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BOOKER TOOLS CONNECTIONS

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

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

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

Booker Tools Channels Manager is connected to:

 

#1 Booking.com

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

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

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

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

#2 Airbnb

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

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

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

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

#3 Expedia

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

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

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

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

#4 Agoda

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

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

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

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

#5 TripAdvisor

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

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

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

#6 E-domizil

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

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

#7 HomeToGo

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

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

#8 HomeAway / Vrbo

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

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

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

#9 HostelWorld

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

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

#10 HotelBeds

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

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

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

 

 

Our new international partner from UK

The_biggest_advantages_that_Booker_Tools_has_are_speed_innovation_and_automation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The beginnings of Direct Booker?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For whom is the Booker Tools intended?

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

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

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

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

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

Which technological innovation has Booker Tools brought?

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

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

In which stage of development is Booker Tools now?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Software solution for professionals

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

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

How would you introduce yourself to the public?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are your predictions for tourism in 2021?

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

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

 

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.

 

Booking.com Premier Connectivity Partner 2021

The travel industry has been going through a rough time this year, because of that we know that strong and productive partnerships are more important than ever.

Booker Tools, software which is used to manage more than 8000 accommodation units and which was made and developed in Dubrovnik, Croatia, is announced as 2021 Premier Connectivity Partner by Booking.com, one of the largest booking platforms in the world. The ‘Premier’ category is part of the Booking.com Connectivity Partner Program 2021; a new incentive program to stimulate the performance of its partners. Premier partners are top and highest-value connectivity providers. These providers offer the most advanced systems with the widest range of products and services.

There are three tiers in this program ‘Standard’, ‘Advanced’ and ‘Premier’. Depending on the number of points accumulated in the year, the providers are classified on the relevant tier.

Booking.com has recognized the efforts and commitment we put into our work. This is just one more step that will motivate us to do better every day and reach for the stars!

“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!