Just like there are certain myths in the vacation rental industry, some hosts believe there is no point in creating a vacation rental website. More often than not, they aren’t actually aware of the benefits and ways it can monetize their business. In fact, having your own website can lead to a stronger marketing strategy, higher visibility, and more bookings. Overall, it will strengthen your business.
At Lodgify, we aim to help vacation rental owners and property managers succeed in their business. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common reasons why hosts are reluctant to build their own website for their vacation rental business, and how to overcome these cases.
1. “My business is doing fine without a website”
Perhaps in the beginning when the vacation rental industry started out, word of mouth or traditional advertising was sufficient enough, but now as technology has advanced, the world has become more digitalized. By continuing running your business the old-fashioned way, other owners who are stepping into the online world may actually surpass you.
Nowadays, travel and accommodation are booked online more than ever fore. In fact, in 2018, 82% of travel bookings were made through a website or a mobile app. As a vacation rental business owner, you don’t want to be missing out on this surge of online bookings.
2. “I’m already using Airbnb and other OTAs”
Perhaps listing on Airbnb and other OTAs gives your property enough visibility. But did you know that having your own website means not having to pay for any 3rd party fees? Check out the Airbnb calculator to see how much Airbnb is really costing you. And there’s one thing that’s very clear: travelers prefer avoiding any fees from these listing sites, as they usually charge a higher rate.
So by having your own website, both you and your guests will be saving on those extra hidden fees. This is especially useful if you have repeat guests, you want to help them avoid paying extra!
As some OTAs are strict, both in the way you run your business and in the way you show it to the world. Often, they are limited to how you can advertise. With your own website, you’ll be able to take full control of the way you promote your vacation rental.
You can add in and showcase all the extras, like an industry award, promo codes, blog, FAQS, an ‘about us’ section and much more! The freedom and possibilities that come with having your own website are endless! You’ll be able to go further and be creative, which you can’t do so on OTAs.
3. “I don’t have enough time to make a website”
We understand how busy running a business is. But building a website won’t take that much time out of your day. With Lodgify, you can create your website and start receiving bookings the same day!
What’s more, having your own vacation rental website will actually save you time. For example, if someone makes a booking on HomeAway and Airbnb for the same exact days, and you didn’t have time to manually update your calendar on each listing site, you’ll be losing out on one major booking.
With our software, you’ll have access to our channel manager and integrate all your bookings from other OTAs and your website in one centralized calendar. All your bookings are automatically synchronized, so you’ll save time on changing the availability on each site individually, avoid double bookings, and be able to manage everything in once place.
4. “I’m not tech-savvy at all, I don’t know how to make my own website”
You don’t have to be an expert programmer to know how to create and manage a website, as many softwares are visual and designed for ordinary users who don’t necessarily have previous knowledge in tech.
Lodgify’s website builder is super easy to use! Simply select your website template, color scheme, and font, input all your property information e.g. location, type of property, number of bedrooms, then upload your photos and you’re good to go!
5. “I’m not going to pay for something I can do myself”
You’ll easily cover the costs of having your own website with the increase in bookings. Building a website will allow you to control more channels to promote your property or properties. All this leads to more bookings, and more bookings mean higher profits.
You’ll no longer have to spend so many hours updating your channels one by one every day or every week when someone makes a reservation. Instead, you’ll be left with more time to work on other aspects of your business that will improve the guest experience, such as creating a welcome book or writing your own blog.
Writing a blog actually gives you more visibility. How so? Well when travelers are looking to go away to a location, they often do some research on the area prior to their trip. If you’ve written relevant content about the area, potential guests will find your blog on Google, read it, and may end up booking your rental for their stay!
6. “I just don’t need a website”
And lastly, you may think you don’t need your own website, but how do you know what you’re missing out on if you haven’t tried it? In fact, a vacation rental website will allow you to go above and beyond, and experience things you would have never imagined you could.
A website for your business is crucial for so many things, with marketing being the core. When advertising on social media, any posts you make on these platforms (including photos, videos, and promotions,) will drive traffic back to your website. Linking your website to your social media sites will increase visibility and reach far more potential guests.
In addition, having your own site means you’ll build up your brand authority and establish your identity and business. Most travelers will feel more confident in booking your rental, seeing it as a well defined branded business. Plus, you’ll be able to stand out from your competitors.
What Are the Main Benefits of Creating Your Own Website?
We’ve already mentioned the reasons why some hosts don’t want their own website, now let’s take a look at the main benefits. With Lodgify, you’ll be able to do the following:
- Accept online reservations and credit card payments, as most guests booking online nowadays.
- Automatically sync your calendar’s availability, so your bookings don’t overlap and so guests can immediately know if your property will free
- Mobile-friendly website, so travelers can find and book your rental on the go.
- Customize pages, get creative and give your guests an overview of yourselves, your business, and your property.
- Translate your website into different languages. If you want to reach international guests (as not everyone speaks English), Lodgify’s software translates your website to over 30 languages
- Collect guest reviews to build up your credibility and reputation online.
- Easy to use: you don’t need to be tech-savvy or a programmer to set up and manage your own website.
Now you know all the benefits of having your own website, you can take full control of your business and increase your bookings today! Sign-up with Lodgify’s 7-day free trial.