The ever-growing vacation rental industry is currently valued at over $100 billion and is estimated to reach more than $193 billion in the next four years. Every day, we see the launch of new companies, which aim to cover every kind of need that may emerge in this industry. As well as having presence on listing sites to attract to wide audiences, many owners and managers are choosing to build their own websites. This allows them to become more visible and make the difference in a saturated market to generate more quality inquiries and direct bookings.
Achieve direct bookings and more bookings
Recent research shows that 65% of guests book accommodation directly through a hotel or B&B website, especially if they have already stayed there. This preference over other platforms (such as Booking.com) can be attributed to the simplicity of booking direct, and not incurring extra costs for service fees.
For this reason, besides listing a property on outside portals, more and more owners are beginning to understand the benefits that can be obtained by a vacation rental software, thanks to which they can not only receive, but also manage, reservations without intermediaries. Furthermore, having their own vacation rental website allows owners to achieve direct bookings with no more commissions or fees to pay on listing sites or OTAs. Plus, they can offer guests discounts or special offers for further incentives.
Handle reservations from one place
The ability to have a constantly updated overview of reservations and manage them easily is the key an efficient vacation rental business. By choosing a vacation rental software with an integrated reservation system, each owner will benefit from simplified management of their properties, whether they look after one or a handful of rentals.
Thanks to a centralized reservation system, all calendars can be synchronized and tracked to block booked periods, approve bookings, create custom quotes, respond to requests and automatically collect payments. It is also possible to set up autoresponders or email templates to further automate tasks and save hours of time.
Encourage faster payment with online booking
Travelers want fast and safe experiences – especially when it comes to booking their trips. So, no matter if the host belongs to the "book now" group or they prefer to manually approve each inquiry, as long as they have a powerful booking engine perfectly integrated in their website design, they’ll be able to manage each request that comes in quickly and efficiently. This tool lets owners and property managers accept online booking and credit card payments in any currency and set rate policies depending on specific situations. And it’s ideal for both parties: hosts, because they will be paid instantly, and guests because they can count on a protected transaction method on a secure HTTPS and SSL protected website.
Enjoy easier property management
There is a way for owners and property managers to simplify the handling of their business, saving precious time and effort: it’s called a Channel Manager. This organizational tool is helpful for owners with listings across multiple sites, as it constantly updates property availability and calendars for easy management of rentals in a centralized place.
If a guest makes a reservation via an external channel such as Booking.com, for example, the availability will change automatically on both Booking.com and on their own website. An all-in-one solution like the Channel Manager by Lodgify allows owners to promote their properties on external sites, while still updating and synchronizing information automatically and in real time to avoid the risk of double bookings.
Create a brand with templates and custom designs
It’s not often that vacation rental owners are also developers. But, with the right tools, technical knowledge may not even be necessary! Provided there is a high-quality website builder and some optimized templates to begin with, owners can easily make a website and customize it fully to start building their vacation rental brand.
The ability to showcase each property with unlimited photos, highlight its location on a map and display up-to-date availability calendars are some of the most crucial features a vacation rental owner needs for their website, because their website will be the first touch point that guests interact with before deciding to book.
Having a unique and personalized website makes it possible for property owners to create their own brand, giving the business more credibility and a professional appearance.
Ensure SEO and mobile optimization
Following SEO best practices is vital in order for a website to show up in the top Google results – and more importantly, in order to be found and booked by guests!
Using vacation rental software, every owner or property manager will build a website which is already optimized to take SEO rules and regulations into account.
In addition, more and more travelers are booking their trips on handheld devices every day. So, a responsive website is a must. There are plenty of mobile-friendly solutions, which will automatically optimize the site to whatever size smartphone or tablet screen it’s being viewed on.
Furthermore, choosing mobile-friendliness is crucial in order to avoid being penalized by Google or have a low search ranking result.
Improve relationships with guests
Undoubtedly, an efficient vacation rental software is one which offers a social media integration to hosts: this means the possibility to link their own website to social media accounts with total ease. It is a big goal in terms of improving the guest experience, because it allows owners to keep a direct relationship with their guests, and have another channel for quick and efficient communication.
Another key integrated feature is the ability to translate the website into multiple languages, which can help reach a more international audience. That’s why choosing a software or website builder which allows for this can be an extra point when it comes to securing more guest bookings from abroad!
About the Author
Lodgify is an innovative all-in-one software solution that allows owners and managers to easily create their own vacation rental website and accept direct online bookings and payments. Lodgify’s integrated features make it possible to manage all reservations from one place and synchronize external booking channels to save time and hassle.
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