When it comes to managing your vacation rental, one of the key decisions you’ll face is where to list it. The rise of online platforms has made it easier than ever to connect with potential guests, but with so many options available, how do you know if you should list your vacation rental on multiple channels?
In this blog, we’ll delve into the pros and cons of listing your vacation rental on multiple channels. We’ll explore the benefits of diversifying your listing strategy and reaching a wider audience, as well as the potential challenges and drawbacks that come with managing multiple listings.
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What Is Multi-Channel Distribution?
Multiple-channel distribution means advertising your rental properties on more than one booking platform to increase your visibility. For example, you put your rentals up for rent on places like Airbnb, Booking.com, and Vrbo.
No matter if you manage just a few rentals or many, you can list them on several booking sites. This strategy is appropriate for both large property management companies and hosts who manage a handful of rentals.
Benefits of Listing on Multiple Channels
1. Boost Your Exposure
A multi-channel distribution strategy allows you to amplify your visibility and broaden your horizons. By showcasing your offerings across a variety of booking platforms like Airbnb, Booking.com, and Vrbo, you open doors to a larger audience, thus significantly boosting your booking potential.
Moreover, investing in top-notch photos and thorough property descriptions has the remarkable ability to convert mere browsers into enthusiastic bookers. As a result, your vacancy rate, a crucial concern, will plummet, directly boosting both your revenue and profits.
2. Reach Diverse Audience
Advertising on various vacation rental websites not only grows your audience but also helps target different niches. Different travellers prefer different booking platforms. By listing across multiple channels, you tap into various demographics and expand your reach.
In fact, each channel targets a specific type of traveller. For instance, some third-party platforms focus on young, budget-conscious guests while others target families or business travellers. So, you can gain more visibility and a broader audience by promoting your properties on more Online Travel Agencies (OTAs).
3. Safeguard Your Business’s Bottom Line
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. There’s no guarantee that listing on only one booking site will benefit you. What if the channel changes its algorithm or increases the commission fee? If these changes happen suddenly, they would easily affect your business’s bottom line.
Besides that, when you depend on only one third-party platform, your business success will rely on the success of another business. Maybe your selected booking site loses large parts of its customers during a specific period. What are the consequences of such an unexpected crisis?
Drawbacks of Listing on Multiple Channels
1. Channel Commissions
While advertising your properties on most OTAs is free, according to Preno, you should pay a commission rate (10-30%) per booking. Although you can cover part of the cost by increasing the number of bookings and adjusting rates, this poses a financial burden on you.
When you list your properties on various channels, the probability of overbooking, also known as double booking, will increase. This means that two guests or more book your rental for the same period. This is stressful and can negatively impact your business reputation and growth. For example, when double booking happens, you will receive negative reviews and lose money.
3. Communication Challenges
When you start using different platforms, such as Airbnb or Booking.com, communication can get a bit tricky. Imagine trying to answer messages and confirm bookings from different places – it’s like juggling! This can lead to delays in responding to guests, and sometimes they might feel unsure about their booking. It’s kind of like getting mixed up in a puzzle.
So, while it’s crucial to reply quickly and get things right, handling all these different messages can be a little tough. Just remember, it’s all about making sure guests feel good about their stay, even when things get a bit busy.
How to Address the Downsides of Listing on Multiple Channels
1. Build a Direct Booking Website
Although promoting your properties on OTAs brings you many benefits, more dependence on them can slow down your business expansion. Building your well-structured Direct Booking Website will help you get rid of the commission fees, save your money, and motivate more guests to book.
Moreover, your direct booking website allows you to have full control over your business and build a strong presence in the market.
2. Get a Channel Manager as a Centralised Booking System
When you list your properties on multiple channels manually, the risk of double booking rises. So, what is the solution?
Using a Channel Manager as a centralised booking system prevents overbooking and minimises unexpected stress. A Channel Manager handles all your listings from one central dashboard, unifies all your bookings, and synchronises rates and availability.
Indeed, if your rental is booked through Airbnb, those dates on other channels will be blocked. In addition, a channel manager is a central place that distributes all your property details such as photos, descriptions, and prices to the OTAs.
Zeevou’s Channel Manager, which integrates with 200+ channels, helps you to meet the above requirements. This tool uses 2-way API connections to distribute your rates and availability in real-time to all of Zeevou’s partner channels.
Once a reservation is made, Zeevou’s channel manager changes your availability on all the other channels and leads the guest to the 5-Step Booking Confirmation Process. So, using this tool gives you peace of mind and improves your efficiency.
In a Nutshell
As mentioned above, you can reap significant benefits by distributing your properties on multiple booking platforms. This strategy helps you increase your exposure, reach a diverse target audience, and protect your business’s bottom line. Keep in mind that you can address its challenges by getting a Channel Manager and building your own Direct Booking Website.