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The Benefits of an Airbnb


If you’re going away on holiday, you’ll need a place to stay, and you’ll want to find the place that is just right. Unfortunately, the prices of hotels can be quite expensive, especially if your plans were to travel to a very specific destination. They can be even worse depending on what time of year it is, too. This will leave you puzzling as to what you’re going to do for your holiday, let alone where you’re going to stay for it.  

Well, why not try booking an Airbnb holiday? 

Across the globe, there are 7 million listings available for you to stay at, with a reported 2.9 million people who serve as a host. There are countless reasons why an Airbnb is a great idea for your holiday, so let’s take a look at four reasons why you should use one for your next getaway. 

Better Pricing

Asking for the prices of an Airbnb is no different than asking the age-old question of “how long is a piece of string?” This is due to the fact that hosts can set their own prices, so what they will charge – days, weeks, or even months – will vary from host to host. However, while hotels can certainly charge an arm and a leg for their services, an Airbnb is generally the cheaper and more ideal alternative. If you’re frugal when it comes to your spending habits, then an Airbnb is certainly for you. 

Airbnb is More Homely 

If you’re going to be away from your home, you’ll absolutely want to feel as comfortable as possible residing in a place that is different than what you’re used to. If anything, the strange needs to become the familiar. This is something that Airbnb has over a hotel room any day. 

Compare a hotel room to an allocated room in an Airbnb. A hotel room, at its worst, can invoke a comparison to artificial alternatives to certain foods. They imitate a room by trying to be a more pristine ‘superior’ copy, creating a synthetic feel to it, whether that’s by how precise the cleaning is or how it’s decorated. Since it’s very easy to create, it’s starting to create a monotonous view that lacks variety. An Airbnb room will have a very different feel to it. The host will want to make sure everything is spick and span, and while it may not be as meticulous as in a hotel, it generates a vibe that you might have from cleaning your own home. 

In addition, what also gives you the feel of being at home is that you’ll have access to a kitchen and be able to do your own cooking. Sure, you’ll be on holiday and probably won’t want to cook much, but if you’re in the mood, the option is available. 

Diversity of Options

Going back to what was discussed at the start of the previous reason, something everyone wants to have if they are staying in a place that isn’t their own home is comfort. After all, without a comfortable environment to reside in, how will we unwind and relax? 

But this raises a question: what sort of place makes you feel comfortable? 

Now, this may seem like a bit of an odd enquiry, but some people feel more satisfied in an environment that they like the most. You’ll actually be surprised to find that the places you can stay at with Airbnb are more than just simple houses. A house may be a home, but it is only one type of home. Airbnb can offer anything from houses to more extravagant locales, such as treehouses, boathouses, lighthouses, and – we kid you not – castles. Airbnb possess a diverse range of places to stay, so you never know – you might find that right one for you! 

Booking is Easy 

It can be an awful habit to make things overly complicated and excessively detailed. While this may be true in the modern world, we all want things to be simple and straightforward to reassure us that what we need/want to do is easy. 

Booking with Airbnb is straightforward and is intended to be convenient. To do this, all you need to do is set up an account, look for listings in the place you wish to stay at, find the right spot, and maybe even engage in a conversation with the host. You’ll be able to see photographs of the destination, and possibly even a video to give you a better understanding of what the place is like. 


If a hotel seems too ordinary, let alone too expensive to book for a holiday, then choosing an Airbnb looks like the right thing for you. Hosts will set their own prices, while the place you choose to stay in can be whatever you want it to be (providing it exists at the location of your choice, that is) and it will feel like you’re at home without being at home. To top it all off, the booking procedure is extremely straightforward, making the whole idea of wanting to stay at an Airbnb now or in the future more promising than anywhere else. 

If you would like to learn more about how to get the most out of the Airbnb market, contact us at Keey today! 

How to Create the Best Online Booking System for Your Hotel

When you’re listing your hotel on a range of OTAs (online travel agencies), as well as your own business website, it can be tough to manage bookings from multiple platforms. 

An online booking management system helps you manage the day-to-day tasks of the booking process to keep it in motion. Not only can these systems keep on top of bookings, but in some cases, they can also accept online customer payments. 

According to research on hotel booking preferences, 65% of users prefer to book directly with the provider than OTAs when listings appear at the same price. Setting up an online booking management software that works across different platforms makes the booking process easier and quicker for both you and your guests. 

There are lots of online booking systems to choose from. While a lot of providers have similar features and components to their systems, it’s up to you to find the service that works best for your needs and improves customer experience. 

Here are some factors to consider when selecting an online booking system: 

Things to Consider As A Property Manager 

  • Price 

One of the most important factors when selecting an online booking and management system is how much it’s going to cost. 

While pricier systems will offer more, the ability to upgrade your system to a different package as and when you can afford to, means you can start with a package that fits your budget initially. 

Online booking systems tend to have different payment structures – paid monthly, by commission or made up of user fees – so make sure you select a payment structure that works for you. 

There are also additional fees that appear in certain systems, which includes: 

  1. initial set-up costs 
  2. booking fee charges 
  3. costs for handling credit card payments 
  4. costs for adding additional users like cleaners 
  5. extra charges for simple updates 

Get to grips with the different features on offer, and how they can be used to improve the online booking process for your hotel. 

  • External calendar sync 

The ability to sync calendars from each platform into an external calendar will make it more convenient for you to manage bookings. 

Find an online booking management system that can synchronise calendars across different sites. While not the only option, one way to do this is using a channel manager. 

channel manager is a tool that enables you to list all your hotel rooms on all connected booking sites at the same time. 

The purpose of a channel manager is to update the availability of rooms in real-time on all sites being advertised. When a booking is made, it will automatically update your availability calendars, saving time and reducing the risk of double booking. 

A tool that is widely used in the hotel industry is iCal (short for iCalendar). To put it simply, iCal is a file format that is capable of representing information in a calendar on a time basis. 

iCal allows you to report on the availability of a type of accommodation in a streamlined and easily accessible calendar. While you can synchronise bookings between calendars on multiple OTAs and independent booking sites using iCal, the only information you can save is the availability of accommodation. 

  • Insight reports 

Ideally, the online booking management system you choose will be able to report advanced insights into your hotel business and customers. 

Reporting features allow you to look closely at analytics to see how your business operates on a daily basis. Get a better understanding of customer demographics and receive information on real-time cash flow with reporting features. 

It is worth looking into how insights are being determined, to make sure it is accurate and reliable. Establishing patterns can help you figure out what is working and what isn’t, which can shape the next steps going forward in your hotel business. 

  • Customer Support 

By selecting a provider for your online booking management system, you become a customer. So easy-to-access customer support is vital to make sure any immediate problems are handled before they impact your customers. 

With start-up guides, training videos and technical support on hand to answer any queries, all your difficulties working with the system can be addressed. 

How quickly these issues will be resolved depends on what communication channels are available. While you may receive instant responses with a phone call or live chat, on the other hand, email or contact form may take longer. 

As guests should be able to book accommodation outside of business hours, ideally 24/7, it is important to check how much downtime the system experiences to fix bugs and update the software.  

Features That Will Improve the Booking & Enquiry Process For Customers 

  • A ‘book now’ button for your website 

Including a ‘book now’ button on your hotel website can speed up the booking process for customers, creating a smooth booking experience. 

While potential guests may have visited your website to browse for accommodation initially, the option to book means that if they find a listing of their liking, they won’t have to waste their time trying to find the appropriate page to book.

  • Automated emails to confirm bookings 

Many customers expect an email to be sent to their email address once a booking has been secured. 

Rather than manually sending out emails to customers, automate this process with an online booking management system so customers receive their emails instantly to confirm details. 

These emails can also act as reminders when it comes close to the date of their arrival at your hotel. 

  • Chat tool for answering customers’ enquiries 

Setting up a chat tool on your website can be useful for guests that want to clarify something before they book at your hotel. 

Not only can owners build a rapport with their guests through a chat function, but can also allow a guest to ask specific questions that can’t be answered through a FAQs page. 

Bridging the gap between an email and phone call, a chat tool enables you to instantly answer guest enquiries as best as possible. 

  • Option to book through social media 

If potential guests happen to find your hotel through your social media, then an option for them to book there directly is useful because this brings in more customers from social platforms.  

The ability for customers to book through social media gives you more payment avenues, adding to your revenue overall. 

Our final statement 

The right online booking management system will make the booking process simpler and quicker, boosting bookings for your hotel property. 

With the booking software automating repetitive tasks, such as replying to email enquiries and sending out arrival information, you can save time and focus on other elements that improve the customer’s experience with your business. 

By operating around the clock, your hotel can take bookings 24/7, which is convenient for your customers. Managing the availability of rooms through this system reduces the chance of guests double booking. 

Research is essential when it comes to finding the best online booking management system for your business. If you choose to go with a provider, make sure you’ve considered the factors listed above in your final decision. 

Even though it can be a costly upfront investment, selecting the right system that caters to your personal needs and requirements can make the booking and enquiry process more effective for your customers in the long term. 

Need assistance managing your online bookings for your hotel? Visit the Keey website for more information! 

Factors that Determine Listings on Booking Platforms

In our previous article, we looked at five different booking platforms – Airbnb,, Vrbo (HomeAway), TripAdvisor and Expedia – to list your properties on.  

But in order to be listed on these platforms, your property must meet platform-specific requirements. Factors such as location, price and unique features, will shape whether your property is a good fit with the company’s target audience. 

By considering these different factors, you will be able to determine whether your property listing will benefit from being listed on certain booking platforms. 

Here are some factors that determine whether short-term rentals are suited to particular booking platforms: 

Property location

The location of your property is essential to determining its profitability. If your short-term rental is situated in a tourist destination, then this will attract leisure travellers needing accommodation as part of their holiday. Sites like TripAdvisor, Expedia and Vrbo will work for these types of vacation rentals. 

On the other hand, if your property is located in a city centre, densely populated with office buildings, then this will be suitable for business guests requiring a place to stay during their business trips. Airbnb and are platforms that will work for properties like these. 

Regardless of whether your property is more suited to business or leisure travellers, it’s worth considering the affordability and walkability that comes with staying in a particular area. 

Having amenities close by like public transport, shops and restaurants, as well as recreational activities, will boost the number of bookings your property receives, increasing the expected return on investment (ROI).

Type of property

The size and type of property being listed will play a part in determining your target audience. 

Rentals come in different shapes and sizes, with certain guests gravitating towards particular short-term rentals. While business travellers may seek out apartments, families might prefer staying in houses. 

In addition, the location of your property will have a significant impact on the type of property being listed. Urban areas will predominantly have smaller rentals, like apartments and hotel rooms, whereas rural areas will have larger properties, like holiday homes and cabins. 

With any type of property, it should be furnished to attract more prospective guests, increasing profitability.


Trying to put a price on your short-term rental can be tricky. 

Ideally, you want to set a rental rate that brings in income and positive cash flow, but doesn’t deter prospective guests from booking – i.e. you get no rentals if the price is too high, but you risk losing money if the price is too low. 

To figure out the right balance, look at the prices of rentals that are similar to your property. Depending on how the short-term rental market is performing, adjust your rental rate so it remains competitive against other listings. 

Booking platforms such as Airbnb and Expedia are good if you want to advertise your property as a budget option, which will make low consistent profits. Whereas if you want to make huge profits sporadically, advertising your luxury stay on sites like Vrbo and will help. 

For vacation rentals, Syncbnb recommends applying dynamic pricing to your property. With demand being seasonal, this should be reflected in the rental price. Charge a slightly higher nightly rate when demand is high and when the hot season comes to an end, lower your price to attract potential guests.

Unique features

So, what constitutes a unique feature? 

This could be the type of property being offered, such as caravans and cottages, that provide an alternative experience that differs from traditional houses, hotels and apartments. 

It could also refer to the unique amenities that come with your property, including: 

  • Kitchen facilities – full kitchen, washing machine/laundry service 
  • Bathroom essentials – soap, shampoo, conditioner, body milk 
  • Entertainment – TV with streaming services, DVDs and books, swimming pool/hot tub 
  • Other – air conditioning, reliable Wi-Fi, charging adapters, 24-hour check-in 

According to iGMS, an investment of $60 in smart amenities can increase your revenue by up to 20%

As amenities are becoming more and more important when it comes to booking a rental, providing unique amenities will help your property stand out against others.

To summarise

Before listing your property on various booking platforms, it is important to understand who your target audience is through these factors and many more. 

If your property doesn’t match platform-specific requirements and isn’t a good fit with the target audiences being advertised to, then it should not be listed on those platforms. 

As booking platforms constantly grow and evolve to accommodate travellers’ changing needs and preferences, a site that didn’t work for your property before might be suitable now. Keeping up-to-date with these sites will ensure that your property is tailored to the target audiences on these platforms. 

Need assistance in listing your short-term rental on booking platforms? Speak to our team of experts at Keey to find out more! 

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