Sunday, November 2, 2014

Renting holiday/vacation homes online isn't as straight forward as one first thinks. There are so many options to consider, marketing, costs, booking volume, return on investment and on, and on!

What is very clear is the cost to market your holiday home online is increasing. Most of the very large vacation rental listing sites are moving to commission models to advertise. Most owners know that this is set to really eat into their holiday home revenue as the commissions are only going to increase. There is even talk of the biggest listing site, Homeaway, selling to one of the major generic online travel agencies. If this happens the commission model will slowly ramp up so that private owners and agencies will be paying similar rates of commission as the hotel sector (from 15% to 25%).

That kind of percentage is not sustainable for the small single unit owner. With all the other costs to manage it simply isn't possible to run the business even to break even, let alone make a small profit.

There is another way. By having your own website and having an integrated booking system on your site you can start to take your own bookings online with the customer more able to see your trustworthy. The customer can pay you with a credit card and have that payment protected again providing much needed confidence to trade with you.

There are lots of online booking systems to choose from. The best also help you to market your vacation rental as this aspect is obviously important if you want to attract customers to the website. run an online marketing programme and their blog is full of useful tips on a range of marketing dsciplines. They help with how to improve your Google search positions, how to manage Social Media to get bookings, How to run an email marketing campaign and grow your email lists and much more.

With an online integrated booking system you can also synchronise your booking and availability calendars across the internet. The best booking system providers help with this and can set you up so an update on one calendar spreads across the internet automatically updating all of your other calendars. Like magic! This can save you hours messing about on all your adverts so is an essential feature to have.

Again, another essential online booking feature is to enable the process so when a booking gets processed, it sits waiting to be approved by you. Essentially this works by the customer being informed, during the booking process, that the booking is conditional on your acceptance. When you accept the booking the payment is processed and the customer informed. What this does is secure the booking pending your decision and ensures you have 100% control over who stays at your holiday home. Very important to stop potential guests who are not appropriate through a range of issues that you can easily identify.

Netamatix provide all of these services in their booking system. They also allow you to trade in different currencies if you so desire. You can set the system up to allow the guest to pay in their own currency while you get your own currency into your bank. Easy!

We recommend you visit their website and have a look around. Make sure you contact them as they'll ensure all the aspects you want in your booking system they'll configure for you.

integrated booking system


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