There is no doubt that distribution and the increasing prevalence of online travel agencies (OTAs) have caused a significant disruption in the vacation rental industry. Yet, the debate regarding the effectiveness of manually managing listings versus automating with a third-party channel manager is still relevant. Critics argue that commission fees are too high, that manual inventory management is just as effective as automated distribution, and that using a third-party sacrifices brand integrity because professional managers can lose control of their best practices. However, the overwhelming success of professional managers utilizing third-party distribution managers has proven that it is necessary to have a powerful, automated distribution strategy that complements direct-booking initiatives and attracts new guests, drives reservations, builds viable return on investment, and saves time for their team.
Although there is no one-size-fits-all solution, property managers can use third-party distribution, along with the knowledge of their particular market and clientele, to customize their strategy, protect profit margins, and leverage the visibility OTAs offer to drive revenue. As a direct result of partnering with third parties, property managers experience significant increases in overall revenue that quickly outweigh commission costs and raises their bottom line. In many cases, an automated distribution strategy can help professional managers efficiently capitalize on a previously untapped share of the market, enhance brand visibility, and create long-term, sustainable growth.
One of the most significant benefits of automation is that travelers can instantly book, which accelerates conversion rates exponentially by capitalizing on travelers’ increasing need for instant gratification. On Airbnb, Instant Book listings are ranked higher in search results, which means that profits can double just by having listings that are bookable in real time! When searching for accommodations, Instant Book is a prominent filter that guests can use to differentiate properties—a missed opportunity for those who are manually managing their listings.
An automated distribution strategy eliminates the time and resources involved with manual maintenance as well as the risk of duplicate reservations. It is a full-time job for property managers to regulate their records, update calendars, and respond to inquiries across all distribution channels; it costs not only time but also revenue. It is a considerable benefit that third-party providers can integrate all of the data in property management software, automatically blocking out and updating availability immediately, so rates and availability are always accurate and 100 percent up-to-date, all of the time, and on every channel. Property managers can accept more direct bookings and focus attention on their prospects and guests, all the while generating a healthy return on investment.
With third-party, API-driven solutions, property managers retain control of their reservations with tools such as customized rules, minimum night stay, and price scaling per channel; additionally, reservations sync right back into their property management software. Property managers can also override rules in their software to apply specific restrictions and set custom booking windows for certain OTAs, providing the flexibility and control professional managers deserve.
Instead of losing valuable time on manual reservation management, property managers can save more than forty hours per week by automating distribution! They can exceed previous results, raise visibility, and confidently accept direct bookings from OTAs. A robust and automated distribution strategy provides professional managers with dynamic tools to target their direct-booking initiatives, engage with new guests, increase reservations, accelerate conversions, and create sustainable growth while saving time.
Rezfusion Boost, Bluetent’s distribution solution, efficiently connects vacation rental managers with two of the world’s largest online travel companies, Airbnb and Booking.com, to create accurate, compelling, and automatically managed listings. Bluetent offers all Rezfusion Boost customers access to dedicated implementation specialists who not only guide the setup process, including training and listing optimization but provide continuous support to deliver professiona
l managers a competitive advantage in the marketplace. With advanced pricing tools, comprehensive capabilities, and reliable support from a team of distribution experts, Rezfusion Boost allows property manages to retain control of their brand, increase efficiency, and drive revenue.
Bluetent has almost two decades of experience in the vacation rental industry partnering with professional vacation rental managers. The very same data connections used to develop Rezfusion Boost have built over 175 direct-booking websites that represent more than 31,000 individual properties in more than eighty countries.Enjoy the confidence that comes with a team that books more than $350MM in online reservations each year on a tested and proven platform.