The boutique Australian property is reaping the benefits of these commission-free bookings along with business process efficiencies brought in by a distribution management platform.
About the property
Simpson Cottage is an enchanting sandstone cottage tucked away in a secluded corner of the Royal National Park [New South Wales, Australia]. Here you’ll find stunning water views, a huge, serene garden and a private track to Bonnie Vale beach.
Hidden within the township of Bundeena just a 90-minute drive from the hustle and bustle of Sydney, it is a vacation rental with a rich heritage. Built-in the 1870s, it was the original home of the Simpson family; one of the first settlers south of the Hacking River. Throughout the cottage, many original features have been retained including wrought iron, original fireplace, high timber lined ceilings, front door with the original lock and French doors.
The challenge: need for a wider reach
Simpson Cottage was listed on Stayz, a niche online channel, primarily focusing on the Australian market. When Airbnb arrived on the travel scene and disrupted long-standing booking patterns, Simpson Cottage team knew it was time to up their game. Besides Stayz was bought over by Expedia Group, after which commissions from the channel went up while the service standards started lagging.
As the number of online channels where the property was listed went up, manually juggling rooms and bookings was become too much work. Maintaining rate parity, avoiding double bookings and optimising rates was eating into the team’s time to provide great service.
Another opportunity, to grow commission-free direct bookings, was also a driver for Simpson Cottage to review their distribution tools.
STAAH ticked all the boxes
After trying out a couple of other channel managers, Simpson Cottage settled on STAAH. It was reliable, offered great service, was value for money and simple to use.
Being a boutique property, Simpson Cottage was not after the bells and whistles that come with a channel manager and booking engine. With STAAH, they added to their basket only what was needed. It was STAAH’s simplicity of use and customer service that sealed the deal for Simpson Cottage in 2020.
To increase its reach more efficiently and moving away from reliance on a single channel, the STAAH channel manager was engaged. Over the last year, a number of new channels have been added. Integration to these channels was a breeze, as is updating of rates to meet the rate parity criteria.
The STAAH booking engine was added to the mix to capitalise on growing direct bookings; a commission-free booking channel that was largely ignored prior to STAAH.
The result: an uplift in direct bookings
The setup support was thorough and ensured everything worked properly to meet the property’s need. With them actively using the channel manager and booking engine, bookings are on the rise, especially direct. Rate update is made in one place, saving the team hours in uploading them to every OTA.
The results are promising and the Simpson Cottage team is optimistic about what the future holds for their boutique property.
To know more about this boutique property visit www.simpsoncottage.com.au