With vacationers canceling their stays due to COVID-19, vacation rental property owners are looking to replace lost revenues with new bookings. If you are not already listing your property on major online booking sites, now is the time to start. And if you already list your property on booking sites, now is the time to rethink your online strategy to take advantage of pent-up demand. From do-it-yourself to engaging a full-service distribution partner, there are a range of possibilities for you to connect to listing sites to maximize your online bookings.
Many vacation rental owners already list their home on one or more of the major listing sites. Once listed on the site, the owner has to make sure to continually update the availability calendar, keep up with the site’s policies and procedures, and make sure payments are being received. If listed on multiple sites, owners must take great care to make sure they do not double-book their property. Owners also have to monitor reviews and hope that their property appears early on the search results page in order to gain exposure to potential guests. For owners who are simply looking to supplement their rental income and are willing to spend the time and effort to maintain a vigilant watch, the DIY method is a good choice.
For property owners looking to take the next step up from DIY, channel managers are ready to help. Channel managers provide connectivity for properties and help simultaneously display an owner’s property across multiple channels. Typically, a channel manager will provide a property owner access to its services through a single portal, allowing owners to manage bookings and update calendar availability with relative ease. Recently, channel managers have begun to offer additional services like dynamic pricing, and web site templates. Owners must still enter into contracts with channels and manage payment, disputes and other relationship issues directly with channels, but for owners looking to broaden their property’s exposure without having to individually manage listings on multiple sites, and are looking for a little professional help with their vacation rental business and are willing and able to manage the work, channel managers are a good fit.
Full Service Distribution
If you are looking to take your vacation rental business to the stratosphere, full service distribution is the way to go. In addition to providing connectivity to all major travel sites and all the services of channel management, full service distribution provides a wide range of tools and services designed to maximize your bookings. Full service distributors bring revenue management, promotion programs, channel expertise, marketing know-how, data analysis and more to your business.
In the past, full-service marketing and distribution service was available primarily to large property managers, but full service marketing services are now available to smaller property managers and qualified individual homeowners.
In a post COVID world where property managers and individual vacation homeowners are experiencing a major slowdown, full service distribution offers an opportunity to replace lost revenues in the short term, and a strategy to grow their business for the long haul.