How many of you who follow me will have a home on platforms like Airbnb, Booking.com or Expedia? I want to make an in-depth look at the short rental market and strategy to maximize direct bookings without intermediaries.
I am aware that many people have invested and believe in the short rental market, someone wrote to me that Airbnb has become a “saver“, in times when it is very difficult to find work. (Be careful to diversify and not just bet on one product.)
Over the past 5/6 years, the phenomenon of short-term rentals has exploded around the world, if there had not been for Covid 19, booking platform Airbnb would have been listed on Wall Street.
As statistics say that short rental market has grown exponentially, many owners start complaining about exaggerated fees (minimum 15% up to 25%) OTA (Online Travel Agency).
The term OTA means all those online brokerages like Expedia, Booking.com, Trivago, Airbnb that control almost the entire market from air line company ticket, car rental and hotel.
I tell you a few numbers to give an idea to readers, platforms such as Booking.com and Expedia spend on Google 3 / 4 billion dollars a year in advertising, without calculating all the marketing tools, complex algorithms, sponsorships (Expedia sponsor of the Champions League) that revolve around these systems.
How do people defend themselves against the monopoly of these platforms?
Most unfortunately suffer, especially short rental market is in the OTA’s hands, in this article I want to give you some strategies to apply.
The key word is visibility, as we can’t spend millions of dollars on advertising, we have to take advantage of Google’s tools and social networks. So far nothing new, but I see that many people do not have a Facebook/Instagram page, a You Tube channel or a professional Linkedin page.
This ladies and gentlemen is the first step, it’s easy, free and it’s not complicated to handle. A great strategy to increase visibility is to create a free page on Google My Business, where following a few steps you will have a digital ID card of your property.
We stay in the Google ecosystem, instead of spending money hoping for some “marketing guru” just sign up for Google Hotel Ads.
Google Hotel Ads is a metasearch (such as Booking, Expedia, Airbnb) that through an algorithm scans the data of the facilities (hotel, Bnb) showing results according to: availability, price, location, review and dates.
If you invest in Made By Google service, your “potential” customers will arrive directly on your site or page. It is clear that Google will earn a percentage based on clicks, while from a few months (causa coronavirus), Google to help hotels and holiday homes has introduced the rule that: owners who use Google Hotel Ads will pay the commission if and only if guests book the room.
Another way is to create a brand to retain your guests and those who will land on your web pages.
In order to optimize bookings I recommend the purchase of a channel manager and booking engine, a tool able of turning the website into a direct sales channel.
The world of short rental is constantly changing, as there is so much offer on the market it is important to know how to make a difference and know all the tools to increase visibility and sales.