This Wednesday, February 3, 2021, book-direct advocates in the vacation rental industry are taking the opportunity to celebrate the fourth annual #BookDirect Guest Education Day by sharing the many ways in which making the switch to a direct booking model has enriched both their customer relations and their bottom line. ItsCabinTime.com has been gathering feedback for years from cabin owners, local short-term rental property managers and vacationers alike — Here are their top 10 reasons to embrace direct booking in 2021:
- Book at the lowest rate
When you book directly with the local owner or manager of a vacation rental, you are paying the person whose right it is to decide the rate. Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) may have leeway to mark up those prices, but they NEVER charge you less than the owner’s rate.
- Avoid fees and commissions
When you book directly with the local owner or manager, you cut out the go-between. This means no paying for the privilege to send messages or view an availability calendar, and no traveler’s fees tacked on at the end of the transaction for using the booking service.
- Learn about special offers
Owners and managers who use a book-direct business model often have repeat customers that they keep in contact with to inform previous visitors about upcoming specials. Owners/managers can also share these specials on their website, social media or listing sites like www.itscabintime.com.
- Choose from more options
Many owners and managers dislike the way OTAs (such as Vrbo, FlipKey, TripAdvisor, AirBnb, Booking.com or HomeAway) take control of their booking calendars and messaging. This means some of the most experienced hosts aren’t even available through large travel sites.
- Communicate openly
When you book directly with the owner or manager of the home where you will be staying, you can enjoy complete transparency in regard to house rules, cleaning policies and rates. Many homeowners love to get to know those who will be staying at their rental cabins and homes!
- Get personal attention
When you have the chance to communicate with someone who knows the home you are renting inside and out, it’s easier to accommodate specific needs. You’ll also have access to a real person who takes responsibility for your experience and sees it through from start to finish.
- Benefit from local insight
Above and beyond chamber websites or tourist brochures, a local owner or manager who knows the area can help you plan a personalized vacation you’ll remember. They can also give information on favorite hunting and fishing spots — you won’t find that in the guidebook!
- Find last-minute availability
Speaking directly with the person in charge of a vacation rental’s booking calendar means you’ll have access to the most up-to-date information on availability. This includes any last-minute cancellations that the rental owner/manager may be eager to fill — sometimes at a discount.
- Minimize risk of fraud
Transparency between the vacation rental owner/manager and the vacationer minimizes the risk of accidentally booking a fraudulent property by allowing each party to perform standard security checks. See tips and tricks to protect your vacation rental reservation deposit here: http://www.rentwisconsincabins.com/payment-protection.php
- Support small businesses
Many vacation rental homeowners, resort owners and small property managers are family-run businesses with a long history in the industry. Help protect their right to keep control of their business and keep doing the work they love by cutting out middle-man OTAs!
About Guest Education Day
Guest Education Day is a non-branded, annual event that began in February 2018. On this day, vacation rental owners and managers — as well as commission-free listing sites and other invested industry leaders — come together to support each other and promote the #BookDirect movement by educating future guests about the benefits of direct booking.
In 2020, participants using the hashtag #BookDirect shared more than 78,500 posts on Guest Education Day, and made more than 166 MILLION impressions on Instagram and Twitter alone (Source: vrmintel.com). In 2021, supporters are hoping to build on that engagement, bringing word about the benefits of book direct to even more potential vacation home renters.
Looking for a cabin to BOOK DIRECT?
You can see all of our listings brought together on one map at www.ItsCabinTime.com. Happy direct booking! #ItsCabinTime