STR direct booking advice ect

Hey guys

I’m finally biting the bullet and making a web page for direct bookings . Any general advice,ideas or input appreciated from hosts who take direct bookings.


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Although I have my own rental-unit website, I insist guests book my two bedrooms through one of these four vacation-stay companies: Airbnb, FlipKey, TripAdvisor or

My website is:

I don’t want to process credit-card payments myself for guestroom reservations.

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Good for you Chris,
10yrs ago 100% of my bookings were direct, it dropped to 10% at one point due to the big OTAs but its increasing and looks like direct is going to be about 25% this year.
Get your place on google maps and bing maps, make a facebook page and sign up with a free channel manager/booking system.
I use and take direct payments online through paypal and stripe, all done automatically and I don’t process any card payments myself. (its cash only onsite)

I find direct guests are more respectful of your property and tend to be more independent, they don’t need looking after the same as OTA guests


Thanks Jeff.
I use a square reader for my business and am pretty clued in about what’s required to cover yourself from fraudulent credit cards ect. Will definitely get on Google Maps and facebook.
Many thanks

What you really need to think of is how much time you want to spend on building and maintaining a website.

Or if paying a small fee for a 3rd party service that handles your site, communication and payments for you, would be a smarter choice.

I have my own site, I build and maintain it myself, it has cost me lots of time, and still is costing me time.

Building a new site has gotten more complex over the last few years, you need a mobile friendly site, that has a good SEO, and also complies with modern regulations (privacy, cookie policies, security cerificates etc etc).

If I would need to start from scratch, I would look into what some 3rd parties have to offer.

I do not hide I am a fan of Lodgify, although I am not using them (too complex requirements from my side).
You choose a template, they pull all data from your AirBnB listing and build a basic site for you.
You can than add as many extra pages as you want, where you can add all kinds of information.

They run a rudimental channelmanager, keeping you availability synchronized between Air, BDC and your direct bookings. And they handle your payments trough stripe.

There are many other services like this, they will save you lots of time and money compared to completely building your own site, and also they often do a much better job, than you would be able to do yourself.

I googles and quickly found a rental site using them:

You think you can build this yourself?

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Building websites is something that anyone can do these days without any knowledge of the coding that we old folk sweated over in the 1990s. The issue isn’t creating the website but driving traffic to it.

When you first start to plan your site, where your traffic is going to come from should be decided when you first put pen to paper (yes, it should be worked out in detail on paper first before you even touch a mouse).

Once you have decided how you’re going to promote your site and get traffic, then you’ll be able to decide on the content that you’ll need. If you decide that your best bet for getting viewers will be social media, for example, then start well in advance by building up your accounts so that you have a good number of targetted followers.

The most interesting and stylish website in the world, with astonishing functionality, isn’t going to get you anywhere if no one ever visits it.

Your website is reflecting you and your STR business to the world - the entire world - and therefore needs to be as efficient and professional as your rental is.


Thank you. I will certainly take a look but being time poor I would think not. My mate has his own SEO/Website company so I would probably use him.

TBH I’m not interested in doing ad words or the like and would mainly start by leaving booklets in the property encouraging returning guests or friends ect to book direct. Maybe offer a discount if you mention the booklet or something like that. ATM I am 100 percent air bookings and I certainly won’t be relying on direct bookings but it’s a start.


I struggle with a TV remote these days :joy:


Good idea about the booklets. Put your domain name on everything you can. (Even, for instance, a sticker on your car). Get business cards with the URL on and add your phone number. Leave the cards in your rental/s for guests to take home. You can buy some gorgeous cards online with your info on one side and a photograph on the other - we use a photograph of our lovely view. Encourage guests to take a card home.

Contact relevant websites and ask them if they will write an article about your place and your area (or write one yourself and submit it to them). Where are you, by the way?


Make sure you are on your local tourism sites (I have one for the state and one for the region. Free with our hotel tax dollars)

Be on all listing sites. About 7% of people will go over to your site ( the billboard effect)

Craigslist, regardless of what people say.

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I’m near Sydney airport so my main guests are overnighters for transits ect.

Wow, that site is impressive.

Are they mostly people who are travelling on business or are the tourists mainly?

I am TOTALLY in favor of Book Direct. Make sure you are experienced before you leap… the fact that you need to ask this question makes me want to tell you to get another year under your belt so you are the expert on the ins and outs.
I hate that these OTA’s steal our customers and eat into our profits.

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Do you mean general hosting or direct bookings? I have 330 air reviews and 4.7 average. Pretty happy with that tbh.
As said above I would still be on air but just start a website and some adverts in the rooms

I would think it’s a mixture but probably more international than domestic

Glad you are happy. If you are happy then I am happy for you too. I believe in book direct totally. Immerse yourself in chats with owners who book direct and want independence so you are a book direct expert before you cut your cords. Best to you.

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I’m with you on that. Hopefully in time I get to the point of all direct bookings. I’m far from totally happy with Airbnb. They are a good advertising platform for the cost but they certainly have their shortcomings.

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If he’s smart he will use one of those services too.
2 of my friends are into building sites too, I have build most of my site with their help.

They told me they would not do that again trying to reinvent the wheel, but probably use one of these services. Because it is cheaper, quicker and all the tools are already there.

If you would want such a site in Wordpress, it will cost you time, and you will need to buy or subscribe to different modules to get the same functionalities, and then a lot of time to get them working properly.

$29 a month is not that much, a website builder building a new site would spend at least 40 hours of work on it.

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