When people book a trip, accommodations are just part of the equation. That’s why promoting your short-term rentals on a site like TripAdvisor, which streamlines travel planning from end-to-end, can be a strategic advantage.
TripAdvisor is one of the largest online travel agencies (OTAs) in the world and a particularly dominant force for customer reviews: it hosts more than 760 million comments and opinions about hotels, restaurants, attractions and, more recently, vacation rentals.
TripAdvisor’s influence is such that 60% of travelers — 67% in the U.S. — visit the site before booking a hotel or flight. How can you use that reach to grow your vacation rentals? By leveraging the site’s audience to get more bookings, and by tapping into exclusive features to deliver value-added services, establishing a new revenue stream.
Here are three reasons why you should include TripAdvisor Rentals in your channel management strategy.
1. The pay-per-booking model means little risk for potential gain
TripAdvisor Rentals is comprised of five distinct brands, each focused on a particular region:
- FlipKey (North America) and HouseTrip (Europe) are the company’s flagship sites
- HolidayLettings (UK/Europe)
- Niumba (Spain)
- VacationHomeRentals.com (US)
When you add your properties to one site, they roll out across TripAdvisor’s entire network: all six sites, in 26 different languages, with more than 456 million travelers checking the site every month. While not every traveler is searching for the perfect vacation rental, marketing your properties on such a diverse channel gives you the opportunity to reach a new audience — one that may not have considered a property like yours before.
The payoff of adding a new listing site can be significant: MyVR has found that, on average, every new channel added doubles monthly revenue per property.
It’s a move that doesn’t just help maximize bookings, but also gives you the flexibility to narrow your focus on higher-value listings while cutting back on the admin time needed to fill your calendars.
What makes it even more attractive, the cost to test this channel is relatively minimal, as TripAdvisor follows a pay-per-booking model. As a property manager, you pay a 3% commission on every booking or, if you have five or more properties, you can opt to pay an annual fee instead.
Guests pay a fee of 8-12% for every booking, a fee that varies depending on a number of factors such as location, length of stay and the type of property.
Other benefits to including TripAdvisor in your marketing strategy include their well-established awards and recognitions:
- Traveler’s Choice recognizes excellence in areas such as service, quality, and customer satisfaction. It is awarded based on your guests and the reviews they write.
- The Certificate of Excellence recognizes businesses that consistently deliver top service. It’s presented to approximately 10% of the site’s accommodations, restaurants, attractions and vacation rentals every year.
These programs don’t just add credibility to your business, they can also help boost your position in search results and provide additional opportunities to stand out among your competitors.
2. Provide personalized recommendations (and build a new revenue stream)
Travelers want brands to help them make better travel decisions. A survey by Accenture found that 67% of respondents want companies to personalize their communication, and infrequent travelers in particular would like recommendations about products and services. One way to do that is to incorporate tours into your business and help your guests plan a memorable and unique visit.
TripAdvisor’s solution to this is Viator: 140,000 hand-picked tours, including many that are VIP or exclusive experiences — from classes and workshops, to food and wine tasting, to walking and biking tours.
As a property manager, you can sign up as a travel agent (click to register as an “agency”). Joining is free, while every activity booked means an 8% commission for you — and a potential new revenue stream for your business.
Diversifying your business with an additional income stream can help you absorb fluctuation and build a more sustainable and resilient property management company,
3. Turn on Instant Book with built-in restrictions for peace of mind
Instant Book is increasingly in demand. At least 40% of travelers on TripAdvisor expect to be able to book a rental right away, and it’s a trend that is growing across other channels too, as on Airbnb, more than 60% of bookings are made using instant book!
Instant book can be particularly important in attracting Millennials — a large and increasingly affluent segment that frequently books travel at the last minute — which can have a measurable impact on your bottom line.
But there’s also a certain peace of mind that comes from handling every inquiry and vetting every guest before they’re confirmed.
Property managers often see this as an either/or scenario, but it doesn’t have to be. TripAdvisor allows you to set guest criteria and house rules for your properties. In order to book, each guest must review and confirm that they meet your requirements.
With MyVR, adding TripAdvisor Rentals is seamless
MyVR’s robust integration with TripAdvisor makes the listing and booking process easy for you. We offer direct connections - integrations that avoid error-prone channel managers - to TripAdvisor, all of the major channels and their 70+ affiliates in order to offer a superior experience to property managers.
Third-party channel managers and integrations via “private” APIs can prove costly for managers. These integrations aren’t built to handle the complexities of the short-term rental industry, causing them to break, record double bookings, lose booking data and inflate your rates - while charging an extra, hidden fee.
Direct connections, on the other hand, are the most modern and dynamic methods of integrating with channels. Our team of industry experts have built these connections from scratch - instead of partnering with an external channel manager - to help you grow your business without limits.