How Bookiply increased average conversion by 10% by improving availability and visibility through the Short Stay feature.
Bookiply was launched in Munich in 2016, in response to an overly complex and expensive vacation rental property management market. Their goal has always been to simplify homeowners’ work while increasing their revenues. They do this by offering channel management together with more operational solutions like photoshoots and consultancy services.
We spoke to Jose Amat, Product Manager at Bookiply to find out how their Short Stay feature helped boost their properties’ availability and visibility.
What drove your company to focus on improving short-stay options?
It started when we noticed a pattern among vacation rental homeowners. We had been educating them about the rise of short stays and long weekends in the industry, yet many continued to require a minimum number of nights. This was excluding potential travellers. As a result, their properties remained invisible in many searches.
We began to dig into why homeowners resisted shortening their minimum stay. There was one primary reason: the vast majority of homeowners were unsure if shorter stays would be worth the effort and financial costs involved in maintaining their property between stays. With cleaning fees and the organisation of check-ins and check-outs, they were hesitant to earn less money from short stays.
How did you set up this project?
We responded to this concern by developing Short Stay. Short Stay is an easy-to-use feature, activated with just one click, which reorients homeowners towards setting a minimum price they want to earn for an entire stay instead of a minimum number of nights.
Take the example of a Bookiply homeowner who has set a nightly fee of €100 and a minimum stay of seven nights. This means that her minimum earnings are set at €700. By offering Short Stay, Bookiply is asking whether it is the number of nights that is important to her or the earnings. Would she consider a three-night stay if her minimum earnings remained €700? Or even a one-night stay? The answer was yes.
What have the results been so far?
41% of Bookiply homeowners have already enabled Short Stay. This has drastically improved the availability of Bookiply properties and therefore their visibility across channels. As a result, our booking and conversion rates have greatly increased.
This simple new feature further supports the goal we’ve had from the start. Namely, to make it easier than ever to run a successful vacation rental. Now, with one click, homeowners can boost the visibility and thus the profitability of their property.
My experience working with Bookiply gave me a lot of interesting insights. I was immediately excited when we discussed this new Short Stay feature for the first time. I’m amazed at Bookiply's turn-around time and the results we’re already seeing. – Florian Harz, Partner Business Manager at Booking.com
What did you learn from the experience?
This experience highlights the value of collaboration and the importance of thinking outside the box. After we identified the problem, we worked closely with Booking.com’s Connectivity support team and Booking Home team to develop the Short Stay feature.
Bookiply and Booking.com are ultimately trying to achieve some of the same goals. As partners, we both want to grow while providing exceptional experiences to travellers and homeowners. This is only possible by moving together in the same direction and collaborating to accomplish mutual objectives.
We see Booking.com as being on the same team. We appreciate the time and effort invested in growing the partnership and consider Booking.com a good sparring partner with which we can bounce ideas back and forth. – Jose Amat, Product Manager at Bookiply
What’s next for Bookiply?
We have plenty of objectives for the next months and years to keep us very busy! Nevertheless, we always try to focus and to foster a "quality not quantity" approach to the projects we tackle. In addition to developing new features requested by our homeowners, we will be entering new markets to grow our portfolio. We also look forward to improving some of our current features and continuing to work towards stronger connection and integration with our existing distribution partners.
What advice do you have for your industry peers who want to achieve similar success?
As cliché as it sounds, we can't stress enough the importance of spending time with users and investing in better understanding their needs and pain points. In addition, as important as it is to try new things and to experiment, we've found it extremely useful to focus on doing a few things very well as opposed to scratching the surface in many different areas. But, as is the case with a lot of cliché advice, the hard part is the execution.
- Paying attention to customers’ needs and pain points can lead to meaningful and valuable innovations
- Collaboration – both within and outside your own company – really supports out-of-the-box thinking
- While experimentation is important, it’s even more important to do a few key things very well