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Why should you start with Direct Booking?

2020 was the beginning of new trends that shifted traveling to different levels and made it unpredictable so that both travelers and service providers had to learn how to adapt to the new normal.

In 2020, we saw a sharp increase in direct bookings. On average, almost 20% of all bookings happened directly. That is an increase of 65% compared to 2019. (source: Stardekk)

Direct Booking is a global trend in the Vacation Rental Industry where travelers prefer to make a reservation for their stay directly with the Property Manager or a Homeowner. This trend has been on the rise for several years, especially since the previous pandemic year. In the following, you can find more details on how having your website can help your business and what are different models of generating direct bookings on your website.

  • Create Your Website

Having your website can be a powerful tool in building your brand. Your rental website can help travelers find all information that they need before making the reservation while keeping the contact after the reservation was made will be the first step in building your customer loyalty. 

If in the offer you provide Promo codes for your guest’s travel or your guest friends, it will be a great option to convert travelers into your regular guests. 

It is no secret that many fees for Property Managers include paying OTA commission fees for reservations generated via their distribution channels. Your rental website will boost your revenue, and being a property manager, it is your business goal. 

Booker Tools Direct Booking tool can help you to boost your business by creating your website directly from the software. A generated website can include all details of your properties together with a booking engine that will allow travelers to make the reservation directly with you. Adapting your rental website to your brand with high-quality images will make a great first impression on your guests. Demonstrate your company brand and what you provide to the customer, and how value is created.

The benefits that travelers get when booking directly with you: 

  • Best prices guaranteed
  • Guaranteed payment security
  • Personal verified properties
  • Personal approach
  • Direct communication
  • Local suggestions and help

 

  • Booking Engine

Booking Engine is a crucial component of generating direct reservations. If you create your rental website from the system, it will include Booking Engine as well. Suppose you already have your existing website with property content. In that case, Booker Tools can provide you the option of using an integrated booking engine that will enable travelers to book directly on your website. Automatic synchronization of prices, availability, and restrictions will allow you to have the best offers on your website while enabling your customers to have real-time rates and availability without the need for prior inquiries.

  • API Integrations

Using API integration, an existing website can be linked using the iframe components (booking form, calendar, search engine, etc.) – the possibility of API connection means full connection with your website, including automatic synchronization of inventory (reservations, prices, restrictions, and availability) and synchronization of content (photos, description, guiding content of property units…). Connecting your existing website with Booker Tools also provides your customers with real-time rates and availability to book directly on your website.

Regardless of creating a new website from the software or connecting the existing one, Booker Tools central calendar will keep all reservations organized in one place so you can have an overview of all reservation details, both on your desktop version and your Booker Tools mobile app.

Create your website directly from Booker Tools software, start generating direct reservations and make your business more successful. 

If you would like to have more information on how Direct Booking can help your business, we stay at your disposal.

Try Booker Tools for free 15 days.

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.

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.