2 years ago

The big three HomeAway (and its network) now Expedia, Airbnb and TripAdvisor network are the gorillas in the room. There are abut 200 others that are sub booking sites and then there are meta-search.

You need to decide if you want enquiries or to have these sites push you to book now, mediated communication, guest fee additions etc?

There are less and less ways, but the best is to differentiate your property and focus on a niche. Pets, surfing, skiing etc and go local, don't forget your own website and working away at it with G+, content, social etc. Also "name" your property something unique, so if you do use a site, the guests (up to 50%) will search direct. Make sure you say best price guarantee, free bottle of wine etc.

Search those local niche websites or national niche websites.

Consider co-marketing with an agent as well.

I think somehow you'll need to always consider advertising on a number of listing sites, if only for the exposure you could get.

It's a tricky thing to do, because they obviously look at squeezing more cash from your business and take away control while building dependence at the same time.

@jpol mentioned several good points to consider. All things done together should generate you enough enquiries and bookings to drive the business forward.

I've been basically following most of the above mentioned tactics and today 74.5% bookings come directly through my own website ( Yet, the rest still comes from listing sites and I see it as part of the game. Having 'branded' my property on the listing sites, wherever I can (on photo captions, in the description and so on) allows 'smart' lookers to google our brand name, find our website, see a better experience, sometimes better prices and either contact us or book direct.

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