I see many discussions and comments from disgruntled (putting it mildly) holiday home owners. All frustrated, tearing their hair out and fed up with Owners Direct.  You too?

It’s the same irritations:

  • the high prices they charge owners to list, severely eating into the bottom line
  • holidaymakers being charged a hefty fee to book so enquiries are down
  • being highly encouraged to add online booking if you want your listing to be seen
  • variations of the above

This is how it is. This is Owners Direct’s business model.

So what can you as an individual owner do?

You have two options:

Option 1 – Stay 

In other words put up and shut up.  Owners Direct know owners are unhappy and peed off but they’re big enough and ugly enough not to need to care.

If you decide to stay there’s no point in grumbling and complaining if you’re not prepared to take any action to improve your situation.

If the income you receive from your Owners Direct bookings is worth the angst, then that’s OK. That choice is yours and yours alone. Just make your decision to stay and accept the situation.

Option 2 – Leave

Although many owners aren’t automatically renewing their OD subscription as they once did.  This is not yet happening in a big enough way to impact on the company.  But it will make you feel an awful lot better!

Yes this can be a brave move. But playing safe does not grow your business, develop you as a business owner nor ultimately provide you with a business that makes your heart sing.

Instead of spending precious energy in a spiral of irritation, spend that energy in a positive way.

Focus on getting your own bookings; being proactive not reactive and taking back the control of your business.

Use smaller, niche listing sites to work alongside your own marketing activity

This is how I run my holiday rental business and I know I’m not alone.  And those holiday home owners working with me are all striving for direct bookings too.

It can be done with hard work, consistency, persistency and a positive can-do attitude.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • set up your own website, this becomes the centre of your marketing activity
  • create a business Facebook page, linked to your personal profile and commit to posting to it twice a day
  • choose one more social media platform to be active on (emphasis on active)
  • identify your target market (in detail) and ensure all your marketing is focussed only on these people
  • start building relationships with past guests and send them a monthly newsletter
  • use your individuality to your advantage. You’re not some faceless organisation, you’re a real person and people do business with people
  • focus on your local area and what’s so great about it. Why should guests come on holiday there? What is there to see, visit, explore and do. Talk about this on your social media.
  • use smaller, niche listing sites where enquiries are directed straight to you

I’ve made a clear decision to only expand energy on what I can control, on the parts of my holiday rental business where I can make an impact.

I focus on what I’m doing and not the big listing sites. This is what I teach.  The big listing sites can do whatever they want, charge whatever they like and it makes no difference to me, to my business or to my guests.

And that makes me one happy and grumble-free owner!