The New Rules of Vacation Rental Channel Management
Out are the old, and in are the new rules of vacation rental channel management.
Question: Would you write a TV advertisement with the exact same content as your latest printed brochure? Of course not. You are speaking to different audiences, and you know one size does not fit all. Then why would you advertise the same rules and content in your website and listing channels? The conventional wisdom is “that’s how it’s done.”
Next question: if you place more ads on more channels, will you get more bookings? Again, the conventional wisdom is yes. The reality is something else. You may actually be wasting time, money and opportunities— and getting no extra bookings for your efforts.
Don’t rely on conventional wisdom to drive your channel management strategy. Instead, try something unconventionally effective. The new and improved Kigo Channel Manager is a simple yet powerful, innovative tool to maximize your exposure and success on the leading channels across the globe.
That doesn’t mean every available channel. At Kigo, our focus is on quality, not quantity. Imagine being on fewer channels while boosting performance. Now you can stop syndicating your properties, and start syndicating your ad strategy.
Simply put, this is the death of property syndication. However, we promise you will not miss it. The new Kigo Channel Manager gives you the power to attract the unique travelers in each channel, automatic handling of channel commissions and general ledger-style categorization for account integration, and so much more.
Let’s first take a look at what you’re not getting. We will take a tour of your VR listing on the major channels, dive past the attractive pictures of your properties, and take a closer look at what you are actually doing with your time and money.
The rules no longer apply
Not long ago, there was only one set of rules for online booking. You only needed one listing, and it was good for every site. That was your strategy.
Then came the proliferation of big online channels, like Booking.com, Airbnb and HomeAway. With different channels came different audiences and new listing rules.
Most likely, your strategy did not change with the times. You just defined your property—say, two beds, two baths, amenities and pics—then connected with the big channels and syndicated your property data with them. Different channels, but the same listing.
Unfortunately, the rules have changed to become channel-centric. Your one-listing strategy may be compatible with the HomeAway template and work for HomeAway travelers, but could be completely off for Booking.com.
Adapting to the new rules of channel management
There are four strategies you can choose from to deal with the new rules in the channel market:
1. Hope the major channels change their advertising template to accommodate you
This will not happen. The bulk of their business is from giant hotel corporations, and they will not change to meet your needs.
2. Try to adapt your listing to Booking.com, Expedia and other hotel-based sites’ templates
You will have to change your listing content for each channel, and possibly eliminate many of your policies and requirements to please each channel’s audience. And there are many audiences. Airbnb travelers often want cool accommodations with less explanation. In contrast, HomeAway travelers often want lots and lots of information: Is your property a good place to take kids? Is it dog friendly? Booking.com travelers want just the facts. Your explanatory copy might not even fit into the template.
3. Place your ad on more channels
The problem is that the other channels have similar, restrictive rules. You’ll be spending more money for diminishing returns.
4. Trust a vacation rental channel manager
With Kigo Channel Manager, the problem is solved. This cutting-edge technology is designed to be flexible for your kind of business.
With Kigo, you’ll be syndicating your ad campaign, not your properties. Enabling you to get a higher return on investment and ultimately, more bookings.
Preview and polish before you publish
When you change your ad to meet a channel’s requirements, you have to go ahead and publish it live, without knowing if it conveys all your information. If your ad fails to deliver, you’re already out the money and time. The Kigo simulation tool lets you make a draft of your ad for any channel, so you can see the results of your changes without the consequences.
Using Kigo Channel Manager, you can plan your advertising for each and every property. Consider us your one-stop shop.
Book more benefits with Kigo's advanced tools
There are many more ways to boost your business with the Kigo Channel Manager toolkit. For example, Kigo automatically handles the new channel-specific rules for rent, taxes and fees.
With the new Kigo Channel Manager, collection is automated for you. We unpack the hidden fees and catalog items consistently with your accounting concepts for ease of management to unlock cost-prohibitive channels. Or, if your accounting system is incompatible with Booking.com, or any other channel, we’ll layer it on automatically after the fact.
Kigo is your key to go forward with your marketing plans, ads and policies
Let’s review the benefits you get with Kigo Channel Manager’s new toolkit. You can:
1. Handle the new channel-centric rules with ease
2. Create and test new strategies offline
3. Develop content and rules uniquely catered to the traveler type in each channel to maximize exposure and success
4. Identify the limitations of each channel and understand how your pricing and rules changes will be viewed by the traveler at the channel prior to publishing
5. Focus on your success in the key channels
6. Reduce the need for the added accounting and management costs of too many channels
7. Get more bookings using fewer channels
Those are just a few of the benefits. Which brings us to one final question to consider whether to go with Kigo. Why wouldn’t you?
Matt Willis is VP of Product Development for Kigo. His specialty is innovating software that vastly simplifies the lives of short-term rental managers. When not circling the globe to analyze the vacation rental property management industry, he can be found at home in Seattle. Which is yet another location to analyze the vacation rental property management industry. Basically, he’s always working. For you. So, it’s all good.
Learn more and get started with Kigo Channel Manager today.