I was interested to see reactions to last week’s article where I explained I had said goodbye to the OTAs like Airbnb, Homeaway and Booking.
Nobody laughed. Quite a number of readers wished me well on the journey, thank you – as you can see in some of the comments.
A few folks said they were already along the path, already free of the OTAs, great. If that is you too, let me know.
One couple explained how they were taking steps towards independence.
“Hi Rex, What we’re working on is the base for being able to become independent, ie having a website which is online booking and payment – our previous website was unable to do online payments; developing our use of MailChimp for newsletters to our guests and giving our guests the best experience we can when they stay with us.
Your email about breaking through the barriers resonated with us for sure and we’ve certainly been pushing our boundaries in IT and web development in the last few weeks. Challenging, satisfying but still know we have plenty more to learn and do.
We are using Lodgify for our new website. Still in the early stages but getting good support from Lodgify.
Kind regards, Mary and John”
Several readers said they were interested to see my results, so here is an update.
Most days in the next two months of September and October have been booked in Sea Zen for a while. 77% of the 61 days were booked from my own sources, mainly from the website and repeats. 15% of days were booked earlier via the OTAs, and just 8% of days are vacant.
I’m now concentrating on November. In a month, it will be clearer on how I’m faring and I’ll do another update.
Any comments on the OTA free Journey?
Just go here to leave a comment.
In the time running up to November I’ll run a few creative experiments. One will be using Adwords to target our micro niche of Babymooners. (We have a babymooner couple staying today.)
Another experiment will be to target our past dog lover guests and along those lines today I ordered three Japanese dog coats in the style of adult Yukatas, those traditional floppy sleeved gowns that Japanese wear away when relaxing. Those I’ve ordered are just for dogs. Guests can try them for their dogs. It will be an interesting angle for the newsletter and get readers’ attention and it will be fun when they stay.
What does Rex Brown look like?
There is a video clip taken at the Homeaway Rezfest in Sydney a few months ago where some owners gave examples of how they went above and beyond the usual service for their guests. It runs for 2 minutes and I’m right at the end, losing my voice. Thanks to Fleur for spotting the clip. Here it is. https://youtu.be/9y_OCUE-QiI
Book update – Vacation Rental Mastery Handbook
Several beta testers are going through the manuscript as you read this and today I engaged an editor.
If you are keen to be a beta tester, with early access to the book, let me know by email.
To your success!