If you own holiday accommodation and spend any time at all on social media, you probably noticed that yesterday was #BookDirectDay. It’s when owners with a standalone direct booking websites come together to tell the world the benefits (both to owners and guests) of booking direct. There’s a long list, but it includes the fact that everyone saves money because neither the guest nor owner pays commission, it supports small family businesses, plus no one knows your accommodation or its location better than you, the owner.
What’s been even more timely this year is we’re seeing lots of comments on social media groups by owners about their experience of listing on some of the well-known Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) like Airbnb. A large number are concerned about the bookings they are getting, the cancellations, they type of guests they’re getting, the reviews set up and more. The same comments seem to come up again and again. Yet many also seem reluctant to invest in their own direct booking website. To some it seems like too high a risk.
Is it worth it though?
As a team here at ACT Studios, we talk to owners about this a lot. The thing is, there’s no reason to do just one or the other. Savvy owners list their accommodation on the OTAs, get their own website – and do even more. We’ve written lots of blog articles about this. But this time we thought it would be good to share an owner’s experience with you. So we had a good chat with Lizzy, the owner of Sweet Donside Cabins and Sweetheart Cottage in Scotland. In a series of videos we’ll share here over the next few days you can hear how and why Lizzy took that leap of faith and how it’s worked out for her business.
In this first clip, we asked Lizzy, “What made you get a standalone website as well?”
There is no risk involved
- When you get your own direct booking website, you don’t switch off your Airbnb and other OTA listings. So you won’t be missing out on anything. Only gaining even more reach.
- Using Property Management Software (PMS) not only enables you to take bookings on your own website, it comes with an in-built channel manager too. So when someone books on your own website, it updates your calendar across your OTA listings. Lizzy had a problem with double bookings BEFORE she got her own website. That problem stopped once she got her own website.
- You have control of your own bookings when guests book direct.
You can watch the video of the full conversation (it’s quite a long one, about 23 minutes – we do love a good chat).
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