The vacation rental market is growing at a fast pace and doesn’t show signs of slowing down. It’s no secret that large, commission-based platforms have dominated the industry for years. However, more and more people are realizing it isn’t a good idea to rely exclusively on platforms like Airbnb for bookings – even if they are convenient.
The tourism industry is anything but static. Market trends are constantly shifting, and if you want your short-term rental to succeed, then you’ll need to keep up. Lately, one of the most significant trends we’re seeing is a rise in the use of short-term rental direct booking websites for reserving accommodations. In our opinion, this is great news for property owners and managers!
While a short-term rental direct booking website may not offer the same start-up convenience as a large commercial platform, it’s a great way to save money and build connections with your guests, leading to loyal clients who will keep coming back.
At Slam Media Lab, we make it our business to stay on top of industry trends. We’re a digital marketing and branding agency with 10+ years of experience helping businesses and nonprofits slam their outreach goals, and we know what it takes to be successful in a digital market.
When we designed and launched our short-term rental website builder, direct booking capabilities topped the list of our must-have features.
Buy Slam’s Short-Term Rental Website Template for $79 – Limited Offer
In this article, we’ll discuss the many ways a short-term rental direct booking website will help set your vacation rental company up for success.
The Difference Between a Direct Booking Website and a Booking Platform
Discerning travelers have a few different options when booking a short-term vacation rental. Before the digital era, most tourism-focused businesses connected with guests through travel agents or word-of-mouth. These days, the dynamic is totally different. Short-term rentals can be viewed and booked online with just a few clicks or taps.
Generally speaking, there are two ways to book a short-term vacation rental online. While these two options might appear similar at face value–it’s just a reservation, after all–in practice there are several key differences between them.
Here are some of the defining characteristics of a booking platform:
- Third-Party Service: Aggregated listings from many different property owners and managers are all included on the same platform.
- Limited Control: When using a booking platform, you have limited control over the design and user experience. You get a cookie-cutter profile–whether you like it or not.
- Commissions: Booking platforms charge fees and commissions, which will cut into your total profit.
- Customer Base: Thanks to their brand recognition and reputation, booking platforms come with a large customer base.
In contrast, a short-term rental direct booking website differs from traditional platforms in the following ways:
- Exclusive to Your Business: Guests can book with you and you alone–no competition from other short-term vacation rentals.
- Greater Control: You have full control over your brand identity, policies, pricing, and customer experience.
- No Commissions: Because you’re in control of your website, you’ll keep all the proceeds earned from every guest booking.
- Direct Communication: Connect directly with your potential and confirmed guests, and build long-term relationships for repeat business.
To summarize, a short-term rental direct booking website is exclusive to your business and keeps you in the driver’s seat, while a booking platform is more competitive and charges commissions.
At Slam, we’re passionate about giving entrepreneurs full control over their digital assets. That’s why we created a short-term rental website builder with integrated direct booking capacity.
Buy Slam’s Short-Term Rental Website Template for $79 – Limited Offer
Must-Have Features of Your Short-Term Rental Direct Booking Website
We're obsessed with building amazing products for our clients, and we aren’t shy about showing off our award-winning skills and success.
When we decided to design a short-term rental template, delivering professional results in an easy-to-use format was our top priority.
After hours spent analyzing the needs of short-term rental property owners and managers, we came up with these must-have features:
- Pre-Made Product Pages & Image Galleries
- ADA Compliance
- Responsive Design
- Built-In SEO & Conversion
- Booking Capabilities
In this section, we’ll take a closer look at each of these features and discuss why you need them for your short term rental website.
And remember: if you need features not listed here, you can contact our leading web design agency to make it happen. We offer a free 30-min website consultation to prospective clients interested in learning more about our award-winning services.
Pre-Made Product Pages & Image Galleries
Back in the day, if you wanted to launch a website for your business, you had no choice but to spend countless hours developing navigational menus and site architecture. We probably speak for everyone when we say those days can stay in the past where they belong!
Thanks to digital innovations (and the hard work of digital marketing agencies like ours), it's now possible to build and launch a professional short-term rental direct booking website with minimal hassle. Our pre-made product pages are a great way to save time and resources, so you can stay focused on what matters.
Here are three advantages to using pre-made product pages for your short-term rental website:
- Ready-to-use designs and layouts
- An easy-to-navigate interface
- Customization options to suit your brand identity and property style
Of course, simply building a website isn't enough–it needs to look good. These days, customers have high expectations for branding and aesthetics. Your short-term rental website is more likely to convert with stunning images and design.
According to research, visual appeal is especially important for the tourism industry. People are more likely to hit the 'Book Now' button on property listings with gorgeous pictures and branding.
The challenge is how to create a stunning website without graphic design skills.
That’s why every good short-term rental website builder has pre-made product pages and a built-in image gallery, so all you have to do is add your information and upload pictures.
And remember, if you want to take your short-term rental direct booking website to the next level, you can work with a Webflow Expert Agency Partner like Slam to make magic happen.
If you own a public-facing business, then your website must be accessible to everyone. This, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which ensures online and offline accessibility for people with disabilities in multiple areas of public life.
When designing your short-term rental website, here are five key accessibility features outlined by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG):
- ALT text
- Readable fonts
- Multimedia captions
- Accessible navigation tools
- All functionality available from a keyboard
As a digital marketing agency with social purpose, we take disabled rights very seriously. That's why our short-term rental template includes the tools necessary to comply with ADA web guidance, making the world a more accessible place for everyone.
Have you ever tried to load a webpage on your phone, only to immediately get turned off by the terrible user experience? Maybe you could only see a corner of the site, it was impossible to scroll, or the formatting was too all over the place for you to navigate. If so, then you understand the importance of responsive design.
According to research, most Internet users in the United States use mobile devices for around half their time spent online. That statistic represents a market share that’s too important to ignore. If you want your short-term rental direct booking website to actually convert into reservations, it needs to look amazing on phone screens and computer screens–no exceptions.
Oh, and did we mention that Google prioritizes mobile-friendly websites in its search results?
Built-In SEO & Conversion
As digital marketing and branding experts, we can confidently say that a website opens up a world of possibilities for property owners and managers. But even the most stunning short-term rental website in the world won't get you very far if it doesn't appear in Google search results.
Enter: Webflow SEO optimization.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the digital science behind why and how some pages get more views than others. It involves optimizing your site so it's more attractive to search engine algorithms. That way, when someone searches for a short-term vacation rental in your area, they'll see your short-term rental direct booking website before they see the competition.
Effective SEO helps your short-term rental website thanks to:
- Improved searchability
- Enhanced visibility
- Increased organic traffic
Once someone finds your website, how do you turn them into a paying guest? That’s where conversion comes into play.
Your website is more likely to convert if it features:
- A streamlined user experience
- Simple booking processes
- Persuasive content writing
If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you likely have big plans to grow your business.
Even if you're just getting started, we recommend planning now for future growth. That's why your short-term rental direct booking website should easily scale. Otherwise, you may end up having to do a lot of unnecessary work in the future when your business inevitably grows.
At Slam, we know there's nothing static about the market. That's why we designed our short-term rental template with built-in, flexible features to accommodate future property listings and other signs of successful growth.
Your short-term rental website needs booking capabilities for obvious reasons. After all, it’s not like you’re spending hard-earned resources just to increase traffic but drop the ball on conversions.
Even if your website looks good enough to win awards, it won't do you any favors unless organic traffic turns into paying guests. That's why built-in direct booking is an essential feature of any short-term rental website builder.
Of course, not all booking processes are created equal. If your booking and payment tool is complicated or unclear, potential guests might become frustrated and lose faith in your brand, leading them to look elsewhere for accommodation options. And even if they decide to book with you, they might do it on a large platform, leading you to lose out on commissions.
We recommend making it easier for site visitors to secure a reservation and feel confident doing it with an easy-to-use booking tool integrated into your short-term rental website.
Buy Slam’s Short-Term Rental Website Template for $79 – Limited Offer
If you can’t afford to take chances, we’ve got your back. Our short-term rental template has all the tools you need to simplify the booking process for you and your clients.
Benefits of Using a Short Term Rental Website Builder
In this section, we’ll explore a few of the many ways a short-term rental direct booking website will help you reach more potential clients and keep your property booked months in advance.
Easy to Use
The growth of the short-term rental market looks set to continue for the foreseeable future, which is great news for property owners and managers. Of course, just because the market looks good doesn't mean it's an easy-money industry.
The tourism scene isn't for everyone. There are properties to furnish and maintain, bookings to secure, and client expectations to manage. With everything on your plate, building a small business website should be the least of your worries.
When we designed our short-term rental template, our goal was to make things as easy as possible. Whether adding new content, creating seasonal pricing menus, or curating image galleries, our template turns a stressful, time-consuming project into an easy and stress-free experience.
Professional Branding & Design
At Slam, brand strategy and identity are kinda our thing. We've learned through experience that appearance is everything in digital marketing–especially if you work in tourism!
A professional brand image is a great way to impress potential guests and come across as credible. According to research, customers are more likely to remember and support brands with strong visual identities.
So, when we set out to build our short-term rental template, we worked with our in-house team of award-winning designers to craft fun and professional branding tools. That way, you can launch a short-term rental direct booking website that catches the eye–without enrolling in graphic design school.
Save Time & Money
We try not to be presumptuous. But, if we had to guess, we'd say spending your days stressed and under budget was not what you had in mind when you got into the short-term vacation rental market.
If you want to save time and money, a short-term rental website builder is a no-brainer. We did the hard stuff so you can focus on content writing and sharing images of your beautiful space.
Our short-term rental template has everything you need to slam your digital marketing goals without wasting precious time and money.
Slam Resources & Tools for Building a Short-Term Rental Direct Booking Website
Before connecting your domain and going live, we recommend running your short-term rental direct booking website through a quality control process. This ensures everything is perfectly optimized and error-free, building credibility and saving you from potential embarrassment down the line.
To help you out, the Slam team put together three great tools to streamline your quality review:
These and other Slam products are a great way to guarantee your website launches without a hitch–and starts driving organic traffic the minute it hits the Internet.
Technical Support & Educational Resources
If you run into any issues while using our short-term rental website builder, we've got you covered with our technical support and video tutorials.
Maybe you need some assistance with SEO, or you want to make extra sure your short-term rental direct booking website fully complies with ADA guidelines. No matter the question, we've got you covered with our fast and helpful technical resources and support.
We get it: a lot of agencies promise technical support but don’t fully deliver. Nothing can de-rail a project quite like a technical hold-up that takes forever to resolve.
Don’t worry. Unhelpful bots aren't really our thing–we promise. If you need help with any aspect of our products, just reach out by email and we'll quickly connect you with a real human who knows how to get things done.
Check Out Slam's Short Term Rental Template
Slam’s short-term rental template is the perfect tool for property owners and managers looking to showcase their vacation rental properties and guarantee reservations with a short-term rental direct booking website.
If you’re looking to save on commissions and expand your current online presence beyond the standard booking apps, you’ll love the stylish design and ease of use offered by our short-term rental website builder.
[Buy Slam’s Short-Term Rental Website Template for $79 – Limited Offer]
We’re a leading web design agency with 10+ years of experience partnering with nonprofits and businesses of all sizes to slam their digital marketing goals.
Creating professional digital tools is our jam, and we love helping motivated entrepreneurs take their ideas from concept to reality.
Here are a few of the award-winning services we offer:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Webflow Design & Development
- Content Writing & Strategy
- Brand Strategy & Identity
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you build a short-term rental direct booking website. Remember, we offer a free 30-min website consultation, so you have nothing to lose.
Let’s work together to build connections with guests and keep your property booked well into the future!