Avantio is a team of 103 multi-nation professionals with one common goal: provide our clients with the tools and service to scale their short-term rental businesses.
20 years after its conception, Avantio now has 37 women in the team. Today we launch the “5aweek” initiative – 5 profiles of female colleagues who are an inspiration each day and play crucial roles right throughout the company.
Alexia Zottu – Head of Customer Care at Avantio
I began at Avantio just over 5 years ago and discovered the fascinating world of technology.
When I took up the challenge to coordinate the customer care team I knew that if I had done so, it was because I knew that there were people who were backing me and had confidence in my abilities, and I wasn’t going to let them down.
Thanks to my desire to constantly learn and the great support from so many colleagues who have shared their knowledge and wisdom, I am capable of leading a strong team like we have in the Customer Care department at Avantio.
If I have to summarise the “secret formula ” in 3 words, for someone who wants to enter the world of technology, they would be: inquisitiveness, communication and commitment. The attitude which you apply to whichever situation likely determines the outcome.
Barbara Charpentier – Head of Website Development
I’m a Project Manager and Head of our Websites Development team and I’ve been with Avantio 2.5 years. I manage the website creation for the French Market and coordinate the Web team in the various projects, developments and initiatives that we have.
We’re a team of 12 and over the course of a year we create over 150 websites and manage over 3500 tickets, as well as constant developments and system updates – a constant challenge!
At university I studied International Marketing and Communication. It was in Avantio that I started working in tech and where I really began to learn and train myself in technology and its endless possibilities!
The capacity to adapt has been the biggest learning and growth for me, both in terms of the variety of tasks and projects and the variety of profiles and projects that customers have.
Juggling many different projects and initiatives is challenging but fun at the same time, and it gets easier with time
The evolution and pace of change in tech is very fast, so I’d say for people looking to work in tech then it’s crucial to continue to learn and train and not to be afraid of new challenges and tasks and I think that’s what I like about my job the most – it’s impossible to get bored!
Elena Cubells – Product Manager
In Avantio I am now a Product Manager, although previously I have worked in both Customer Care and Partner Success. I consider service as my vocation and in my current position I have found the perfect balance that I needed – being the bridge between the clients and the tech team.
My career path has always been aligned with the tourism industry in various forms, but it was never directly in tech. Working in Avantio I’ve had the fortune right from day one, to learn from different teams about the technological side of tourism and it’s led me to this new chapter, in Product, which I am really passionate about.
I’d say one of the best lessons I’ve learnt is never take anything for granted or as read. If something doesn’t suit, try something else, ask, and demand more.
Since my background is in customer services I see how I can help the client implement new tools/functionalities and improve the existing ones. It’s energising and very interesting. And of course, tech is the present and the future, and we can automate some many tasks now and save a lot of time and resources in doing so. And we’ve a great team here which makes my job a real pleasure every day I come to work.
Jennifer Urbas – Customer Care
I’m part of the Customer Care team, working in the English speaking market and I’ve been in the company for nearly 2 years now. My team is a really fantastic mix of nationalities and we have a really nice ambience and working environment, characterised by the rich variety of nationalities and cultures that we have.
Recently, I’ve assumed more responsibilities, taking on the post of “super user for websites”. This implies being the link between my department and the Web department.
I’ve studied international business and I was working several years in an international company from the USA in the chemical sector, in their Belgian office, but chose to move to Valencia.
Apart from improving my knowledge and command of languages, I’ve considerably improved my knowledge of technology, in particular of the online booking website aspect and that’s why I chose to play a bigger role in this department.
I think that the key is to have an interest in the world of tech and also be motivated to constantly learn and evolve, since it’s a really fast moving sector and always changing, especially in the vacation rental sector!
Inés Pereira – Onboarding and Training department
I began in Avantio in the Business Development Department in the Portugese department and then became the Head of Business Development for Portugal, where I learned so much and really grew as a professional, in particular as regards to the responsibility that being the account manager for your clients involves.
Just recently I decided to take on a new challenge and a new role, to form part of the Onboarding and Training team and I really love it. I’m learning a whole new set of skills and processes.
My professional training is in Administration and Finance, which although is not directly related with technology in itself, hasn’t stopped me from learning, understanding and thriving in a tech-focused company and sector.
I think that working in tech and in Avantio is wonderful, as there’s always something new to learn. Curiosity and involvement, especially with regards to the relationship between technology and the sector, are both key so as to help clients and your own colleagues, both in your own department and in others.
Choosing the right vacation rental site for your short-term rentals from a vast number of different platforms can be overwhelming for property managers. Especially when you’re managing a multitude of property listings, all catering to different traveler personas with a variety of needs.
Vacation rentals aren’t just for summer vacations and traditional channels anymore. Guests are increasingly opting for vacation rentals over hotels, seeking a more authentic and homelike experience.
In order to meet the international growth of demand for vacation rentals, property managers looking to increase revenue and distribution can list on more than the traditional vacation rental site.
Building a diverse distribution strategy
To make the most of each listing in times of tight margins and revenues, it’s even more important to identify the different types of properties and target groups the rental sites cater to.
So, bearing your revenue targets in mind can put a lot of stress on the already lengthy and difficult selection process. Today, we’re going to list non-traditional vacation rental site websites where property managers can list their vacation rental properties.
We’ve identified the vacation rental site for listing your home rentals and show you how to manage your portfolio of short-term rentals smartly in a single interface.
With 20 years behind us, we’re the longest-standing channel manager and PMS in the industry. Want to see how we’d work for your specific needs? Book a demo today.
Vacation Rental Site for boosting the occupancy and revenues of your vacation home portfolio
The good news first: at Avantio we’re passionate about proactively transforming the vacation rental industry and helping our customers grow.
Therefore, between the following top 8 sites for listing vacation rentals outside the incumbent sites, such as Airbnb or Booking.com, you can find your next vacation rental site thta is already integrated into the Avantio Channel Manager, along with a multitude of other websites.
Vrbo is part of the Expedia Group and has its focus on providing vacation rentals in the United States. Vrbo is a network of 50 sites around the world, receiving 75 million visits per month.
It focuses on non-urban markets, which has made it one of the strongest channels in 2021.
According to a recent study by VRMIntel, Vrbo brought in 23% of bookings to vacation rental managers in 2020, while Airbnb only brought in 11%. Plus, while both Airbnb and Booking.com made drastic cuts to their advertising budgets in 2020, the Expedia Group started investing in Vrbo. Perhaps property managers should follow suit.
Commission/fees: Vrbo offers two payment models to list a property: you can either pay per booking or by means of an annual subscription. The commission per booking is 5% plus a 3% credit card charge per booking. The annual subscription costs $499 per annum.
What kind of guests do they attract: Vrbo caters to a wide traveler base. However, they tend to be more of a reference point for families than other channels.
Who lists there?: You can find a vast offer of property types including houses, apartments, cabins, cottages, bungalows, studios, townhouses, villas, resorts, hotels, guest houses, lodges, chalets, caravans, farmhouses, estates, bed & breakfasts, barns, country houses, boats, and even houseboats.
Best for: Vrbo’s focus lies on family-friendly vacation rentals.
Holidu is a Munich-based price comparison search engine for vacation rentals that was founded in 2014. It allows users to browse millions of properties from hundreds of travel websites.
Holidu not only survived the pandemic—it generated seven-digit positive EBIT figures since May 2020 and had a 2.6x growth in year-on-year bookings and more than €130 million newly generated bookings in July alone.
Holidu focuses on luxury and rural vacation homes for domestic travelers and cityscapers. They cater to travelers who were used to urban travel and reverted to traditional vacation rentals as a safer choice.
Commission fees: The commission of rate provided by the host.
What kinds of guests do they attract: Typical Holidu clients look for city breaks, beach holidays, ski trips, and rural escapes.
Who lists there?: Domestic travelers, cityscapers, and people trying to “get away”. Visitors can browse holiday lettings such as vacation homes, apartments, condos, hotels, villas, beach homes, cottages, and cabins as well as ski lodges.
Best for: Traditional, destination property managers, seaside villas, and luxury rentals.
Holidu has set up and continuously develops its website with the user experience in mind, resulting in a high-performing and converting tool for property managers.
Travelopo is a vacation rental site founded in 2011 and is a globally recognized holiday rentals specialist. Based in Bristol (UK), Travelopo works with the largest network of established property managers and local agents in almost every country across Europe.
They also work with a network of reputable agencies worldwide. The property types in their portfolio consist of approx. 60% holiday villas and 40% apartments and condos.
This is a great opportunity to list properties with niche amenities or property managers who want to build a more loyal guest base since Travelopo’s guests are more likely to return.
Commission fees: Travelopo charges a 10% commission.
What kind of guests do they attract: Travelopo specializes in kid-friendly holiday lettings around the globe, their guests mainly being families
Who lists there?: Travelopo stocks more than 100,000 properties of all types from ski chalets and apartments, to beachside villas on the Mediterranean coast, to countryside farm retreats, and city condos.
Best for: More personalized, catered stays, that are conducive to repeat stays and customer loyalty
HomeToGo is a price-comparison search service for vacation rentals, offering 18 million offers in over 200 countries. Founded in 2014 in Berlin, they work with more than 2,000 vacation rental companies worldwide. The platform sees over 23 million visitors every month.
As a search engine, HomeToGo’s main competitor is Google, and it allows property managers to pay for sponsored visibility on their listings. But unlike Google, which uses a CPC (cost-per-click) model, HomeToGo uses only a CPA (cost-per-acquisition) model. Translation? You only pay for actual bookings made, not just clicks.
HomeToGo also includes the following portals: Casamundo, EuroRelais, Wimdu, CasaVacanza, and Feries.
Commission fees: The commission fee for hosts for bookings made on the platform depends on the integration option.
What kinds of guests do they attract: The average Hometogo user is between 30–65 years old.
Who lists there?: The portfolio of vacation rentals ranges from vacation homes, apartments, hotels, boats, castles, hostels, lodges, hotels, resorts, bed & breakfasts, camping, pensions, and farmhouses.
Best for: Property managers who want leverage search as far as possible without paying just for clicks and impressions, but paying only for bookings.
Since its opening in 2018, HVN (pronounced “haven”) has been setting a new standard for the short-term rental industry, defining a category of professionally-managed “private havens” distinguished from both home shares and hotels for their assured quality, unique amenities, and exceptional value.
Just like Avantio, HVN is an exclusively B2B platform, meaning no small-scale, side-hustle hosts list on this channel. They distribute your listings to reach preferred travelers who rarely use mainstream platforms and spend 2.7x more per booking, with longer booking windows and lower cancellation rates than the industry average.
Today it lists over 150,000 unique properties in top locations all over the globe and services a global network of leading travel agencies, travel member clubs, and Fortune 500 employees such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, and T-Mobile in partnership with corporate travel programs and professional travel agencies.
Commission fees: Listing your short-term rental on HVN is free and at no marketing costs. The aim is to distribute serviced apartment & villa rentals through password-protected portals, at privately negotiated rates, mostly 12%-15% off the public net rate.
What kinds of guests do they attract: HVN is exclusive to employees of Fortune 500 companies seeking an alternative to hotels. It provides property managers access to an untapped traveler base.
Who lists there?: HVN is an exclusive, password-protected private channel. The listings include unique apartments, private residences, historic villas, and more.
Best for: When you want to attract more millennial corporate high-quality travelers looking for a consistent, quality experience away from it all.
Established in 2013, vacation rental site TravelStaytion ranks among the largest and fastest-growing quality accommodation online booking platforms for professionally managed holiday and short-term rentals.
TravelStaytion is a hub for professionally managed properties from verified hosts and property managers. It provides more than 85,000 dedicated holiday and vacation rental accommodations in 600 destinations across the globe. TravelStaytion caters to luxury travelers who seek a professionally serviced property.
They require property managers to offer at least 4 out of 25 of their listed Host Reception services, including services like airport pickup, contactless check-in, in-stay cleaning, or private jet rental service.
Commission fees: Listing with TravelStaytion is free of charge. The service charge is added to the gross price.
What kinds of guests do they attract: TravelStaytion targets global guests looking for comfort, quality, and professionalism and who appreciate better services and travel experiences during their holidays.
Who lists there?: TravelStaytion only lists entire properties, such as studios, houses, apartments, and villas.
Best for: Quality-seeking millennials looking to elevate their stay in properties that are more than just a property.
Atraveo is a thriving German vacation rental site, specialized in holiday apartments and houses, and is part of the TUI group. Founded in 1997, the site lists more than 300,000 vacation rental properties from all over the world in more than 10 languages.
As one of the longest-standing listing channels on our list, Atraveo has been around just after Booking.com was founded—though at the time, hotels and vacation rentals attracted completely different travelers.
It caters to generation X and Baby Boomer travelers who have been dedicated users for decades.
Commission fees: Hosts pay a 15% service fee on confirmed bookings.
What kinds of guests do they attract: Atraveo caters to a large variety of different kid-friendly family-holidays.
Who lists there?: The site lists villas, houses, and apartments.
Best for: When you want to attract older travelers looking for a family getaway.
It’s not just for hotels—Expedia is a great place for vacation rentals, too.
Founded in 1996, Expedia Group was one of the first OTA portals and is among the leading online travel agencies today. It operates in 70+ countries all over the world, listing 1.7 million vacation rentals, and has 750 million visitors per month across all Expedia properties making it easy to unlock new markets.
Expedia’s list of different accommodation types is quite comprehensive. The different types of guests that look for their getaways are equally diverse.
Expedia has a wide range of products that allow you to target specific audiences, like long-stay guests, specific market segments, and international guests. Additionally, they have a data analytics team that can provide property managers with an abundance of data to help them make data-driven revenue management decisions.
Commission/fees: Registration and listing of a property is free, the commission fees vary from 10 to 30%. The exact amount can be found in the contract.
What kind of guests do they attract: Expedia caters to both business and leisure travelers offering an extensive business portfolio to cover traveler’s needs, including Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Vrbo, Egencia, trivago, and CarRentals.com.
Who lists there?: Expedia has a dedicated page for vacation rentals. The listings include: houses, condos, apartments, vacation homes, country houses, hotel resorts, hotels, and bed & breakfasts.
Best for: When you want to find more millennial travelers wanting to book their next vacation.
Note: Vrbo is owned by Expedia. If your property is listed on Vrbo, has instant book activated, and maintains a consistent price, your listing will be pushed to the rest of the Expedia Group Channels. If you don’t meet that criteria, you have to list it separately.
What aspects to consider when choosing vacation rental site for your short-term homes
As a property manager, your focus lies on getting the most exposure to your vacation rental properties to travelers who don’t look on the traditional websites Therefore, the following questions should be answered when you’ve ticked off your checklist, giving you a clear roadmap where to list your vacation rental properties in order to reach your target audience:
Which traveler base does the site cater for? What are their requirements?
Which type of rentals are listed on the platform?
In what way are your properties presented?
What coverage does the platform have?
Does the platform make sure that your properties get maximum exposure to potential guests?
What commission does the platform charge?
Increase your visibility and exposure on the vacation rental site without the overwhelm
With the Avantio Channel Manager, you list on all of the top vacation rental sites and can manage your different properties and bookings in a single interface.
The fully integrated management tool within our software streamlines your listing management by allowing you to handle multiple channels with our vacation rental channel manager. We focus on professional property managers and the channels we integrate will reflect that.
Distributing your listings is a strategy, not a task. Take our free 5-day email course for property managers who want new, creative strategies for distributing their vacation rentals.
Avantio and Vrbo are old work mates. We have been working together and providing the best technology for our mutual customers for over 6 years. Our clients increase their bookings with Vrbo listing strategy.
Both companies have a preferred partnership program where we established high quality technology and customer service standards in order to promote each other, and at the same time provide the best service available with the best results to existing customers.
Cooperation among partners is a Win-Win-Win (our genuine triple-win) formula that incorporates the final customer (Property Manager) as a beneficiary of both companies’ investments into resources and technology to raise visibility and booking conversions on the Vrbo platform.
Our partnership is based on fundamental rules that involve cooperation at a technology level, as well as services satisfaction KPI´s and education to our mutual customers.
For this reason, Vrbo and Avantio regularly perform global and local events to present new market solutions, as well as new technology and advances that both companies are working on to promote and improve our customers visibility in the Vacation Rental Market.
Many of our customers publish their properties on several platforms, but obviously results are different since every platform has different types of customers, strategies and technologies, but Vrbo listing will definitely increase the visbility of your accommodation.
Vrbo and Avantio have been working together at a technological level to improve the quality of communication between each other, introducing several market game changers like “consistency pricing” where from the 1st step to check the price is always the same, multi units, credit card payments etc…
Vrbo listing in number
The synergy and cooperation that both companies have been developing for the last 6 years has brought great results to our customers.
More than 2 million bookings through our platform and approximately three hundred million US$ sales over this period, and these figures are increasing year after year.
Last but not least, bookings and sales are not the only benefits for both parties – the main benefit is the customer’s satisfaction and loyalty to both brands.
Most likely you are somewhat familiar with the PSD2 regulation (Payment Service Directive) which will come into effect in 2021, but perhaps you still have some questions about its implementation and effect.
Here we have prepared a guide for you:
What does the new PSD2 regulation set out to achieve?
Reduce fraud in online payments and protect your agency from “chargebacks”, which have reached an alarming level in Europe.
Open the marketto new competitors and reduce the commissions that are charged on online payments.
How will PSD2 regulation be applied?
The new PSD2 regulation requires the application of a reinforced, Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) which will mean, in some cases, extra levels of authentication:
Something that the user know and is unique to them: The user will have to add a password or a PIN
Something that belongs to the user: This could be a credit card, a mobile phone, or a device that can perform transactions.
Something that can identify the user : This could refer to biometrics, like facial recognition or eye scanning.
For the above, as property managers, you do not have to do anything.
The application of SCA and its security protocols will need to be implemented by the payment processors and issuers – the banks, the card issuers (VISA, MC, AMEX etc), and the payment platforms.
Which transactions are affected?
Transactions made in Europe and which are for European clients (issued only by European banks).
Online sales in Europe via a website.
One must also take into account the type of transaction since there are exceptions.
The cards which are received from Booking.com, Expedia and Homeaway/VRBO, and other portals that pass you the cards, can be continued to be charged manually. However, these charges, being exempt and therefore outside PSD2 regulation, could still be subject to chargebacks.
It is time to maximize your property occupancy, especially now that the demand is low. The US market is still active, and despite the low numbers, everyday we see more clearly how the market is recovering and waking up again. The foundations for a good mid-long term strategy are based on getting things done right, treating the guest as if they are a member of your family, and offering the best product at the best price. Here are 5 of the best tips on how to increase occupancy rate of your vacation rentals.
Right Price (Good Revenue Strategy)
How do you actually set your prices? Looking at the crystal ball? Looking at competitors? Just based on your own knowledge? Do you have a pricing or revenue strategy based on data?
Right Price means occupancy, yes, but even more, revenue. Using data and tech tools that help you set rates at the according to the demand ultimately means more bookings.
If you want to learn more about pricing strategies, I recommend visiting our Partner – Pricelabs. They offer a complete suit of revenue management tools and strategies that will help you to automate and optimize your pricing strategy based on data and market analyses.
If you want to go a step further, take a look at KeyData. They also offer the tools to analyze detailed numbers and data to help you accomplish your goals.
Dynamic Occupancy Rules (Flexibility means more bookings)
How to increase occupancy rate? It is not a secret that the majority of professional Property Managers have to take cleaning fees and costs into account when deciding on their minimum stay, but if you could increase your rate for short stays, you may still continue to be competitive as not many property managers accept 1 night stays.
Being flexible with minimum occupancy may also be a way to increase your revenue and obtain more bookings per week or per month.
Intelligent Date Search (Giving the guest more options)
If you have a website, try to use the intelligent date search feature, to show the different rates you have according to their date of arrival and departure.
Giving the guest flexibility and rate comparisons when they are planning their trip can increase the conversion on your direct booking site.
Always offer one extra day 50% off
If one traveler is checking in on Friday and leaving on Sunday, why not offer him/her an early check-in or a late check-out for 50% off. This extra night is always a benefit. 90% of weekend bookings miss Monday and Thursday nights.
Try to invite your travelers to a late check-out or an early check-in for 50% off on that night and you will see how to increase occupancy rate, and your revenue too.
Try to obtain the best reviews
Good reviews are like a credit card. They give you credit and the more you have, the more credit you can use. Obviously, travelers do not give credit for free, you will need to earn it.
Do you know your customers? If so, just give them what they need and you will see your credit skyrocket.
If you don´t know your customers, all you need to do is ask them – “How could we have made your stay better?”
The answers will be the best tips that you could receive, and simply by asking your guests.
Good reviews means full occupancy.
Treat your guest as if they were family members
If you know how people feel when they are welcomed as a family member, you will understand how important it is to be kind and generous to your guests while interacting with them.
Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool, and also a good way to see how to increase occupancy rate. If you have repeat guests, making them feel like they are part of your family or offering some free service or special discount will solidify the relationship and increase the number of direct bookings through your own sales channels.
Diversify your channel distribution
We all know that you have to be in the top global OTA´s , but do not forget to target other distribution channels.
Another good choice if you want to target global guests is Google Vacation Rentals, which is commission free and sends traffic directly to your website.
On the other hand, try to find niche portals, where you know that the guest profile you usually get will be able to find you.
These 5 tips on how to increase occupancy rate should be quite helpful to grow your business. Make sure you are staying on top ov the vacation rental statistics to keep updated on growing trends in the industry.
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