The Relationship Between Online Travel Agencies and Property Management

The difference between an Online Travel Agency (OTA) and a Property Management Company, such as Beach Vacations, can be a challenge to understand. The most commonly asked questions the Beach Vacations team receives about the relationship between the two are:  

  • Do I need both an OTA and a property management company?  
  • Why do I need a property management company and an OTA if my occupancy is full? 
  • What does an OTA even do? 
  • What does a property management company do?

And the list goes on! The quick answer? Beach Vacations is a full-service property management company for vacation rentals. A few popular online travel agencies, or OTA, are Airbnb, VRBO, BookingPal and Expedia. Let’s explore how these two entities play with each other, and what this means for your property’s income potential.

What is an Online Travel Agency? 

An online travel agency is a travel-based platform that performs as a reseller on behalf of the owner. An OTA enables property management companies and property owners to create enhanced property listing pages hosted by the OTA. The OTA then advertises these listings to their audience in exchange for a commission-based fee. An OTA listing page can include a listing description, property photos, prices, policies, amenities and ratings and reviews. 

If you use a property management company, this is where the relationship comes into play! Once your property’s OTA listings are posted, most property management companies begin to receive booking requests. This is where the property management company will enter the process and approve booking requests on behalf of the property owner. Once the booking is approved by your property management company, the lines of guest communication open, payments are processed and your property is booked. 

There are strategies behind listing your properties on multiple OTAs. When done well, these strategies will increase bookings, drive property awareness and manage your property’s presence on all OTA platforms. If done in a haphazard way without a system in place, multiple OTA listings could become overwhelming or begin to take up quite a bit of time. 

Extra effort is also required in order to accurately avoid double bookings and payment errors. Beach Vacations mitigates these errors and manages the OTA process from start to finish. 

From the traveler looking to booking to leaving, Beach Vacations updates your OTA listings, manages rate changes, communicates with guests and keeps your property in exceptional condition. Beach Vacations continues to streamline the OTA booking process through the all-important instant booking option. 

Instant Booking and OTA Management

Instant Booking is a feature found in Airbnb listings that results in less effort on the guest’s side and more bookings for the owner. Sounds great, right? Instant Booking builds an additional layer of protection into your listings, increases guest convenience and reduces the time spent on redundant communication. 

Through Instant Booking, Beach Vacations and Airbnb work in partnership to implement protective policies required of travelers prior to booking. These requirements can include a government-issued ID or recommendations provided by other hosts. For example, in order to instant book, a guest is required to accept all house rules and regulations. If the guests choose to not follow through with the contract, Beach Vacations reserves the option to cancel the reservation with no penalty. 

The Beach Vacations OTA Advantage

When Beach Vacations creates listings for an OTA site, the team’s value-driven marketing and insight are applied to boost each unique listing page. Built to attract and convert, Beach Vacations OTA listings include professionally updated photography, custom descriptions, floorplans and local character. The special attention paid to optimize your property on OTA platforms will help to increase bookings and decrease your potential guest’s decision-making time. 

Ready to take the next step with Beach Vacations? We’re here to help you rent with ease! 

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