At Kigo, we work to make sure that our clients not only save time managing their businesses, but that they are always expanding and looking forward. We frequently see businesses coming to us because they have plateaued. Their business seems to have reached a peak and levelled out rather than enjoying the exponential expansion they once saw. A recurring stumbling block to success we see is property managers that say:
I list my properties on all the major portals, why would I need my own website?
This is not an uncommon question, and it’s a valid one. Vacation rental businesses can enjoy success using the listings on popular websites. With a Channel Manager, you can even list and automatically update you properties across more than 40 of the world’s largest and most successful portals. It is one of the most important parts of setting up your business and establishing yourself as a professional manager, however, it is not the only element.
Today, we’re going to show you exactly why, in the land of portals, the personal website is still king!
When you deal exclusively with portal sites you remain at the mercy of a third party, pay their commissions and have to adhere to their listing criteria. Having your own site gives you the freedom to stamp your individual brand identity across your listings and property information. You can add convincing copy, images, or video. Anything you want. Your own website allows you to present your properties in the way that you consider to be most effective for your target market. In addition, if you limit yourself to just using portal websites, your guests may attribute the quality of their stay and service to the portal site they booked with, rather than with your business. When booking again, they will head back to that same website and expect the same levels of quality and service from every property. They will not seek out your properties especially.
Portal websites are still a very effective way of reaching new customers. What successful businesses do is harness this and then direct these happy customers to their own website as well as using portals. This can result in cutting costs, increasing property revenue and building loyalty. As well as this, your guests will speak to their friends and family about their experiences. Having your own website gives them a powerful point of reference that allows your customers to recommend your business specifically.
Portal listings are a huge part of operating a vacation rental business, but they should complement your business, rather than form the entirety of it. Portal websites allow you to expand your reach and inventory, but you need a hub for customers to be drawn to. A name. A Brand. An identity for your business. This is what your own website provides. It gives you something to differentiate your properties from the countless other listings on every portal. It is a reference that your customers can then use to find your business again. This is particularly useful once you start to expand your business. Your reputation will precede you and new customers will be aware of the quality of your properties and service.
Your own website gives you authority. It shows that your business is stable and established enough to have a permanent web presence. You can then add content that you have created, adding to your authority and speaking directly to your customers. Authority and personality coming from your own website creates a connection between your business and your customers. They no longer see your business as faceless and unidentifiable and are more likely to book. Internet businesses still have a remnant of mistrust and doubt from consumers and having a professional and up to date website will remove this last doubt from their minds.
Another great advantage of having your own website means that you can collect guest and lead information. Data such as names and email addresses means that you can you can create a marketing list and update your customers with new properties, special offers and promotions. This is powerful sales tool as it allows you to reach the people that have already expressed an interest in the product you offer and your business. By limiting yourself to just third-party websites, your business is pitted against thousands of others that offer the same service.
Kigo template websites are beautifully designed and engineered to guide your guests through the booking process. They are optimized for mobile and tablets as well as being customizable to fit with your existing brand. As well as this, our custom sites are available and be built to fit every specification and include every tool your business needs to expand and thrive.