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Property Management Services

Top Reasons to Focus on Booking Your Property Direct

The US vacation rental market size is massive, with the sector expected to generate nearly $20 billion in revenue in 2024. Airbnb has been one of the country’s leading marketplaces for guests seeking short-term or long-term accommodation, boasting a market share of roughly 20 percent. The platform has about four million hosts and over 6.5 million listings in the US, showcasing its popularity. However, there’s been a recent shift away from Airbnb from numerous property owners for various reasons. If you’re a property owner on the platform, here are the top reasons you should join the exit and embrace direct booking vacation rentals.

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Greater Return on Investment

The aim of listing your property is to make money, and the best way to evaluate your rental’s performance is its return on investment. The simplest way to calculate your ROI is by dividing your gains against your implementation costs. Since Airbnb takes roughly 3% from hosts as part of the total booking cost, it raises your property’s implementation costs, which eats into your profits and impacts your rental’s return on investment. By employing direct booking, you retain a sizeable percentage of your overall rental fee, leading to greater returns from your property.

A person calculating their ROI on a rental property

Lower Prices

Your property’s listing price is the most significant consideration for clients when choosing whether to book. Guests will often compare listings and see whether they can get the same number of rooms and amenities for a cheaper price. Shifting away from Airbnb means you’ll eliminate charges associated with the platform, allowing you to lower how much you charge for your property. Offering more competitive prices is a massive incentive for guests to book your property while saving them higher lodging costs, making it a win-win scenario.

Move Away from Fussy Algorithms

Algorithms have played a crucial role in Airbnb’s business model as the company seeks to automate its decision-making processes and optimize marketing. While these algorithms have been a lifesaver for the platform, they can harm your property’s performance, taking you from a super host or guest favorite status to the fringes of oblivion. Why? Algorithms are volatile things that can change overnight, leaving you at the mercy of their whimsical decisions, where a single cancellation due to an emergency or accident could spell doom for your listing’s performance. With direct booking, you won’t need to worry about a set of computer commands dictating your rental’s fate.

Improved Visibility

Airbnb is a juggernaut in the property rental space, with multiple new listings added each month. 2023’s third quarter saw a 19% rise in active listings compared to the same period in 2022. With this rise in listings comes an increase in congestion and competition on the platform, making improving your property’s visibility harder. Current projections foresee Airbnb’s growth continuing through 2024 and beyond, meaning visibility will continue suffering as hosts try harder to stay ahead of the competition. If you choose the direct booking route, you’ll have a better online presence, boosting your property’s views.

More Authority

Airbnb has its set of rules and regulations dictating what they expect from you as a property owner. The list of ground rules includes positive reviews, reservation commitment, timely communication, listing accuracy, and listing cleanliness. A failure to uphold these rules may result in suspension or removal from the platform based on the nature of the violation. While these rules are crucial in creating a habitable and pleasant lodging environment, they put consistent pressure on you as the host to continually assess your property to avoid disciplinary action from the platform. By embracing direct booking, you have more autonomy in managing your rental on your terms. You can easily adjust check-in and check-out times free from the constraints of standardized policies and cater to specific visitor needs and situations.

A person using a tablet

Better Engagement with Clients

Clients are the lifeblood of any rental business and dictate whether your rental will stand or fall. Therefore, establishing a good rapport with your clients is paramount to ensure your business’s success. While Airbnb has an established section to communicate with clients, it may lack a sense of privacy. Clients have to log in, go to the Trips section, find their reservation, and contact you from there, making direct communication rather cumbersome. Direct booking allows you to establish direct communication lines with guests, helping foster deeper relationships. Direct communication helps recognize your client’s preferences and address special requests or concerns. You can tailor your guests’ stay based on past feedback to suit their preferences or needs. This higher level of personalization can massively enhance your guests’ satisfaction, leading to repeat clients and more positive reviews.

Better Control of Your Calendar

Airbnb’s Book It Now feature has left some property owners reeling from the dreaded double-booking scenario. Supposing you block your rental calendar because you want to use your rental for personal reasons, but you realize that the property remains viable for booking on the platform. A client then books the rental the same day you plan on occupying it. Supposing you’ve listed your property across Airbnb and several other channels, you may encounter calendar synchronization issues, making management a logistical nightmare. With direct booking, you’ll have greater control over your rental’s availability, ensuring fewer hiccups for you and your clients. Having control of your calendar also means greater flexibility to respond to guests’ dynamic needs and preferences. Accommodate last-minute bookings and extensions easily without the constraints of Airbnb’s policies.

Establish a Unique Brand Identity

Being a property owner isn’t just about renting out your rental and making an income. It’s essential to establish yourself as a brand that guests can identify with. Building a brand on Airbnb may not be a priority, given the platform’s established business model. You’ll often find that your rental business seamlessly blends in with hundreds or thousands of other properties. Via direct booking, you can showcase your story and create a one-of-a-kind brand that fosters growth and creates a memorable experience for your guests. As more visitors associate with your brand, they feel a stronger sense of familiarity, helping generate repeat direct bookings, which fosters continuous growth.

Improved Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The mechanics of Airbnb’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) heavily rely on your property’s reviews, pricing, and how often you interact with your calendar. Given the level of competition on Airbnb and the platform’s sensitive algorithm, your property may not appear at the top of many searches. Taking the direct booking route means you can create engaging content that resonates with your guests, helping catapult your rental’s ranking on searches. Boost your SEO by regularly updating content signals on search engines by incorporating specific keywords guests may use when searching for lodging in your area. Precise targeting ensures you reach the intended audience at the right time, improving conversion rates while staying ahead of the competition.

View of a Winter Park vacation home living area

Better Occupation Rates

Airbnb’s model favors more established renters with multiple positive reviews and repeat stays. If you’re new to the vacation rental space, you may find it difficult to make inroads on the platform as many guests opt for higher-ranked properties. With direct bookings, you can enjoy more consistent occupancy rates, regardless of your success levels. Whether you’re new to the vacation rental industry or you’re an established renter who’s struggling to improve your rental’s occupancy levels, there are multiple steps you can take to enhance guest numbers, including optimizing pricing by studying the competition, implementing a guest review system, utilizing an automated check-in/check-out system, and embracing a well-drafted cancellation policy to accommodate last-minute cancellations.

Embrace Direct Booking Today with Winter Park Escapes

Owning a vacation rental is an excellent way of making passive income. While it may be tempting to sign up with Airbnb, more property owners are slowly discovering the perks of direct bookings. Moving away from an online travel agency such as Airbnb yields greater returns while giving you greater authority over your rental. You’ll enjoy better client engagement, have more control over your property’s calendar, and build a trustworthy brand that guests can trust. If you’re a property owner in Colorado’s Winter Park looking for a trusted property management partner, turn to Winter Park Escapes. We are an established property management company with 18 years of experience.

Cutting Edge Technology and Services

At Winter Parks Escape, we employ a state-of-the-art reservation system with zero booking fees. Our system seamlessly connects you with guests by automating bookings, saving clients time when securing your property. Our zero-booking fee policy eliminates additional charges for guests, simplifying the process and encouraging future bookings.

Professional Maintenance & Housekeeping Services

Everyone loves lodging in a sanitary and neat space. At Winter Park Escapes, we employ professional maintenance and housekeeping services after each stay, using proven disinfection and cleaning practices to create a sanitary space for each guest. The process ensures adequate cleanliness of high-contact surfaces such as doorknobs, faucets, handles, light switches, and tables. We also guarantee your rental’s interior, including the living room, kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms, remain orderly.

Using a keyless lock

Smart Keyless Locks

With the rapid rise in technology, smart locks have quickly become the go-to for many modern homes. The locks combine conventional mechanical lock techniques with digital signals and interfaces to provide access to the property. At Winter Parks Escapes, we’ve embraced smart keyless locks for added convenience and security, eliminating the need for a physical key. Guests enter a unique access code to unlock the door, saving them the hassle of dealing with a company representative while eliminating the age-old problem of lost house keys.

Quality Towels and Linens

No guest wants to deal with the nightmare of packing towels and bedding for their vacation. At Winter Park Escapes, we provide all our rentals with premium towels and linens, ensuring guests enjoy a convenient and comfortable stay. After each stay, all towels and bedding undergo professional cleaning, ensuring the highest sanitary standards. As a property owner, we save you the logistical headache of sourcing towels and sheets for your guests.

Optimized Listings

Optimized listings draw greater attention, securing more bookings. At Winter Park Escapes, we use effective marketing strategies to maximize your property’s visibility across the best booking sites, including Marriott. Our approach ensures your rental ranks higher in search results, increasing exposure and accessibility to potential renters.

Rate Optimization Software

As a property owner, you’re always looking for maximum returns from your property. Once you sign up with Winter Park Escapes, you’ll enjoy our rate optimization software, which increases your property’s online conversion rates, helping push revenue growth. The program works by assessing our website visitors’ activities and the actions they took or didn’t take to finish the booking process. We can analyze this feedback and get handy metrics to help create online strategies for better conversions.

Property Protection

Incidents and accidents are part of life, and guests may unintentionally damage certain parts of your home. Windows and mirrors crack, cups chip, and electricals have stuff poured on them. At Winter Park Escapes, we understand that replacing damaged items can get pricey – that’s why we offer you $3,000 of extra property protection to help maintain your property and cushion you from the financial implications of unforeseen incidents that would otherwise eat into your profits.

Rental Permits and Lodging Taxes

Rental permits and lodging taxes are part and parcel of the property rental industry. A rental permit is an essential authorization stating that your property can legally accommodate persons other than yourself. The lodging tax in Winter Park stands at three percent of the listing price following a vote in November 2023. At Winter Park Escapes, we cater to all the rental permit and lodging tax logistics, saving you the hassle of dealing with the necessary legal requirements and procedures.

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Enjoy Direct Bookings with Winter Park Escapes

Contact us today to list your property and relish the joys of direct bookings and a stress-free rental management process with a trusted partner.