When we ask Jaume’s from Bizflats what his distribution strategy is, the answer was straightforward: trying many websites and making decisions based on data not intuition. He turned to Rentals United Channel Manager to ease the entire process of finding channels, testing them and maximising revenues. Here’s the very insightful interview no property manager should miss out on.
Our main focus is Barcelona city for professionals and for discerning tourists. We also have a few villas in the resorts nearby Barcelona. We currently have about 80 properties that we manage and we’re expanding very selectively on luxury and high-end properties.
So we started about one year ago, when we began speaking with the Rentals United technical team to do an integration with our own property management system. And then, with our very talented developers, we created a connexion, so we have the right interaction with Rentals United, and the support has been great both on the technical side and on the commercial side.
Well, we’ve sort of tried it all, channel management is now considered mainstream in holiday rentals but not so long ago it was just something that was coming out of the woodwork. So we’ve tried a fair few products and strategies, and now that the Rentals United product is mature, we’re finding that it’s very successful for us.
We’ve done several strategies. One is to be able to hook up to more of the channels that we’re looking for, both the mainstream type of channels, big names as it were, but also some very interesting niche channels that tie in nicely to what Barcelona has to offer.
It allows us also to experiment with our distribution strategy, so that we can see which channels work better for us in different segments of the market at different times of the year, or even at different price points. So we’re running a data collection and we’re looking at it so we can make better strategic decisions.
Our account manager is Fanny Sahlstrom and we’ve been working very productively & successfully with her. She’s always very quick to respond to our queries, our emails, we can often speak on skype, and we’ve even met in person now. She’s very creative and efficient account manager.
She always lets us know a little bit in advance what channels are going to be coming out, so we can have a look at it, and then we can decide, and so it’s part of our experimentation to add channels that we see as having interesting strategic potential for us and now we can try them out.
The advantage I see is that if we find that if a channel works then we can put more inventory on it and we can give keener pricing to the client that come from that channel. If we see that it doesn’t work then we just stop. Now we can make a decision based on real data rather than just intuitions or marketing hype that of course all of them use **hahaha**
So I do most of the initial implementation whenever we take on a new channel to make sure that prices are being correctly displayed, that any restrictions we have on min stays are correct, that the content looks the way we want it to and so on.
After that it’s our daily bookings team who looks at it. Most of the day to day changes we can do directly in our own back-end (Jaume’s database is connected via API to us!) and so we only go into Rentals whenever we need to make substantial changes.
First of all the fact that with most channels you can both create an account and have your properties uploaded in one go. The other great feature is that our complex pricing strategies can not only be uploaded to Rentals United but also to the channels we work with, and it works perfectly.
We would highly recommend but not only for the number of supported channels to which a manager like us can distribute, but also because of the great support and service willingness to go the extra-mile.
🙂 thank you so much Jaume!