We are pleased to welcome HomeToGo as an official partner for Kigo clients! Learn more about how HomeToGo in our Q&A below.
What makes HomeToGo different from other travel accommodation websites?
In only a few years, HomeToGo has become the fastest-growing distribution channel for vacation rentals worldwide. We’ve done this by giving power, control, and flexibility back to property managers, allowing them to move efficiently, maximize bookings, and diversify their revenue streams. We also give property managers international exposure; we allow them to communicate directly with guests, and enhance their brand visibility with fast platform integration.
What are some of the most popular places and/or types of properties that travelers are visiting these days?
First and foremost, domestic travel is more popular than ever before. Domestic travel is currently accounting for approximately 80% of our searches. That number tops out at 90% in the US market. We’ve also seen that holiday homes and cabins are increasingly popular, which is why we remain confident in a substantial rebound as life starts to slowly go back to normal.
Finish this sentence: "One of the best places in the world to visit that many people don't know about is..."
Your backyard. Of course, we don’t mean that literally, but a silver lining of this pandemic is that travelers are starting to rediscover the wonderful travel opportunities that are available right in their proverbial backyard. And our data shows that people are interested in traveling locally for the foreseeable future, so we’ll be excited to see property managers benefiting from this indirect resurgence in local travel.
Since you have undoubtedly reviewed thousands of vacation property listings, what are some of the most common mistakes that you come across in these ads?
A common mistake that we see is forgetting to highlight amenities. One-third of HomeToGo users interact with the amenity filters, so it’s crucial to include any amenities that apply to your properties to capture these bookings.
Many hosts also struggle when it comes to photos of their properties. Using low-quality images has a major impact on bookings- higher quality pictures can increase revenues by up to 40%. In addition to the quality, it’s crucial to consider the relevance and order of images. Put yourself in the guest’s shoes, and consider which photos you’d find most helpful.
What can a vacation property owner do to make his or her accommodations more attractive to foreign travelers?
It’s always important to have clear descriptions of your listings, but this is especially crucial for attracting international travelers. Highlight points that are important to international travelers, such as nearby attractions and transportation options.
If you want to attract more foreign travelers from a certain region, you should also do some quick research on their preferred payment methods. For example, Germans are often reluctant to pay with credit cards- if you don’t offer alternatives like invoicing, you may miss out on these guests.
Finally, include additional languages - HomeToGo operates 23 localized websites around the world, and having more languages will help you take advantage of our global reach.
What advice would you give a vacation property owner as far as setting an appropriate price for his or her property?
It’s important to keep an eye on your competition - if your prices are higher than competitors, make sure they reflect higher value in one way or another.
Dynamic pricing is also a great strategy for hosts to increase revenues. Whether you make manual adjustments or use a pricing software, you should consider factors such as occupancy levels, seasonality, competition, and market value.
Another crucial but often overlooked point is marking up prices per channel rather than using one markup across the board. Each distributor has a different commission model, sometimes including a traveler fee on top of that. If you don’t take this into account when setting pricing, you risk pricing yourself out of the market.
Name some ways that property owners can make to their listings today that will improve their chances of attracting guests and bookings.
We have a few suggestions in minds for property managers:
- Open your calendar for 2021/2022.
- Remove limitations on the duration of stays and check-in dates.
- Emphasize cleanliness and remoteness of the property.
- Diversify distribution strategy.
- Use a flexible cancelation policy.
Are you developing any opportunities to support property managers during the pandemic?
In the coming weeks, we’ll be rolling out a new program for property managers in the United States to help them not only get through this difficult period but to bounce back stronger than ever before. This new program will address immediate pain points, like securing immediate cash flow and saving property managers commission fees. Keep an eye out for updates with Kigo.