Why Recent Industry Changes Show Having Your Own Website is a Necessity
The vacation rental industry is changing rapidly, due in part to a controversial booking fee added to bookings this February by industry listing leader VRBO, a component of HomeAway. The booking fee, which charges guests up to 9% of the rental amount, has caused outrage among owners and guests, many of whom are already noting a significant decrease in bookings since the implementation of the service fee.
VRBO's decision to charge a service fee highlights an underlying and previously unaddressed issue between vacation rental owners and their listing sites: relying on a third-party listing site to run one's online business is a risk. Now is a better time than ever to revise this unpredictable business model in favor of one with more autonomy, opportunity, and security. Vacation rental owners and managers should consider building their online business around their vacation rental, their product and main source of profit, by creating a website with integrated booking and management to run their business the way they want to.
There are so many reasons why it's important to have a website for a vacation rental business.
It's your website
Creating your own website gives you full control over your business by sharing only the content you want with guests. You set your own rates, booking policies, what types of payment you're willing to accept, and retain the ability to screen guests at your leisure. Your website and domain name are entirely yours, unlike a listing site, which shows other competitive rentals in your area as an option to guests.
It's a home base
Listing a rental on third-party sites can increase the number of guests seeing your rental in searches; however, it's not a replacement for having an independent website for your online business. Your website is a home base for guests to land on for more information and to book through you directly. Guests can arrive to your website from a variety of sources including social media, organic web searches, paid advertising, links from other websites and inside emails, or just by typing your domain name directly into their browser.
It's more cost effective for guests and owners alike
By having guests book directly through your website, there are no booking fees charged to you or your guests. Instead of sending new or repeat guests to book your property through your paid listing, you can send them directly to your website.
It's secure for your guests
Guests want to know that your listing is legitimate. By providing a website where guests can learn more, see additional photos, read reviews, and book securely online, you also bolster the integrity of your business and have a better chance of securing a reservation.
It's better for business
The VRBO service fee is a perfect example: if something drastic changes in the vacation rental industry, your business will be secure if you've built your model around your website instead of someone else's. Having a website run entirely by you ensures that you have total control over your business no matter what happens.
Vacation Rental Desk's all-in-one website builder and booking management software allows you to take control of your business and secure the bookings your rental is worthy of.
With its industry-leading software, Vacation Rental Desk can help you transform your business into its most profitable version yet. Read more about our easy-to-use tools on our website, and sign up today to create your own website and build your business model around your vacation rental.