BookDirect proponent Boostly hits $3 million in tracked direct bookings, announces new hires

Uvika Wahi

Boostly hits $3 million in tracked direct bookings

Short-term rental solutions provider Boostly reports that the company has generated $3 million in tracked direct bookings for their clients. The company helps short-term rental hosts and managers create and launch business websites to accept direct bookings, while Boostly’s founder Mark Simpson is a strong advocate of the #BookDirect movement himself, creating training tools and insights to help hosts drive more direct bookings.

Scaling up its partner integrations played a critical role in achieving this goal. Rental Scale-Up asked them a few questions to better understand what went into achieving this goal.

Interview: How Boostly exceeded $3 million in direct bookings

Rental Scale-Up: What are the three main tactics Boostly uses to help property managers grow direct bookings?

Boostly works with property managers and hosts with different marketing spend and budgets. The three main tactics Boostly uses are guest referrals; relationship building with local business owners and the short-term rental community; and offline marketing tactics (for example, sending postcards to previous guests).

Rental Scale-Up: Which factors played the most significant role in Boostly having surpassed its tracked direct bookings goal? What were the biggest challenges?

One of the most significant factors that drove Boostly to surpass its goals was API relationships. Boostly has established more relationships this year with main PMS providers (editor’s note: property management software companies), giving Boostly customers the power to directly sync their Boostly website to any big PMS of their choice.

The greatest challenge was initially capturing the attention of property management software companies. When we approached them, many weren’t open to integrating their APIs – but our clients and customers were increasingly requesting these partnerships and integrations. Our clients ended up going to their PMS’ and asking them to integrate with Boostly, which is how we opened the doors with companies like Guesty and Rentals United.

Once these initial connections were made, everything picked up more quickly than we predicted – to the point we now have PMS companies and property vendors asking to integrate with Boostly – resulting in a huge surge in clients’ direct bookings. But forming those initial relationships and integrations was our biggest challenge. 

Rental Scale-Up: You mention that “Boostly’s original mission was to empower a million property managers and hosts to cut down their over-reliance on OTAs, a goal that Founder & CEO Mark Simpson feels will be achievable in a couple of years’ time.” Which metrics will you use to measure this?

While there is no singular metric Boostly can use to demonstrate its growth, there are many touch points that indicate that this goal is achievable:

The Boostly Podcast has been downloaded 65,000 month on month in 2022. Boostly’s YouTube Channel has 4,000 subscribers (and is actively growing), and collectively Boostly social media channels are followed by 40,000 people. 

As it stands, there are 15,000 people on Boostly’s email list and 2,500 paying clients. The Book Direct Playbook (a book brought out to guide hosts and property managers on direct bookings) has sold just under 10,000 copies – with a brand new book coming out in December. 

Boostly generates $3m in tracked direct bookings for its clients

Bolstered by the strength of the Book Direct movement, the company also announces two new strategic hires to amplify US sales and social media presence

Boostly, the brand that provides property managers with the tools and tactics to increase their direct bookings and boost their profits, has announced a significant milestone in its brand mission. This year, the company has generated $3m in tracked direct bookings through Boostly websites – triple the figure it set out to achieve by the end of the year – and is also on track to hit $1m revenue in December.

An international team of 40 people now makes up the business, which has helped 250,000 clients worldwide with its unique combination of website design services and marketing training. Through the Boostly Academy – the world’s largest community for short stay accommodation owners – the brand also provides an important forum for industry members to share insight and collectively improve their businesses, in the form of podcasts, Youtube videos, and free training.

Boostly’s original mission was to empower a million property managers and hosts to cut down their over-reliance on OTAs, a goal that Founder & CEO Mark Simpson feels will be achievable in a couple of years’ time. 

Around two-thirds of property managers we’ve spoken to over the past few years have less than 25% direct bookings, and a third didn’t even have a website,” said Mark Simpson. “To help property managers generate direct bookings is fantastic, but to have tripled our original aim of $1m with two months to spare before the end of the year is incredible.” 

He added: “The Book Direct movement has gone from strength to strength in hospitality and lodging, and no one is ignoring how powerful it can be. We’re proud to have helped property managers and hosts take greater control of their own marketing and digital presence. This will be so important in today’s economic uncertainty when businesses will be feeling a squeeze on profits and OTA fees continue to remain high.

To support the continuation of the company’s growth, Boostly has also announced two new strategic hires to the business in sales and marketing.

Baylor Phillips is Boostly’s first North American Sales Manager, and will be tasked with growing Boostly’s current top market for direct bookings. Boostly websites in the U.S. have generated $500k of the $3m in direct bookings.

Sanya Shoaib joined Boostly’s Social Media and Marketing team in October, focusing specifically on the growth of the company’s Tik Tok channel. Based in Budapest, Shoaib brings a wealth of digital marketing and social media experience, having co-founded Smash Media and freelanced as a social media expert. 

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