Barefoot Technologies Blog- Vacation Rental Industry News

5 Reasons Your Vacation Rental Business Must Use Portals

Posted by Adam Zippin on Sep 19, 2013 4:35:00 PM

I had a great phone call today with one of Barefoot’s portal partners and about halfway through the call, we realized that vacation rental managers seem to be very reluctant to utilize the opportunities that portal pages present.  After we hung up, my mind began racing as to why these property managers would not want to have their properties listed on some of the most popular rental listing sites on the web.  The ability exists with the Barefoot vacation rental software. Some reasons came to mind but none of them seemed to warrant missing out on the portal party. So here are the 5 most common reason people don’t want to use portals, and why you must!

Barefoot Portal Example

Too Expensive- As the old saying goes, you have to spend money to make money.  I would much rather 75% of something than 100% of nothing.  Some portals are subscription based, meaning you pay up front for your listing.  Others are comission based meaning you only pay when you make money.  Sounds like a no branier.

Hard to sign up- I can’t speak for other software systems, but signing up with a portal partner in the Barefoot system takes less than 10 clicks of the mouse.  Additionally you incur no cost from Barefoot.  It’s easier than getting your morning coffee made right.

No Employees to Manage Them- Well, there is an easy solution to this, automate your portal responses.  Inquiries that come from portals should be automatically responded to, with availability or, in the case its booked, alternate properties.  You have now set up a low expense, revenue generating system that is also known as a home run!

It’s a Competing Market- I hear this a lot, that portals are for VRBO and as professional managers many don’t want to be in that market.  But let’s step back and think of it this way, if Ford could sell their cars at their exclusive dealerships and at the Ferrari dealership and others for a percentage?  I doubt any company would not love to be able to infiltrate their competitions market, if you have this mentality, you are missing out.

My Software Doesn’t Link- To be blunt, get new software!  The benefits and contributions of utilizing an effective portal partnership far outweigh the supposed benefits any platform without that capability can provide.  Don’t be afraid to ask your software provider if it is possible to link, just because they don’t, doesn’t mean they can’t but make sure either way.

It’s Not Worth the Time- This is where I pull out some flashy number that blows you away and you rush to your software provider to link with every portal out there.  Sadly, that’s not how I will play this one, instead I go another route.  Is it truly not worth your time?  If you make so much money in your business that the possibility of making more is not worth it, please, fly me on your private jet and we can discuss this view but in the interim consider this, if it’s not worth your time, it is certainly worth someone else’s time.


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I have no doubt that there are more reasons as to why people decide not to use portal partners but until I come across a valid one, I will maintain my view as such, they are worth your time.  Giving away markets is seldom a good idea, but when that market is filled with potential customers, I highly recommend such a simple method.  Portals may be competitive and have a cost, but the benefits of such a structure are well worth the investment.

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Tags: Vacation Rental Industry, Vacation Rental Software, HomeAway, VRBO Portal, How to market vacation rentals, Property Management Software, Rental management Software, HomeAway Portal, Rental Portal