What is Book Direct for holiday rentals
- A Book Direct definition is not as easy as it seems
- Book Direct may be the process to make the booking, eg on a website or by email
- Book Direct may be any process that avoids Channel fees
- It may be any bookings that give property managers control of the data
- It may be any bookings that give property managers control of business rules.
Attracting direct bookings is an important part of attracting bookings to your self-catering properties.
Read on for our definition.
In conclusion, book direct isn't as straightforward as it seems, and it really depends on what you intend to achieve. (Kelly Odor, Marketing Director)
In our interview with the Book Direct Show, Damian Sheridan asked the panel a number of questions on direct bookings.
Bookster was invited to join the conversation, thanks to our experience in supporting property managers to attract bookings to holiday lets using a number of strategies.
The question we covered was:
What makes a booking ‘direct’ and what does it mean to your business?
Here are our answers:
We researched this with property managers with holiday rentals, to understand their opinions and views.
Our conclusion is that there is no fixed definition of Book Direct.
From conversations, we’ve been able to break down direct bookings into 1 process and 3 intentions.
The holiday rental booking process = Book Direct
Book direct is the process of booking directly with a property manager.
This is any booking that is coming straight to the property manager. This could be:
- Through their website
- By phone
- By email
- Through their social media
- Through a message from their family.
So for these property managers, these bookings are made only directly to the holiday rental property manager.
The next 3 elements are about intent.
1. Avoid OTA fees = Book Direct
A major reason to attract direct bookings is due to the intent to avoid spending up to 20% on commission or fees.
The goal is to invest that money in their own business, through pay-per-click, A/B testing their website, or writing blog content.
Or perhaps to keep that 20% in the business!
Property managers interested in avoiding OTA fees can accept bookings:
- through direct processes
- through channels that don't charge a fee or commission.
2. Control guest data = Book Direct
Some property managers are driven to attract direct bookings because they are interested in controlling the guest data.
This offers a wealth of opportunities for business growth.
Having ownership of the guest's contact details means you can get in touch with your guest and nurture the relationship.
Property managers interested in controlling guest data can accept bookings:
- through direct processes
- through channels that pass all guest data to the property manager
- through channels with direct the guest to book on the property manager's own website.
3. Be in charge of business rules = Book Direct
And finally, some property managers are driven by the need to be in control of their own business rules, as opposed to having rules dictated by a 3rd party channel.
The topic most discussed, especially throughout COVID, is cancellation policies.
Property managers interested in being in charge of their own business rules can accept bookings:
- through direct processes
- through channels that direct the guest to book on the property manager's own website.
What is a direct booking?
A direct booking is a reservation for your services made directly with your company, without the need of an external booking agent or OTA.
Most commonly direct bookings are made on your website, in person, by phone, or by email.
Is that all there is?
Well, no. There's no clear answer.
What is clear is that it is these three intents that are fuelling the Book Direct movement.
A lot of property managers talk about booking directly, but what they tell us is that they’re interested in reducing or negating OTA fees, owning their cancellation policies, and their right to contact the guests.
Or a combination of all three.
In conclusion, book direct isn't as straightforward as it seems, and it really depends on what you intend to achieve.
How can Bookster help you attract direct bookings?
As a company, the team in Bookster has to get to the bottom of what our clients need when we’re planning how to provide support and new developments.
We provide a number of different strategies, support, and tools which help property managers in achieving their business goals.
If you're interested in taking direct bookings, we can help you with:
- A custom or template website created especially for holiday rental bookings
- A clear bookings process
- An online bookings calendar for Bookster websites or 3rd party websites
- A Book Direct toolkit
- Matterport videos and 3D videos
- Display guest reviews
- Email Marketing
- Market Data.
Our team is dedicated to supporting the needs of our clients.
We believe in building strong partnerships with our clients, to understand their needs and provide excellent service.
If you're interested in talking with the Bookster team, drop us a line, meet us at events or follow us on social media.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a direct booking?
- A direct booking is a reservation for your services made directly with your company, without the need of an external booking agent or OTA. Most commonly direct bookings are made on your website, in person, by phone, or by email.