VRS460 - How To Get Your Control Back From the OTAs with Damian Sheridan

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A Key Data statistic states the average stay value (ASV) for direct bookings is more than double the ASV on Airbnb.  It’s just one reason more owners and mangers are embracing the Book Direct Movement, which was established by Amy Hinote of VRM Intel in 2017.  

Initially launched as a non-branded campaign, in which vacation rental providers (managers and owners) used email and social media to educate their networks about the many advantages of booking direct, it has morphed into a year-round active campaign to spread the word that encouraging guests to book direct is a viable activity.

Book Direct is not a new thing.  Vacation rental operators and managers who have been in the business since before HomeAway,, and Airbnb came on the scene, will recall Vrbo doing exactly what the acronym stands for – Vacation Rental BY OWNERS.  

They remember the relationship-building that came with connecting directly with guests, and the control they had over every aspect of their short-term rental business.

Now, most of that has been eroded and we are all at the mercy of the OTAs penalties and restrictions.  The early days of the pandemic taught us that we could get burned by putting all our eggs in one basket and expecting a large conglomerate to be on our side is completely unrealistic.  

Damian Sheridan is a proud standard bearer for the movement, and in mid-October brings the  popular  Book Direct Show (BDS) to the US for live attendees and to the online world for the third successive year.

In this episode Damian shares:

  • How the direct booking momentum has changed post-COVID
  • Why hosts and managers want to move to a direct booking model
  • The barriers operators have to overcome, to achieve success
  • The strategic benefit of continuing to use OTAs
  • Tactics to help drive the book direct message home to guests
  • The importance of building content on a direct book website
  • How can we overcome the trust/confidence messages that OTAs are sharing
  • How operators and managers can move the needle towards more direct bookings.

Book Direct Show

Who's featured in this episode?

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