On booking channels such as Airbnb or VRBO, individual properties are advertised as individual properties for visibility. On booking channels originally designed for hotels and other accommodation models, rooms or properties are often grouped and advertised together. A typical example of this would be a hotel that has 40 single rooms and 80 double rooms. They have only 2 listings, instead of 120.
Multi-units or Multi-availability is a fantastic way to promote your properties. It’s now available in Hostaway, and we’ve designed with two objectives in mind: increasing occupancy and increasing average daily rates. Here’s why.
When it comes to popular locations and dates, it’s safer and easier for OTA’s to advertise these properties. Keep in mind that multiple guests may be browsing at the same time - so if one of them books, in a multi-availability property another guest can book a second one at the same time. Sites such as Booking and Expedia usually promote multi-availability before individual listings.
It’s hard to keep track of the occupancy rate when you manage tens or hundreds of properties. If you group them as a multi-unit, you can see the occupancy rate directly in the calendar! No need for reports, just raise the price on the last unit when you’re 60, 80 or 90% booked!
When OTA’s decide which properties to advertise to travelers, they do it based on data. And having multiple units under one property gives them more data to work with, compared to having the same units listed as individual properties. Thus conversion rates, likelihood to book and gender/age/location can be used to more effectively promote your property. To put it in other words - it’s cheaper for the OTA to promote a multi-unit than several single units. Another benefit is that the tag “Only one left!” actually means something - if you have 20 luxury units, and 19 are booked, the last one left gives a sense of urgency and combined with a flexible cancellation policy can increase your bookings a lot.
This is where economies of scale come in. If you have even 2 identical units, each booked for 1 week in May, nobody can book the entire month of May anymore. But if you had them listed as a multi-unit, you can relocate the guest without even telling them - how would they know? This means that you can free up longer periods and get a much higher occupancy than with individual listings. Just like you don’t know the number of your hotel room when you book a hotel, the guest won’t know which of the units they’re staying in until they arrive. In fact, they won’t even know you moved them in the first place! If there’s one thing the travel industry in 2020 has shown us, it’s that having an open calendar with the possibility to book longer stays means money!
Despite Covid, in many areas around the world people still need to travel as groups. How do you make a booking for a sales team, a football team or a stag party for 25 people on VRBO or Airbnb? Well, you don’t. Instead, you use Booking or Expedia. And they will only show you properties that can accommodate that many! So if you manage 10 identical units that fit up to 4 persons each, you can now get a booking for an entire group of up to 40!
An increasing amount of municipalities around the world are using the current climate to enforce or enact new regulations. At the same time, hotels are vacant and their capital structure can’t handle it. For a property manager, this is a golden opportunity - connect to the owners of these commercial properties, sign them up and convert the units to be more livable. Even if your market isn’t regulated yet, having an entire building zoned as a hotel or commercial property is a guaranteed gold mine when minor players are left out of the market - just look at Paris, Amsterdam or Barcelona to see how regulation can increase the average daily rates.
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