Zeevou’s Free Plan for Short-Term Rentals

Zeevou’s Free Plan for Short-Term Rentals

Why did we think of developing Zeevou’s free plan?

Zeevou’s success in winning The Best Channel Manager Award at the Shortyz 2020 created a lot of buzz and interest. Prior to that, Zeevou was also recognised as the Most Innovative New Hospitality Technology at the Innovation & Excellence Awards 2020. 

The two awards generated a great extent of recognition, anticipation and excitement. As a result, more and more short-term rental owners asked for an opportunity to join Zeevou – promising The Freedom to Grow! They wanted a chance to try Zeevou’s property management system and innovative channel manager. Without further ado, we launched Zeevou’s Spark plan, which is totally free. 

Zeevou’s free plan allows you to upload your properties on Zeevou and enjoy almost all the automation available. Additionally, subscribers to Zeevou’s Spark Plan automatically get their listings published on Zeevou Direct. This is a commission-free Online Travel Aggregator that helps you take advantage of the full automation for any bookings coming through Zeevou Direct. 

Key Features of Zeevou’s Free Plan

Zeevou’s 5-Step Booking Confirmation Process

The Booking Confirmation Process takes bookings from any channels through a journey to help you capture all the data you need. It also takes care of all booking-related issues, including security deposits and payments. 

The whole process is triggered by an automated email sent out by the system right at the time of booking. On Zeevou’s Spark Plan, you can make use of this feature for all your direct bookings.

Step 1: An email containing the booking information is sent to guests, inviting them to either modify or add to the existing information. The same email prompts guests to share their estimated arrival time and opt into your GDPR-compliant marketing list.

The database can later be used for various marketing campaigns to retarget your guests and offer promotions, turning them into loyal customers. The main guest’s details and the purpose of the booking (leisure or work) can also be recorded at this stage. 

Step 2: The actual booker enters information for each additional person accompanying them. And, one of the guests is designated as a “Back-up Contact” should an emergency arise.

Step 3: With our built-in e-signature rental agreement, you can get your terms and conditions digitally signed by guests. You can also ask them to upload any ID you want. Upon approval from the system admin, an email containing check-in instructions is sent to the guest.

Step 4: You also have the option to offer guests additional services as Upsells before finalising the payment. Guests will be able to download a draft invoice for their stay and complete payment via a 3-D Secure Link.

Step 5: At the final step, guests get to specify the card they want the security deposit to be taken from. Zeevou will automatically pre-authorise and release the security deposit depending on the timeline you specify for each unit type.  

Free SEO-Friendly Website

As part of your subscription to Zeevou’s free plan, you’ll get access to a direct booking website automatically generated by Zeevou. The website is updated in real time as you insert and modify your property information. 

The website is equipped with SEO-optimisation fields, such as SEO-Friendly Title, Meta Description, Google Analytics Tracking Code, as well as Open Graph Tags for different social media channels. You can also set your brand colours and logo to be displayed on the website. 

Guests will be shown your property description, photos, amenities, reviews, blog, contact details, and rates and availability pushed from Zeevou. In short, you can create a direct booking website for your multi-location vacation rentals with a few clicks without any developer skills. 

If you wish to connect your holiday rentals to OTAs (Online Travel Agencies) and corporate booking platforms, Zeevou will also let you use iCal. To use two-way API integrations for automatic rate and availability updates, you need to upgrade your subscription. We’ve updated our pricing strategy to make hospitality management more affordable and efficient. For more information, click here.

As holiday rental owners, partnering with OTAs brings daily struggles. As you know, there’s a clash between OTAs and those advocating direct bookings. Zeevou Direct, part of the Zeevou’s Spark Plan, addresses these issues.

Zeevou aims to bridge the gap and empower hospitality stakeholders to regain control. We suggest using such channels as a stepping stone to drive bookings and turn them into direct bookings. 

Integrations Included in Zeevou’s Spark Plan

Zeevou integrates with many tech partners specialising in payments, access, dynamic pricing, accounting, e-signature, SMS and distribution:

Payments: Stripe, Worldpay, SagePay, Elavon, PayPal and FirstData 

Access: Keynest

Dynamic Pricing: Beyond Pricing and PriceLabs

Accounting: Xero

E-signature: Signable 

SMS: ClickSend

OTAs Do More Harm Than Good If Not Used Correctly!

For vacation rental and serviced apartment owners and managers, direct bookings seem to be a far-fetched milestone they can never fully get hold of. The bells and whistles of OTAs add to the disappointment, hence the failure. So, it’s no wonder that many short-term rental owners lose sight of the 15%-30% of their nightly rates paid as a commission.

Obviously, small- and medium-sized holiday rental businesses are hit the hardest. They lack the power and leverage of big hotel chains to negotiate contractual terms with OTAs. The market power and resources are concentrated within the hands of OTAs. And, it is highly probable that they’ll increase commission rates as their market share grows. 

Remember that when OTAs broke into the market, they just charged an average of 5% as commission. But, what about now or in the future? 

To make the conundrum even more complicated, OTAs use the commissions as part of their marketing campaigns. So, they push you lower and lower in SERP, i.e. Search Engine Results Page. Inevitably, even if you have a fully-optimised website, your listings on your site appear way below OTAs in SERP. There are, of course, workarounds that we’ll walk you through here and in future posts, so stay tuned. 

The story doesn’t end here! The two industry giants, Booking.com and Expedia, have not left much of a choice to guests. What happens, in reality, is that potential bookers land on pages with more or less the same look and prices. That’s because most of OTAs belong to one of the two giant OTAs: Booking Holdings Inc. and Expedia Group. The parity in pricing is on purpose for uniformity. And they are sure they can turn lookers into bookers one way or another.

Surely but slowly, you will get to know more of such OTAs as they are ever-present in search results. As a vacation rental owner, you’ve definitely seen brands, such as Hotels.com, Travelocity, Trivago, Homeaway, Pricelines, Agoda, Kayak, Orbitz, among many others. Just a word of caution: all of these fall under Booking Holdings Inc. and Expedia Group.

Zeevou Direct, A Commission-Free Online Travel Aggregator

We want to empower short-term rental owners to keep more profits by promoting direct bookings. So, we decided to launch a completely commission-free OTA, Zeevou Direct.

As there are no middlemen, you can offer your holiday rentals and serviced apartments at very competitive rates. After all, you will no longer have to pay commissions which used to add up to your nightly rates. In addition, you will have direct access to your guests’ contact details while they have yours. So, you will be able to establish smooth, direct communication with your guests. 

Subscribing to Zeevou’s Spark Plan will give you automatic entry to Zeevou Direct.

To join Zeevou’s free plan, click here.

Image by pch.vector on Freepik.

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