As a vacation rental manager, it may seem difficult to compete with large listing sites such as Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO. These sites spend millions on advertising, employ large staffs that build their brand and reach millions of people a day. However, there are benefits that individual managers and owners offer guests that shouldn’t be overlooked. Guest Education Day on February 7 highlights those benefits and promotes why customers should book direct. Read on to learn more and share with potential customers.
Guest Education Day: Direct Bookings Benefit Rental Customers, Too.
Save Money With Lower Prices
Potential guests may not know they pay an extra fee – a service fee – when they book through a listing site. Major listing sites, such as Airbnb, HomeAway, TripAdvisor and VRBO, add fees to each booking in order to earn additional money. In most cases, hundreds of dollars per booking.
Guests who book direct don’t pay these fees because there’s no third-party company involved. They receive a better rental price and the same quality customer service, including secure payment transactions and 24/7 customer support. The money they save from the service fee can then go toward activities, food, souvenirs or just stay in the bank.
Receive Personal Customer Service
Large listing sites have a corporate headquarters and other locations throughout the U.S. and world. On the other hand, local vacation property management companies operate in their respective areas, with employees who live and work nearby. This approach brings a personal touch to rental management not found with large corporations.
When guests book direct, they have 24/7 access to professionals who provide important information and insider tips about the rental and area. These managers recommend things to do, restaurants, give local guide tips and honor special requests.
Guests also have direct emails and phone numbers, and speak with a nearby employee versus someone in a call center hundreds or thousands of miles away. Having easy access to a local manager not only offers peace of mind, but also ensures guests’ needs are addressed in a timely manner.
Have More Options in Rentals, Pricing
Not every vacation rental appears on listing sites, so customers may find more options when they book direct. In addition, individual sites can offer vacation rental discounts, such as special pricing for seasonal dates and quick trips, free nights, free access to area attractions, and more.
When guests factor in more variety, reduced fees, special discounts and free perks, they save hundreds of dollars on their vacation and find the right rental for their trip.
Support Local Businesses
According to the Small Business Administration, there are nearly 30 million small businesses located in the U.S. Small businesses – those with less than 500 employees – actually make up 99.7 percent of all businesses in the U.S. Among them are property management companies that have established strong relationships in the area. These companies work to build a reputable business in the community that supports their family as well as the local economy.
Customers who book direct support these small businesses, contributing to their overall growth and success. Instead of working with large corporations that receive outside funding, direct bookings support local business owners who then provide a trickle-down effect. More business for them leads to job creation for residents and draws more visitors, all contributing to the livelihood of the community.
Spread the word about Guest Education Day. On February 7, use #bookdirect and help customers save money and receive better service.