The Secrets to Online Travel Agents
Online travel agents cause a lot of stress to many property owners, they are expensive they all work differently so they are hard to understand and more often than not they are thrown in the two hard basket. Well I have some bad news for you online travel agents are going nowhere however on the upside there are ways to use them to your advantage…
In this day and age if it was not for online travel agents such as expedia, booking.com and agoda many people may not know your property exists. We all know that you can not complete with their marketing dollar when it comes to google addwords so its time to embrace the OTA’s and make the most of the traffic that they send your way. There are a few tricks that can give you the upper hand when it comes to these OTA’s and below are just a few of my secrets…
- Your OTA listing is as important as your website make sure
- Your images are current
- The text regarding your room information is correct
- You are feeding through all of your rates and inventory
- Your mapping between your channel manager and the OTA is correct. If a stand queen price and availability is setup in your channel manager make sure that is mapped to the standard queen room type and test it!!
- All of your facilities are included with photos of guest enjoying them (that are current)
- You encourage all guest to leave reviews this way the good should always out way the bad.
- Your property name and contact details are all correct
2. Make sure you feed the same rate to all OTA’s, by all means use the promotions they offer however if you are going to run a promotion with one OTA contact them all and run the same.
3. Always feed a cheaper rate to bookings directly to your website that rate may be just $5 or $10 or even 5% or 10% when it comes to online bookings directly from your website usually have little or no fees. Most people will find you on the OTA they will then cut and paste the property name and search for you in google to
- Find more information about your property
- See the cheapest rate
- Find your exact location
Right away with a booking from an OTA you lose 10%- 17% commission but offering a discount of 5%-10% or event $5-$10 it is a guaranteed saving. When people are shopping online they have the time so if it means they will save $5 they will book online.
RMS offers a great new feature at the moment called linked rate type, this means you can create a brand new rate that add or removes a certain dollar or % and you can then send that rate to the OTA at say $5 higher or to your book now button at say $5 lower. This in turn very little work for what will be a big saving on commission.
4. Offer the same deposit and cancellation policy on your book now button as you do on all OTA’s don’t penalise a client for booking directly with you..
Seamless offer several packages when it comes to dealing with online travel agents…
Online Travel Agent Training
Book in a session today and we can go through and evaluate your online travel agent setup including content and images. We can also go through pricing options and feeds from your channel manager to your OTA.
Don’t know where to start with your online travel agents? Contact seamless today and together we can add your property onto any travel agents you may not be listed with. We also offer services that include setting you up with a channel manager to make this process easer to maintain.
Seamless also offer marketing contracts in which we monitor weekly how your price and ranking compares with other properties in you area. With then send you through a analysis report with any recommendation or rate adjustments to make your property more competitive. We do this on a weekly basis to maxamize occupancy and income for your property.
Finally we offer price structures that include longer stay rates that help reward guest for their length of stay. This means less changeover cost of the property and also make your price the most competitive in your com set when guest are searching for longer stays.
To find out more about our marketing packages contact Annalise and the seamless team today…