7 reasons to book direct
Today 6 Feb 2019 is #Bookdirect day, an initiative from accommodation owners worldwide to point out the advantages of booking direct and create awareness among travelers regarding the extra fees they pay when paying through one of the big listing sites.
1. Book direct to save money
Did you know that the big listing sites such as Airbnb, HomeAway and TripAdvisor add a high percentage of booking fees when you reserve a holiday rental online? These fees do NOT go to the owners but rather to the listing companies. Booking charges an average of 15 % commission of the reservation amount from the property manager, which amount in most cases is simply added on top of the rental amount, so this means an extra cost for you. By booking direct with the owner or manager, you can avoid these unnecessary third party fees and use the saved cash for your own benefit.
2. Book direct for direct contact with the manager or owner
When booking a vacation rental, peace of mind is important. Only when booking direct, you are guaranteed direct contact with the person responsible for the property. This means you can get in touch – without obligation – to inquire about services, amenities and location info before committing to a booking.
3. The best price isn’t on the Online Travel Agencies (OTA’s)
Contrary to popular belief, OTAs and aggregator sites (such as Airbnb, Booking, Expedia etc.) don’t actually provide the best price for travelers. You can save hundreds on commissions by booking direct and booking local.
4. Lots of the best vacation rentals aren’t listed on the major sites
Because of the high costs associated with listing on big listing sites, some of the best accommodations with the highest demand cannot be found on the big listing sites. By limiting your search to OTA’s and aggregator sites, you might be missing out on the best vacation rental for your family!
5. Managers and owners have in-depth knowledge of the destination and the property
When booking direct, managers and owners can direct you to the best rental for your needs and send you to the best activities, restaurants and service providers. They may even have local partnerships or discount deals which can save travelers more money.
6. If guests have special requirements or needs, a manager or owner can help
Whether you need an accessible vacation rental or have other special needs, a manager or owner will work with you directly to meet all your individual needs and give you assurance before you commit to a booking.
7. Get special offers
When travelers communicate directly with the owner or manager, they will be the first to find out about special offers, discounts or exclusive deals. From events and activities to special rates to onsite services, by communicating direct with managers and owners you will get insider knowledge and the best offers.
So how do you book direct and save yourself cash to spend during your holidays?
1. Find the property that you are interested in. How? Search Google, Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram for “vacation rentals in your destination” or search for the name of the accommodation as you have seen listed. This can lead you to their Google listing, their own website or the property’s Facebook page. Another handy tool is to use google reverse image search for the images you find online, for sure one of the images you find in the list will direct you to the source. Alternatively, use Houfy, a new market platform for holiday rentals where you will get direct contact with owners, instant quotes, updated calendars and convenient payment methods.
2. Do your research, check for reviews online and contact the owner directly through email, telephone, facebook, instagram or the contact form on their website.
3. Owners may not respond to requests you send through the larger listing sites to ask for location info or contact details due to the risk to be de-listed if they suggest communication options outside of the platforms.
4. Proceed with the booking directly through the owner or manager.
Of course the big listing sites will continue to play the game. But the choice is up to you, make sure to choose the booking process designed to provide the best value for you: BOOK DIRECT, BOOK SMART, BOOK LOCAL!
“Together, we can make a difference” #BookDirect