Happy Book Direct Day, everyone!
To celebrate the occasion, I interviewed an industry professional so committed to direct booking sites for property management companies that he wrote a book about it!
Check out my interview with Mark below and scroll down for some of the key takeaways from our conversation.
- There is no cookie-cutter ratio of direct bookings vs. OTA bookings. This is very much a case-by-case decision depending on the property manager’s needs. However, there should always be a healthy mix of the two. No property management company should be 100% on OTAs or 100% direct. Diversification is key.
- If you’re just launching your property management company, Mark suggests getting a PMS from the very get-go, putting you in advantage versus more veteran companies who have yet to make the switch: “As soon as you get your first property, you should be looking to get a PMS. It opens the doors to so many avenues.”
- Identify your ideal guests or “guest avatars” and make sure your direct booking site appeals to them and that booking is as intuitive and easy to perform as possible: “If you confuse, you lose.”
- Build your website with mobile phone web search and use in mind: “Everybody uses their phones to access the internet, especially when on the go. And still to this day it amazes me how many people build a website not based on mobile phone in mind. You need to be mobile-first.”
- Call your guests prior to their arrival to greet and connect with them but also to understand why they chose to book with you and draw actionable insights from these conversations. “Ask why did they book with you? What stood out? What are they coming to the area for? Do they know anyone? For example, if they’re coming for work, you can ask them “do you know anyone else from your company who needs accommodation? You’ll be amazed at you can learn about your guests from these conversations.”