Reservation Only Service or Company

I have one short term rental that I have my property manager managing for me. This property just went live last March and has been up and down due to seasonality. Luckily I’m coming into the busy season since the house is in Arizona.

The problem I have is that my calendar isn’t as full as I’d like it to be and want to see what I can do to help. My property managers have done a great job and I’m getting new reservations every day. I know I can’t have a contract with 2 property managers, but is there a company out there that will simply supply me with reservations, and I can pass those reservations along to my property manager to screen them, manage their stay, etc. This reservation company would basically advertise my property and when they get an inquiry, pass that directly to me. Of course I’d pay the “reservation only” company a percentage of the gross rent, probably 10%.

I can sign up for every website out there, but most of them manage the reservation from start to finish, which isn’t what I’m looking for. Anyway, just wanted to see if anyone here had any insight or thoughts about my idea.

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Does your property manager already list your property with multiple listing sites (Airbnb, VRBO/Homeaway, Flipkey/TripAdvisor, etc.)?

Does your proerty manager create and maintain a website for your marketing property? If not, you could do that separately and provide the property manager’s contact information on the website.

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Hi Brian, thanks for the reply.

Yes, my PM does both of those things already. I was just looking for a service that I can use to get more bookings, pay for that service, and then hand over those reservations directly to my PM to manage everything else, check-in, issues, check-out, etc.

I’m not exactly an expert on the marketing side, but where would these other reservations be coming from? I mean If they’re not coming from the top listing sites or private marketing, where would this “reservation service” be getting the additional reservations? And if there is some other source, then why wouldn’t your property manager be getting those reservations the same way?

I’m not sure but maybe my property isn’t listed on competitor property manager sites, or maybe another company will have more reach via websites, or to certain travelers, certain niches etc.

I’m just trying to find more ways to book my calendar in ways that my property manager isn’t doing, and if it only costs me a 10% booking fee for a reservation that my PM didn’t secure, I’ll gladly pay that fee to fill my calendar.

If your property is listed on VRBO, booking dot com and Airbnb and it’s not booked as often as you’d like then the problem probably is not that it needs to be listed on more sources. Those are far and away the leading ways to promote your property (aside from having your own direct booking website). So maybe the problem isn’t that you need more exposure for your listing. Maybe it’s the price, or location or something about the property or just the fact that there is so much competition and it’s off season. Also, people aren’t booking as far in advance as they used to. They don’t really need to since there are so many properties.


Thanks KCC, that makes sense. Appreciate the response!

That’s what I was thinking. Lets assume you already list with the sites responsible for 90% of all STR bookings that could include your property, then the absolute maximum you could expect to increase your bookings is by 10%, but it reality, it would be much less. That assumes there isn’t something unique about your property that lends it to a niche site, but if there was, I would also assume you’d know it and already be on that niche site.

Then it makes me wonder exactly what your property management company is doing.

Assuming that they only get paid when you have bookings, they should be working very hard to create 100% occupancy for you.

The fact that you’re in an area that is seasonal is not an excuse that your property management company can genuinely use. (We have a strong tourist season and an ‘off season’ but I can still get plenty of guests during the off season - it only takes a little work).

If they have your property listed on all the major OTAs and they have created a website for you that has good search engine presence and are promoting your listing well on social media and yet you’re still not getting bookings year round, you have a problem. Do they have great contacts locally with event organisers, businesses, hospitals and so on? Are they getting overspill bookings from local concierges and other accommodation? Are they writing and promoting regular articles about your property?