Most of us that have thought about building a website have researched a number of website builders including WIX, Weebly, Joomla, and of course central management systems such as WordPress. They all have their appeal and have been designed to make web design an easy task. However, finding a website builder that is specific to your industry can be an arduous task to say the least.
In comes the Lodgify website builder from www.lodgify.com.
This is an all-in-one vacation rental website solution. Everything a vacation rental owner needs is built into the packages offered by Lodgify. A channel manager so calendars can sync with property calendars on other websites, a booking system that takes credit as well as debit cards, cash payments, checks, and bank transfers, booking system with real-time chat to speak to guests electronically, and the entire site can be branded to the website owners colors and logo.
Getting into The Vacation Rental Market
Starting a vacation rental business means entering a market that is currently not a straightforward one to crack – at least it is not as easy as it may seem at first glance or how already established vacation rental business owners make out. Those that are already established on Airbnb are little like the early adopters of Bitcoin – they got in there before everyone knew about it.
This means they have already built up a profile with many positive ratings. Therefore, it was an easy market to crack when sites like www.airbnb.com were first introduced to the World Wide Web.
You can then imagine that you need a quality website if you want to be able stand out in the crowd.
When websites such as Airbnb first came out, the marketing was so good and the niche something unique compared to other booking sires such as www.Agoda.com and www.Booking.com. Instead of offering a myriad number of hotels to sift through, Airbnb were offering people apartments owned by individuals.
One of the most appealing aspects to Airbnb’s offering was that people can book an apartment in a tourist destination, city, or in any place where there are a large number of outside visitors
It means that those planning to rent their property to holidaymakers have some stiff competition.
Using Timeshare or Property Management Companies Is Less Common Today
The good news is that the days of using expensive timeshare and property management companies are now gone. Getting your listing on the map and in front of the eyes of vacationers is now easier than before thanks to the numerous websites out there offering vacation rental owners a free space to list their property.
Yes, of course, there may be a lot of competition out there, but there are pricing tactics versus quality that can be used to attract your first few booking in which you will be encouraging the guest to leave a positive review.
In short, the easy part is getting your listing on the website. The hard part is convincing people to book your property when there is no feedback.
In the past, using a property management or timeshare management company (which are pretty much one in the same), feedback was not an issue. The management company has the marketing tools and reach to get people into your property.
Today getting a booking is all about the feedback on the website. Once you start to get bookings on one of these websites, you start to build up your profile rating via positive reviews. You can then start to flaunt your brand to these guests via a vacation rental website.
Using A Lodgify Vacation Rental Website
Now once you have guests booking on one of the vacation rental websites that allow you to list your property, then you have the chance to expose your brand.
There are a number of tactics that can be used. One of the most common is to leave leaflets and a house manual for you guests. In this documentation you can direct to your website chat for any support they need. Here the guests will see the brand, the properties in another light, and for another price.
According to a study by www.esade.edu, holidaymakers are highly likely to revisit a place they have been on holiday before. Therefore, the idea is to have these holidaymakers revisit your place and book via your branded website. The key advantage here is that you can offer them a price 20% lower than the rate they booked your property via another website.
Of course, repeat guests should be charged a lower rate. However, because vacation rental websites such as www.homeaway.com charge a fee of twenty-percent for every booking, giving a discount on this website means you lose out on earnings. On the other hand, you can offer them a rate of 20% less on your website because when the guest books via that website, there is no 20% fee to pay.
The attraction here is that as a vacation rental owner, you don’t loose any money by giving repeat guests a discount, and the guests get an amazing discount, which is arguably much less than you would have been able to offer via the website those guests found you on.
What Are Your Thoughts?
This was just an idea I came up with for a friend within the vacation renal marketing industry. As long as she is receiving bookings through the main vacation renal website, then the likes of HomeAway and Airbnb are happy. Keep the ratings good, guests happy, and then you are a valued host on the website. By moving the guests these websites introduced to you over to your own branded service is not an issue as long as you are not advertising this to them via Airbnb or HomeAway and so on.