How to Get More Bookings Using Vacation Rental Listing Sites
Across the vacation rental industry between 2011 and 2015, startups raised $2.2 billion in 2015, and 99 percent of that investment is being used to build up online marketplaces like Airbnb.” The VRMintel report continues: “What does all this mean for vacation rental management companies? Simply put, it means that now is the time to add channel management to your to-do list. Now is the time to take full advantage of the influx of investment dollars to major distribution channels in the industry.”
Kigo channel management software enables vacation rental property managers to seamlessly coordinate listings across multiple channels. Here are a few of the channel partners, with a brief overview of each.
Airbnb has listed properties in over 191 countries and 34,000 cities globally. Airbnb.com notes that current listings exceed 2,000,000 worldwide.
Kigo’s “Vacation Rental Management Leads in the Age of Airbnb” states:
“Airbnb has been called one of the fastest growing vacation rental distribution channels in the marketplace. Though Airbnb originally concentrated on being a distribution channel used by the individual host who is renting out a room or his apartment, in 2015, property managers became a focus for Airbnb. It remains to be seen what B will eventually do in the vacation rental management space, as the company continues to evolve.
Kigo’s “How to List My Home on Booking.com with Channel Management Software” notes some of the unique features that Booking.com brings to the table. The article offers this quote from Darren Huston, CEO of Booking.com:
“As consumers strive to create new experiences while traveling, they are looking for places to stay that reflect their personalities, passions, and ambitions. That might mean staying on a boat docked in the South of France, a treehouse in Costa Rica, a villa in Indonesia, an apartment in Madrid or a Riad in Morocco. For several years, we have been working behind the scenes to expand our offerings beyond the traditional hotel to help people experience the world in the way they want to that’s easier than anything else out there.”
Part of the Priceline Group, Booking.com offers more than 287,000 properties and processes 425,000 room nights every single day. With a truly global reach, Booking.com offers real potential to extend your marketing reach to a huge audience.
Founded in 2009, Roomorama is a short-term and vacation rental platform that offers over 80,000 owner-managed and professionally-managed vacation rentals worldwide.
- Seamlessly connect to Roomorama through the Kigo Backend system
- Connect Kigo to Roomorama and automatically sync your property details
- The extended marketing reach will generate more revenue for your properties
Kigo’s “Manage TripAdvisor Business Listing with Channel Management Software” gives a compelling reason for vacation rental managers to partner with TripAdvisor, stating:
“With more than 315 million monthly users, TripAdvisor is the leading consumer rating and review site for the travel industry. It provides a consolidated platform where users can read reviews, compare pricing, and book your vacation rental property. Due to the convenience, it attracts a wide range of travelers looking to book their trips easily and in less time, while reading recent reviews regarding the quality of the vacation home rentals. As a highly successful platform that draws in global traffic, it’s the ideal place to promote your properties and reach millions of customers across the world.”
As more and more travelers rely on online reviews and guest feedback to make booking decisions, TripAdvisor is a go-to destination for a treasure trove of customer reviews. Savvy vacation rental managers use guest feedback to their advantage by harvesting user-generated content for use on their own websites as well.
TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals currently handles 170,000 properties all across the globe, meaning that vacation rental managers who partner with TripAdvisor play to a truly global audience.
A partnership with HomeAway gets you access to the entire 50-site HomeAway network, including such popular listing sites as:
- Owners Direct
- Abritel HomeAway
- Alugue Temporada
Kigo’s “Manage HomeAway Listing with Channel Management Software” reveals a great reason to consider HomeAway as one of your listing partners, reporting:
“On average, HomeAway vacation rental owners charge a weekly rental rate of $1,520 ($217/night) and make their home available to guests for an average of 36 weeks each year. The rental of vacation homes thus grosses an annual income of $27,360 for these owners.
Additionally, the average owner spends $961 per year to market their vacation rental – including costs for listing site subscriptions, local print advertising, property manager fees and paid search efforts. With an average annual income of $27,360 each year, the cost to market a vacation rental is only 3.5 percent of total rental revenue and grosses a nearly 3,000 percent return on investment for the owner. By any objective standard, that kind of ROI is impressive.”
The potential for expanding the reach of your vacation rental marketing efforts is great. Working with a good combination of vacation rental property listing sites, you can boost your bookings and reap the rewards of a more global reach.
Are you ready to save time and increase your bookings with Kigo Channel Management Software? Let Kigo’s Channel Management software help you target the right vacation rental listing sites by requesting a demo today!
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- Vacation Rental Listing Writing Tips
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If you question whether the wording you use in your vacation rental listings matters, consider this:
According to a recent Tnooz article, an analysis of billions of travel transactions by Adobe found that the average look-to-book conversion rate for hospitality and travel-related products was 2.4 percent.
That means that a whopping 97.6 percent of those who look at listings do not end up actually booking those properties! Improving your listings is an excellent way to ramp up your vacation rental bookings.
Word Choice in Vacation Rental Listings
The way a listing is written can make or break a booking opportunity. VRMintel’s “14 Words to Never Include in Your Vacation Rental Listing” shares words to avoid when crafting your listings. Some no-no’s from the list are:
1) Never: Phrases like “a vacation you’ll never forget” carry a more negative connotation than saying something like “a vacation to remember.” As a general rule, it is best to leave “never” out of your listing entirely.
2) Don’t: Telling potential guests what not to do is bad form. At best, it is vaguely off-putting. At worst, it comes off as a lecture.
3) Everything: Claiming that your property has “everything” a guest could hope for is a stretch. Even the most well-equipped rental property will likely be missing something that a guest could imagine. Avoid making exaggerated claims. It is better to under-promise and over-deliver.
4) Sorry: Prefacing a house rule with the word “sorry” indicates that you are apologizing for what may be a perfectly legitimate house rule. For instance, “sorry, no pets allowed” indicates to your guests that you feel uncomfortable with a no-pets policy. A better choice would be “Please leave your pets at home.”
5) Great: While there is nothing inherently wrong with describing something as “great”, in reality that description is not particularly useful. Remember that you have a very limited time to convey as much useful information as possible in your listing. Tightly targeted descriptive words work better than general ones.Other Things to Avoid with Vacation Rental Listings
GuestHook’s “Vacation Rental Listing Description: What to Leave OUT” discusses a few more items that may be stopping potential guests from booking your properties. They are:
- vague, feel-good copy that does not actually provide a concrete description of your property
- copy that focuses on local attractions instead of the characteristics of your property (While local attractions should be mentioned, they are not the focus of a listing.)
- discounts offered (These can be addressed easily in the pricing areas instead.)
Vacation Rental Marketing Tips for Listings Done Right
So, what words should you use to describe your properties and make your listings rise above the crowd on listing sites? The article “Vacation Rental Website Tips: How to Improve Conversion Rates” suggests the three following words because of their hypnotic nature:
These words, and others like them, can help potential guests picture themselves in your properties. The experience becomes personal and immediate. Creating an emotional response and a sense of urgency moves potential guests to follow through and book your properties.
Managing listing partners like AirBnb, HomeAway, and FlipKey is just a few clicks away with Kigo’s channel manager. Request a demo today to see what Kigo can do for your vacation rental property management company.
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Vacation Rental Listing Marketing Tips
Once upon a time, vacation rental management consisted largely of handling no more than a handful of properties and making bookings through local word of mouth advertising and a few print ads in prominent places. But, like all fairy tales, those early days of vacation rental management have come to an end.
The article “You Won’t Believe What’s Happening in the Vacation Rental Industry” talks about the evolution of vacation rental management:
“About 15 or so years ago, the internet was upon us full force and everything changed. Online listing sites started popping up everywhere. Some were local, some were national and even international.”
New customer acquisition requires a comprehensive strategy that includes the use of channel partners. As the industry has evolved, customer acquisition strategies have evolved to keep up with changing customer journeys and expectations.
Vacation Rental Channel Management Unlocks a Door
Rather than competing locally with a few other rental properties, today vacation rental managers must compete on a global scale. Online listings are no longer a novelty, but a necessity if rental managers want to compete in their marketplace.
In the article entitled “The Complex and Confusing Economics of Customer Acquisition“, Julian Castelli notes:
“Acquiring new customers seems to get more complicated and more difficult each year. With all of the changing dynamics online and with third-party distribution channels the rules of the game appear to keep moving.”
How can vacation rental property managers keep up?
The answer lies in utilizing the power of technology to manage multiple distribution partnerships and taking advantage of the long reach of third-party distributors to engage an ever-widening audience of potential bookings.
The Cost of Customer Acquisition with Channel Distributors
As direct online marketing continues to become harder due to the sheer volume of vacation rental property listings online, a well-considered strategy for customer acquisition must include leveraging the power of channel distribution.
Though some vacation rental managers have balked at the cost of such partnerships, Castelli notes:
“The costs of third-party distribution have been much maligned, but when they are considered in light of the totality of their effect – which includes widespread visibility among travelers, search engine rankings, and the ability to turn new customers into repeat customers – the economics of distribution become much more reasonable.”
Vacation Rental Channel Management Software Greases the Skids
Of course, for vacation rental management companies utilizing channel partners, channel management software eases the inherent challenges in such partnerships. Kigo’s “What Are the Advantages of Using Channel Management Software?” lists several benefits of automated channel management, such as:
- saving money
- saving time
- reaching more customers
- improving reputation
- automating tasks
Get the Free eBook to Improve Your Vacation Rental Listings
For more information about what a channel management software solution can do to help you with customer acquisition and increased bookings, please download the ebook: What is a Channel Manager?
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Featured Vacation Rental Listing Partners
Kigo’s article “Vacation Rental Management Leads in the Age of Airbnb” we learned:
“As direct online marketing continues to become harder due to the sheer volume of vacation rental property listings online, a well-considered strategy for customer acquisition must include leveraging the power of channel distribution.”
Kigo’s channel manager software makes vacation rental listing distribution through portal partners easy. One such partner is Roomorama, whom the Boston Globe recently reviewed and said was,
“Best for: Low- to high-end apartments for working professionals and families.”
Exploring Roomorama’s History
With over 300,000 mid- to high-range properties in over 6,000 locations worldwide, Roomorama caters to a wide spectrum of vacation travelers. NBC New York says about the company:
“In many cities like New York, London and Tokyo, a Roomorama flat is often less expensive than a hotel and offers the convenience of full kitchens and other amenities of home.”
Inc. Magazine reports that Roomorama “certifies hosts with good records and offers discounts from partners like Crunch gym.”
Founded in 2009, Roomorama likes to provide travelers with the experience of living like a local when visiting one of their properties. With rentals ranging from 3 nights to 3 months, Roomorama can accommodate most traveler needs easily.
Roomorama’s website reports that property listings offered include everything from a single bedroom to an apartment or rental home. Many travelers find Roomorama’s offerings to be exceptional because they often provide much more variety and local flavor than generic hotel rooms and most of Roomorama’s properties are professionally managed.
According to Tripping.com, as of 2015, Roomorama reported their average user books a stay for 9 nights or longer and spends more than $1000 per booking, well above the industry average.
If you would like to increase bookings for your properties, Roomorama may be a great channel partner for your vacation rental property management company.
Whether you are managing property listings on Roomorama or other popular listing portals, Kigo’s “What Are the Advantages of Using Channel Management Software?” lists several benefits of automated channel management, such as:
- saving money
- saving time
- reaching more customers
- improving reputation
- automating tasks
How does Kigo’s channel manager work? The article goes on to explain:
“Kigo works with you to set up your chosen channel partnerships. Once this is done, you can get more inventory with just the click of a mouse. Your own system will be connected to the Kigo system with an API connection.
This means you can still use your own system while taking full advantage of Kigo’s channel management software. Your property listings reach a much wider audience, and your system is constantly updated across all channels to ensure you know at any moment what is going on with each of your listings across the board.
Kigo’s channel manager eliminates the issue of having to perform manual updates of your listings and rates, making it a simple, easy thing to manage all your channels at once, all day, every day.”
Drive Roomorama Bookings from Main Street to China
Jia En Teo, co-founder of Roomorama, stated:
“Cities such as Tokyo, where hotels are expensive, and Taipei, where the hotel infrastructure is still developing, are doing particularly well in attracting short-term rentals.“
How will Roomorama impact the vacation rental industry?
The answer lies in the company’s truly global reach. From Main Street, U.S. to China, Roomorama has a growing presence in the vacation rental landscape. Like AirBnB, Roomorama has set its sights on creating a splash everywhere it expands, including Asia.
CNBC’s “The Short-Stay Services Disrupting Airbnb in Asia” notes that Asia is the fastest growing market right now. Jia En Teo, co-founder of Roomorama, states:
“Cities such as Tokyo, where hotels are expensive, and Taipei, where the hotel infrastructure is still developing, are doing particularly well in attracting short-term rentals.”
One of the features that separates this listing portal from its competitor airbnb is its professionally managed accommodation offerings. Whereas airbnb concentrates almost entirely on peer-to-peer accommodations, Roomorama has tapped into a niche market of consumers who want competitively priced accommodations, as well as professionally managed ones.
“There’s a portion of people who don’t necessarily want to walk into someone’s house with someone else’s shoes and clothes and books.”
For these travelers, Roomorama works with property managers such as estate agents to rent out investors’ properties on a short term basis to guests. Working with property managers helps to ensure the accommodations are of a high standard, which in turn leads to higher guest satisfaction. This distinction gives the company a definite advantage in Asian markets.
Eunice Khong, owner of the travel blog TravelerFolio, lists her favorite features of Roomorama’s service as:
- Secure payment processing
- The ability to narrow your search for accommodations to a Roomorama Certified Host, a trusted member of the Roomorama community who has completed at least 3 stays with good reviews
- The variety of accommodations listed, ranging from a bedroom to an entire house
- Excellent customer service representatives
The site is also listed by Payoneer as one of the top seven vacation rental marketplaces globally. The Payoneer blog states:
“Hosts benefit from listing and booking their properties completely for free (Roomorama charges guests a booking fee), while offering guests other benefits such as a concierge service and discounts to local services and attractions. Since there are no fees, listing on Roomorama is definitely a no-brainer.”
Make Vacation Rental Listings Effortless with Kigo Channel Manager
Listing your vacation rental properties on popular listing sites has never been easier. With Kigo’s Channel Manager, you can quickly manage all your listing partnerships with just a few simple clicks of the mouse.
From the user-friendly Kigo dashboard, you can create reports and see at a glance what is happening with each listing portal. In addition, your availability calendar syncs with portal partners, which means you never have to worry about a double booking again.
Ready to Drive Bookings from Main Street to China?
Let Kigo show you how to easily expand your marketing reach by updating and distributing your vacation rental property listings on Roomorama and other leading listing portals when you schedule your web-based demo of Kigo’s vacation rental software.
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TripAdvisor is one of the many websites that rental agencies can utilize to promote their rooms and properties. It provides the ideal platform for vacation rental marketing, due to being the leading travel review site.
Extend Your Online Vacation Rental Marketing
According to Web Marketing Today, with more than 315 million monthly users, TripAdvisor is the leading consumer rating and review site for the travel industry. It provides a consolidated platform where users can read reviews, compare pricing, and book your vacation rental property. Due to the convenience, it attracts a wide range of travelers looking to book their trips easily and in less time, while reading recent reviews regarding the quality of the vacation home rentals. As a highly successful platform that draws in global traffic, it’s the ideal place to promote your properties and reach millions of customers across the world.
Maximize Your Vacation Rental Marketing Budget
Even an SEO-friendly vacation rental website that ranks high in search results faces competition from the big Internet listing portals. With TripAdvisor, you can access a global audience, allowing you to dramatically increase leads and conversions. Kigo vacation rental software manages the TripAdvisor listing and syncs availability calendars, whether the booking occurs on the TripAdvisor platform or the property’s website.
Save Time with Channel Manager Software for Vacation Rental Property Managers
Kigo’s Channel Manager lets property managers update their TripAdvisor business listing directly from the platform and save time by syncing property pricing and availability across our channel network of more than 35 other portals including HomeAway/VRBO, Roomorama, and Booking.com. This increases the efficiency of vacation rental marketing and eliminates double bookings, meaning you can spend less time marketing, and more time managing your vacation rental properties and servicing guests.
Takeaway: TripAdvisor and Kigo
TripAdvisor is one of the best vacation rental marketing channels due to being the most popular and highly trusted by travelers. With the increased traffic to your property listings and the enhanced reputability it provides your property management company, TripAdvisor will enable you to boost sales and book more reservations.
Kigo is the leading Channel Manager with more portal partners than other vacation rental software providers, letting you easily update and sync your property availability, rates and information on multiple websites all from one place.
Get a Demo of Kigo’s Vacation Rental software solution today and learn how you can save time and increase bookings.
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Business or Pleasure? How to Market Vacation Rental Homes to Business Travelers
Business travelers are looking to reap the benefits of booking rental properties that offer more amenities and a more home-like atmosphere than hotels.
The business travel sector is evolving. The Telegraph’s “Business Joins the Smart-Travel Revolution” notes:
“New companies, including peer-to-peer websites, now offer specific solutions when it comes to business travel, accommodation and keeping in touch with colleagues – at home and abroad. As a result, future business trips will feel increasingly personalized, while technology will be used for everything from recording the carbon emissions from your trip to ensuring a freshly packed suitcase arrives at your business destination.”
MagicStay-The Business Traveler’s Best Friend
One of the companies leading the way for business travelers to benefit from this change is Kigo channel partner MagicStay.com. Known formerly as MagicEvent.com, the company was founded in 2014 and is currently the leading peer-to-peer accommodation and service website exclusively dedicated to business travel. MagicStay currently offers over 20,000 apartments, studios, and villas in over 70 business cities.
Valéry Linÿer, CEO and Co-founder of MagicStay.com, says of the French start-up:
“More and more business travelers have tested apartment rental on peer-to-peer websites for personal travel, and are looking to benefit from the same advantages for business travel. This type of accommodation provides savings of 30 percent to 60 percent, without including the costs saved on restaurants and transport.”
“At MagicStay, we offer business travelers an alternative to hotel in 70 cities. MagicStay is the only platform that is exclusively dedicated to business travel and we are partnering with many international professional events to host exhibitors and visitors.”
Because corporate apartments and corporate housing provide a welcomed alternative to hotel accommodations for reasons including cost, space, and comfort, business people are increasingly willing to work with MagicStay.com for their accommodation needs.
The article “MagicEvent.com Presents Its Apartment Rental Platform at the Business Travel Show 2016” says of MagicStay:
“All accommodation on MagicEvent.com is selected to meet the needs of business travelers in terms of comfort and safety, and are in close proximity to exhibition and conference centers or in the center of town. Accommodation is rated between 1 and 5 stars based on objective criteria related to comfort and amenities.”
Listing with MagicStay through Kigo’s Channel Management System
For vacation rental property managers who have properties in major business areas, it is an easy process to list properties with MagicStay.com through Kigo’s channel management system.
With Kigo’s channel manager, connecting your business rental website to major portal sites is a simple, streamlined process. At the touch of a button, you can connect your site with MagicStay.com and expand the reach of your business rental listing with no trouble.
Bookings of your property made through MagicStay will automatically sync with your availability calendar, while all your important information remains safe and secure within your Kigo account.
For more information about how Kigo’s channel management software can expand your marketing reach, download the free eBook on Vacation Rental Listing Sites.
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“I want an answer, and I want it now!”
No, this is not a replay of the conversation you had with your teenager this morning. Rather, it is the thought process of your potential guests when making an inquiry about your vacation rental property.
“In the race to convert a guest inquiry, the speed of response is probably the biggest factor in locking down a booking. And the easiest, too. How fast should you respond? As fast as possible, really.”
Why Speed Matters in Vacation Rental Booking
To understand the importance of rapid response to guest inquiries, vacation rental managers can take a page from online marketing experts. A Harvard Business Review study of 1.25 million sales leads revealed that companies that tried to contact customers within one hour of an inquiry were nearly seven times more likely to qualify those leads than those who waited two hours to make contact, and more than 60 times more likely than those who waited 24 hours or more.
While this study was not specific to the vacation rental industry, the lesson is clear. Rapid response leads to conversion.
Another article on Flipkey.com bears out the truth of that statement, noting:
” …our site data shows that responding within six hours doubles your chances of a booking.”
Why is quick response so effective? Here are a few reasons:
- A quick response shows potential guests that you value their time and interest.
- A quick response ensures that you do not miss out on the last-minute vacation renter, who plans to book right away.
- A quick response sends a message about your professionalism and instills added confidence in potential guests.
Quick Response is a Competitive Advantage
The article “The Zero Moment of Truth for Vacation Rentals: How to Win the War” on the Vacation Rental Marketing Blog states:
“The average traveler considers 8 properties and actually inquires to 5 before making a booking”.
That means you must be quicker and more helpful in your inquiry response than four of your local competitors.
Here is something else to consider. Flipkey uses your average inquiry response time to help determine your search results on the site. That means the faster you respond to inquiries, the higher your vacation rental listing will appear on Flipkey when vacationers search, and the more likely you are to get a booking. This is a compelling argument for making an effort to respond quickly.
Vacation Rental Software Tools Can Help
Given the advantages of responding quickly to guest inquiries, what tools are available to help you accomplish that? Kigo’s software solution includes a number of functions which support rapid response to guest inquiries.
With Kigo’s Email Inquiry Import feature, you can consolidate all Flipkey inquiry e-mails into your Kigo account so you never miss one.
You can also use Kigo to trigger an automatic reply using a professional, formatted email template. How’s that for reducing the initial inquiry response time?
Of course, the real benefit is that you can use this feature for all the vacation rental listing portals you control with Kigo’s Channel Manager software.
Kigo’s solution enables you to:
- Get more bookings by responding to all inquiries quickly.
- Set yourself apart using email templates with interesting local information to hook the prospective guest.
- Save time by quickly adding a personal touch to the communication while answering availability and rate questions automatically.
Get More Vacation Rental Marketing Tips
Get more bookings faster and with less effort, leaving you more time to delight your guests and keep them coming back. Download the free eBook with vacation rental marketing tips for property managers.
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Here is your vacation rental management riddle of the day:
How can you…
- Multiply your marketing reach exponentially
- With minimal investment of time
- Increase your bookings dramatically
- And automate your workflow processes
…just by making just one business decision?
The answer, of course, is to make the decision of utilizing channel management software to partner with popular vacation rental booking portals like HomeAway.
HomeAway Vacation Rental Listings Managed by Kigo Channel Management Software
Why HomeAway Is a Great Vacation Rental Listing Portal Partner
In many ways, HomeAway is an ideal channel partner for vacation rental property managers. HomeAway itself lists the following advantages vacation rental property managers can enjoy as portal partners with HomeAway. Some of those advantages are:
1) Access to a worldwide network of travelers
HomeAway is not just one website. It is a network of 50 websites, many of which are instantly recognizable names in the vacation rental industry. Kigo’s channel management software allows you to connect with all HomeAway companies, including popular sites such as:
- Owners Direct
- Abritel HomeAway
- Alugue Temporada
2) Dedicated account management and support
Not only does HomeAway help you manage your account on their end, it also integrates fully with your Kigo reservation system, making workflows run smoothly and efficiently at every step of the booking process and beyond.
3) Dynamic Searches via the Best Match Feature
In 2014, Homeaway’s analysis of market trends indicated that on average, HomeAway vacation rental owners charge a weekly rental rate of $1,520 ($217/night) and make their home available to guests for an average of 36 weeks each year. The rental of vacation homes thus grosses an annual income of $27,360 for these owners.
Additionally, the average owner spends $961 per year to market their vacation rental – including costs for listing site subscriptions, local print advertising, property manager fees and paid search efforts. With an average annual income of $27,360 each year, the cost to market a vacation rental is only 3.5 percent of total rental revenue and grosses a nearly 3,000 percent return on investment for the owner. By any objective standard, that kind of ROI is impressive.
Harnessing HomeAway’s Booking Power with Vacation Rental Channel Management
With 700,000 listings in over 20 languages, HomeAway is an attractive portal partner for your vacation rental management company. Kigo’s channel management solution enables easy access to all of HomeAway’s advantages while integrating fully with Kigo’s reservation management software. With Kigo’s channel manager, all your property listing information is synced with HomeAway, including pictures, property descriptions, and calendar updates in real time.
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Why List My Vacation Rental on Booking.com?
The article “What Are the Advantages of Using Channel Management Software?” points to a number of significant benefits of using channel partners to increase bookings and using channel management tools to facilitate the process of coordinating your work through multiple distribution channels.
Some of the benefits listed are:
- Increased efficiency and time management
- Reduced marketing costs overall
- Increased ability to reach a wider audience of potential travelers
- Improved reputation with professional management of multiple channels
- Automation of tasks which leads to smoother workflow processes
Kigo’s Channel Management solution accommodates work with a number of channel partners, including Booking.com. Why is this significant?
Darren Huston, CEO of Booking.com, comments on the uniqueness of Booking.com’s offerings in this way:
“As consumers strive to create new experiences while traveling, they are looking for places to stay that reflect their personalities, passions and ambitions. That might mean staying on a boat docked in the South of France, a treehouse in Costa Rica, a villa in Indonesia, an apartment in Madrid or a Riad in Morocco. For several years, we have been working behind the scenes to expand our offerings beyond the traditional hotel to help people experience the world in the way they want to that’s easier than anything else out there.
According to figures released by Booking.com, vacation rental properties expanded 66 percent year over year. Huston adds:
“We expect the growth that we’ve seen in the vacation rental and unique accommodation market to accelerate over time as consumers realize the depth of options and the ease of making reservations on our mobile and desktop sites.”
Booking.com’s Frictionless Booking Experience
Huston’s comments about the ease of booking vacation rental properties via Booking.com’s mobile and desktop sites are significant. Research into booking behaviors reveals an increasing desire among travelers to use mobile devices to book properties from anywhere at any time.
Booking.com understands this digital trend and continues to capitalize on booking behaviors to remain a leader in the vacation rental industry. Commenting on the launch of Villas.com, Booking.com’s dedicated site for vacation rentals, villas, and apartments, Skift’s Dennis Schaal refers to the site as a “digital conversion wonderland” and a significant source of potential concern for competitor HomeAway.
In Skift’s article “Booking.com’s New Vacation Rental Site is HomeAway’s Worst Nightmare”, Schaal observes:
“It remains to be seen what Booking.com does with its new Villas.com and how heavily it gets promoted, but Booking.com clearly is committed to the vacation rental sector, and will likely make many more moves.”
Channel Management Software Leverages the Power of Booking.com
Kigo’s cutting edge channel management software enables you to seamlessly manage a channel partnership with Booking.com and many other booking portals. Considering the reach that can be achieved for your vacation rental properties with a robust channel management solution, it is wise to consider how your vacation rental management business would benefit from such a partnership.
3 Tricks for Vacation Rental Bookings on Booking.com
Booking.com provides many management companies a way to extend their marketing reach to a truly global audience.
Skift notes that one of the strengths of Booking.com lies in its ability to prompt instant digital conversions. Visitors to the Booking.com site are encouraged in a variety of ways to book your properties right away. As one of Kigo’s valued portal partners, Booking.com does a great job at showcasing your properties to a larger audience and increasing your bookings.
Booking.com provides an extranet by which property managers can access and manage their properties on the site. While there is nothing wrong with the Booking.com extranet, Kigo makes the process even easier with Kigo Channel Manager.
Kigo lets you update and distribute your property listings to more than 35 portal partners including Booking.com, without having to log in to the Booking.com extranet to do so.
1. Connect to Booking.com Extranet Once and Done!
Kigo makes it easy to connect with the Booking.com extranet. Because Kigo works for you, the property manager, and not for the listing portal, Kigo tries to make everything as easy as possible for you. With these simple steps, you are ready to go:
- Create a Booking.com account, or log into your already existing account. Then simply request a secure connection from Kigo to the Booking.com extranet.
- Once your request is made, Kigo’s support team goes to work to link your property in Booking.com with your Kigo account. If your request is made on Monday through Thursday, this process usually takes just one day.
- Using Kigo, you can specify your properties and pricing and rate categories with Booking.com.
- Once you have completed these steps, submit your setup for review by the Kigo support team.
- After the team reviews your setup and gives it a thumbs-up, simply confirm the connection on the Booking.com extranet and you are all set!
2. Extend Listing Distribution beyond Booking.com
As mentioned in an earlier chapter, Kigo’s cutting-edge channel management software enables you to seamlessly manage a channel partnership with Booking.com and many other booking portals as well. Considering the reach that can be achieved for your vacation rental properties with a robust channel management solution, it is wise to consider how your vacation rental management company would benefit from such a partnership.
While every portal is different, Kigo supports a similar set up process for each of your portal partners. Once Kigo’s support team works with you to set your properties up with the other portals you choose, it is even easier to update, manage and distribute your property listings. Then, you will:
- get more bookings
- make more money both for your property management company and for property owners
- attract a global audience with large portal partners, and a geographically specific target audience with smaller portal partners
3. Use Kigo Vacation Rental and Channel Management Software to the Fullest
In addition to supporting you with the set-up process for the Booking.com extranet and other portal partners, Kigo provides several other ways to help you boost your vacation rental bookings. Here are a few:
4. Target Your Perfect Vacation Rental Guest
As mentioned in an earlier article, you can use your channel management software to distribute vacation rental listings to the portals which best match your target market segment or niche. Kigo’s channel manager software enables you to market your vacation rental properties to a wide audience with large portal partners such as Airbnb, Booking.com, TripAdvisor.com, and HomeAway, and also allows you to target niche audiences with a great selection of small-medium portal partners.
5. Improve Your Property Listings
Working with multiple channel partners helps you to craft excellent, high-converting property listings. Using the available features on portal partner sites as well as a Kigo-designed website template, you can design your listings for maximum impact with features like interactive maps, high-quality images, and well-phrased copy.
What It Means for Vacation Rental Management Companies
Vacation rental management companies that are looking for ways to ensure sustainable growth need look no further than Kigo’s channel management solution. The benefits of being aggressive in distribution are many. Vacation rental managers who choose to add channel partners increase their potential bookings exponentially for each partner added.
Start Your Free Trial Today
To see Kigo’s channel management solution at work in real time, start your free demo today and take advantage of all the channel partnerships available to you through Kigo’s integrated reservation management system.
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According to a recent VRMintel report, startups raised $2.2 billion in 2015, and 99 percent of that investment is being used to build up online marketplaces like Airbnb.
What does this mean for vacation rental property managers? Simply put, it means that there will continue to be more and more channel partnerships to manage in the future.
Increase Vacation Rental Bookings With Channel Management Software
Commenting on the implications of the major investment in channel partnerships, Kigo’s “Vacation Rental Investment Fuels Need for Channel Management Software” article notes:
“The benefits of being aggressive in this environment are many. Vacation rental managers who choose to add channel partners increase their potential bookings exponentially for each partner added. As the vacation rental industry stands poised on the brink of investment-fueled innovation, partnering becomes even more attractive than it has been heretofore.”
Manage Your Vacationrental.com Listings
Established in 1997, has since become part of the HomeAway family recently. As part of HomeAway, Vacationrentals.com offers over 1 million listings from Florida beach houses to European villas. Partnering with Vacationrentals.com thus extends your marketing efforts, making your vacation rental property accessible to a huge, truly global audience.
The Cost of Channel Partnerships
According to VRMintel’s blog “Third Party Distribution Channels: The Changing Landscape of Third Party Booking Channels”, there are changes afoot in the pricing of such partnerships. The article notes:
“As business models transition and these online marketplaces evolve, investors almost unanimously believe vacation rental owners and managers are willing to spend 10-15 percent to secure a booking. As a result, the industry can expect to see distribution costs creep upward over the next few years.
Today’s property managers are faced with the decision to:
Absorb the third party fees
Pass the fees on to the owner
Pass the fees on to the guests by raising prices on channels.”
How will you deal with such a decision? In order to decide what sort of investment to make in a channel partnership, it is important to calculate acquisition costs for a new customer. The VRMintel article goes on to quote Steve Milo, Founder and Managing Director at Vacation Rental Pros, who offers this advice:
“It is also important to determine your true cost of using the channels. Some channels are easy to work with while others require an enormous amount of time and manual effort.”
Making the Most of a Channel Partnership
When counting the cost of acquiring bookings through channel partners, it is important to remember that today’s travelers are turning more and more to online booking sites like Vacationrentals.com to secure their bookings. While it may be true that the cost of using third party portals is likely to continue to increase, the reality is that, for many vacation rental property management companies, it is the third party portals that yield the most bookings.
What can you do to ensure that your partnerships are mutually profitable? You can increase your profitability by being efficient and selective in the channel partners with whom you choose to list your properties.
Fortunately, Kigo has a tool that helps you accomplish that. While vacation rental booking and listing sites will continue to evolve, our channel management software will help you manage your listings, avoid double bookings, and, when managed properly, boost your revenue. This makes both you and your rental property owners happy.
Leverage Vacationrentals.com Easily with Kigo Channel Manager Software
Are you ready to see how Kigo’s Channel Management Software can work for you? Learn all about how it will help to advertise on vacationrentals.com and other portals when you schedule your no-obligation, online demo.
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Read More Blog Posts on Channel Management Software
- The Overlooked Advantage of Channel Management Software
- An Interview with Airbnb: How Vacation Rental Managers Can Leverage Assets
- Booking.com Extranet – 3 Tricks for Vacation Rental Bookings
- How to Compete with Hotels Using Channel Manager Software
- Laser Target Your Audience with Channel Manager Software