Most of the professional Property Managers have been trying to survive for several years torn between two conflicting marketing & sales strategies.
On one hand, all of them wanted to get as many bookings as possible from their own websites, but in the other hand, they needed OTAs to get bookings and meet customers in the first place.
The success of the OTAs was also the success of the market, as it all started with the popularization of HomeAway and Airbnb in the US, and later on other OTAs, like Tripadvisor, Booking.com and Expedia.
More investments came to the industry, resulting in more growth and the expansion of the market. This meant more bookings, larger portfolios, better properties, higher revenue, and so on.
What will happen now that most of the OTAs are cutting costs and activity may be reduced in terms of investment?
Would this be good or bad for professional Property Managers?
The conflicting question was “My website or the OTAs?” Now it is clear. Your website.
This is not the only opportunity to grow in terms of revenue, it may also be a good opportunity to grow in terms of units available.
If Airbnb and other OTAs have disappointed you, how do you think private owners feel?
My guess is that there are now many private owners that are ready to leave the business in the hands of a professional Property Manager, giving them peace of mind knowing someone will manage their property with professional standards and resources.
It may be time to update your website and do some digital marketing to bring traffic to your website, but also consider acquiring new properties and attracting private owners to increase your number of properties.
You will not believe how many google searches there are on “How to rent on Airbnb” and in the results, you can see who is searching. Why not you, especially if you can advertise in your area or country.
The COVID crisis has set back the evolution of the market by 3 or 4 years. Even if things go back to normal in 1 or 2 years, this time would have been precious to gain more sales through your website, as well as to make new partners and enlarge your portfolio.