Why attract Direct Bookings to holiday rentals
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Many self-catering and holiday let managers are turning away from OTAs or Listing Sites, in favour of attracting direct bookings. We review why this strategy is so popular, and what you can do to attract more direct bookings for your self-catering property.
Why attract Direct Bookings to holiday rentals?
There are a variety of techniques for property managers to attract bookings to short let properties.
More recently, the strategy which is most discussed is Direct Bookings (or Book Direct).
But why attract Direct Bookings to holiday rentals?
Let's start with the background.
What are Direct Bookings for self-catering properties?
The final definition of Direct Bookings for self-catering properties is still being discussed.
However, in general terms, these are bookings that are taken directly with the property manager.
These bookings can be taken:
- Directly on the property website
- By phone
- By email
- Through the property's social media.
Some property managers also consider these strategies to be Direct Bookings:
- Through listing sites or channels that do not take guest payment
- Through listing sites or channels that do not retain the guest's details.
What's the history of taking guest bookings?
The nature of attracting guests to self-catering properties has changed over the years.
Property managers have tried and tested a number of different techniques to attract new self-catering guests for the most profitable revenue.
It doesn't feel like so long ago when property managers hung a sign in the window, or put an advertisement in the local newspaper.
Fast forward 20 years and the creation of the internet, to open up promotion on global marketing channels and listing sites like Booking.com and Airbnb.
How can property managers attract bookings to self-catering homes?
As technologies have advanced and marketing opportunities have grown, there are now a number of strategies to attract bookings:
- International channels like Airbnb
- Local or specialised channels like MisterB&B
- Direct bookings through a website
- Direct bookings through social media buttons
- Email Marketing
- Telephone bookings
- Email bookings
- Repeat bookings
What are the benefits of taking direct bookings?
There are numerous benefits to taking direct bookings instead of, or to supplement bookings from listing sites.
- You own the guest details, so you can build a good relationship with your guest even before they arrive.
- You control your Terms and Conditions.
- You save on Booking Fees.
- You keep the payment in your business bank account when the guest pays.
- You can offer revenue earning and relationship building extra services to your guests.
- You can encourage the guest and their friends and families to book with you and return to your properties.
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What can property managers do to attract more direct bookings?
Attracting direct bookings doesn't happen instantly, and it takes time to build momentum.
There a number of different techniques including these 5 techniques to attract direct bookings:
- Use a website, which is Search Engine Optimised (SEO) to rank well in the search engines like Google.
- Have a clear, easy bookings process so your guests find it easy to book their stay.
- Provide an online calendar so guests can see when your properties are available.
- Work with a property management software that specialises in helping you attract direct bookings.
- Use a Book Direct toolkit to manage and oversee direct bookings on your website.
- Identify and target your marketing to your ideal guests, such as marketing to domestic guests and attracting domestic guests.
- Create a social media plan, to communicate with potential guests through the social media that they use.
- Add Matterport videos to demonstrate how suitable your property is to your guest.
- Add a personal introduction video to start to build relationships with your guest.
- Gather guest reviews to show future guests how great your property is.
- Use Email Marketing to send automated emails to guests before, during, and after the stay. Here are 10 reasons to use Email Marketing.
- Check what your competitors are doing using Market Data.
- And more...
If you'd like to talk to our team about how to attract more direct bookings for your self-catering properties, please get in touch.