The Benefits of Multi-Channel Booking Strategies for Your Rental Properties

Guest Screening, Industry Insights, Property Manager Tips
The Benefits of Multi-Channel Booking Strategies for Your Rental Properties

Like every short-term rental property manager, maximizing revenue is undoubtedly one of your top goals. To do that, you’ll need to boost occupancy rates, which means getting your properties in front of as many prospective guests as possible. 

Enter multi-channel booking, a favorite strategy for those wanting to list rental property and maximize exposure. Here’s everything you need to know about this popular tactic.

What Is Multi-Channel Booking?

Multi-channel booking involves listing your rental properties on multiple platforms instead of just one website. You can list rental properties on your own booking website, as well as popular channels like Airbnb and Vrbo. 

Here’s a basic rundown of how it works. You create a rental property listing on several different platforms. When a guest books a stay on one of the sites, such as Airbnb, the availability of your property will automatically be updated across all other channels. This feature prevents double booking. 

Sounds pretty simple, right? It certainly can be. More importantly, multi-channel booking maximizes your exposure and can help make all of your rental properties more profitable. 

Benefits of Multi-Channel Booking

The advantages of a multi-channel booking strategy include:

More Exposure

Most short-term renters prefer a booking platform. While some guests may dabble with multiple websites, they are more likely to stick with their go-to platform, whether it be Booking.com, Vrbo, or Airbnb. If you are only on one of these channels, you are neglecting a large chunk of your target audience.

By adding your listings to multiple websites, you’ll drastically increase your exposure and get your rental offerings in front of more prospective guests. If you really want to ramp up your exposure, consider running a few paid ad campaigns on multiple platforms, too. Before you know it, hundreds or even thousands of potential guests will have seen your offering. 

Expanded Reach

Multi-channel booking doesn’t just get you in front of more people. This strategy can also help raise awareness among specific audiences that may have a greater interest in your property and amenities. There are several great niche platforms and listing categories that appeal to different types of travelers, such as people with pets and families with small children. 

While you don’t need to appeal to all of these categories of renters, it’s important to target those who align with your preferred type of guest. For instance, if you cater to younger couples with children, you’ll need to showcase the family-friendly amenities at your properties. 

Reduced Vacancy Rates

Keeping vacancy rates to a minimum should always be one of your top priorities. After all, every day your home sits vacant, it is costing you money. Utilities, insurance, and mortgage payments can quickly pile up if your properties remain vacant for long stretches. 

Adding your portfolio to several high-visibility channels will help keep vacancy rates down and attract more guests. This can be especially valuable during the non-peak season. You may also want to consider running paid ads and offering discounts during seasonal dips in rental rates to reduce vacancies. 

Better Revenue

Multi-channel booking sets the stage for better revenue. You can get your properties in front of more prospective guests, which translates to higher occupancy rates and stable cash flow. 

However, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the fees charged by each listing platform. These fees are usually quite reasonable, but you’ve still got to factor this variable into your property management strategy. 

Bookings From Several Sources

Listing your rental property on just one platform is akin to putting all of your eggs in one basket. You might have great success, but you may also encounter inconsistencies and high vacancy rates. 

Showcasing your portfolio on multiple channels allows you to diversify your booking sources and attract more guests. The end result is more consistent revenue and a higher return on investment. 

Potential Concerns of Multi-Channel Booking

Listing your properties on multiple websites offers tons of advantages, but there are a few potential drawbacks to be mindful of as well, including:

A Lack of Guest Transparency

Some platforms do a great job of screening guests. Others, not so much. You shouldn’t leave the fate of your property up to chance and rely on these inconsistent screening processes. Thanks to Safely, you don’t have to. 

Safely’s guest screening solution provides a comprehensive breakdown of a prospective renter’s history and background. You can use this information to determine whether they are a good fit for your portfolio or if you’d prefer to deny the rental request. Check out Safely and take advantage of our automated guest screening platform. 

Confusion

Keeping up with bookings across multiple platforms can quickly become confusing, especially if you have a large portfolio of properties. If you aren’t organized, it may be tough to remember which platform a guest booked a stay on, which can lead to communication delays.

To avoid this, automate as much as possible. For instance, set up automated welcome messages on the day of a guest’s projected arrival date. Also, make sure to enable push notifications and alerts for all of your booking applications. 

Remember that you don’t have to list your property on every platform. Focus on a handful of high-quality channels that align with your long-term goals. 

Variable Rates and Fees

Do plenty of research on each platform’s fee schedule. Make a list of these rates and identify which options make the most sense for your portfolio. 

While there’s nothing wrong with paying extra fees for valuable exposure, you need to count the cost to make sure you are getting a good return on your investment. Also, try to keep your rates as consistent as possible across all platforms.

Best Places to List Rental Properties 

So what’s the best place to list rental property? There aren’t any one-size-fits-all answers. If you want to adopt a multi-channel booking strategy, focus on the platforms that offer the best exposure and most competitive rates, such as Booking.com, Vrbo, Airbnb, and Expedia. 

Regardless of what channels you choose, do your homework, showcase each property’s unique value proposition, and set competitive rates. As long as you do that, you’ll be well on your way to achieving a higher occupancy rate and maximizing revenue. 

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Grace is the Chief of Staff at Safely and a licensed insurance agent. She began her journey at the company over a year ago in the Customer Happiness department, where she learned the ins and outs of the customer experience, getting to know Safely’s customer base and exploring Safely’s value proposition in the market. Grace was asked to step into the Chief of Staff role in 2023 and spends her time working on company-wide initiatives including investor relations, compliance, and expansion. Outside of working hours, you can find her trying new restaurants with her husband, walking her dog along the river, and exploring the city of Atlanta.

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