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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.

 

“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.

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.