Today I'm talking to Mark Simpson from Boostly, a platform for building direct booking websites. I decided to make today's episode fun and play the devil's advocate with Mark. I'm going to have him convince me why we should get into direct bookings.
Why should we do all the work to build a website and market our own listings when OTAs do it for us and when we can't compete with the marketing budgets of websites like Airbnb, VRBO and Homeaway.
“What is the point in competing when Airbnb and Booking.com will bring in all your bookings?”
He tell us that when any third party is responsible for bringing you in the booking, you don't have the guest data. Data is the most popular and expensive commodity right now. When OTAs bring you bookings, it's on their terms. You could have the strictest policies in play – but when a global crisis hits, they call the shots.
What if YOU could call the shots instead? Keep your data and the commissions. You can use channels like Pinterest to drive traffic to your direct bookings website and the hundreds of other channels available to you.
In this podcast episode, Mark tell us why and how we should treat our short-term rentals like entrepreneurs treat their businesses: they don't only rely on one channel to bring them business.
- Getting bookings through Instagram
- Using Facebook to drive traffic
- The biggest mistake most hosts do in their vacation rental marketing
- How to figure out who you're marketing to (your customer avatar…who is your ideal guest?)
- How to know exactly what to post on the different channels
- Using your own data to get past guest to come back
- How to use these channels to get new guests without paying commissions to OTAs
👉Get 5% off your direct booking website with Boostly. (Use coupon code PAD to receive your discount.)