presentation. Our expansion model consists of two types; software Booker Tools and Direct Booker franchise.

When it comes to our franchise model, it is already a bit more challenging. We are the only ones in the world offering such a franchise model, and even the negotiations themselves and the introduction of the client into our core business require extra time and effort. But it ultimately brings a positive outcome for both sides. Partners get a brand and a successful business model. We are currently focused on international tourism fairs and summits that are going online, which we believe will return to normal in the foreseeable future.

Given the current Covid situation, meetings are conducted exclusively online, and the meeting itself is the final part, the whole process of initial communication, preparation, and the whole logistical part. Our current targets are Italy, Spain, and England.

We have set a goal and regardless of the Covid crisis we are moving towards the goal, and every working day is shaping up according to our goal.

Describe one typical working day in your Department.

We do not have the standard work schedule terminology. The workday always starts by checking e-mails and organizing a working day, holding presentations and arranging the next meetings. Since we are still in the process of organizing the whole Department, a lot of the time is taken up for preparation. We do several online meetings on a daily basis.

What is the secret to the success of mutual satisfaction, for you and the client?

In a job like this, the most important thing is to always understand who is sitting on the other side, who is the interlocutor, and then adjust your approach. As for the technology itself, customers always have the same goal, to find the best possible solutions for their business, and it is up to us to offer our PMS and Channel Manager, Booker Tools, which offers everything to a property managers, camps, ho(s)tels, or any agency needs.

If you’re looking for a business opportunity, and know a few things about short-term rentals, we can offer solutions for you: franchise, agency service or software for property management. Contact us and find out more: sales@direct-booker.com

Golden Leaf Properties: “We do 99% of our business and will do it through BT”

Booker Tools, Property Management Software (PMS) and Channel manager is a Croatian product intended for professionals: agencies, ho(s)tels, camps and vacation rental owners. The software was developed by Direct Booker, a world-award-winning short-term rental agency, which uses it for its own needs. The number of BT users is increasing daily and is currently used by thousands of users with over 8000 accommodation units in 9 countries.

One of the satisfied partners is Golden Leaf Properties, Property Management Company specialized in high-quality short-term rentals of villas and apartments. We spoke with Ivan Staničić, the General Manager of the company who revealed the specifics of their business, as well as satisfaction with the use of BT software.

– Tell us the story about Golden Leaf?

The Golden Leaf Properties brand provides services for people who don’t know a foreign language and don’t know how to work on a computer, cannot for any reason, or simply don’t want to manage their own property intended for short-term renting.

Golden Leaf has been around for more than 6 years and the company’s founder is Maksimilijan Šprung, a Croat from America who entered tourism by successfully managing his private real estate, which delighted his neighbors and friends who asked him to do the same for them. I joined him in 2018 when we connected so that together we could offer clients more.

I got into the business 2015. when my friend left Croatia and asked me to take over the management of accommodations and reservations for several of his clients… Since then, the business has grown steadily and I hope that it will continue despite the whole situation with the corona virus and the bad impact it has on business in general and us in particular in tourism.

– What is your position in the company?

At Golden Leaf tours d.o.o. who owns the Golden Leaf Properties brand, I hold the position of General Manager, but in this time of crisis due to the Coronavirus, I have to admit that only at the end of the day can I say what I actually did that day. In case someone did not understand me, I suggest that they try to deal with tourism 2020. 🙂

– What’s the secret to your success?

As I was between several jobs and I am an experienced entrepreneur(in my opinion, an entrepreneur becomes experienced when he goes bankrupt at least once), I quickly realized that this type of job is something that suits me and that I will certainly be able to make “something” out of it.

Since then my inventory has been growing and the business has become more and more automatized.

Automatisation is something that helps the business immensely, but the secret ingredient of this business is that we still do not automatize certain things because this business is successful only as long as the owner is satisfied with our service. I mention this because the relationship with property owners and our employees is our “secret sauce”. We will always pay attention to that.

We are constantly using all available technologies that will make our job easier and differentiate ourselves from the rest of the companies and individuals involved in this business, so we have become the first and for now, the only ones in Croatia to have cooperation with Homes & Villas by Marriott International. This is definitely one of the greatest achievements and something we are proud of.

Our mission is to have healthy growth in the number of facilities we manage and customer satisfaction with our service with maximum sustainability in all fields. We strive to make our actions speak for us and our greatest recognition is when our clients bring to us new clients because that says everything about us and what we are trying to accomplish in this business.

– Where is the headquarters of the company, how many units do you have?

The company’s headquarters are in Split, in Mostarska Street, and the branch office is in downtown, near Vestibule on the Peristyle.

The number of units that we fully manage, which means we replace the owner 100% is slightly more than 40. The number of units for which we work exclusively on the realization and processing the reservations is slightly more than 100. The number of units for which we work exclusively on the realization and processing of reservations with other agencies is slightly more than 200.

– What are the specifics of your business compared to other similar agencies?

Our company records with a top-notch 3D camera that contains the latest technologies and generates shooting results in the form of a 3D virtual walk that we have not yet seen with our competition. Walks can be uploaded to Google Streetview, mention in the description on Airbnb that the walk is posted on another website and it can be published on HomeAway.com. This is a representation of space as we predict it will be a “must-have” in the future.

Except for the cooperation with Homes & Villas by Marriott International, the fact that we know all of our vacation rental owners by name and we maintain contact with them on a personal level if it suits them is one more thing that makes us special.

We also have a “data scientist” who makes additional estimates of prices for each object regarding the situation on market to maximize their profit at full potential.

– How did you find out about Booker Tools?

I am responsible, along with Maksimilian, for our company and employees, so finding an optimal software on which we can base our business was a must. I found it literally on Google a couple of years ago, but at that point, I had no need to change the PMS I was using at the moment. We made many presentations with Croatian and foreign service providers and concluded that BT gave the most “correct” answers from the first call to the sales department, all the way to the presentation itself.

– Which Property Management Software did you use and why did you stop using them?

We used PMS Vreasy and BookingPal. Vreasy is now shut down after it was bought by FantasticStay, and their new software doesn’t suit us, so we took BT for that part of the business, and we use BookingPal because it’s our only choice to update the channels for one big partner we work with.

In other words, we do 99% of our business and will do it through BT.

– How long have you been working and are you satisfied with Booker Tools?

We have to wait a while for a full assessment of the functionality of PMS until we see how it will look like in practice when we start using it in full form. What we can say right away is that we are very optimistic about the potential of BT for our business and we believe that in the future it will prove to be the right choice for our needs.

– How satisfied are you with customer support?

For the customer service, especially Mario, we have only words of praise and we expect to continue our long-term and successful cooperation in the future.

If you are looking for a technological solution that will make the managing of camp, ho(s)tel, agency, or private accommodation easier, try BT free for 15 days.

Meet Miro, Global Partnerships Director @Direct Booker!

Current Global Partnerships director of Direct Booker Miro Pavlović, will tell us something about his professional life and maybe even more!
Those who know him best, say he is hard-working and ambitious!
Continue reading to find out more!

Can you tell us a little about yourself? Who is Miro Pavlović?

Taps microphone and sings „Microphone check one two what is this..“ (laughs). I am a 40-year-old who was born and raised in Đakovo in Slavonia, where I lived for the first 20-ish years of my life, and where I also finished my high school of economics. After high school I signed up for American College in Dubrovnik where I finished 2 years and got an Associate degree in hospitality management, and once that was wrapped up I chose to stay in Dubrovnik, first of all because I really liked the quality of life here, and then also because it offered a lot more opportunities compared to my hometown.

Then you know how it goes, first job, second job, you fall in love once or twice, and suddenly you turn around and realize that you’ve been here for almost half of your life, and I STILL cannot really say that I’m a „dubrovcanin“, and I’m pretty sure that a lot of people from Dubrovnik would quickly agree (laughs). Now that I’ve married a lady from Dubrovnik and that we recently had a baby girl, perhaps the opinion(s) will change, haha.

What is your previous working experience?

I’ve always been linked to service industry, first through the „usual“ student jobs like waiter, bartender etc, and then later through different positions in tourism industry. Some 12-13 years ago I started working in Grand Circle Dubrovnik and in that company I went through various job positions, starting in accounts payable, then product and finance management, and last but not least working as a…well…different companies have a different name for that position but Grand Circle called that position a „buyer“, a person who was negotiating and closing contracts with hotels, coach companies, restaurants, guides, etc. First I would do a market research and analysis, and then I would sign the best option following the guidelines that we had in the company. It’s been a long cooperation between Grand Circle and myself and I am very thankful for all the opportunities and lessons that I’ve had there. I grew a lot as a person, had some amazing experiences, met some exquisite people and made a lot of friends-for-life in all corners of this beautiful planet.

How did it help you for this position?

If we’re talking about the experience in Grand Circle, it helps tremendously, first through the learning, connections and cooperations that I’ve had during my time in the company (which can help a lot for my new position), but also because I’ve seen the „internals“ of a major travel company, I’ve cooperated with major players, made tough decisions, I’ve been a „small cog in the machine“ and have been led by some strong people, but I’ve also been a decision maker and a leader to a bunch of strong professionals as well. It all adds up to a massive experience, it leads to a lot of „aha!“ moments, and it leads to A LOT of personality development moments where you’re pushed to think quickly on your feet and make an instant decision, as we we’re going with the motto „Even a bad decision is better than no decision at all“.

And if we’re talking about my experience before Grand Circle…well, I can still make a mean cup of coffee, and some „refreshing“ cocktails as well (laughs). Though I would need to refresh my memory on the cocktails, to be fair haha.

What does a Global Partnerships Director do?

The idea behind the position is to organize the team and to „spread the word“ about an excellent short term rental company franchise and to go global. The idea is to develop strategies and plans, to increase client base, to develop business, to create new partnerships when it comes to both Direct Booker franchises and when it comes to Booker Tools software partnerships with other similar property management agencies.

In a nutshell, the idea is to make Direct Booker and Booker Tools a „gold standard“ when people (and companies) think about the term „channel manager“ and „property management system“. When you think about coffee first names that probably pop to your mind are Lavazza, Illy, Julius Meinl. What we aim to achieve is that when you think about a channel manager and PSM, we are among the first ones that pop to your mind.

At this point in time the team consists of Ana and myself, but we have a very strong support from our Management (Ivan, Nikola and Nino) who are very much involved in day-to-day operation and sales, which is very much appreciated from our side.

You are managing sales for PMS Booker Tools, and franchise Direct Booker. What is your vision for these products?

Well, like mentioned above, the vision is to have us as a strong presence first of all in Europe and to also be very present on other continents as well. The time of the manual work when it comes to managing properties is gone, all property managers and agencies are replacing manual work with software that automises the processes and the market itself is very lively and VERY active, and now its down to us to take a good portion of that cake for ourselves. We definitely have excellent products that are applicable to any corner of the earth, that can be successful in any part of the world, and now its our job to find the right partners and to increase our presence. And I cannot also forget the fact that we are now in the process of wrapping up our own webpage that will be a new force for us, an OTA platform where you will also be able to book all that we offer. I mean, we already have one in function but unfortunately the final product was not where we wanted it to be so now a completely new package is being developed that will be a good boost for our company and for our long term plans.

What are goals and challenges in terms of the global expansion? How do you plan to achieve these goals?

The biggest challenge is like in any business, to get the ball rolling. Now, luckily for me I did not come to a company where we’re starting from the very bottom and need to dig our way out of the hole, this company is already very strong, it invested some serious capital into developing 2 very good products which are definitely „sellable“ on the market. How am I planning to do this..? Well, I would not want to share ALL our secrets, would I? (laughs)

Who are your potential business partners?

The good thing about Direct Booker and Booker Tools is that they are applicable to any type of people or companies on the property management market. You are an owner of several short term rental units and want to leave the marketing and sales to someone else? We can do that for you through our Direct Booker system, either ourselves or through our franchisees. You are an owner of several units but you want to do everything on your own? We can provide you with a software that will make your life a LOT easier. You are an agency who handles 50 or a 100 units? We can provide you with a system that will allow your employees to not spend hours and hours typing in manually all the data, but that they can focus on the quality and better service towards your guests. Short term strategy is to focus more on agencies and larger clients of course, but that definitely does not mean that we will neglect our other partners.

What are your target markets for Booker Tools, and Direct Booker franchises?

There isn’t really any market where I would go with only one of them, as they are applicable for any market, and they are also overlapping in their purpose. Anyone who takes our franchise will use Booker Tools, they will also become a re-seller of the software, so it all goes hand in hand, there is no point in splitting them up.

When can we expect first major results?

The idea is to see the first major results within the next year. Now, admittedly, due to the current situation in the tourism market it is not going to be an easy task to deliver these results, people are extra careful in regards to changes and investments now, which is completely logical. But, we have 2 very good products, we have a very fair selling price based on percentage of completed reservations (no fixed fees, no money in advance) which was a great decision from our side, we have the sales team and the huge backup and support from the owners of the company, we have a dedicated IT team who are further developing the program to add more features to it to make it even more desireable… There is no reason why we should not be a superstar on the market.

There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation and hard work. Thank you for this qualities you putting into the company!

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.

Booking.com – Recovery guidelines and tips

Since this is a rough and uncertain time for tourism caused by Covid-19, one of the biggest online reservation platforms, Booking.com, has created Recovery guidelines and tips which you can read here.

Through the special offers, you can increase your early bookers, last-minute reservations, as well as encourage guests to make their reservation for a longer period. Booking.com offers different options when it comes to special offers, but depending on the terms which your vacation rental unit has to satisfy for a certain type of promotion. Booking.com promotes those objects which use promo actions in their global campaigns via emails and partner sites. Using this type of strategy, your vacation rental becomes more visible and accessible to potential customers.

Take a look at the special offers to increase the number of your reservations on the Booking.com platform.

Early bookers – First-minute offer 

Attract those guests who book their accommodation far ahead of the others. One of the ways how to attract this type of guest is by setting discounted deals for the upcoming period like a next season or a year.

Genius – Loyalty program 

An exclusive loyalty program that brings vacation rental owners closer to Booking.com`s most frequent bookers. As a Genius partner, your property will get a special Genius tag with which you will accomplish better visibility and a ranking boost in search results on the Booking.com website. Your property will be displayed to the type of travelers who travel more often, book further in advance and spend more when booking.

Last-minute bookers – Last-minute Deal

One of the most effective ways how to easily fill up empty rooms and attract bookers searching for properties up to seven days in advance or closer to arrival. Setting up options like no address details or no credit card will make bookings through mobile devices more agile and easier.

Mobile rate – Mobile rate 

Bookings made through Booking.com mobile application continuously exceed those made on the desktop. This is an ideal option for attracting the fastest-growing segment of bookers. All you have to do is offer a discount of at least 10% for all mobile users.

Country rate/GEO rate – Rates for specific countries 

The best way to attract guests from specific countries and tap into new markets. Country rates represent targeted discounts which you can offer to guests from the market of your choice.

Preferred – Preferred partner program

The preferred partner program is an exclusive program that brings greater visibility to the top 30% vacation rental owners. There is a specific set of criteria that must be fulfilled to join. Properties listed within this program get greater visibility in the search results and receive a special “thumbs – up” icon which acts as the Booking.com certificate of approval.

Property Page Score – Page quality ranking 

The content of your property page has to tell a story and persuade a potential guest that you are worth staying with. Showcasing the right information you are setting the real expectations for the guests, which in turn brings satisfied guests, exquisite reviews, and new bookings.

Flexible policy – 5 days 

Choosing this option helps your bookings grow since the cancellation policy is flexible. It is used in times of uncertainty to give a little push to travelers to book since this option enables free cancellation up to five days before the arrival.