The vacation rental industry has taken off in recent years thanks in no small part to the success of websites such as Airbnb and VRBO. While these sites make it easy for vacation rental management companies to get their properties in front of prospective guests, they take a sizeable cut from each booking, hurting the earning potential of homeowners and managers and driving up prices for renters. Direct bookings are the preferred method for all parties involved, as homeowners and managers will earn more, and guests will be able to take advantage of lower prices when booking directly with a manager.
A professional, high-quality vacation rental site will help you secure direct bookings for your properties and build relationships with guests. There are a number of things to consider when designing your website, but you will want to pay close attention to the user interface and the experience it creates for potential guests. In particular, search functionality is one of the most important aspects of your UX. Below, we discuss some issues vacation rental sites can run into in their search functionality and how you can streamline your user experience.
Nothing is worse than a prospective guest landing on your search results page only to find out that there is limited or even zero inventory matching their search criteria. This can frustrate potential bookers as they may feel like they have little to no options for their stay, and it could drive them to look elsewhere. To help prevent this from occurring, flexible search logic can display properties available within a few days of the range searched by a user. Bizcor has created a great new add-on feature that gives the user the choice to remain flexible up to three days on their selected dates. This ensures that your prospective guests will be shown the maximum amount of inventory available.
The more complicated and the less intuitive the search flow, the less likely a prospective guest is to successfully navigate through your booking flow. Users are more likely to book one of your properties if they can actually see them! A great new feature you can add to your search results is property quick view. Using property quick view, a prospective guest can quickly scan the most important details of a property without ever leaving the search results page. They can also view pricing for their selected dates and even begin the booking process from the property quick view window.
Most prospective guests are going to want to browse the different property options available for their specific price and date range. There isn’t always an intuitive way of doing this, and often guests may resort to opening multiple properties in new browser tabs and then jumping back and forth to compare property details. If only there was a way to see these properties side by side—by using our new property comparison tool, there is! It’s now easier than ever to compare two or more properties with a side-by-side breakdown of property details and amenities.
Sometimes you will find that users make it all the way to the checkout flow and for one reason or another decide to abandon their search and close out their browser window. Oftentimes, all they really need is a little push to get them through the checkout and to convert. At this point, you can provide the guest with a little incentive to complete their checkout. Offering a small discount to the booking (even as little as 5%) or other incentive can drastically improve conversion rate on users who would have otherwise abandoned their cart. What about those users that abandon the cart even after being provide a special offer? Let Bizcor and our email marketing team you keep in contact with these leads and follow up automatically for you!
With Bizcor’s latest and greatest add-on features and packages, you can alleviate the UX killers that could be hindering your guests’ experience on your website. Take advantage of the all new Conversion Plus and Advanced Search Bundles today to improve your search flow UX and stop letting prospective guests slip away! Email [email protected] to learn more.