5min read on why having your own vacation rental website matters.
I found myself realising that we don’t have a definitive page explaining why a website isn’t just a luxury for vacation rental professionals, but instead should be seen as a necessity.
Many managers recognise the growing need for a website, and while we may think everyone understands why, the simple matter is that this industry is so complex that often the obvious answers are shrouded behind obtuse reasons.
Put simply, the single reason why you need your own website is control. Control is something that has been lost and as we see industry changes coming from an increase of regulation and business/marketplaces firming their strength this will only get worse. The control that a manager has, over their business, bookings, guests and policies is very much dictated by the marketplaces that we choose to list our inventory on.
Promoting your own website offers relief from the strict rules, and although it may never be a full replacement, it is still an important part of creating your own organic brand.
Below are some reasons written in acrostic form. (Why?.. my nephew has enjoyed writing them at school recently, so I thought I’d give it a go! Quite catchy if you ask me!)
- Recurring bookings become possible with your own website
- Engendering Trust from new guests who research your brand directly on Search engines.
- Grow a brand directly
- Avoiding marketplace fees and booking conditions
- Involve guests with your “story” and message. If you are a family running a small cottage holiday business guests can enjoy your narrative and learn about your rentals in more detail.
- Networking with other managers and inventory/units is possible with your own website. It allows you to co-market and book rentals from other companies.
- Control over your booking terms and guest communication. Many times marketplaces will obfuscate or prevent guest communication entirely.
- Organic growth and bookings
- Negate inevitable industry changes by having the “net” to fall back on should marketplaces adopt rules and procedures which are not compatible with your business and booking policies.
- Take payments directly to avoid cash flow issues where marketplaces hold funds for months or until guest departure.
- Relationship management and remarketing is easier with a website (if not impossible without one)
- OTAs currently own your future… REGAIN CONTROL and grow your organic brand to support your business and direct bookings.
- Loyalty can be earned and the website is the channel to that.