Your expertise as a local guide, plus SCRUMPY's powerful features are a great way of encouraging guests to want to stay at your properties and book directly through your website.
We live in a fast paced world, where modern technology is now widely available and commonplace. Internet speeds are quicker, as are the mobile networks that a majority of us use to get online. But with this comes a wider expectation, where if you are able to easily do something on one website, that you should be able to do it on all.
Today's guests expect convenience, to be able to find what they want quickly and to be able to book it there and then. Whilst this won’t suit all providers (who might want to have more involvement and a say so as to who can stay with them) you need to at least meet somewhere in the middle.
Because why would you stop someone’s interest, because they have to call to find out if a property is available? Or prevent someone from staying, simply because you don’t offer an easy way to pay? Essentially, why would you put barriers in place that prevent guests from making a straight-forward direct booking?
If the leaders of this industry display an easy to view calendar, then follow suit. If their booking process is user friendly, then make sure yours is also. There are reasons other than astronomical marketing budgets, that make these large accommodation websites popular - and it mostly comes down to the convenience and ease of use they provide for guests.
But don’t just assume that people want to use these websites. Awareness of booking fees, and Owners getting the raw end of the deal has become more commonly known and with that more and more Guests are looking to book direct. There’s also always the assumption that if you go straight to the supplier, and avoid the middleman, that you’ll get the best price. Yet don’t expect a holidaymaker to choose you over an OTA, if you don’t offer that streamlined service that they are expecting.
Offer what they can’t
So other than the lack of booking fees, or maybe that feel good factor for transacting directly with a small business; what is it that you can offer a guest that a big operator can’t? It might seem simple, or even insignificant, but the fact that you are you and not a global corporation is a huge positive in itself and shouldn’t be overlooked.
Just remember that you are the expert, that you know your properties and the surrounding area better than the OTA does. You have inside knowledge of the best places to go, the most romantic spots for couples, the perfect walking routes and picturesque picnic spots. You have close relations with the best food providers, connections with neighbouring businesses and a network of experienced providers. Don’t undersell the value that you can provide to your customers, and how you can help arrange the perfect holiday for your guests.
Working exclusively with Property Owners, Agencies, Property Managers and Housekeepers, we know only too well the love hate relationship with OTA’s. Whilst they can be great for getting you bookings, they also eat away at your margin when taking their slice of commission. So why not offer everything the online travel agent does, with everything your guests could possibly want - just on your own website?
The SCRUMPY platform has been built specifically for self catering businesses with direct bookings in mind and is here to help you achieve this. You’ll find a complete marketing package, coupled with an advanced management system, all designed to simultaneously promote your business and make your life easier.
If you’re interested in how one of our websites with software can help take your holiday let to the next level, then feel free to get in touch. Alternatively you can take a look at an overview of our features here, explore our impressive guest portal and even place a test booking on our demo site.