If you have a successful vacation rental agency or you’re a hard working vacation rental owner, you might wonder if your own vacation rental website and marketing efforts will be enough on their own to deliver the bookings that you strive for. Large-scale Online Travel Agencies (OTA) and vacation rental listing portal sites are an excellent way of driving more traffic volume to your properties and getting more bookings, all the while saving a lot of time and money in the marketing process, too.
Portals Have Large Marketing Budgets
One great advantage of portals is that they have huge marketing budgets, which mean they can bid on expensive short-tail keywords through Google Adwords, spend thousands on user experience and optimization and have huge sales teams to convert more bookings for your vacation rentals. They are a vital part of the online ecosystem; if you’re a medium-sized agency in Paris, for example, broad search phrases like “holiday in Paris” is going to prove very expensive, but if you list with Booking.com, for example, you can appear for this phrase through your listings with them.
It’s also worth looking at indirect competitors. Take the hotel industry; brands like the Accor group still advertise their hotels on Booking.com and hotels.com, even though they possess huge marketing teams with large budgets. This is because they see the value of reaching new markets and bringing in customers that they have no other means to reach; many portals also have huge, loyal user bases.
Build Your Referral List
Portals are also useful to expand your database. If you get inquiries from sites like HolidayLettings and HomeAway, you can use these email addresses to market-to again in the future with new deals and your best prices. Portals like these make an excellent way for agencies and owners to expand their database rapidly and effortlessly.
Portals Can Be Cost-Effective
Portals can also prove very cost-effective. Sites like HouseTrip and Only Apartments are actually free to list, they just add a small commission on to your existing prices and keep the difference, meaning that you take 100% of the booking value and don’t lose any commission. So not only do they expand your marketing reach and bring more bookings, they are also very cost effective, and in some cases completely free of charge.
As these sites get larger and larger, consumer behavior is also changing. Sites like Booking.com have become the site for hotel searches, with users searching for that site specifically before going on to book. Equally, TripAdvisor is also in a similar position of being a ‘one-stop-shop’ for reviews, a vital touch-point in the buying process. So as consumers become more habitual in their buying behavior online, it’s important to get visibility on as many sites as possible, and portals are the optimum choice to do just that.
The above points are just some of the reasons why listing and advertising on portal sites are a good idea; they are a cost effective way to reach new customers and explore new markets, while expanding your own marketing database and maximizing your online visibility. They can save you time, money and effort, while bringing a wealth of new bookings and customers.
Guest post by Anthony Dodd, Channel Relationship Manager at Kigo Vacation Rental Software.