Educate Your Guests About #BookDirect Guest Education Day on February 5

Get Ready for #BookDirect Guest Education Day

What is Book Direct Guest Education Day? It is the collective brainchild of VRM Intel and independent hotel and vacation rental managers. These businesses use #BookDirect Day to spread the message about making reservations directly with the property managers versus OTAs. Similar to Small Business Saturday, this is a day meant to help small businesses in the travel/hospitality industry.

The Necessity of Education

Many travelers don’t know they pay additional fees by booking through companies like Expedia, Priceline, VRBO, Homeaway, and Airbnb. They don’t understand the relationship between the big brands and the businesses that run the day-to-day operations of property management.

You’re not a faceless corporation. You’re a local that guests want to know and trust.

It is increasingly common to see managers struggling to promote their brand in a competitive marketplace. Combined with OTAs’ lack of transparency about their responsibility and ownership of bookings and guest information, many travelers are don’t understand the complex system involving their vacation accommodations.

#BookDirect Day is for the local business owners that live in the community, maintaining the homes, handing out welcome bags, checking on guests, asking for reviews, and making sure forgotten teddy bears are mailed back to their owners.

This is a special day for you and your team, the hardworking men and women in travel destinations all around the U.S. To put it simply, “Direct is Best.”

What Is Booking Direct?

Booking direct specifically refers to guests who use your website to locate your properties and complete the reservation process independent from national or corporate sites. This means that the guest never used a third-party site or booking platform to make their lodging plans. You get full ownership of the guest and don’t pay additional fees on the reservation.

And here’s how RealTech can help you earn more revenue through your website – not just on Feb. 5 – but every day of the year.

How Does RealTech Help You Earn More Direct Bookings?

We are a small, independent business dedicated to leveling the playing field through the use of custom-designed websites that seamlessly integrate with your property management software. A functional website combined with online marketing means more direct bookings for you with less work.

Vacation Rental Website Development

You are a part of the process every step of the way when designing and building your custom website. You have ownership of the look and the functionality of the finished product so it can be just as useful to your team of agents as it is to your guests.

We have years of experience building websites, which means that we have expert knowledge of design and user interface. These skills are incredibly important when it comes to creating a website that has to appeal to 55-year-old empty nesters and 35-year-old parents. Travelers of all kinds will be using your website. It has to be intuitive, while also contain complex processes running in the background.

An integrated booking process is a key feature of our websites, which ensures a quick and painless process for your potential guests to fill out the reservation info and get one step closer to their vacation getaway. It allows the most important information about your rentals to appear according to the hierarchy of guest FAQs. For example, most users are interested in the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and price, so that needs to be front and center. 

If a user easily finds those details then they move on to the next step of the user journey. If the guest doesn’t encounter any “roadblocks” on their quest to find the perfect rental, then the odds of making a direct booking increase.

Digital Marketing Agency

Not only do we specialize in vacation rental websites, but we have a whole team of marketing experts that can help optimize and advertise your site. Having a great website is the first step to more direct bookings, but if you want to get the word out there to new audiences, then it takes online marketing through channels such as Facebook and Google.

The easiest way to spread the news about #BookDirect Day and educate travelers is through social media and your very own email list of prior guests. You can easily do this in-house or let the RealTech marketing team do the heavy lifting for you. 

Take some time this month to create and post several messages on social media about the importance of booking directly through your website. You can even incentivize potential new guests with special discounts for one day only on Feb. 5. 

You have hundreds of qualified leads right in your inbox. These are people who filled out the contact form on your website or are prior guests. Send them a special #BookDirect digital postcard reminding them about the upcoming event and encourage them to spread the word to their friends and family. Word of mouth recommendations is the # 1-way people form opinions about brands. When guests love their stay with you, they become brand ambassadors, which helps drive more customers.

Next Steps to #BookDirect

Ready to drive more direct bookings? We are happy to begin this journey with you to build your business and grow your audience through digital advertising. 

Contact us to get started.

And remember to join the other small business owners who will use the #BookDirect Day on social media posts and digital ads on February 5. By working together we can make a bigger impact.

About Heather Smith

I live in Asheville, NC, but grew up in Alabama. I cannot live without my two dogs, my cat (currently curled up in my lap by the way), my coffee, and my husband. I ABSOLUTELY HATE COLD WEATHER.

My favorite part of the job is that there is never a dull moment, and I'm here to pass on what I learn and help your business grow.