Vacation rentals, offering a more personalized and affordable experience than traditional hotels, are more popular than ever. So much so that Airbnb, one of the leading vacation rental booking platforms, now has a worldwide market cap of $73.34 billion and counted 200 million users by 2020.
As existing OTAs like Airbnb and Vrbo expand and new ones emerge, increasing exposure to your listings has never been more effective or more important. Plus, with the help of vacation rental software, multichannel distribution is easier and more accessible than ever before and has become an essential strategy for the modern property manager looking to maximize their bookings.
Multichannel distribution is the practice of simultaneously listing a vacation rental property across multiple booking platforms. For example, instead of only listing on Airbnb, hosts can also incorporate Vrbo, Booking.com, Hopper, Got2Go, etc in their distribution strategy. Multichannel distribution offers multiple benefits to property managers, enabling you to diversify your distribution channels and reduce dependence on a specific provider.
With multiple listings on various platforms, vacation rental properties gain greater exposure to potential guests. Different platforms attract different audiences, ranging from budget travelers to family vacationers and multichannel distribution ensures that properties are seen by a diverse group of travelers.
By casting a wider net, multichannel distribution increases the likelihood of securing bookings. Each platform has its loyal user base and property managers can leverage the strengths of these platforms to attract more bookings.
Utilizing multiple channels enables property owners to experiment with pricing, amenities, marketing, and offers, tailoring them to specific audiences. This flexibility helps optimize occupancy and rates, especially during different seasons or events, and maximize revenue.
Build your own direct booking website and incorporate it into your distribution mix to generate direct bookings that enable you to reap higher profits, have more control over your vacation rental business, and build and showcase your vacation rental brand free from the restrictions of booking platforms.
Relying solely on one platform puts property managers at risk of potential changes in terms, policies, or algorithms as well as being delisted. Multichannel distribution safeguards against any sudden changes on a single platform that could negatively impact bookings and revenue.
Property managers can collect a more extensive and broader data set by listing on multiple channels, enabling you to make data-driven decisions to get more bookings, maximize revenue, and grow your vacation rental business.
Having multiple listings across various platforms including your own website can enhance the property's search engine optimization (SEO), improving its rankings on Google and other search engines.
To avoid double bookings and ensure efficient operations, it is essential to synchronize calendars and manage inventory centrally. Utilizing a proven channel management software like Hostaway can streamline this process.
Maintain consistent (and accurate) information and high-quality photographs across all platforms. This consistency establishes trust with potential guests and avoids confusion, particularly if they see your listing on one platform but book through another.
Guest reviews play a significant role in a traveler's decision-making process. Monitor reviews on all platforms and promptly respond to feedback, both positive and negative, to show a commitment to guest satisfaction.
Utilize a dynamic pricing strategy that is tailored to each platform based on market trends, demand, and the audience. Consider offering promotions or discounts on less popular platforms to boost visibility.
Regularly assess the performance of your listings on different platforms. Identify which channels yield the most bookings and focus your efforts accordingly.
Multichannel distribution is a powerful strategy for vacation rental property managers looking to increase visibility, attract a broader audience, and optimize revenue. By embracing this approach, vacation rental businesses can mitigate risks associated with platform dependence and leverage the unique strengths of various booking platforms. To successfully implement multichannel distribution, property owners should utilize a channel manager, maintain consistent listings, and actively monitor performance to stay competitive in the dynamic vacation rental market.