Short-Term & Vacation Rental Discussions

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Gulliver R.
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Seattle, WA
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Recs for Direct Booking Sites

Gulliver R.
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Seattle, WA
Posted Nov 23 2022, 16:22

Hi all,

What are the best websites to create a direct booking site?


Thank you,

Gulliver

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Bruce Woodruff#3 All Forums Contributor
  • Contractor
  • Arizona
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Bruce Woodruff#3 All Forums Contributor
  • Contractor
  • Arizona
Replied Nov 23 2022, 17:24

I used Wix. You can keep it free or upgrade to a paid version for not too much $$

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Leslie Anne Morris
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Smoky Mountains, TN
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Leslie Anne Morris
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Smoky Mountains, TN
Replied Nov 23 2022, 18:05

I used Ownerrez but not terribly happy with the SEO options...since there are none!  I may move to widgets on Wordpress or Sqaurespace soon.  But for ease of use Ownerrez is very easy.

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Paul Sandhu
  • Investor
  • The worst town to live in, KS
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Paul Sandhu
  • Investor
  • The worst town to live in, KS
Replied Nov 24 2022, 08:27

I put an ad on Craigslist and people contact me from there.  I meet them in person and collect the rent after they look at the property with me.  You have to be comfortable and be able to carry yourself when you meet a group of total strangers and go into a house with them and collect money.  The back of my work truck window has a sticker that says "Protected By Glock"

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Replied Nov 24 2022, 09:39
Quote from @Bruce Woodruff:

I used Wix. You can keep it free or upgrade to a paid version for not too much $$


 I use Wix but I can’t take direct bookings on it without another booking/calendar app.  Have you found a way to do this?

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David Bergmann
  • Property Manager
  • Columbia, SC
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David Bergmann
  • Property Manager
  • Columbia, SC
Replied Nov 24 2022, 11:19

Have a PMS system that will generate one for you for free.

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Lisa Graesser
  • Rental Property Investor
  • The Villages, FL
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Lisa Graesser
  • Rental Property Investor
  • The Villages, FL
Replied Nov 24 2022, 18:17

Houfy.com 

Add your listing and receive direct bookings. It is free to use for hosts and guests. You can receive credit card payments through Stripe or Square or take payments however you like....venmo, zelle, PayPal, check...your choice. Upload your rental agreement and have guests sign on the site when making the reservation. 

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Gulliver R.
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Seattle, WA
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Gulliver R.
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Seattle, WA
Replied Nov 24 2022, 20:23

Thank you all for the input!

@Bruce Woodruff - Does the free Wix version give you the ability to receive credit/debit card payments like via Stripe? How much are you paying per month?

@David Bergmann - my PMS has a direct booking site feature but it's in beta right now. 

@Lisa Graesser - what's houfy.com? I never heard of it. I just pulled it up and it looks like a listing site like an airbnb.com.

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Lisa Graesser
  • Rental Property Investor
  • The Villages, FL
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Lisa Graesser
  • Rental Property Investor
  • The Villages, FL
Replied Nov 25 2022, 04:11
Quote from @Gulliver R.:

Thank you all for the input!

@Bruce Woodruff - Does the free Wix version give you the ability to receive credit/debit card payments like via Stripe? How much are you paying per month?

@David Bergmann - my PMS has a direct booking site feature but it's in beta right now. 

@Lisa Graesser - what's houfy.com? I never heard of it. I just pulled it up and it looks like a listing site like an airbnb.com.

It is a direct booking site, I use this in place of having my own website to take direct bookings.

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Bruce Woodruff#3 All Forums Contributor
  • Contractor
  • Arizona
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Bruce Woodruff#3 All Forums Contributor
  • Contractor
  • Arizona
Replied Nov 25 2022, 06:53
Quote from @Patricia Andriolo-Bull:
Quote from @Bruce Woodruff:

I used Wix. You can keep it free or upgrade to a paid version for not too much $$


 I use Wix but I can’t take direct bookings on it without another booking/calendar app.  Have you found a way to do this?


 No, I have not gone that far yet. May have to change it....it is just an information site for now, and then guests contact me directly to book.

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Michael Baum#5 All Forums Contributor
  • Olympia, WA
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Michael Baum#5 All Forums Contributor
  • Olympia, WA
Replied Nov 27 2022, 00:26

I am looking at Houfy as well due to @Lisa Graesser's excitement and success with it. Seems like an easy way to go.

If you want to build your own site, I recommend Wordpress and Bluehost as the hoster. They have tons of tools and there are a lot of widgets for STRs with Wordpress.

You can even hire someone easily from one of the many talent sites that can knock it out in a few hours.

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Lynette Guy
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Decatur, GA
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Lynette Guy
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Decatur, GA
Replied Dec 2 2022, 12:59

I use OwnerRez with a Word Press website. Word Press is fully customizable and I am able to sync it with Airbnb and VRBO. Here it is for reference.  

https://freedomfindervacationr...