Plug-In That Can Triple Vacation Rental Occupancy Rates
The world of IT software is full of technical solutions that are essentially time hacks increasing both efficiencies and boosting bottom lines of businesses where time is of the essence. Every business needs short cuts. When I say ‘short cuts’, that doesn’t mean cutting corners because obviously, this leads to lower quality service delivery. Software that provides short cuts are known as ‘time hacks’ – a software tool that provides the same quality or even proves the quality of the current services,
One of the time hacks we recently came across is a vacation rental WordPress plugin by Lodgify. It has helped us help our clients within the vacation rental and property management industries increase their bottom line.
How does the Lodgify WordPress Plugin Benefit your business?
As mentioned, this is a time hack. The website admin team simply install the plugin via the WordPress plugins console and activate it. It will then be added to the WordPress menu in the main console where the various features that are built into the plugin can be configured (which we will get to in a bit).
Once it is in place the benefits are enormous.
- Eliminate duties employees need to do on a day to day basis
- Automate multiple calendars
- Allow our clients to increase their property exposure online
- Increase the number of bookings they receive
- Save IT admin team heaps of time
This is a very simple tool to use. Now considering so many websites on the net use WordPress you have to hand it to Lodgify for spotting a gap in this intricate industry where employees were performing update task (essentially data entry tasks that can be monotonous) in which if eliminated their time could be put to better use in other areas such as customer service and so on.
How Have Our Clients Benefited From The Booking System Plug-In?
It is surprisingly simple. The code integrates into our client’s website and it enables them to add the booking system page so site visitors are able to come to the site and check property availability and prices. It is as simple as that. A fully integrated booking system in just a few steps.
The plugin comes with an entire support team from the creators, which we mentioned are Lodgify. In the unlikely event of an issue with the system, they are there to solve the issue. It just means for our client’s website team there one less component on the site to worry about because they have peace of mind. Plus, for our team that manages websites on behalf of our clients, once again the same benefits apply when having a support team from the plugin designer always available to help with a solution.
To be honest, I only ever recall one time our team has had to contact support, and the issue was just a conflict with some code our team had edited. It was so good to know that we had experts that know their plug-in software that well, their diagnostics quickly located the issue and our team immediately resolved the problem.
How Have Our Clients Benefited From The Channel Manager?
There is also a channel manager, which for our customers has been the main time hack. It is a system that acts as the central calendar for all properties. This is hugely beneficial for our clients that are managing multiple properties. Even for those running one or two properties this took is still have a must have plugin.
Let me tell you why because this is one of the best time hacks I have seen. The channel manager is activated on your WordPress website. We then connect the calendar to sync with calendars on other websites that our clients use to take bookings. Each time a new booking is made for a property, the calendar on the website that took the booking tells the centrally managed calendar, which is controlled by the channel manager.
In the past, when a booking came in on let’s say website A, then the employees would have to lo onto to Website B, Website C, Website D, and so on. They would then need to make sure the dates booked on Website A are made unavailable. You can imagine that if a booking came in out of office hours, who is going to make these changes?
It was a regular occurrence for our clients to come into the office in the morning to find bookings for the same property on Website A and Website B with dates that overlapped. You can imagine the additional admin work that is required to rectify this issue. Contacting the guests, canceling the booking and so.
Plus, canceling bookings on these websites affects the position in which the property is shown on searches on these vacation rental websites. The vacation rental websites only want their most reliable properties/hosts to be showcased at the top of their search list because these businesses are making them money.
Now the entire system is automated. Also, our clients can now place their properties on as many vacation rental websites that will allow them to list their holiday home rentals. The booking plug-in is always synced with the channel manager, which syncs all their calendars on all other websites. People that are searching for available dates are going to get the correct prices and correct dates. They can also be confident that when they make a booking, our clients are not going to be contacting them letting them know there has been a double booking.
In the end, the amount of time this plug-in has saved our clients as well as the way it has changed the way they can automate their booking system has increased efficiency, saved employees a lot of time by avoiding tasks that waste time and our clients can advertise on as many websites as they like, which means they are getting more internet users looking at their property. This helps to increase the number of bookings so there is a higher occupancy rate for all properties and in turn, our clients have increased their bottom line – in short, their profit margins have skyrocketed.
You can also read more about the vacation rental plug-in here.