Many guests, especially the regulars, call the host to make a booking. This is good for the business. However, the host will end up answering tons of phone inquiries regardless of the time. Having the option to book online gives many advantages that are not only beneficial to you as the host, but to your customers as well.
After Airbnb went public listed, they are on a drive to increase their revenue. That is why the removal of guest service charges and moves to a 15% host commission model - up from 3% commission. Rising commission to the property is nothing new since most of the OTAs do so to the hotels over the years. Airbnb might follow the path to success set forth by other OTAs. The more hotel relies on OTAs, the harder for them to say "No" to the hike in commission. That's why many hotels focus on "direct booking" now to reduce their reliance on OTAs. On the other hand, the hike in commission is inevitable. After all, it's getting more costly for OTAs to distribute your Airbnb (or your room) because most of them are competing to sell to the same group of customers (fixed demand).
A booking engine can be used to reduce “FFK booking”. FFK bookings are bookings made via verbal promises which didn’t materialize. For the host, it’s time wasted and occasionally, causes lower rental yield. The booking engine is a solution that enables the guest to book online at their convenience, based on a first paid-first serves basis so that the guest would need to make the payment faster to secure the booking. It also allows the guest to browse through information such as price rate, discount, photos, and many more.
Why do we need to have an online booking system?
Online booking makes it easy for you to expose your property and indirectly, it will bring more inquiries that will generate more bookings. If you are a property owner or operator that are looking for an Airbnb booking system, you should look for the booking system that will help you to gain many benefits.
More than 1,000 operators in Malaysia have been using our booking system to get more sales. Most of them are individual operators who are listed on LetsGoHoliday.my. But if you’re here looking for a Booking Engine to serve your direct customers, congratulations. Because you will get better results with a booking engine. It works 24/7 and it will reduce phone calls that you will need to answers while generating more sales! How to do it? Read further.
To reduce phone calls and messages inquiries
Answering phone calls and replying to messages manually is time-consuming and tedious. It is not something that you can answer 24/7 or immediately. They might be asking for availability on certain dates, the price, and ask you to provide more photos. Not only that. As a host, you will also need to have their information too. Some typical questions that you might ask are:
- Personal Information
- The check-in and check-out date
- What purpose do they want to stay? Business or travel?
- How many pax will be coming?
Then, you need to manually key in the guest data, ask them to pay for the deposit in advance, and manually follow up with them.
Softinn Booking Engine automates all the processes. From the reservation, showing the availability, property photos, price rates, collecting guest data, payments, booking confirmation, and receipts. It helps to block the calendar too to avoid other people book on the same date. The guest wants to amend their booking or cancel due to some uncertainties? They can do it via our self-service link too!
To accept bookings via multiple platforms such as Facebook and WordPress
Having multiple platforms to promote your Airbnb business is great. However, if you don't have the proper process to entertain your guests through that platforms till they need to reach out to you via messenger, phone calls, or WhatsApp, it could bring you troubles.
Softinn booking engine builds specifically to enable sales conversion through multiple platforms. It can be installed on Facebook, WordPress, or any HTML website. Some of our clients set up the auto-reply on their Facebook Page and WhatsApp to point the guest inquiries to the booking engine.
Receive payment immediately
It calls a booking engine when it integrates with a payment gateway. Meaning to say that, whenever people make an online booking, they will be able to redirect to the payment page to pay online. There are many Booking Engine providers in the market that comes with the payment integration. But of course, different providers will have their own strengths and weaknesses. What's make them different could be:
- The payment gateway options. Whether they accept the payment via online banking, credit & debit card, PayPal, or e-wallets. It can be all of them too.
- The payment gateway settings. Whether they allow their clients to collect payment by using their own payment gateway or not.
- The friendliness. The process and more.
Softinn Booking Engine allows you to collect the payment using your own payment gateway. If you choose to collect payment by enabling your own payment gateway, this is where it could help you to reduce the payment gateway charges. Every single booking and payment will be directed to your account and it is all yours! You may get the ultimate guide to hotel payment gateway e-book here to get more tips on how to choose the right payment gateway for your booking engine.
Recapturing abandoned bookings
Add to cart behavior seems normal. The research found that 85.5% of customers did not proceed to the payment after adding items into the shopping cart. No worries! Our booking engine gets you covered. We automatically send the email to follow up and remind the potential guests to proceed with the payment to secure their booking while "stock" last.
How to generate more sales via Online Bookings?
Now you know the importance of having a good booking system and how it helps your business and gives an impact on the booking process, it is time for you to be more proactive to generate more revenues by fully utilizing the booking engine. Here are some extra tips for you on how to generate more sales via the online bookings system.
Create exclusive promotions for guests that books online
The fact that your booking system is available 24/7, why not create some promotions for the people who visited your website or booking engine at a certain time and reward them? You can enable the promotion by using the Softinn Smart Promo Code through the booking engine system! This will increase your sales conversion and at the same time you might come across happy guests and they will do the mouth-to-mouth promotions for you too.
Be active on social media platforms
Many guests will try to look for more information through the social media platform. Your property should have one at least to keep your guests engaged. Important announcements, promotions can be promoted via social media because the content is shareable and indirectly it will help to increase brand awareness.
Get a strong online presence
Make your property presentable on search engines whenever people wanted to look for accommodations via Google by listing your property on Google My Business. It is free and user-friendly for you to manage. By having your property listed on Google, it helps people to find your property easier when they search on certain locations and keyword. The more people are aware of your properties, the more bookings you will generate.
Though that there are many more tips to increase direct bookings, we found this article will be useful for you. Hope you enjoy reading our sharing and started to get a good booking system for your Airbnb Management Business.
What's your thought? Will you use Airbnb while building your own booking channel?