Learn How You Can Increase Revenue by Participating in Book Direct Day

What is Book Direct Guest Education Day? It is the collective brainchild of VRM Intel and independent hotel and vacation rental managers. These businesses use Book Direct day to spread the message about making reservations directly with the property managers versus online travel agencies. Similar to Small Business Saturday, this is a day meant to help small businesses in the travel/hospitality industry.

The Necessity of Education

Many travelers don’t know they pay additional fees when booking through online travel agencies (OTAs) like Expedia, Priceline, VRBO, HomeAway, and Airbnb. They don’t understand the relationship between the big brands and the businesses that run the day-to-day operations of property management.

It is increasingly common to see managers struggling to promote their brands in a competitive marketplace. Combined with OTAs’ lack of transparency about their responsibility and ownership of bookings and guest information, many travelers don’t understand the complex system involving their vacation accommodations.

#BookDirect Day is for the local business owners that live in the community, maintaining the homes, handing out welcome bags, checking on guests, asking for reviews, and making sure forgotten teddy bears are mailed back to their owners.

This is a special day for you and your team, the hardworking men and women in travel destinations all around the U.S. To put it simply, “Direct is Best.”

What Is Booking Direct?

Booking direct specifically refers to guests who use your website to locate your properties and complete the reservation process independent from national or corporate sites. This means that the guest never used a third-party site or booking platform to make their lodging plans. You get full ownership of the guest and don’t pay additional fees on the reservation.

And here’s how RealTech can help you earn more revenue through your website – not just on Feb. 3rd – but every day of the year.

How Does RealTech Help You Earn More Direct Bookings?

Not only do we specialize in vacation rental websites, but we have a whole team of marketing experts that can help optimize and advertise your site. Having a great website is the first step to more direct bookings, but if you want to get the word out there to new audiences, then it takes online marketing through channels such as Facebook and Google.

The easiest way to spread the news about #BookDirect Day and educate travelers is through social media and your very own email list of prior guests. You can easily do this in-house or let the RealTech marketing team do the heavy lifting for you. 

Take some time this month to create and post several messages on social media about the importance of booking directly through your website. You can even incentivize potential new guests with special discounts for one day only on Feb. 3rd. 

You have hundreds of qualified leads right in your inbox. These are people who filled out the contact form on your website or are prior guests. Send them a special #BookDirect digital postcard reminding them about the upcoming event and encourage them to spread the word to their friends and family. Word of mouth recommendations is the # 1-way people form opinions about brands. When guests love their stay with you, they become brand ambassadors, which helps drive more customers.

See the Results

Last year’s book direct campaigns showed great results. Our clients saw a surge in bookings – take for example Ocean Gallery located in St. Augustine. The average booking for them is about 3-5 reservations with $8k to $12k in revenue per day. By focusing on book direct day we were able to increase bookings in one day to 37 reservations with total revenue of about $76k. Overall, by focusing on book direct day we helped increase February bookings by 21% and revenue by 31% YoY.

Next Steps to #BookDirect

Ready to drive more direct bookings? We are happy to begin this journey with you to build your business and grow your audience through digital advertising. 

Contact us to get started.

And remember to join the other small business owners who will use the #BookDirect Day on social media posts and digital ads on February 3rd. By working together we can make a bigger impact.

About Michaela Herberg

Michaela is a marketing coordinator at RealTech Webmasters, and also a master's student through East Tennesse State University in Digital Marketing. In her spare time, she can be found hiking, kayaking, and exploring WNC with her two dogs Sophie and Fenway.