What is a booking agency?
We've talked about tour operators in a previous blog, but what about booking agents? What are they and how are they different from tour operators? Put simply, a booking agency is anyone that supplies bookings to a vacation rental home or similar accommodation. Booking agents can be travel agents, digital marketers, event planners, or group coordinators even. Booking agents can be a very valuable asset to property management companies due to their often unique relationships with rental guests, and additional exposure of their properties to a broad range of renters. Booking agents can be a profitable relationship for homeowners, property managers, and the booking agent if done right. You can pretty easily find a number of large scale booking agents marketing properties in the Orlando area, in partnership with a number of management companies, but what does that partnership usually look like?
How we partner with booking agents.
iTrip Orlando has a number of booking agent partners that supply bookings to our inventory of homes. We've established a win-win-win partnership, and often receive unique visitors from Brazil, Central America, and the UK through these partnerships. To efficiently transfer the availability, rates, pictures, and descriptions of our properties to booking agents, we share an API (Application Programming Interface) Key with our partners. This allows their software to transfer all of the needed information quickly and easily to their website, so that their customers are given accurate information before booking.
Pricing can vary from agent to agent, but we choose to be very particular about the partners that we choose when it comes to their pricing models. iTrip Orlando will give our partners an immediate discount of 10% from the net nightly rental (nightly rate x number of nights booked) for each booking, excluding peak seasons. Some booking agents will use just this as their markup, while others will add an additional percentage on that amount or additional booking fees. The bottom line is that iTrip owners are only discounting their rates by a nominal 10% for a trusted booking, from a vetted booking supplier. Owners can be confident that their property will receive many high quality, high paying bookings for their property, but not increase their overhead expenses for it. Like our business model, we partner only with those booking agents who are commission based. No one makes any money, unless our owners also make money.
Written by Keith Wachter
iTrip Vacations Orlando - Business Development Specialist