Where do you funnel your leads?

For hosts who list their VR on more than one site AND do their own lead generation. Do you prefer one hosting platform over the others? I.e. Do you funnel your own leads to Air, HE, Vrbo, etc or do you funnel your leads to a place where your leads can choose which hosting site they are already signed up for and are comfortable?

My own leads are mine. I book them directly with my own STR contract. Been doing this a long time and I prefer to handle everything myself. I use square payments for credit cards however if there is enough lead time I prefer to take checks (which gives me total control of the funds). I do not want to expose my direct inquiries to the website spam and all my competition. If they prefer to use a hosting site I have no problem with that, but few prefer it. If a hosting site generates a lead I will book through the site, that is only fair.

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How do you generate leads? i’ve been thinking how to do this, and having a website is the only thing that comes to mind.

Social media
Business cards
Returning guests

If possible I try to keep my guests away from any platforms. More profit and more control for me.

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Depends on your listing Ben

Where are you? What sort of property do you have? Who is your target audience?

I’m in Atlanta with an Apartment which mostly gets rented out by conference goers and sometimes just tourists, maybe 70%/30% breakdown.


Most of my listing site bookings come from VRBO. 2nd is direct, 3rd is Airbnb, 4th is HomeAway.

I have a basic Wordpress website. Home, The Cottage, Photo Gallery, Calendar, Rates, Contact Us.

I have a Google+ page and my cottage name shows up on Google maps, phone number and website.

Facebbook page links to website.

I always make sure I get all my guests’ real email address. I usually send them at least one email from my business gmail address so they have it. The first week of January I send out an email blast to all my previous 2 years renters. I tell them can check my website or contact me for available dates. I also have seasonal rate info on the website. I tell them they can book directly and avoid the listing site fees.

I get a few referrals and a few repeats.

There is a lot more you can do with social media and blogging, etc.

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Here’s how our clients generate direct booking revenue using Hostaway.

  • Connect all channels so calendar rates and availability stay synced
  • Publish the booking website which is automatically generated
  • Collect emails from all guests
  • Use Mailchimp or gmail to send them reminders and discounts

The key is to keep the correct rates and availability on the website. There are two strategies to this. Either increase the website rate by 10% so the guests pay the same as they would on Airbnb, or keep the website rates identical to those on Airbnb so the guest save 8-12% compared to Airbnb.

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Keeping them the same (or increase a little) is the best option.
This draws away the guest from the platforms, and you still make more money since you do not have to pay the host fee.