There is no denying the colossal size and growing success of Airbnb. At the end of 2015, around 35% of consumers had heard of the popular home-sharing website.
According to experts, around 190 to 200 million nights will be booked on the platform in 2017, to the booking value of around $18 million – and this isn’t likely to decline anytime soon. After travelers have tried a site like this once, their preference for hotels decreases by almost 50%.
While Airbnb opens up endless possibilities for your rental to be seen by millions of users around the globe each day, it also inevitably pits you against your direct competition in your area or city.
That’s why besides being an Airbnb host, vacation rental owners should be thinking carefully about their overall marketing strategy in order to make a success of their business.
Without doubt, the biggest mistake Airbnb hosts make is limiting themselves and solely relying on this platform. In the long run, Airbnb fees can take their toll – those 3% (+VAT) host service fees start to add up, and there’s no knowing if these fees will increase as the site grows even bigger.
Cutting out the “Airbnb middleman” can present successful hosts with a great business opportunity which will help them become more independent, establish their brand and diversify their booking channels.
But, how can they do this?
That’s where a little something called a professional vacation rental website comes in.
Airbnb is a fantastic channel to use to acquire bookings, though it doesn’t have to be the “be all and end all” of your business. Having your own vacation rental website can give you a lot of freedom to run your vacation rental your own way – with your rules, no one else’s.
1. It’s an online business card
Imagine you’ve struck up conversation with a stranger and the topic moves to what you do for a living. Once you’ve explained you’re a vacation rental owner and the locations of your properties, it turns out they’re actually interested in staying in your cabin in Vermont. They want to take your business card to check out more details online, but you don’t have one handy. What URL are you going to give them? A website is the perfect place to direct interested guests, much more preferable than a generic Airbnb URL with all those numbers that could easily be mistyped.
2. It creates credibility and reputation
In 2017, businesses have websites – period. So if you’re a serious rental host, a professional website is a must to build up an online reputation and credibility for your company.
On your website, not only can you show off your reviews from platforms like Airbnb, but you can also list your other awards and achievements with ease, such as Superhost, TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, expert endorsements or any media mentions. All of these features help build credibility and a great name for your business.
3. It gets you more bookings
These days, guests are wise and will often trawl the internet to see if they can find the same accommodation cheaper on another site. If you’ve mentioned your brand name on Airbnb, then a guest types it into Google and can’t find your website, you could easily lose the booking. If they find it and see your rates are even just a teeny tiny bit cheaper because it’s away from Airbnb, however, that’s another story!
Additionally, those guests who fancy returning back to your place for a repeat visit will like having a way of avoiding paying Airbnb fees when you give them your website URL direct. That’s an even bigger incentive to solidify the booking!
4. It gives you total freedom
Airbnb is great for listing the basics – amenities, a few photos and a description about your home. But there’s no customization factor, so your personality and brand can’t shine through its standardized template.
However, with your own website, you can add as many photos and as much text you like, as well as many extras you feel are necessary (guest books, local guides, extra services, partnerships and so on). What’s more, you can completely personalize the colors and fonts to match the branding of your rental company – a feature that listing sites don’t yet provide.
There are plenty of things to think about before choosing one website builder software or another. In particular, you’ll want to compare the costs you’ll incur, the features it has and just how easy it is to use.
With a software like Lodgify, the only payment you have to worry about is your monthly or yearly subscription fee. That means no extra booking charges, commissions, one-off set-up fees or software update costs. The contract can be canceled at any time if no longer needed, and there is a special offer of 20% off yearly subscriptions, or 25% off biyearly plans. Single property plans start from just $22 per month.
The main features and functions your vacation rental website builder needs are:
Lodgify has all these features and much more. In fact, we’re so sure you’re going to like our software, we let you try it free for 14 days before you commit.
Ease of use
Creating a website is no longer a complicated ordeal. Using Lodgify’s 30+ ready-made mobile-responsive templates, building your personal business site is a matter of one, two, three…
Creating your own website using a specialized vacation rental software can truly make the running of your business more enjoyable. Lodgify’s innovative website builder, reservation system and channel manager have been designed to work hand-in-hand to give you the freedom to control your income and run your vacation rental business exactly the way you want.
Special offer: Try Lodgify for free or get 10% off your subscription