The Kigo channel manager makes it easy to connect to a multitude of portals, but which portals will work best for you? Property managers want a variety of things from their marketing channels, so it’s important to understand how to effectively market properties in a variety of ways. This week we will dive into understanding the difference between listing websites and booking websites, all the while looking at the pros and cons of each portal type.
Listing sites are a great way to drive more inquiries for your vacation rentals. These sites will have a listing for your vacation rental properties, with images, maps, descriptions and rates and availability. Their visitors are encouraged to send the property manager an inquiry about booking their vacation rentals before converting that into a booking once the answers have been exchanged. Good examples of these sites are HomeAway, FlipKey, Holiday Lettings, Perfect Places and Alpha Holiday Lettings.
These types of sites work great whatever the scale of your property management. They provide a valuable touch-point to the guest, giving the property manager the opportunity to build real rapport with a guest and increase the chances not only of initial conversion, but also of customer retention as you build a more long-lasting relationship with them. Listing sites are a great way to expand your reach on some of the biggest travel networks in the world while improving your customer service and client retention.
Listings sites are great for:
- Improving client engagement
- Engendering loyalty through responsive communication
- Make your company more accessible to clients; communication is reassuring, especially given the importance of a holiday in clients' minds
But they also have some limitations:
- Responding to email inquiries can be time consuming for larger-scale property managers (though Kigo's Email Templates can help with that)
- Long dialogue can leave the customer open to searching elsewhere and becoming distracted
- Clients lack the chance to book immediately, so conversions can be missed
Booking sites are sites where bookings can be taken directly, meaning that clients can book instantly as soon as they are ready to buy. This is a great way to ensure conversion and maximize revenue, while saving time by not having to directly engage with clients. Examples of such sites are Booking.com, HouseTrip, Cities Reference and Only Apartments, to name but a few that are currently available through the Kigo channel manager.
These sites are perfect for property managers from one property to thousands of units. They will increase your marketing reach, while leaving your time free to work on your own website and ensuring guest satisfaction. These sites are a great source of instant, high-volume booking volumes and a great way to drive greater revenue.
Booking sites are great for:
- Offering the client an instant opportunity to book, to convert as soon as they are ready
- Saving time on email communication
- Price clarity; the client knows exactly what they have to pay up front
But they also have some limitations:
- Reducing the opportunity to build real rapport with your guests
- Reducing the accessibility of your site to potential guests
- Potentially can reduce your ability to create discounts and offers based on client feedback
So whatever your needs from a portal site, you can find the right connection type for your requirements and connect to them through the Kigo channel manager. Harnessing the huge power of portals is a really useful way to boost your bookings, inquiries and to spread the word about your vacation rental properties far and wide.