A direct booking website is critically important for any successful short-term rental business. However, it can be daunting to get started. Especially when you are unfamiliar with web development. Even then, is it worth the hassle of building and integrating into a booking engine, processing payments, maintenance, upgrades and everything in-between?
In this guide, I'll show you how to launch a top of the range direct booking website engine from start to finish in a few minutes. We call it an engine as it's much more powerful than a regular website.
Our direct booking engine powers property portfolios of all sizes. From those starting with 1 listing to large operators with 300+ listings. It's incredibly scalable and grows with you.
Brought to you by Uplisting
We’ve built an all-in-one property, channel management and automation tool to help property managers scale seamlessly.
Your booking engine will sync in realtime with Airbnb, Booking.com & VRBO (Homeaway). You can accept guests payments instantly (and securely for both you and your guest). Availability and prices are always up to date. Your website design will be top of the range, using the latest (and always up to date) design trends, geared for optimal conversions, both on desktop and mobile. And that's just the beginning, as you'll see.
Before we dive in, why do you need a direct booking website? Fundamentally, there are two key reasons:
It can be daunting to create a reliable and guest-friendly booking website. You may be thinking:
These are very common questions. On top of these more obvious concerns, you also need to consider:
Don't worry. These challenges are all solved with the Uplisting direct booking engine.
This short video will show you how to create your direct booking website. The step by step guide is provided below.
Step 1: Sign-up to Uplisting
Click here to sign up for your free trial of Uplisting (no credit card required)
Step 2: Connect your Airbnb account
Click the Connect with Airbnb button.
Click "Allow". Again, you can disconnect this at any time. Clicking "Allow" lets Uplisting import all your listing information and enables us to sync availability and prices to Airbnb from Uplisting (so your calendar is always up to date).
Step 3: Uplisting will import all your active listings from Airbnb within a few seconds
Uplisting imports your listings, photos, descriptions, prices, availability, extra guest charges, discounts, cleaning fee and more. This means you don't need to do anything to create your direct listing website!
Click the "Get started" button. We're nearly there!
Step 4: Open the Direct screen
This is where you set up your direct booking engine. You can explore the rest of Uplisting later (we have lots more to offer like automated guest messages, channel management with Booking.com and VRBO, etc).
Enter a domain name here. This is most likely your company name, for example, londonrentals.
The link for your booking site will then be; https://londonrentals.bookeddirectly.com.
Click the save domain button.
Step 5: View your ready to go booking website!
That's it from the content side. Can you believe it was this easy?
Click the "Preview direct booking engine" button.
You should see something like this! This is your "All listings" page, where your guests can search for dates and filter by city (if you have more than one), number of guests and price.
PS: Check how fast this page loads! We work hard behind the scenes to ensure your website loads quickly and keeps visitors engaged on desktop and mobile.
And this is what that page looks like on mobile.
Click to view individual listing pages. Looks pretty good!
One last step to start accepting payments.
Step 6: Connect Stripe to process payments
To accept payments, you need to connect your Stripe account. Not familiar with Stripe, click here to learn more.
Go to the connect screen, then click on Stripe (or skip to the Stripe settings screen by clicking here).
Click the Connect with Stripe button. This directs you to your Stripe account to confirm the connection to Uplisting. You can disconnect this connection on Stripe at any time.
Select the listings you want to connect to this Stripe account. You can connect multiple Stripe accounts, which is why you have this option.
Click Save and connect Stripe.
Done! You can now accept secure guest payments.
On the Direct booking screen, you can:
I can't wait to see your direct booking websites up and running and accepting commission-free bookings!
Brought to you by Uplisting
We provide you with all you need to launch your direct booking website. Time to boost profits!