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Marked increase in direct bookings
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gardenboy



Joined: 02 Jul 2011
Posts: 224

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting stats, 50% direct bookings for me and 50% via ha so it's been 8% tsf on the last few bookings. I give hem a choice of course and it's their money.

My mate is on od and does 100% direct and probably outperforms me. Don't believe all the marketing hype from the portal owners re client preferences. I might seriously considering binning the book now feature.
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TravelGirl



Joined: 21 Jul 2016
Posts: 19
Location: Orlando, Florida

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Direct Bookings are the way forwards! Reply with quote

AndrewH wrote:
TravelGirl wrote:
We have taken our website off of all of the listing sites and have listed it with a marketing channel instead. It saves money and I don't pay anything unless I get bookings ...

Welcome to this site, TravelGirl. Please forgive my obvious ignorance, but what is a marketing channel? It sounds interesting.


Hi Andrew,

Ignorance forgiven... I can't even work my way round this site! Smile

A marketing channel is when you list your property ONCE only on to a 'template' and not only do you get your own personal website for direct bookings, you also sit back and let the marketing channel automatically list it on the 40+ most active listing sites without paying the fees that they charge if you were to sign up to each one independently.

You don't pay any subscriptions to the 40+ individual sites and instead you pay a set commission per booking. I think its 10%. However you set the price you want to achieve so you can cover this cost if you wanted to.

Saves paying subscriptions PER listing site and varied commissions to EACH. You let the marketing channel put it out there and all bookings come back to one availability calendar and one email inbox.

I think thats the best way to describe it. I'm new to it myself. I just know it saves a lot of time, effort, stress and money so I'm not complaining.

The company are still running a free independence day offer for life as someone mentioned it earlier.

Hope I have helped a little. Smile
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French Cricket



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
Posts: 3054
Location: French Pyrénées

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you connected with this particular marketing channel (Homes and Rooms), TravelGirl?

I ask because it seems to be having a membership push over on Fb at the moment ... Confused
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TravelGirl



Joined: 21 Jul 2016
Posts: 19
Location: Orlando, Florida

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

French Cricket wrote:
Are you connected with this particular marketing channel (Homes and Rooms), TravelGirl?

I ask because it seems to be having a membership push over on Fb at the moment ... Confused


Hi,

I use it, but am not connected.

I met the Founder at a business event at the beginning of the year. I have my own company which is not in the same industry.

I think they have been exploring new avenues as they are established in the US and want to establish in the UK too.
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kevsboredagain



Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Posts: 3209
Location: France

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gardenboy wrote:
Interesting stats, 50% direct bookings for me and 50% via ha so it's been 8% tsf on the last few bookings. I give hem a choice of course and it's their money.

My mate is on od and does 100% direct and probably outperforms me. Don't believe all the marketing hype from the portal owners re client preferences. I might seriously considering binning the book now feature.


When someone choses not to press book now, what do you gain other than more than 24 hours to make a decision?

Just looking at my stats for this year on one property. 9 out of 15 bookings chose to pay through the listing site rather than direct. I do try to encourage them to go direct, especially now with the service fee but I find many don't take me up on that choice. However, I lost nothing by the fact they chose book now or paid through the site. Ok maybe 1.4% CC fee for the payment but that was better than 3.5% with Paypal.
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AndrewH



Joined: 12 Sep 2013
Posts: 1211
Location: Kefalonia, Greece

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 5:31 am    Post subject: Re: Direct Bookings are the way forwards! Reply with quote

TravelGirl wrote:
Hope I have helped a little. Smile

Yes, you have helped. Thank you so much. I am thinking that the marketing channel must have some affiliate relationship with each of the booking sites they deal with. Booking enquiries are directed straight to them to be passed on to an owner to accept or reject, and that is the only part the owner has to play in the process, other than receive payments ultimately (less the 10%).

I wonder how that would go down with owners in the UK and mainland Europe.
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russellt



Joined: 09 Dec 2014
Posts: 332
Location: Ivybridge, Devon, UK

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kevsboredagain wrote:
9 out of 15 bookings chose to pay through the listing site rather than direct. I do try to encourage them to go direct


Interesting. So why wouldn't they? Is it because your direct pricing gives them no benefit, or because they are seduced by the booking guarantee offered by the listing site, or ease of use, or .......?

My pricing is designed to benefit direct bookers.
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AndrewH



Joined: 12 Sep 2013
Posts: 1211
Location: Kefalonia, Greece

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

russellt wrote:
kevsboredagain wrote:
9 out of 15 bookings chose to pay through the listing site rather than direct. I do try to encourage them to go direct

My pricing is designed to benefit direct bookers.

Mine too and perhaps so is Kevin's. It appears that certain guests simply don't mind paying over the top. It's their choice in the end.
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russellt



Joined: 09 Dec 2014
Posts: 332
Location: Ivybridge, Devon, UK

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AndrewH wrote:
It appears that certain guests simply don't mind paying over the top. It's their choice in the end.


Definitely. I'm just trying to understand the motivation. If they have full knowledge of both direct and listing site pricing(do they really?), then why pay over the odds?

I'm wondering if it's more for international guests, where the want to have the listing site's guarantee?

And kevsboredagain makes clear that it makes no difference financially to him. So, I presume his direct price is on a par with the listing site BEFORE they uplift for booking fee. So, the guest clearly pays more via the listing site.

That said, when my guests learn that the direct price is lower, they do question whether the additional value gained from booking via the listing site, and paying more, was worth the additional cost. (Or should they have persevered with a little more Googling to find us?)

I'm kinda happy with things except to say that I sometimes wonder if my direct price is leaving money on the table, ie the listing sites are proving that the price (some parts of) the market will bear is greater than my direct price.

And could I reach those parts of the market without the listing sites anyway?
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AndrewH



Joined: 12 Sep 2013
Posts: 1211
Location: Kefalonia, Greece

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

russellt wrote:
I'm kinda happy with things except to say that I sometimes wonder if my direct price is leaving money on the table, ie the listing sites are proving that the price (some parts of) the market will bear is greater than my direct price.

I believe that way of thinking for an owner might be incorrect and therefore dangerous.

Some guests (? the majority) look to their own life experiences and see booking a self-catering holiday as they would when buying an item in a shop. They may have a contact who could enable them to buy exactly the same item wholesale and therefore much cheaper, but they would still prefer to pay the retail price, because it would be much easier to return the item to the shop if it was faulty.

Savvy guests will understand the reality of what is going on regarding booking fees and will take advantage of the price difference by booking direct, without any obvious prompting from an owner.
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russellt



Joined: 09 Dec 2014
Posts: 332
Location: Ivybridge, Devon, UK

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AndrewH wrote:
Savvy guests will understand the reality of what is going on regarding booking fees


+1, increasingly so.

My point is that since hooking up with a global listing site, I've seen a marked increase in international visitors. Could I have achieved that on my own? I doubt it. However, now that I know it is possible, and the cost of the booking sites increase, I'm more motivated to try to attract those markets myself.
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kevsboredagain



Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Posts: 3209
Location: France

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

russellt wrote:
kevsboredagain wrote:
9 out of 15 bookings chose to pay through the listing site rather than direct. I do try to encourage them to go direct


Interesting. So why wouldn't they? Is it because your direct pricing gives them no benefit, or because they are seduced by the booking guarantee offered by the listing site, or ease of use, or .......?

My pricing is designed to benefit direct bookers.


Before the service fee my prices were exactly the same as any book now price so there was not much incentive to go direct. Now with the service fee, I reckon most people haven't yet caught on to what's happening. Every owner should inform them in their enquiry reponse and eventually the public will slowly learn. They are no doubt only going to such a listing site in the first place because they think it's the cheapest, most direct route to the owner.
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AndrewH



Joined: 12 Sep 2013
Posts: 1211
Location: Kefalonia, Greece

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kevsboredagain wrote:
Now with the service fee, I reckon most people haven't yet caught on to what's happening. Every owner should inform them in their enquiry reponse and eventually the public will slowly learn. They are no doubt only going to such a listing site in the first place because they think it's the cheapest, most direct route to the owner.

I hadn't thought of that, but I am sure it is true in lots of cases.
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e-richard



Joined: 17 Oct 2004
Posts: 4881
Location: Algarve, Portugal

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want to know why guests prefer to pay through the listing site, then read this post and realise it may be because YOU are telling them to. Twisted Evil Twisted Evil
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Cas & Irene



Joined: 25 Feb 2013
Posts: 252
Location: Barcelona - Spain

PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

About 55% of our booking are made now directly through our site by using FreeToBook or by email and payments through PayPal or IBAN. This amount increase every year (hooray!!).

We had only once a booking of approx. € 2000,-, but they want to pay the amount through their Airbnb account, because that was safer for them.
We refused that, and explained that we did´t do any business with Airbnb. This S-C booking was about 4 months in advance.
I asked her if she had any idea were her money would be before Airbnb pays the host. She had now idea, so I told her “on one of the many bank accounts from a company who makes after 7 years still a hug operational loss every year”**

She was agree and paid the 35% by PayPal and 6 weeks before arriving the 65% due with IBAN to our bank account.

Sometimes I´m really surprised how easy guests pays the down payment or occasionally the whole amount in once!
Despite my phone number is mentioned on the site and ads, maybe we got only 1 or 2 calls per year for some additional information, when the booking is done!

We see more and more (we asked always) that people are searching Internet before they book, found our site and book direct. Maybe to avoid any extra cost (we don´t use any commission models, only Booking) or maybe they are a little bit tired about the booking sites with loads of pop-ups, suggestions and emails. Prefer just dealing direct with the owner, without all those interfering’s and sneaky emails from some “famous” rental sites.

(They expect to be profitable in 2020 source: http://fortune.com/2015/06/17/airbnb-valuation-revenue/)

(Please see also my topic “Back in “Town” in the members area )
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