If that sentence gives you anxiety, you’re not alone. Any short-term rental property manager will tell you their favorite type of booking is a direct booking. It’s the most profitable and efficient booking channel for any property manager. Its existence as a revenue channel for your business is crucial to hedge against the growing role of Online Travel Agencies (OTA’s) such as Airbnb and VRBO.
Traditionally, guests search booking websites by bedroom count, amenities (waterfront, pet friendly) or specific dates, and they are shown available listings on those exact dates at established prices. But what about guests who are looking for ways to save money and have flexibility on dates? The new era of remote work means getaways and vacations aren’t defined by the traditional Friday-Sunday window anymore. Is your website prioritizing the new way guests are searching for their next trip?
Flexible Date Search = Occupancy Driver
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky @ Skift: “500 Million people have searched with flexible dates”
Flexible date search makes it easy for guests to search available properties during busy periods or off-peak seasons to find a better deal. Instead of searching for their next vacation house by date, let a guest say “I’m Flexible!” to see pricing and availability for multiple date combinations, across multiple listings. This creates a win-win for the guest and property owner - the guest saves money and you can drive bookings and occupancy for less-popular dates.
Flexible date searching acts as an occupancy driver, creating more wiggle room in your calendars and ultimately driving a stronger revenue management strategy.
In this real example, a four night ski weekend in the Colorado Rockies is $1410 (from Friday December, 17 to Tuesday December, 21). However, a similar time period on mostly weekdays is only $679 (Wednesday, December 15 to Saturday December, 18).
By using flexible search, the guest can easily compare apples-to-apples value for the same length of stay. In this case, the guest can save $700 and the property manager frees up desirable days for a more profitable booking.
Are You Taking Advantage of Flexible Date Search?
With Signal, the vacation rental website builder and direct booking engine from Beyond, you can incorporate this revenue-driving tactic into your pricing strategy. Coupled with a host of other features like SEO and self-service updates, you are best positioned to capture the modern traveler when you build your own branded direct-booking website with Signal.
“The Signal team at Beyond is amazing. In just a few weeks, they built us an incredible website with a powerful booking engine. We’re just ecstatic with what they did.” Aimun N., Managing Partner, Lake Stay Vacation Rentals
To learn more about how we’re approaching direct booking at Beyond you can request a demo here.