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Automate property care with Breezeway!

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The BookingSync team is excited to announce its partnership with Breezeway, a new mobile solution that helps vacation rental managers master their back-end cleaning and maintenance operations.

What is Breezeway?

Breezeway makes it easier to manage property care. The company’s intelligent platform and mobile app help property managers coordinate cleaning and maintenance tasks, improving quality and ensuring the job gets done right.

How does Breezeway makes your life easier?

Increase operational efficiency: Data-driven tools that automate scheduling and coordinating teams -eliminating hundreds of hours of spreadsheeting each week.

Keep your owners happy: Quality assurance and customized service programs help you exceed renter expectations and showcase the full value of your property operations.

Drive additional revenue: Comprehensive maintenance documentation and reporting enables more service offerings, monetization and opportunities to grow your business.

How to get started with Breezeway?

Read our manual to know how to install and use the app.

Already a BookingSync client? Install the Breezeway app from our App Center right now and join our live webinar!

First register here, and then you’ll get by email the link to join the webinar (in english) on friday 26th of October at 3pm CEST.

What we really like about Breezeway?

Breezeway offers BookingSync users a two weeks free trial period, this is the opportunity to test the features and measure the power of the tool in order to increase your business efficiency. Claim your free trial here!

Breezeways allows at the same time to custom the services for each of your properties but also to bulk-schedule, which saves a lot of time and allow you to focus on tasks that needs more attention.

This solution is a perfect fit for BookingSync providing a deeper suite of back-office functionality to offer our clients who want to use detailed checklists for cleaning and inspections. Better yet, the integration automatically pulls your inventory and booking schedule, which makes it easy for you to coordinate turn-days.

Business friendly accommodation with MagicStay - “Rest well, Work better”

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Have you ever wondered if a booking platform for business travelers existed ? MagicStay is the answer!
Latest data : “The expenses for corporate/business travel make up a corporation’ second or third largest controllable expense behind salaries, wages and IT expenditure.” - Statista

What’s MagicStay?

MagicStay is a French alternative accommodation booking website, created to meet the requirements of the business trip and available to all those who wish to travel serenely.
MagicStay offers nearly 200,000 accommodations from all types (apartments, villas etc…) in more than 90 countries. Their accommodations are selected for their professional added value: ideally located in the city center or close to convention / exhibition centers.

How to get started with MagicStay via BookingSync?

Read our manual here to know how to install and use the app.
Already a BookingSync client? Install the MagicStay app from our App Center right now!

You missed our live webinar? We recorded it for you, click here to watch it.

What we really like about MagicStay?

MagicStay provides a real solution to business travelers based on accurate business needs.
They provide and base their services on useful data about business traveling such as the weekly infographic below:

It is true that traveling for professional reasons creates a lot of stress by itself, MagicStay brings solutions to all sources of additional stress in order to travel in peace and focus on what matters the most: Work.
Useful links:
https://www.magicstay.com
https://www.bookingsync.com

Guests Remote Access Made Easy With Igloohome

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If you haven’t heard of igloohome’s amazing tools already, today’s the day!

We introduce you to one of the vacation rental industry’s best technological creation: remote check-ins for hosts and guests, by the award-winning igloohome.

What’s igloohome?

igloohome offers a range of solutions including smart locks and lockboxes for remote check-ins and check-outs, adapted to your needs and budget.

igloohome creators say: “As Airbnb hosts, we were often inconvenienced by key handovers at awkward hours. So we rolled out our smart locks to happy short-term rental owners to help them with check-in issues.”

igloohome was then born, designed to fit every guest’s needs, whether you rent an apartment in a city center or a cabin in the woods.

igloohome offers many advantages:

  • 3 products are available: the Smart Deadbolt 2S, the premium Smart Mortise and the Smart Keybox 2

  • Property owner/manager can generate a PIN number remotely for guests to enter the rental at any hour of the day or night

  • Guests don’t need to download an app to access the rental and open the lock

  • Lock works with bluetooth connection but PIN codes can be created/issued out of bluetooth range

  • Duration PIN codes can be created for the guest’s length of stay, expiring after they check-out

  • igloohome products work offline, despite their remote capabilities

  • Available on major e-commerce stores

  • Multi award-winning solution: CES Asia Innovation Awards 2018 and 2017, iF Design Award ; Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation’s Best Innovative Infocomm Product/Solution: Internet of Things (Gold Winner) and more!

The igloohome smart locks have been shipped to 80+ countries already.

Getting started with igloohome

Read our manual to know how to install and use the app.
Already a BookingSync client? Install the igloohome app from our App Center right now and join our live webinar on September 20th at 4pm CEST !

igloohome x BookingSync integration

Now, with our partnership with igloohome, your vacation rental business can be synced with your igloohome locks, so PIN codes are automatically generated for your guests. This means you no longer need to manually create PIN codes! Also, your guests will be notified of the PIN code through the Bookingsync Notifications app, so you wouldn’t need to send them a separate email.

N°2 holiday destination in Indonesia devastated : Lombok earthquakes, how can you help?

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On August 5th, several earthquakes, including the most deadly one of magnitude 7, stroke north of Lombok. One of the main touristic island of Indonesia, the neighbour of Bali, has been hit by a natural catastrophe that caused a lot of suffering and pain to the local population.

Despite their own loss in Gili Trawangan and Gili Meno, the company Bali Management Villas (one of BookingSync clients), has made us proud! They have personally witnessed what a natural disaster can bring to the residents there and decided to take action.
Touched by the gentleness and kindness of the locals, and seeing what Lombok has given them through the 9 years the company has been running in Indonesia, now it’s time to give back, show the people gratitude and give help to those affected by this tragedy in an efficient way.
As the island has been struck by second earthquake (and many aftershocks), the death toll has been increased to above 500.

Bali Management Villas (BookingSync Indonesia main user) have organized boats from their usual transportation providers and are now collecting supplies to donate goods to those in need, working closely to help teams on site.

What to bring? How the money will be spent? Mainly on basic supplies such as food, water, masks, clothes and 1st aid medicines.
Indonesia is the first region of the world that benefit and also suffers from tourism in many different ways, we (the collectivity), need to help Lombok population getting back on their feet so people from the industry and their family can go back to a decent life.

If you want to pinch in: https://www.mycause.com.au/page/183437/help-lombok-victims-earthquake
If you want to bring stuff, swing by their office in Bali: Bali Management Villas, 5x jalan Kerobokan, Bali, Indonesia.

The BookingSync 2018 Team Retreat: A Week Of Exchanges & Meetups

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At BookingSync, our teams work 100% remotely. This is a choice we’ve made in compliance with our values:

The world is full of talents, this is why we have chosen to collaborate remotely to work with the best people, no matter where they are. It brings all of us flexibility, happier lives and better reactivity across time zones.

So, for the second year in a row, -almost- the whole team gathered for a team retreat week. After meeting up on the Greek island of Sivota in 2017, we arranged to meet in Névache, in the French Alps, at BookingSync’s headquarters.


1. What’s a team retreat?

A team retreat allows the members of a same company to gather in a chosen location, at the same time, for a few hours or days.

It helps create a team spirit, which is even more true when everybody works remotely. It also helps ease off on the pressure and take a step back. It’s a great occasion for each person to be implied in all the company’s projects.

    

A lot of companies set up such events, such as Buffer, a social media management platform, Youth Ki Awaaz, an youth-focused Indian information website or Stanford Women’s Gymnastics, an American university sports team.

    

On our side, this week is also an occasion for each of us to exchange ideas and knowledge, and the time to get to know each other better.

2. The BookingSync Team

   a. Our team

BookingSync is more than a French startup, it is above all the meeting of digital nomads coming from all over the world: France, Russia, Poland, Netherlands, Spain, Macedonia, Morocco, Australia, Canada, Romania, Serbia, Hungary, Chile, USA, Czech Republic.

Whether they live in their home country or on the other side of the world, some members of our team traveled up to 36 hours to reach Névache. A total of 29 co-workers on 34 were able to travel to the Alps.

    b. Creating a team spirit

Working remotely offers a lot of advantages, such as being able to work from any place -as long as you have a wifi connection!-, choosing your work hours and own rhythm, and also having the chance to better enjoy your family.

But even though we all interact each day, using tools such as Slack, Skype, Intercom or Zendesk, we don’t have the occasion to meet up personally. This is why we enjoy so much spending time together each year, for a week.

   c. Our week in Névache: workshops, reorganisation, meetups and team building

This 2018 session has been punctuated by several events and meetings:

  • An introductory game, during which each of us had the occasion to introduce themselves, a treasure hunt/hint game in the city of Briançon, a hike and picnic in the Vallée de la Clarée and a concert night

  • Group and individual photo sessions

  • Several workshops allowing team to collaborate and exchange ideas (development, marketing, support, management…)

  • A complete work reorganisation, which lead to the creation of new teams and the implementation of a new support tool (stay tuned!)

  • Meeting the people who made the BookingSync adventure possible: our loyal investors, some of them living in Névache. We had the opportunity to share an afternoon, dinner and night with them

  • More generally speaking, as the 29 BookingSync co-workers were accommodated at the same place, we’ve all had the occasion, each day, to share moments outside working hours: spa, dinners, breakfasts, walks...

3.The BookingSync vision

Team spirit, sharing, tolerance and fighting prejudice: here are some of our core values, which guide us through our vision of a positive company, helping each one feel happy and accomplished. Sébastien Grosjean, our CEO, says:

Regularly organising team retreats is very important to me. Every year, we aim at gathering our co-workers for a unique occasion of sharing and exchanges, which helps creating a team spirit. Organising this week in Névache, our headquarters, needed several months of preparation, but this was worth it. Today, we’re leaving Névache more motivated than ever, decided to reach our goals!

See you next year for another destination!

You can see more pictures of us in Névache on our official Facebook page.

2 Solutions To Easily Automate Your SMS Communication With Guests

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This is something we’re being asked a lot: can you automatically send SMS notifications to your guests via email, using BookingSync?

We’ve been looking for solutions and found 2 great products for you, depending on your needs: discover Wishbox and TextMagic.

Wishbox pre-scheduled automated email-to-SMS

Wishbox, as an official partner app, allows you to configure automatic messages and their rules. Their offer is fully synced with BookingSync.

Create a message, pre-schedule it and edit the information available.

Wishbox allows you to:

  • Choose some or all the booking sources (Airbnb, Booking.Com, HomeAway, etc.)

  • Choose the condition under which you would like to send an automatic SMS (completing a pre-check in/out, receiving a rating, etc.)

  • Set up triggers that will send the message before, during or after the event

  • Personalise the text message using for example the guest’s name or the property booked

The whole SMS set up process is explained in the Wishbox blog.

Direct sending from BookingSync with TextMagic

The solution offered by TextMagic is pretty simple: create your account on TextMagic’s side using the email address of your choice and you’re all set up!

For clients to receive your email as an SMS, simply send your message to {client’sphonenumber}@textmagic.com, from the BookingSync Notifications app. Your guests can also reply to the SMS and you’ll receive the answer as a regular email.

Note, though, that the email you send should be sent as a normal text message and cannot be styled, so don’t use any HTML within it.

 

Here’s what TextMagic does for you:

  • Get detailed SMS reports, highlighting your sent message history and delivery rates

  • Booking confirmations, marketing & promotions, alerts & notifications…

  • Each SMS sent costs 8 cents

  • And much more! You can check all of the TextMagic features on their website directly

Note that the email address used with TextMagic should be the same as the one used in your BookingSync account.

       

Staying in contact with your guests via SMS is the easiest way to reach them.

Know another great email-to-SMS solution? Share it in the comments!

Cleaning, Laundry & Check-Ins Made Easy For Your Vacation Rentals With Doinn

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June isn’t over yet and we’re already introducing you to our 4th partnership of 2018: Doinn, a specialised cleaning, laundry & check-in/out service for your vacation rentals.

What’s Doinn?

As Doinn defines itself, it is a “technology bridge between short-term rental properties and hotel services vendors”. Their mission is to bring the hotel cleaning professional companies one click away from the vacation rental managers, automating the cleaning and laundry services with the booking reservations and offering a unified customer support, independently of the number of vendors you work with or in how many cities.

  • Cleaning with Doinn: By bringing professional housekeeping hotel providers to the vacation rental industry, they bring their experience in hospitality, and more important, their legal, insured and trained employees able to follow the well defined Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

  • Laundry with Doinn: Doinn launders your own linen or allows you to rent, launder & sanitize hotel-quality linen, at no extra cost.

  • Check-ins/outs with Doinn: Doinn works with well-trusted and trained welcomers, providing your guests with helpful tips about your property and its surroundings.

Their platform is tailor-made done for managing and booking the services needed for vacation rentals, from API synchronization, uploading of group of properties in bulk, to online payments for the services. The software they have for the service providers helps them to optimize their operations and team of cleaners.

Already a BookingSync client?

Create a user profile at https://Doinn.co/ and activate the Bookingsync integration at the Integrations tab. Sync all your listings and bookings, which will then be imported in Doinn. You can now seamlessly schedule the cleaning and laundry services you need, according to your reservations, and get access to the best local cleaning providers.

For now, Doinn is available in several countries: France (Paris), Portugal (Lisbon, Porto, Almada, Ericeira, Setùbal, Sintra, Albufeira, Aljezur, Almada, Castro Marim, Faro, Lagoa, Lagos, Loulé, Olhão, Portimão, Silves, Sintra, Tavira, Vila do Bispo, Vila Real de Santo António and Spain (Madrid, Barcelona). If you are willing to grow nationally or internationally, Doinn will save you plenty of time to get established in a new city.

Getting started with Doinn

Read our manual to know how to install and use the app.
Already a BookingSync client? Install the Doinn app in our App Center right now and watch our live webinar on June, 14th at 4pm CEST!

5 Tips For A Family-Friendly Vacation Rental

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Families are generally accepted in vacation rentals, but are yours really prepared for young children?

Let’s review together a few tips on how you can improve your rental offer and adapt it to most travelers.

Targeting families: 35% of total travelers in the US

If you’re still wondering if there’s anything more to earn when targeting families, these statistics should speak for themselves: 35% of US tourists travel as families, and 44% of people aged 18-35 travel with their children.

Our client Ovo Network understood that well, and even decided to create their very own label: “Cool for kids, which ensures families will find everything they need in the selected rentals.

So, let’s get to work and see what you can do to try to attract these potential guests!

  • Secure the property: parents like to know they’ll find the same security and comfort as they do in their own home. You can, for example, add children’s safety gates to the stairs. If there’s a swimming pool available in the house, buy a solid safety pool cover or a pool alarm for a better peace of mind.

  • Equip the rentals with some basic gear: high chair, booster seat, plastic cutlery and plates, potty, baby monitor, crib, night-light… You can also prefer to install a bathtub instead of a shower, which is more convenient for young children and babies.

  • Save at least one room for children: make it colorful, add a playground with board games, DVDs, books… You can also choose to add bunk beds to the room, to save some space (and most children LOVE bunk beds!).

  • Make it fun: holidays aren’t just about museums and restaurants. It’s also about quality family time! Show families they’ll have fun not only in your city or region, but also in your property. You can also list all the family-friendly outdoor activities that are available around your house or apartment: amusement parks, beaches, playgrounds, basic hiking trails, family-friendly restaurants, etc. Which takes us to the last point…

  • Adapt your listings to families: take pictures of the family-friendly features you offer and show how your property has been secured. For example, if there’s a road near one of your rentals, specify if the garden door can be locked.

Your BookingSync listings can also be adapted, depending on the features available in the properties (open the image in a new tab for a better overview):

Of course, these are just examples of all what you can do to attract families and make them feel safe in your vacation rentals.

Have any other tips to share? Write them in the comments!

Stay In Contact With Your Guests Thanks To Wishbox

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We’re integrating today a new guest relationship management software to our App Center: Wishbox, the leading solution for vacation rental agencies and hosts.

What’s Wishbox?

Wishbox is a software that lets you automate all your guest communication, generate more revenue and drastically improve your guest experience, with no effort.

Wishbox lets you:

  • Communicate in the guests’ language

  • Send fully-customisable confirmation emails

  • Use an automatic pre check-in/check-out wizard

  • Chat with your guests thanks to an optional, unified chat tool

  • Scan passports and credit cards

  • Send property codes & apartment notes

  • Set pre-scheduled automated messages & SMSs

  • Share a guest web-app to give your guests an amazing experience

  • Create a unique guidebook for each property

  • Manage reviews thanks to an intelligent review system, pushing excellent reviews on outside websites and retaining bad reviews

Using Wishbox lets you save up to 2 hours of work per day, thanks to the automation & your own branded guest-app.

Getting started with Wishbox

Read our manual to know how to install and use the app.
Already a BookingSync client? Install the Wishbox app in our App Center right now and watch our live webinar on May, 24th at 3pm CEST!

BookingSync clients can try Wishbox for free during 21 days.

Didn't get the chance to watch our live webinar? Worry no more, we've got you covered with this recorded video below.

CanadaStays, A New Channel For Your Canadian Properties

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Aaaaand one more channel for 2018!
Discover a new channel for your Canadian properties on CanadaStays, Canada’s largest vacation rental marketplace.

What’s CanadaStays?

CanadaStays is Canada's #1 choice in vacation rentals, with over 140,000 vacation rental properties, including cottages, cabins, chalets and condos in 11,000 destinations across Canada, the US, the Caribbean and South America. CanadaStays sees 4 to 5.5 million page visits a year, providing a new opportunity to drive more Canadian travellers to your listings.

Why list with CanadaStays?

  • Increased Exposure: Access Canada’s largest vacation rental audience as well as a growing list of distribution partners, including HomeAway, VRBO, Tripping and Cottage Life, at no extra charge

  • Flexible Pricing: find your best ROI with pay-per-booking or subscription models

  • Flexible Booking Options: choose between instant booking or a 24-hour confirmation period

  • Dedicated Account Managers: maximize booking opportunities with the help of an in-house optimization team

  • Secure Payments: you and your traveller are protected by a secure payment platform

Getting started with CanadaStays

Read our manual to know how to install and use the app.
Already a BookingSync client? Download the CanadaStays app in our App Center right now and watch our live webinar on May, 17th at 5pm CEST! Meet the CanadaStays team and discover how you can sync your listings with Canada's biggest channel.

BookingSync clients will receive an exceptional discount of $100 off CanadaStays owner/manager fees + $50 off if you register before May, 28th!
Didn't get the chance to watch our live webinar? Worry no more, we've got you covered with this recorded video below.

This Simple Trick Will Change The Way You See Accounting

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Tired of filling in calculation sheets? Lost in numbers and transactions?

Like most vacation rental owners and managers, we bet you didn’t get into that business to deal with numbers… As the VR industry is facing a huge expansion, many side-businesses are being created, helping owners and managers to save time and money everyday:

Changeover management with Properly, vacation rental softwares such as ours, team management and stats with Rental Ninja, for example.

One of them decided it was high time someone jumps into the accounting case and starts developing a solution that could be beneficial to every vacation rental host: welcome to the Rental Ninja Accounting Solution!

Accounting made easy, from one single place

Imagine a tool where all of your vacation rental accounting can be made, from one place.

Following this simple idea, the Rental Ninja team worked very hard to create Accounting, the latest addition to their offer.

Here’s what you can do with Accounting:

  1. Create Accounting Statements per group of Rentals and any dates:

    1. Account for all your incomes from your bookings

    2. Payments: calculate how much you have to pay to your recipients: rental owners, cleaning/check-in agents...

    3. Know what is your net income (how much you earn, as a company).

  2. Once the recipients strategy is set, create all your Accounting Statements in the blink of an eye.

  3. Track your payments: mark a payment as paid once you transfer the money to a recipient.

  4. Send the recipient the required information: report, transfer receipt and any other attachment.

Coming soon: accounting statistics.

Payments
Payment Recipients
Booking Breakdown
Accounting Statement
Payment Details

The story behind this new tool

As you may already know, managing accounting can be difficult and painful, especially when it comes to vacation rental management. Rental Ninja, with an experience of 10 years in the industry thanks to their Easy Flat Barcelona business, knew they could bring a great solution to hosts and property owners.

Rental Ninja was born with the idea of helping people like us, with a high workload due to many repetitive tasks that, in fact, can be done in a more automatic way” says Didac Alvarado from Rental Ninja.

What is useful for us must be useful for others. We’re in a constantly growing industry, and automating tasks is the fastest way to grow. Saving time in what has a poor added value has a huge importance.

So we were obsessed with the idea of developing an accounting tool specially designed for the Vacation Rental Business. We, as many people might do, used to run with spreadsheets. However, you have to manually add all the information, and many times you just miss something. And on top of that, if a booking changes, you have to start over again... Sometimes it’s tricky to calculate how much you have to pay to each of your rental owners, check-in/cleaning agents,...

So we decided to go for it and create a solution for it all: From automation to commission calculation and owner payments. What took us two days every month, we can now achieve in about 2 hours.

Here’s a video introducing you to the Accounting tool:

Ready to save time and make your vacation rental life easier? Become a Rental Ninja and start you 30-day free trial!

Taking Over The Vacation Rental Market In Cannes: The Immogroom Case

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How Immogroom is revolutionizing the Cannes vacation rental market with the help of Properly and BookingSync
Just like we did last month, we're showcasing today another vacation rental professional: Immogroom, working since 2015 on the French Riviera.

How did they succeed to manage from 0 to 90 properties in such little time?

What tools did they use to enhance their service quality and business processes?

Have a look at this presentation to know all about this incredible expansion:

You can read the full case study directly on Properly's blog.

What If We Sent Our Software To Space, With Orion Span?

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You’ve certainly seen the latest April Fool’s articles that we posted this year and in 2017.

MarsEscapes: When Traveling To Mars Becomes Touristic

LunarBnB & BookingSync: Ready To Fly To The Moon?
Even though these articles were written for fun, traveling to space is still a dream for us all!

What if we could help space travel grow? What about turning our “Save Time, Book More” into “Save Time, Host Further”?

Space Tourism: Our dream come true

No more jokes, this time!

When we read the news announcing the first tourist space travels by 2021 by Orion Span, we just couldn’t believe it: the American start-up specialised in the aerospace industry has created the “Aurora Space Station”, a dream that now comes true.

Of course, we couldn’t just stand there waiting for it to happen.

Taking up challenges, offering innovative features, participating in the booming industry of tourism, wherever it is situated, is in our DNA. This is why we can offer today the ideal space housing tool to Orion Span.

The BookingSync tool, THE solution on the ground or in orbit

Can you really manage a space tourist housing the same way you manage a room on Earth?

That’s a good question! What we know is that some points remain essential:

  • Property Management System: easily and efficiently manage the Aurora Space Station!

The BookingSync tool allows you to manage calendars, housings, clients and pricings from a unified interface.

  • Notifications: “Only 3 months left before departure, time for your training!”

Our app allows you to automatically send messages to your teams and clients, depending on predefined parameters: payment confirmations, contracts, welcome books, customers satisfaction, email and intervention alerts, departures...

  • Payments: Tracked and secured payments, for all.

Our software is compatible with some of the most popular payment gateways: Stripe, Braintree, Paypal.

  • Website Builder: Give the Aurora Space Station the attention she deserves.

Our teams create fully customisable websites that you can adapt to your needs and desires and are: responsive, multilingual, offer an SSL certificate and can let travelers book directly or after an initial contact. A real tailored-design creation made for a nonstandard project.

  • Access to our API: Do you need to create your own training app, or simulation software? Give free rein to your imagination!

Each BookingSync client or partner can create its own program, connected to our platform, depending on their special needs and desires.

As a famous astronaut once said, together we can go “To Infinity And Beyond”.

So Orion Span, what are you waiting for? Join us! ;-)

BNBKEYS: Betting On The Province

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BNBKEYS, a management and concierge services startup, was created a year ago in Cannes, France. Now celebrating their first anniversary, we wanted to discuss with their team about their engagement towards local companies and their vision of the vacation rental industry. Here’s their testimony.

Focusing on the province: reaching different assets than in the capital

Paris gathered almost 87,000 declared Airbnb housings in September 2017, which made it owning 22% of the French vacation rental market. Yet, not all short term rentals are situated inside the capital city: BNBKEYS’s success story proves there’s still a lot to do with the rest of the country, as it has now become the first vacation rental platform on the Côte d’Azur, in just a few months.

BNBKEYS chose to develop in priority on the Côte d’Azur, then spreading to other provincial cities, choosing in priority seaside resorts such as the Basque Coast, or the Normandy Coast.

Let’s take for example the city of Cannes, where BNBKEYS was created: the town wasn’t chosen by accident. The MIPIM, LIONS and Festival de Cannes are just a few examples of the attractiveness of the city, not only for tourists but also professional travelers who can enjoy specific partnerships such as hybrid driver services, personalised advice and much more.

Creating and promoting the local fabric

Today’s travelers have evolved. As we’ve entered a time of internet and social networks, travelers now want to be able to discuss, exchange, share with the locals.

Faced with these new demands, BNBKEYS decided to develop its very own concept: to create exclusive partnerships with players in the local economy, whether they offer personal sports coaching services, hybrid driving or tourist attractions visits.

Guiding their clients during their whole stay, and connecting them to local professionals, BNBKEYS is part of the long-term vision of vacation rental and global tourism: to be home anywhere, while enjoying custom, quality services just like in the traditional hotel industry.

Open Properties (caretaking solution), FÜSO (breakfast delivery), Timenjoy (selection of cultural events) or WeProov (electronic inventory solution) are as many key-partnerships selected by BNBKEYS, for owners and travelers.

It’s important for us [...] to federate young startups, that bring innovative ideas and can create a game-changer offer to BNBKEYS, in quite a competitive industry where margins are relatively low.

We’re convinced unity makes strength. These different innovative collaborations contribute to the local and regional economic drive and strengthen the attractiveness of young companies such as ours, which were not necessarily created in Paris at first.

Conclusion

Added to a complete management offer (listings creation/management, publication, price optimisation…), BNBKEYS made the difference thanks to a simple, yet essential idea: to create an added value for travelers and cities in which they’re available, offering a tailored service that can adapt to the clients’ desires and needs, whether they own vacation rentals or they travel.


MarsEscapes: When Traveling To Mars Becomes Touristic

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Who’s never dreamt of exploring new horizons?

At BookingSync, we’ve always been fascinated by space exploration. What greatest frontier than the infinitely big, infinitely far away? We’ve been focusing our efforts for 6 years now to bring you the future of space travel, and more generally tourism: MarsEscapes, the solution of space shuttle private housing.

Mars: Getting prepared for 2024

Collaborating with great space travel companies such as SpaceY, we’re developing private cabins that will be made available inside space shuttles, for people traveling to Mars starting in 2024.

Once the first colonies will be set up and the first travels made, we’ll launch our first tourist journeys equipped with the MarsEscapes cabins.

The travel, that will last about 30 days, will be entirely designed for travelers to live the journey as being an integral part of their travel.

All the amenities will be made available for everyone to enjoy these few weeks in space.

A high-quality, intimate travel

Our cabins, that we’re developing since 2012, allow space travelers to benefit from the terrestrial standard of living, mixed with the cutting-edge technology necessary to such a trip:

  • Each cabin is decorated and set up with care, and can welcome up to 2 travelers. Standard furniture in each cabin: a 160x200cm / 63”x79” bed, a desk, 2 chairs, a large 50cm/20” private window with a view on space, toilets and a small shower.

  • Cabins come equipped with a terrestrial gravity simulator, helping protect travelers from space sickness.

  • As there’s no gravity in the communal areas of the shuttle, a sports room is at disposal with: treadmills, balls, muscle work appliances to compensate for muscle loss due to weightlessness.

  • In order to protect travelers from the stress of such a trip, yoga & meditation classes and massage sessions are dispensed each day.

  • A complete medical centre (general medicine, surgery etc.) is at disposal for any medical emergency.

2024 may seem far away, but don’t forget we’re already in 2018: 6 more years before Humans can step foot on the Red Planet… And we’ll be there.

We created the MarsEscapes concept because, at BookingSync, our priority is to share, and to stretch our limits: to help you make the most of such a travel and make it accessible to the greatest number.

See you soon on Mars!

5 Tips To Manage Vacation Rental Security Deposits

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Security deposits are paid by your guests, and allow you to protect your properties from any kind of deterioration or additional cleaning fees.

Almost all bookings being made online, you can choose from several options when managing your security deposits.

How can you define the amount of a security deposit? Which option should you choose? We tell you all you need to know in this article.

Security deposit: under which conditions?

No matter how long the stay lasts and the cost per night: you should always require a security deposit!

Then, how can you receive the payment in due form?

As you can imagine, asking for a payment in cash -which cannot be tracked or counterfeit- or by check -facing risks of unfunded accounts and being geographically limited, as creditors and debtors must be domiciled in the same country- aren’t the best options.

The amount of the security deposit isn’t set by law. In practice though, the amount doesn’t exceed 20 to 25% of the rental cost. This amount must be written in the rental contract. Cashing is then made during the check-in inventory, which must be followed by a check-out inventory when the guests leave the property. This allows you to take stock of your rental situation and handle contentions, if there are any.

If no damage or degradation is observed, guests should be refunded within a timely manner. This period often lasts between 7 to 10 days depending on the rental managers and must be written in the rental agreement.

However, if works or excessive refurbishment are needed in the property, provide the related bills and subtract the amount charged to the security deposit.

Handling security deposits: 5 possible solutions

There are 5 common solutions allowing you to handle security deposit payments and refunds:

  • Online credit card payment terminal: simple and effective online payment solution, using the guest’s credit card. Stripe, Paypal, Verifone or Ingenico (in addition to an online payment contract with your bank) can be used for such payments. Fees and commissions vary depending on the solution used.

  • Card imprint: with this solution, travelers are not debited when paying the security deposit. The imprint is valid for 7 days and is renewable. You can also directly make an imprint on the day the guests arrive, which will then be valid during the whole stay. This service is also offered by Stripe, you just need to untick a box when cashing:

  • Bank transfers: in general, no commissions are taken on bank transfers but transfer fees can be applied, depending on banking establishments. A period going from 1 to 3 days can be necessary before to receive the payment. Also, note that adding bank account details, especially internationally, can be limited by some banks.

  • Paying security deposits through vacation rental marketplaces:

Let’s take, for instance, the 5 rental marketplaces with which we’re connected. Here’s how you can manage security deposits:

  • Airbnb: the easiest one! Airbnb keeps a credit card imprint et gives you a 48-hour period after the guests have gone to report any incident and use the deposit.

  • HomeAway: as a BookingSync client connected to HomeAway through the API, the payment gateway which has been set up in your BookingSync account is used for the HomeAway bookings cashing. It’s up to you to then decide on whether you want to cash the deposit during the booking payment -generally, along with the balance- or if you prefer to handle this during the check-in.

  • Booking.com doesn’t handle security deposits. Usually, managers receive the travelers’ credit card details and can manually debit them, or they proceed to a credit card imprint through their payment gateway. They can also choose to handle this during the check-in. We'll soon offer the same payment integration as with HomeAway, it will then be possible de debit both the security deposit and the booking when paying.

  • TripAdvisor cashes the travelers’ security deposit and gives you a 7-day period after they have left to report any incident and use the deposit. If no incident is being reported, TripAdvisor refunds the travelers.

  • misterb&b doesn’t handle security deposits.

Concerning HomeAway, Booking.com (soon), TripAdvisor and misterb&b, if you decide not to cash a deposit at the same time as the rental payment, and not to collect it through these marketplaces, you can ask for the security deposit payment by sending a BookingSync notification. This will send a secured payment link and collect the money through your payment gateway, for example.

Handling security deposits can be tricky, but it’s an essential point to your vacation rentals management and your peace of mind. Take the time to compare the existing solutions to find the one that best suits you, depending on your priorities: time gain, money saving or user-friendliness.

Register & Receive The BookingSync Newsletter!

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Want to receive the latest BookingSync news, directly in your mailbox?
Register right now to receive our official newsletters.

Latest BookingSync features, new partnerships, our advice and analysis for your vacation rentals, upcoming events, the team and our latest social network posts… All the info you need will be in the newsletter, gathered just for you!

  
If you don’t want to miss any news from your favorite vacation rental tool, join us now by filling the form below:

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Flexibility & Freedom: Working With The BookingSync API

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Did you know? BookingSync allows its clients and partners to access its API (Application Programming Interface) for free.

An API makes it easier for vacation rental companies to develop their very own program, working with our platform.

  

Since BookingSync was created, we’ve always wanted to work hand-in-hand with our partners and clients, by bringing them efficient, flexibility & freedom solutions. As our programming interface is open, each one of our clients and partners can create their own complementary tools to answer their own needs.

Owners, travelers app or even vacation rentals stats… Let your needs run wild and connect them to our platform.

   

Want to know more? Watch this short presentation right now!


The Challenge Of Increasing Your Occupancy: The Air Rental Case

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How Air Rental overhauled their property management strategy to hit their goal of 95% occupancy with BookingSync + Rental Ninja

You'll find the Slideshare presentation at the end of this article.


About Air Rental

Air Rental started managing vacation rentals in Montpellier, France less than two years ago. As a VR management startup, Air Rental grew quickly by word-of-mouth among property owners in France because of their objective: to maintain 95% occupancy while managing all aspects of the rental process.

CHALLENGE

At the start, Air Rental only listed on Airbnb and had an average occupancy around 60-70%. They needed a way to manage their growing portfolio of rentals across more channels in order to meet their occupancy goals.

When Air Rental found BookingSync, suddenly they had a platform to manage all their properties across 10+ channels including sites like Booking.com and HomeAway. BookingSync takes the complex data of property managers and makes it effortless to manage. In addition, Air Rental could create individual websites for each property, opening the opportunity to receive direct payments from renters. Increasing visibility through BookingSync boosted both their occupancy and profits. 

With all their rentals synced to a single platform, Air Rental then began to look for a way to automate their day-to-day property management needs. “We needed a visual aspect in terms of data analysis, which we didn’t have when we began,” said Thomas Servais, Partnership Manager and Co-Founder of Air Rental. “We were using very complex Excel sheets to try to manage our finances. Then we discovered Rental Ninja in BookingSync’s app center.”

BookingSync has an open API which means that they host a lot of other applications that are compatible with their software. This opens up a whole other world of possibilities to meet their users’ supplementary needs.

Just before they found Rental Ninja through BookingSync, Thomas contacted a large development company to ask about building an app to meet the day-to-day needs of short-term rental management. They wanted an app that would use BookingSync's calendar to offer real-time alerts for administrators, cleaning staff, and check-in agents.

“In the end,” Thomas said, “we realized that Rental Ninja was the exact solution we were looking to create for ourselves. It was a huge surprise to us because we immediately had the final product that we were planning to develop ourselves.”

SOLUTION

Air Rental uses Rental Ninja to give their staff a single mobile app to manage everyday bookings across multiple channels. In the office, Air Rental administrators can see all their VR data in a way that paints the bigger picture: the scale and profitability of 40+ vacation rentals across 10 different VR platforms.


“Rental Ninja gives us the visual graphics of the profitability of each rental with an excellent overview of the general business. We know exactly how many people are staying in our flats tonight, for example,” Thomas said.

“We can see the revenue from all the listings, how many nights were booked in the last 30 days, how many rentals were active.” There are two more graphs on the dashboard that give them the occupancy evolution over time and the revenues by booking. They can access reports instantly.


Rental Ninja has a unique advantage: it was built by software engineers with over 15 years of rental management experience in the complex, evolving Barcelona market. Rental Ninja has created the features VR managers need to harness the valuable data that BookingSync provides.

    

Rental Ninja’s mission is to simplify the entire short-term rental management process. To that end, they welcome feedback and collaboration from users. “We sent them a detailed list of the developments we wanted,” Thomas said, “and they added push notifications and implemented a chat window in their application.”

      

This mobile app allows administrators to give client and flat information to their teams in charge of the operational and logistic aspects of their work. Through Rental Ninja, each team member is assigned a role, and Air Rental can grant Permissions to team members according to their job and what they need to be able to do.


Before Rental Ninja, Air Rental used several calendars and had to communicate appointments and changes by phone or email. Now, their staff get real-time push notifications and alerts from a single calendar in the app.

“The people we work with use the calendars every day. They have the contacts of the travelers who are coming, they have all the information about when people are arriving or leaving--all specific to the flats that they’re managing,” Thomas said.

Air Rental's staff now stay informed in real time. They use the app every time a client checks in and can add fees and photos of important documents instantly. “They just click on the app, go into bookings, and they know where they’re at.”

The ability to give staff permission to only the listings and features that they need cuts the digital clutter and saves a lot of valuable time for everyone.


RESULTS

Before Rental Ninja, each new check in agent had to download at least 5 different apps to access all the calendars and information they needed. Now, they just need one.

The roles and permissions management features simplify onboarding and reduce the daily communication between the in-office managers and the check in agents and cleaning staff.

Air Rental now enjoys user-friendly access to all their statistics and reports using BookingSync data. It helps them maximize everything from revenue, channel performance, occupancy, to client profile--all in the web dashboard.


Because Thomas and his colleagues can see their growth and channel performance on a long timescale, they are able to reduce risk and make informed decisions about when to expand.

“Thanks to this new management strategy, we’ve opened a new city: Marseille. In the last two weeks, we’ve added 10 new listings. I know that’s directly linked to the way we’re managing our teams and our data.”


Set Your Vacation Rentals Free, Create Your Own Booking Website

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Isn’t freedom and autonomy every vacation rental manager’s dream?

Following the recent #BookDirect day which was organised by VRMintel on February, 7th, renters and travelers got the opportunity to realise how booking direct without OTAs (Online Travel Agency) can be an advantage.

This operation helped reach more than 18 million potential travelers in 24 hours only, via a Twitter & email campaign. It’s a safe bet to say this will have a positive impact on vacation rental bookings and the generated revenue.

#BookDirect: Why going without OTAs?

When owning or managing several vacation rentals, creating your own online platform reuniting all of your properties becomes essential as it’s the safest and most direct way to receive commission-free bookings! Depending on the OTA, commissions can reach up to 25% of the final price. This represents a huge share of your revenue, being redistributed to an outside agency. Incidently, there are no commissions when bookings are made on your own platform: the price displayed is the price to be paid, which you’ll directly receive.


This is also the only true solution if you wish to remain independent and set yourself free from big booking websites and their approach on the vacation rental industry which may not match your expectations or vision. Your website helps you build your own brand.

How can you work without OTAs?

Your website becomes a real front-window of your properties that potential travelers can access from the same place:

  • You can define your own branding, which will help you stand out from the competition such as Simplissimmo, a furnished apartments manager in Montreal. A personalised website allows you to determine your communication line and manage your pictures, listings, calendars and communication from the same platform.

  • A direct relation with travelers thanks to, for instance, the possibility to add a direct booking and contact tabs.

What should you highlight on your website?

  • Transparency: highlight your team (pictures, job descriptions…) and build trust among your travelers

  • Your properties’ name: ever heard of the “Billboard effect”? When leaving enough relevant information on your OTA listings, such as the name of your property and your company, this effect shows a certain amount of potential travelers will Google your name, in order to find your professional website and book direct.

  • “About”: write about your company, its culture, brand, commitments.

  • Blog: help your company grow online by sharing some advice, travel tips, the places to visit, latest info and what’s new in your rentals. That’s also a good way to improve your SEO.

  • Newsletter: encourage your visitors to leave their email when visiting your website, you’ll then have a database to send newsletters with Zapier. This is the best way to keep in touch with your visitors, even if they’ve never booked a stay with you.

Feel like getting your own, personalised website?

Discover our tailored website builder, especially made for your vacation rentals. Whether you need a powerful landing page, striking galleries, a professional blog or an online store, it’s all included in your BookingSync website.

Once created, it’s up to you to get your website known by sharing it regularly on social networks: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc.!


Smartrenting Rewrites The Vacation Rental Rulebook

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We all know the vacation rental agencies scheme: an owner or renter contacts an agency to rent a property while they’re away and the agency manages the rental, receiving a certain percentage of commission in return. In such cases, there are no guarantees over the rent that will be paid by the potential travelers.


A BookingSync client dared to shake up this well-established pattern. Smartrenting is a real real estate agency which subleases students’ or owners’ apartments while they’re away, guaranteeing the rent will be paid whether the property is rented or not!

This innovative approach has been widely recognised and approved by, among others, the media and several players of the rental Tech.

Smartrenting has received dozens of press articles, reports, media interviews as well as trophies. They’ve won the Mashup 24 contest, the “Favourite Start up” status (“Start-up Préférée”) Engrainages 2016, they were also the great winners of the weLike Startup contest… So many rewards up to the challenge offered by this new vision of vacation rental.

This is their story, told by Aurélie, Smartrenting’s Digital Marketing Manager.

  1. Hi Aurélie, could you tell me a bit more about Smartrenting?

Smartrenting guides young adults in their mobility projects. As we pay 100% of their rent for free, they don’t have to worry anymore about their apartment. We legally sublease their home on platforms such as Airbnb & Booking and manage every aspect of the lease -check-in/out, cleaning, house linen, listings management… We can even store their valuables.

As of today, we’ve helped 1,000 people travel stress-free of having to pay 2 rents or to find a new housing when coming back.

  

2. What should young travelers choose Smartrenting over another agency?

Our offer is free. We take the risk of not subleasing, not the tenant. Other concierge services often take a commission or charge depending on the apartment’s occupancy rate. We pay 100% of the rent, whatever happens -whether we sublease the apartment, or not.

3. That’s a reassuring promise! Can anyone benefit from Smartrenting’s offer?

Our service is available to tenants and owners. When working with owners, we guarantee they’ll receive a revenue each month, which we decide with them beforehand when signing the contract.

Our service is now available in Paris, Lyon & Bordeaux. In 2018, we’ll settle in three more cities -Strasbourg, Nantes & Aix-en-Provence. Our next step will take us to a European level.

 


4. One last word for our readers?

Yes, remember that in France, subleasing is legal on two conditions -you can’t earn more that the monthly rent and you need a written authorisation of the owner. As a real estate company, we know how to comfort owners and tenants as they can visit us in our agency directly. We also have access to several guarantees and insurances thanks to this status.

This new eye on the industry is supported and represented by each of Smartrenting’s employees.

Feel like joining them in their adventure? They’re recruiting City Managers for their new agencies in Strasbourg, Aix-en-Provence & Bordeaux who will be able to build a project from scratch and to manage a team. The City Manager should ideally come from the said city, should know it well and be motivated to develop the Smartrenting concept.

Send your resume right now!

BookingSync In 2018: Why & How Our Offer Is Evolving

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As 2017 was coming to an end, it was becoming more and more obvious that our vacation rental offer needed to evolve, in the interests of our present & future clients.

Over time, we got to identify two types of users that could be interested in the BookingSync software. Not all managers and owners have the same needs, the same goals nor have they reached the same level of development in their activity.

In light of these conclusions, we all sat around a -virtual- table and started discussing with every member of the BookingSync team. All together, we decided it was time for BookingSync to start offering new experiences that would fit every vacation rental owner or manager, whether they’re in charge of 1 or 1,000 rentals.

Save Time & Book More is the motto that drives every single decision we take, no matter the number of properties you manage.

     

This is why we decided to focus these next months on preparing a brand new offer that would fit every beginner or “small” manager, helping them transition towards a more professional activity.


Why did we decide to postpone account creations in the meantime, for people managing less than 20 rentals?

There are two reasons behind that decision:

  • This collective, strategic decision is also a collective effort in providing the best product and processes, which means we need time to build it the best way possible while managing our current customers.

  • For the sake of transparency, we didn’t want to welcome new customers in a transitory way, meaning our features and pricing wouldn’t be adapted.

At BookingSync, we always strive to provide the best tool and service. Taking this decision is, to us, the best solution if we want to keep offering prime solutions to vacation rental managers and owners.

The whole BookingSync Team is so grateful for your patience and understanding. As soon as the new tool is available, we will let you all know.

     

Want to be the first to know when the new BookingSync offer is available? Subscribe to our newsletter right now!

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6 Simple Hacks To Promote Your Vacation Rentals On Twitter

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With now more than 330 million active users in the world, Twitter is the 4th most used social network after Facebook, YouTube & Instagram.

It represents a huge potential for your vacation rentals: Twitter is the perfect way to create a professional network, and to reach potential travelers with no effort. The micro-blogging site is known for its ease and facility of use, that can be beneficial to anyone!

We’ve summed up in this article a few tips on how you can start promoting your property management activity on Twitter, in only 280 characters. Where should you start? What can you do to get noticed?

Let’s see together!

Twitter basics: Quick Start

First of all, create your account: pick a username that fits your properties name or brand, such as our client Hostmaker. Choose your @name, which should also be related to your property name.

Then add a profile picture -ideally, your company logo- and a cover picture. This one can represent one of your most beautiful properties, for example. Don’t forget to add some other relevant info, such as your bio, website address…

    

Keep one thing in mind: your Twitter account should help potential travelers easily find you and quickly understand what services you offer.

    

Once your account is all set up, start posting!


Talk about your rentals, but that’s not all!

1. What’s the point of talking, if there’s no one to hear you?

Keeping that in mind, start looking for relevant Twitter accounts that you could follow, hoping they’ll follow you back. Look for other vacation rentals, your local tourism board, local activities and tourism attractions. Share some of their tweets -that’s how Twitter messages are called- anything that could be of interest for your potential travelers.

Start building your network, and keep doing so several days a week.

    

      

2. What should you post on Twitter?

  • Let your followers know what’s new about your rentals. You’re building a swimming pool, renovating some properties or simply buying new bed mattresses? Share these everyday news, this will show your potential guests you take care of your properties.

  • Share about upcoming local events and shows: that’s the best way to show there are great things to do & visit in your area.

  • Regularly post beautiful pictures of your region: a parc, wild animals, architecture, sunsets… Anything that can help highlight your properties and attract tourists.

  • Talk about your vacation rentals! You can share some of your properties listings and/or pictures every once in a while, but it shouldn’t look like your account is a giant ad for your business.

  • Share some Twitter-special discounts, especially during the low season or for last-minute deals.

Note that your tweets should always contain a relevant picture; it’s been proven to be way more efficient than simple written messages.

Don’t forget to also use hashtags when posting on Twitter: this is the best way to ensure your tweets can be found by other property managers and travelers outside your network. They’ll help you reach a much larger audience.

#Sunset, #VacationRental, #PerfectHolidays… Tools such as Trendsmap can help you identify the best hashtags to be added to your tweets.

  

        

3. When and how much should you post?

This totally depends on the time you have available. You could be tweeting twice a week, or 5 to 10 times a day. You only need to be consistent in your posts and writing frequency.

Have fun and let the customers come to you!

      


There are plenty of tips & hacks you can find online on how to schedule tweets, how to identify the best hashtags or influential accounts to be followed.

Today’s technology allows professionals to promote and market their business for free.

That’s now up to you to jump on the bandwagon and start developing your vacation rental activity online: this can only be positive to your business!

Here’s Why We’re Encouraging Our Remote Teams To Meditate

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BookingSync was founded 8 years ago already, and we’ve been working remotely since the beginning. This is part of our philosophy and we think that’s the best way for our teams to respect the ideal work/life balance we all need.

     

Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by your work and responsibilities, not being able to focus anymore?

Well, this can happen to remote teams too -to the difference we can get up, stretch and go get a chocolate bar in our own kitchen when we want to!

This is why meditation can be so important for some of us. That’s the break-from-reality we need to escape the seriousness of work and release all the stress and weight we have in our minds, to be back in better shape and focus for our BookingSync clients.

Meditation: How, When, How often?

We asked several team members to share with you their best advice and tips on how they meditate and get to cope with their professional lives. Here’s what they told us.

   

Karol, our Chief Technology Officer, likes to meditate every day for about 10 min, when he feels too stressed and overwhelmed with his work. It helps him take a step back and get the clarity needed to prioritize and execute.

He uses Headspace, a specialised website.

His advice? “Start with a guided meditation and don't worry when you can't really clear your mind and stop thinking about all the problems, it takes time to stop getting lost in own thoughts. Just focus on your breath and meditate regularly.”

   

Dan, one of our developers, started meditating after reading about its benefits on books, blog posts, YouTube videos. Just like Karol, he enjoys meditating about 10 min a day with Headspace. It helps him keep focus longer, improve his mood and clear his thinking.

His advice? “Keep doing it!”

   

Mirella, one of our customer support agents, opened herself to meditation with Buddhism. She meditates everyday, for about 2 min every hour. YouTube videos can sometimes help her meditate and be more focused on her work.

Her advice? “It’s beneficial for everyone and everyone can do it”.

    

Mathilde, another customer support agent, meditates for about an hour every week. She started meditating 4 years ago after a personal issue, but kept doing it overtime. She first started meditating after assisting a collective meditation course. She says it helps her a lot to live in the present moment. It has an impact on her efficiency and faculty to focus on the present tasks.

Her advice? “Don't overthink it ;)”.

    

Antonio, our onboarding specialist, decided to start meditating to relieve from stress, anxiety and seasonal depression. He meditates everyday, for at least 1 to 2 hours a day. He likes to use an app called Calm or to listen to guided meditations on YouTube.

He thinks learning to meditate helps him bring internal focus to his every day work pattern.

His advice? “Do not give up! It’s hard at first and seems almost impossible, but it’s a skill that is totally overlooked and could help us all evolve into better people.”

    

Romain, our marketing specialist, meditates to handle his stress level. He likes to meditate for about 20 min during each session, as often as he can. He uses an app called Zenfie; he says meditation is ideal when you’re not being creative and just need a break to clean your mind.

His advice? “Keep Faith, enjoy the moment.”

    

Alexey, Full-Stack developer, needed to take a step back on his life. Meditation helped him find himself and set life goals. He usually meditates twice a day: first session lasts for about 30 min, during which he tries to relax and let his brain think by itself. Then, he likes to also meditate before to go to sleep: he creates a to-do list and uses a method of personal growth called “the wheel of balance”.

    

Sébastien, our CEO & founder, enjoys meditating for his personal growth and fulfillment. He meditates by himself, at least once a day, for about 10 min. It helps him feel much more harmonized, grateful, in a beautiful state and greater focus.

His advice? “Doing it right when you wake up using box breathing made it very simple to manage and schedule.”

    

Katherine, one of our customer support agents, likes to meditate to relieve from stress, twice a week for 10 min, using YouTube videos. It helped her think more clearly and relax her body.

Her advice? “Don’t push it and let it go, it comes with time.”

     

When not used to it, working remotely may need some of us a time of adaptation. When should you start working, when should you stop? The line between private and professional life can quickly fade if you don’t try protect it a little. Meditation can be a solution!


Your turn, now!

Do you also enjoy meditating?

What helps you preserve your work/life balance?

What advice would you share with your teams, to help them get better at work?

         

Feel free to share your thoughts on Twitter or Facebook. You can find us at @BookingSync.


6 Professional Tips For Your Listings’ Pictures

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Pictures are literally the window to your rentals; they’re key elements of your listings.

Compared to traditional, long-term rentals, vacationers cannot visit your properties before renting. It is then essential for you to highlight your houses’ or apartments’ best points thanks to quality pictures. Every detail counts, when it comes to photography.


We asked Marc Julien, professional photographer since 2008 and specialised in the vacation rental industry, to share with us his best tips to help you take the best pictures of your properties.

6 must-know tips for your pictures

  • First of all, provide yourself with the means to taking great pictures! Don’t randomly pick a camera. Forget about smartphones, choose a quality digital camera.

  • 1m20 / 4ft: the “Golden Number” of pictures! Don’t take pictures standing up, or too close to the ground. Photos taken 1m20 / 4ft up provide an ideal shot over your rentals’ rooms.

  • The tripod, a good photographer’s secret weapon: your pictures won’t get more or less intentionally vague with this tool, your camera remains stable when shooting and you save time.

  • Avoid fleeting images: position yourself in a corner of the room, rather than back to the wall. Snap the opposite angle to get the best camera angle.

  • Watch out for backlighting, especially if the room you’re photographing has a window. When snapping inside, you can also use the HDR mode on your camera. This will optimise both the quality and light of your shots.

  • Tidy up your rental! Whether you think this last piece of advice is just a detail, or logical, allow us to insist on it. If your property isn’t at its best when shooting, potential travelers may deduce that it will remain the same when arriving at your place, and that your rental isn’t fitted for their needs.

Which mistakes should you avoid when shooting?

No detail should be left apart when photographing! Clean up, shoot, start again. Take all the time you need to ensure you’ll get the best picture quality possible.

Watch out for mirror reflections! That’s the kind of detail that makes all the difference. Check every reflection, especially on ovens, fridges, kitchen furniture… Not to forget bathrooms and their large mirrors.

You can use a remote triggering system, and learn how to use a picture editing software such as Photoshop or Gimp.

A few more tips

You should also know that using a good camera isn’t enough to take good pictures. Ask a professional retailer how to pick the right lens, fitted to your needs.

When adding the pictures to your listings, carefully choose how to display and position them. The potential traveler should feel like he/she is visiting the property: start with the living-room, then the kitchen, the bedrooms and finally the bathroom, not to forget the outside -garden, patio, surroundings. Don’t add over a dozen pictures.

You can also adapt your listings to the season, especially when it comes to the outside. Renting a mountain chalet? Take pictures of your chalet and its surroundings covered in snow and start over when spring comes, highlighting what makes holidays in the middle of nature so attractive.

Pictures should be taken at the right time. Is it raining or cloudy? Postpone your shooting and start again when the sun is back. Nothing beats natural sunlight when it comes to creating value for your vacation rentals.

As you see, one doesn’t become a professional photographer overnight. You’ll need to take into account a great amount of details, if you want to stack all the odds in your favour.

Competition is getting increasingly tough in the vacation rental industry. You can also make use of the services of a professional photographer, specialised in this area. You’ll then benefit from the best tips and tricks for your listings.


We would like to thank Marc Julien, professional photographer specialised in the vacation rental industry, for these tips and tricks. You too can call on Marc Julien’s experience for your properties. Visit his indoor shots gallery for a better overview of his work.


Welkeys Club: Hotel Quality For Vacation Rentals

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Welkeys is specialised in short and medium-term rental management, and has been developing its services for several years now: revenue management, hotel services, concierges… A team of +1,000 concierges, working in the main cities of France, manages the rentals for Welkeys. Their team also provides their services in Brussels, Belgium and Marrakech, Morocco.

Faced with this success, Welkeys decided to create Welkeys Club, its own booking platform made for travelers, thanks to BookingSync’s Website Builder.


What’s Welkeys Club?

If you’re feeling like traveling and renting an apartment or a house while getting hotel services, Welkeys Club is made for you, whether you’re simply on holiday or traveling for business!

Welkeys Club offers more than just a vacation rental platform, as they’ve selected fully-equipped housings for your comfort: wifi, welcome kit, house linen etc. are included in the rental.

Welkeys takes care of their travelers before, during and after their stay and offers a personalised service, tailored to their clients’ needs. The Welkeys team is young, 100% connected and attentive to travelers.

Why choosing Welkeys Club over another platform?

There’s no surprise when paying your booking on Welkeys Club: no rental or management fees are being added to the price displayed.

The net price is the final renting price, inclusive of all taxes!

The Welkeys Club offer: Who can join, and how?

The Welkeys Club has been created for two types of travelers: holiday-makers who already booked with Welkeys in the past, and who would like to travel again with them, but also for business travelers who wish to stay in a fully-equipped apartment during their stay.

Visit the Welkeys Club website for your next stay!

Need to ask a question? Contact the Welkeys team by phone +33(0)1 40 20 77 23 or email premium@welkeys.com.


If, just like Welkeys, you would like to know more about our Website builder, ask for your free demo right now!

Bye 2017, Hello 2018: Our Year In Review

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January is here again and just like we did last year, it’s time for us to look back on that time spent together.

What’s new with BookingSync? Here’s how we evolved over the past 365 days.


Exchanges

  • Vacation Rental World Summit: the VRWS took place in September, 23-24 in Florence, Italy. No presentation for us this time, but we had the pleasure to meet many actors of the vacation rental industry and attend interesting meetings.

  • The HomeAway meeting which took place in Annecy, France, on December, 7th to present our HomeAway integration.

  • The HomeAway conference that took place between May, 24th-26th in Austin, USA.

  • Official Ember.js sponsorship: we’re one of the many softwares that can live thanks to Ember’s open-source framework. Regularly organising Ember retreats for their developers is our way to say thank you.

What’s new

New co-workers

In 2017 again, more people joined us in our vacation rental journey:

  • Reinforcement of our customer care service: Alek, Tony, JB, Mathilde, Mirella, Tenley, Zahra and Laura are now part of the BookingSync adventure.

  • New developers: Adrian, Dan, Jovica, Okzea, Marc, Maciej, Sabin & Alexey. Welcome to the team!

  • Marine, our Digital Content Manager has also joined us full-time.

    
Babies and weddings!

  • Maud and Laura had 2 wonderful babies in 2017. Congratulations again!

  • Jovica and Alexey got married last year -but not together- best wishes!


     

More to come for 2018! Our team is working on top features we can’t disclose for now, but we’re sure you’ll love them… and as usual, they’ll help you Save Time and Book More!


BookingSync Now Integrates misterb&b, World’s First Gay Hotelier

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At BookingSync, we keep expanding our service in 2018 by now integrating misterb&b, world’s first gay hotelier.

Misterb&b is becoming a key player of the international homosexual vacation rental, as it has already counts 200.000 hosts in 135 countries.


What’s misterb&b?

Following a negative experience in his personal life, Matthieu Jost, misterb&b’s CEO, decided to create his own vacation rental platform in 2014. This platform would then help anyone feel welcome, without risking being judged depending on the sexual preference.

“While collaborative economics are booming, gay hosts and travelers do not always feel welcome or even safe” says Matthieu Jost, misterb&b’s CEO.

misterb&b is the answer to a strong demand on collaborative tourism, in the booming sector of gay tourism, that’s been estimated at more than 100 billion Dollars. The gay travel market is a premium segment, with clients traveling twice more than in the regular travel market.

misterb&b is available on internet, but also on Android & iOS.


Getting started with misterb&b

Read our manual to know how to install and use the app.

Already a BookingSync client? Download the misterb&b app in our App Center right now and watch our live webinar on January, 11th at 5pm EST !

Didn't get the chance to watch our live webinar? Worry no more, we've got you covered with this recorded video below.