Most property owners, and businesses for that matter, have a few common goals: find ways to make more money, make the consumer experience better, and build trust. Travelers have a million different options when deciding when and where to travel. The Internet has given people the ability to endlessly research and compare options like rates. For your property, there are simple tools like a rate checker widget give potential guests all the info they need in one place. Let the guest know that your direct rates are the best on the internet.
What is a rate checker?
Travelers want to find the best deal and you want to give them the best rate. When guests are on your website, you want to keep them there. Direct bookings, or commission-free bookings, have a higher margin and drive more profit. A rate checker widget allows you to display your property’s different rates from around the web in one place. So your Booking.com, Expedia, and Hotels.com prices display alongside your direct prices. Depending on your online travel agency agreements, you may or may not have to display the same room rates across the web.
A rate checker allows potential guests to easily see your different rates across the internet. As a part of your existing distribution management strategy, your direct bookings should have the most enticing offers. A rate checker is most beneficial when it shows the guest that they’ll get the best deal if they book direct.
The benefit of having a rate checker
There are many benefits to having a rate checker. The first and most obvious is that you entice your website visitors to book direct. Direct bookings are usually (and should be) the most profitable booking source for your property because you don’t have to pay out commissions. A rate checker allows your website visitors to see in one easy-to-read space that you have the best deal on your site.
A short side note about direct bookings: your direct rates do not have to be your lowest rates. However, your direct booking offers should be the best. For example, you can offer packaged deals that include meals, drinks, or other experiences. These add-ons can entice people to book direct while maintaining the same rate across different platforms.
The main benefit for the consumer is that you’re saving them a lot of time and clicking. The average user will browse almost 40 websites before making a final decision. A lot of that clicking around is doing research to find the right place, but checking and comparing rates takes time as well. If a consumer is required to check rates on various OTAs and your website, there’s more opportunity for you to lose the booking. Keep potential guests on your website as long as possible and give them the information they need to book.
A rate checker also has the ability to help you build trust with your travelers. If used ethically, a rate checker will display all the available rates around the web and help your guests know they’re getting the best deal. In today’s internet marketplace, where rates can change based on what device you’re on, a rate checker is a simple way to instill a sense of honesty into your pricing.
Guests who are especially price sensitive will appreciate the transparency and come to trust your brand. If the guest decides to return to your property in the future, they know they can go directly to your website.
But wait, aren’t rate checkers illegal?
Online travel agencies do not like rate checkers and some of them are illegal. However, Cloudbeds offers a rate checker that uses your property’s own data to compare the rates. TripTease and their customers got in a bit of trouble last year when they started scraping OTA websites for hotels’ rates.
But, you can avoid legality issues by only using data that you own rather than scrape the OTAs themselves. Cloudbeds’ rate checker uses the data from our property management software, myfrontdesk, to display the different rates you supply to OTAs. It’s also the best way to display rates in real time, because the data comes directly from the source.
Once a potential guest lands on your website, you want to do everything in your power to make them stay. A rate checker is one of the best ways to show guests that booking direct is probably the best option for them and you. While OTAs are great at presenting your property to markets you wouldn’t have access to otherwise, if a guest makes it to your website, you deserve to get that commission-free booking.
The Cloudbeds Rate Checker
Cloudbeds offers a rate checker as an add-on to our property management system, myfrontdesk. You can place our rate checker anywhere on your website. It’s mobile responsive and uses real-time data to give your potential guests the best experience no matter where or when they want to book. Contact your Cloudbeds account manager or request a demo to learn more.