With the legislative ban of short-term rental Airbnb properties on the rise, operators are taking back control with a move toward direct bookings.
Recently, in New York City, 15,000 short-term rental Airbnb listings were removed from the platform, making way for hotels to monopolize the market once again and leaving operators with little choice but to either forfeit operations or join the book direct movement. Similar to how Shopify enabled anyone in the world to start an online store and continue earning an income during the COVID-19 lockdowns, direct booking website builders and opt-in direct booking website distribution channels are empowering property managers to continue earning vacation rental income without reliance on Airbnb.
In stark contrast to third-party booking platforms, short-term rental operators who’ve embraced direct bookings retain complete control over their booking terms and policies with payments received directly from guests rather than first processed through a third-party. For the savvy marketers and those willing to learn, direct bookings allow operators to continue processing bookings without the need for an OTA (online travel agencies) like Airbnb.
Don’t have the time or not interested in doing what it takes to market your own properties? You’re not alone.
Learn how you can diversify your business and reduce dependency on Airbnb by gaining access to direct booking distribution channels like Google Vacation Rentals.
Step 1: Launch Your Own Booking Site
Do you want to grow your vacation rental business without processing bookings through Airbnb? The first step toward short-term rental independence is creating and launching your own direct booking site.
Today, there are a number of services out there including those offered by various PMSs (property management systems). These solutions tend to charge a significant monthly subscription fee or they charge an upfront website build cost and ongoing hosting fees.
That’s why we built Dtravel Direct.
With Dtravel Direct, you can launch your own beautifully designed direct booking website in minutes — for free.
Instead of charging a recurring monthly subscription, operators with a Dtravel Direct booking site only pay when they get a booking (a small 3% transaction fee on completed bookings).
We take care of the web design, hosting, security and maintenance so that you can run your business the way you want.
Once you’ve created an account and launched your own booking site powered by Dtravel Direct you’ll have access to our growing network of direct booking distribution channels.
Simply create an account and launch your site in under 5 minutes using any of the following ways to set up your listings:
- Import your Airbnb listings
- Connect your PMS (Property Management System)
- Create your listings manually
Step 2: Get Bookings from Google Vacation Rentals
Up until recently it hasn’t been easy for short-term rental operators to get their properties listed on Google Vacation Rentals. In the past, you either needed to pay for a monthly PMS subscription or have properties under management in excess of 5000 listings.
With Dtravel Direct, however, you can get access to Google Vacation Rentals for free.
What is Google Vacation Rentals?
Google Vacation Rentals is a direct booking distribution channel powered by the largest search engine in the world. Unlike an OTA, Google Vacation Rentals does not process bookings, which is why one of the primary listing requirements is to have directly bookable or “instant book” listings via your own direct booking site.
Get Listed on Google Vacation Rentals for Free
You’ll automatically be eligible for Google Vacation Rentals once you’ve created a booking site with listings powered by Dtravel Direct.
After launching your site, you can check to ensure your listings are eligible for Google Vacation Rentals inside the Dtravel Direct dashboard.
Common eligibility requirements include:
- Add and connect Stripe account
- Ensure listings are active and bookable
- At least 8 photos per listing
- Add contact information and complete address
Don’t Sleep on Google Vacation Rentals Connectivity
Google performs their own verification check on every listing. This process can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks. The sooner you get started, the sooner your listings will appear in Google Vacation Rentals search results!
Step 3: Access New Direct Booking Distribution Channels
We’re focused on supporting property managers in growing their direct booking business, which is why we’re continuously adding new direct booking distribution channels.
By creating a free direct booking website powered by Dtravel Direct, you'll have access to Google Vacation Rentals as well as a number of upcoming channels launching over the next couple of months.
Here’s what to expect next:
Dtravel Sensei is an AI-powered recommendation engine designed to make trip planning a breeze by accelerating the discovery of directly bookable vacation rental listings from all over the world through personalized results.
Dtravel Sensei is set to launch in the next couple of months with early access to all vacation rental operators with a Dtravel Direct powered booking site.
Travala.com is the world’s largest blockchain-based online travel agency. Vacation rental operators with a Dtravel Direct booking site will soon have exposure to Travala.com’s user base through free listing distribution.
Bonus: Build Your Brand, Increase Bookings
We understand how important it is to be able to stand out in a crowded market, which is why we’ve empowered operators with the tools and features they need to tell their story and market their own booking website.
- Add a logo and self-hosted domain
- Completely customizable to your brand and story
- Establish trust by linking your Airbnb profile and importing reviews
- Connect social channels like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and more
- Track your performance with Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager
- Run Facebook Ads to attract more of the right guests
- Create and send discounts codes to boost conversion
Summary: Diversify Your Business and Fill Availability
For vacation rental operators and property managers in the short-term rental industry, filling availability is of utmost importance. Unfortunately, being completely reliant on OTAs (online travel agencies) like Airbnb can be a challenge as it leaves much of your calendar up to the algorithm. With platform bans on the rise, more and more operators are taking matters in their own hands and either leaving Airbnb completely or looking to direct bookings in order to diversify their business.
We’ve witnessed this shift for a while now, which is why we’re focused on providing operators the infrastructure and channels they need to continue growing their business at a fraction of the cost charged by OTAs.
With Dtravel Direct, you can create your own booking site and only use it when you want to. You can choose to take complete control and market your business or choose a more passive approach with free access to direct booking channels like Google Vacation Rentals. Whichever path you choose, we’re here to support your short-term rental journey, whether you choose to go all in on direct bookings or not.