The vacation rental industry is growing by leaps and bounds. More and more people have begun to look to vacation rentals instead of hotels for accommodations simply because everyone involved is more comfortable and the cost is comparable and even less expensive.
With vacation rental property managers offering larger, multi-family properties in their list of rentals, an issue often arises that involves how the guests reserve and pay for their accommodations. Think about it – two or three families or even large groups of people want to book a larger, more costly vacation rental but may be hesitant because one party has to handle the booking which means they are pretty much held accountable for the entire payment.
That is where our partner, PayByGroup comes into play. PayByGroup is a plug-in that basically allows vacation rental management companies to allow group payments as an option when making reservations. We recently spoke with Frank Langston, COO and Co-Founder of PayByGroup, about his company and how vacation rental management companies benefit from using it. Here is what he had to say:
What makes you different in this industry? What is the elevator pitch when you are talking to a vacation rental management company?
PayByGroup is the only group payments platform that has been built from the ground up as a solution for businesses to increase conversions, and PayByGroup has a specific focus on serving vacation rental property managers. PayByGroup is the best solution for property managers to accept, monitor, and convert bookings whenever more than one decision-maker is involved.
Why did you choose to integrate with Barefoot Technologies?
We are constantly working to make it easier for property managers to use PayByGroup within their existing business processes, and integrating with Barefoot is an enormous step in that direction. Property managers can now activate PayByGroup and go live - integrated with their system in less than two hours. We chose Barefoot because it is particularly important for our largest property manager clients to have a fully automated workflow, and Barefoot serves some of the largest players in the industry.
Can you give us a bit more information on the technical end of how the benefits of integrating with PayByGroup help a prospective customer?
PayByGroup plugs in as an option on your existing website and can also be used by your phone agents and in your inquiry response emails. After you create a PayByGroup account and activate PayByGroup in the partners section of your Barefoot dashboard, you only need to do three things:
- Provide us with a logo
- Choose how you would like to receive payments
- Add a small piece of code, akin to Google Analytics, to your website
PayByGroup will then insert the PayByGroup option on your site and pull all the data we need from Barefoot to provide an excellent traveler experience.
How do I get started using PayByGroup?
Get started in 30 seconds by signing up at http://www.paybygroup.com/business/barefoot/. You then just need to activate PayByGroup access in your Barefoot portal and fill in a few details for your PayByGroup account.
Why does this integration help those who implement it? Do you have any metrics?
About 10-20 percent of guests choose the PayByGroup option when it is available, which includes guests that would not otherwise book. That eliminates the hassle of dealing with multi-party bookings. We also capture five email contacts, on average, for each PayByGroup. That means you can get a 40 percent increase in your marketing base if only 10 percent of your bookings choose PayByGroup.
Do we have a shared customer who would be willing to provide a testimonial?
Brandon Ezra at Grand Mammoth Resorts is a shared client.
“As an owner of a property management company in Mammoth and a vacation rental marketing business, I am a big fan of PayByGroup. I got my PayByGroup account set up in just a few hours, and our first group completed without a hitch two days later! Ever since then, PayByGroup has converted almost every group that's started into a booking for us. Their service does an excellent job of getting groups to come together and complete bookings that we would have otherwise lost.”
“My company's agents love being able to see and screen groups as they come together in real time. It's great to be able to see everyone who plans on staying at your property, instead of just the person organizing the trip. It reduces our financial risk and damage exposure. Being able to ask the whole group for reviews afterward is an added bonus -- we get about four extra marketing leads per group that completes.”
Where do you see the industry heading?
We have a big bet on vacation rentals as one of the fastest growing segments of travel. As the market expands, guests that are new to vacation rentals bring high expectations that property managers will provide an informed, simple, and easy booking experience. The managers that focus on how to make the booking and travel experience easier for the guest so they can focus on the fun of their trip are the ones that will build traveler loyalty and capture the most inventory. The need to have a great experience for groups is unique to the vacation rental market because the ability to stay together is a big differentiator for our product.
How did PayByGroup come about?
My co-founder, Camilo Acosta, and I have always been avid travelers and organizers, from family ski trips to getaways with friends. We started PayByGroup out of the frustration we experience as travelers trying to get everyone committed to actually make the trip happen. It is such a pain that we found ourselves taking fewer trips just to avoid the hassle. I have also managed two vacation rentals and, as an owner, I know how critical it is to deliver a high level of service for guests. When we combined those factors, we realized we could make things better on both sides of the equation. We believe traveling with friends and family should be as simple and pleasant as one-click online shopping.
What is something you learned along the way that you did not expect?
We were surprised to hear from property manager clients that the guests that use PayByGroup cancel less often and are much less problematic than other guests. We hadn't realized that by getting everyone involved in the booking we create a greater sense of accountability, which leads to fewer losses for property managers. What a bonus!
What kind of growth and adoption have you seen?
We have added several thousand properties each over the past several months and now serve over 50 property managers throughout the US. We've even added a few international clients recently.
Helping Our Customers Increase Their Business
Barefoot Technologies is always in search of ways to make doing business easier and more streamlined in an effort to help our customers increase their business. PayByGroup is another avenue that can directly result in additional business for vacation rental managers. Let’s face it – that is why we are here.