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.