When you are first getting started with a new vacation rental business direct reservations might seem like an impossible dream. However, all the hard work is worthwhile if your dream is to expand your business. You will be happy to know that a majority of owners struggle with getting a direct booking website set up, especially since they have often never done it before.
It can be hard to get a website created that contains all of the necessary information and also appeals to visitors. However, another issue is attracting visitors to your website to begin with. But as the old adage says, where there’s a will, there’s a way.
It will not be difficult to get direct bookings if you hire a skilled website builder. You just need to learn how to achieve this. For this, we are the company you can turn to. In this article, we will be covering what is involved in owning a direct booking site, the benefits it provides, and the specific procedures that you will need to complete when getting started. So let’s dive into it:
What Is A Direct Booking Website?
Let’s go over the basics to get started: What is a direct-booking website? A new vacation rental owner might not be sure about what all is involved in having a direct booking website. Although most experts will recommend that you need to get a website right when you first start your business, you might not know about all of the details.
So what is a direct booking website and what value does it bring when a vacation rental is your product? A direct booking website is an online site that contains spaces for property images, listing descriptions, and a booking engine that can be used by guests for making their appointments.
When you own a direct booking website it makes it possible for your property to be exposed to visitors, entice them to book with you, and get their reservations secured without needing help from a third-party listing website. So what should your direct booking website include? You can add whatever you want!
A skilled website builder can provide you with custom tabs so you organize your content however you want to. Below is a list of information that is commonly found on a direct booking website:
- How to get there/Directions
- Photo gallery
- “About Us” page or Bio
- Discounts and Deals
- Attractions Guide/Things to do
Those are just an example of some things that you can include on your direct booking website. Just remember that you get to make the final decision. On your website you can advertise or showcase whatever you think will help increase direct bookings for your business.
Why Is A Direct Booking Website Critical For A Holiday Rental Owner?
Honestly, it takes a lot longer than five minutes to create a quality direct booking website. You might be able to get a great website designed in a couple of hours, but it will take some time to d this. So what advantages can you enjoy when you use a direct booking website?
There are many! You can rest assured that the benefits you receive far outweigh all the labor and early fees. You may wonder what the advantages are. We have listed the most important benefits below. However, there are unlimited possibilities when you own the reservations.
- Adds Value
There are several advantages provided by direct reservations. One of the most important ones is that they provide your business with added value. When OTA bookings and direct bookings are compared, reservations are much more valuable.
- Lowered Commissions
Your work is complete, you have spruced up your vacation rental, your property is perfectly staged, and you have finished a couple of hours’ worth of administrative chores, only to discover that the payout you will be receiving is much less than you were expecting. You might be confused if you have a $100 average daily rate, but you only get paid $74. The disadvantages of OAs become very obvious here.
Each listing website has an extra or a fee that needs to be paid. That is what allows these websites to continue to operate. The fees are used by these websites to pay for customer service, marketing, and resources for both hosts and guests. That is why it costs more money to list vacation rental properties.
You save money when you book direct. Whatever listing website is used, they all have their own fees that they charge. Our vacation rental websites guide lists these. Although an OTC can help you with getting more publicity and reservations, the extra costs are eliminated when you own a direct booking website.
The money saved on OTA commissions can then be used on things such as providing your guests with a welcome bag or providing breakfast at your property. These kinds of small things can help you build up devoted followers and gain more positive reviews. This will encourage other people to book directly from your website.
- Longer Stays
When determining the value that a direct booking provides, it involves more than just money. Although you will earn more and save money on your OTA fees, you also need to consider how much of your time is being devoted to your bookings. Greater value is also provided by direct bookings by saving you effort and time.
Any experienced host will say that more work must be done when there is a higher guest turnover. If you manage check-outs and check-ins yourself, then you know that cleaning and getting prepared for the next gues will take up half of the day at least.
In order to avoid these types of problems, a majority of hosts prefer targeting guests who book longer-term stays. Less disturbance is caused by longer stays in your reservations flow and helps to reduce your vacancies, which saves you money and time.
There are several different ways that you can promote long-term stays. The nature of these kinds of reservations and having the option to book directly has a tendency to attract longer stays. The numbers speak for themselves.
In 2021 the average stay was 5.9 days for direct bookings, while the average stay on Airbnb and VRBO is 4.5 days. Whenever your guests directly book with you, you will receive one extra day at least.
Let’s look at this from an earnings standpoint: Say you get four $100 per night bookings each month. Before you pay your OTAs fees, you will be making about $1,800 a month from the bookings. If all four of the bookings are direct bookings that have the same value, you may earn $2,360 on each of them. This will be a $560 per month increase due to your direct reservations making it possible for your guests to stay a little while longer.
- Control Over Your Properties
Third-party websites all have their own policies and standards that must be adhered to by guess. Setting expectations for your guests is easier to do when the guidelines are followed on a consistent basis. For example, when booking with Airbnb, you know exactly what you can expect when it comes to travel insurance and house regulations.
These princes may help guests get a better feeling for a property. However, for a host, they can be quite restrictive. After you decided to rent your house yourself. That implies you can handle it on your own also.
Fortunately, whenever a customer goes to your direct booking website, you have total control over the entire reservation process from beginning to end. You get to decide how to manage such things as payments, check-in, and reservation requests. This also helps you develop more customized services to offer your visitors. Overall, you will have ideal command over your procedures.
- Improved Visitor Interactions
The relationships that you have with your visitors will also be stronger. Since you will have direct contact with your guess, you can also develop stronger bonds with them as well. When you have strong guest-host relationships, it will greatly benefit your business.
They include repeat reservations, outstanding reviews, and word-of-mouth recommendations. They can all help you with scaling your vacation rental business up free of charge!
As an owner, your goal might be providing visitors who book direct with you the greatest value, running special promotions so that your calendar is kept full even during the slow seasons and capitalizing on certain holidays (like Valentine’s Day or Christmas). Others will not be able to compete with you on all these fronts.
You can manage the entire visitor experience that you have with your guess when you have a direct relationship from your booking website. A note can be sent to your visitors in advance to find out if they have any specific requests so you can meet them. They might need to have a gluten-free or lactose-free breakfast. Or they might have a baby they are traveling with who will need a high chair and a changing table.
When you go above and beyond so that your guest stays’ are ideal it will earn you instant gratitude. This will result in them writing positive reviews about your service and their stay which then can be posted on your website.
- Create Your Personal Brand
Whenever a vacation rental website is created, it gives you a space for defining your brand, like your logo, color scheme, and corporate values, and also helps to build trust and a strong reputation with past, potential, and future guests. When your website and logo are seen by visitors, they will help them remember your brand.
When you have consistent branding, it also demonstrates you are a real professional to guests. When you have an outstanding direct booking website and a strong vacation rental brand, it will increase the credibility of your vacation rental company.
Maybe you were this traveler at one time: you stayed in a beautiful vacation apartment that was booked via Airbnb. So what did you say to your friends about your vacation? Did you refer to the lodging or call where you stayed a Cape Cod Airbnb? Your brand is just a commodity instead of your own with an internet travel agent.
Build A Direct Booking Website To Enjoy Exponential Growth
A direct booking website will help you expand your vacation rental business. The most critical marketing tool that your holiday home can have is your own website since it allows you to accept reservations directly, generate new leads, and market your property.
It might take some time, however, over the long term, you will be happy you made the effort and took the time. Contact us today to receive an easy-to-use, fast, and outstanding direct booking website!