The global vacation rental market is expanding at a rapid pace. According to a study by Technavio, the industry was worth $137.77 billion in 2016 and is predicted to reach a net value of $193.89 billion by 2021. Recent years have seen an influx of new travel accommodation options. Consumers can now choose between traditional hotel rooms, peer-to-peer home-sharing, as well as professionally managed rental properties and serviced apartments. Given the amount of options available to consumers, it is imperative for vacation rental brands to define their brand identity and distinguish themselves within the travel accommodation market. From the beginning, RentalsCombined.net has provided a professionally managed alternative to the emerging peer-to-peer rental providers. This market offering brings value to a group of business and leisure travelers, who are looking for price-competitive accommodation without the risk factor involved in renting from private providers.
As with any business venture, establishing robust partnerships is one of the best ways to lay a solid foundation for your business. During my career as an entrepreneur, I have built many successful businesses from the ground up. From these experiences, I have learned that great partnerships can allow your brand to flourish and help you to stand out from the competition. The opportunities are enormous, but it can be hard to know where to start.
In the fast-paced travel accommodation industry, it can be an advantage to partner with companies that enable you to cater to different types of travel customers – such as business travelers, family holiday-makers or those looking for luxury accommodation. The most effective way for travel companies to expand their market offering, is to collaborate with trusted partners with whom you can build a long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationship.
At RentalsCombined.net, we have experience that building strong partnerships has resulted in an enhanced product offering. Ultimately, these collaborations have added value to both parties’ end-customers.
For many travel companies, having successful partnerships enables them to offer further options to travelers during the vacation booking process. For example, Qatar Airways has recently partnered with a premium French helicopter operator, to offer additional travel connections to customers via its website.
Sharing resources and industry expertise can be hugely beneficial. Since our inception, RentalsCombined.net has benefited from a variety of partnerships. We are privileged to supply some of the world’s largest blue-chip travel management companies with a growing portfolio of professionally managed rental accommodation. Through these partnerships, RentalsCombined.net has been able to bring a human touch back to the travel booking process. Our partnerships allow us to provide consumers with a human-to-human service in an age of digital oversaturation.
Our technology enables travel management companies to connect with busy travelers and supply them with tailored rental accommodation options. This process helps both travel professionals and property managers to compete in the sharing economy and brings value to the customer, who is exhausted by the vast amount of available options online. By partnering with both travel management companies and property managers, we aim to breathe new life into two sectors that have been faced with challenges from modern advances within the market.
Picking the Perfect Partner
When considering who will make the best industry partner, it is important to look for companies that complement and enhance your existing offering. Choosing a partner with similar values and company ethos, will make the process much easier. If successful, you will eventually be able to present the industry with a joint force to be reckoned with.
When entering into new partnerships, it is essential to define and discuss the corporate goals of your company - and those of your prospective partner. Good communication is the key to building successful business partnerships. You have to be honest, transparent and ensure that everyone is on the same page. After all - from a corporate perspective - if you do not agree on the direction in which the relationship is heading from the outset, you may be faced with problems down the road. Therefore, I advise you to speak up if you feel your business objectives are not being achieved.
Finally, it is important to take the time to fully endorse affiliate companies within the wider industry. Partners are an extension of your business, therefore, raising their profile will not only benefit them, but will also strengthen the market presence of your own brand.
Partnerships Can Build Consumer Confidence and Trust
Although short-term property rentals have become a popular option for consumers during the vacation booking process, many travel operators have been reluctant to rely on independent – and often unregulated – vacation property sites. This is largely due to the risk of fraudulent activity, as well as the fact that peer-to-peer providers can deliver a frustratingly fragmented user experience.
Providing a fully integrated online service - where a user can book instantly-available property rentals at the same time as flights and add-ons - can vastly improve the user experience. Likewise, partnering with trade associations to provide financial assurances – and protect consumers against booking scams or fraudulent property listings – will build consumers’ confidence in your company. New research by the American Hotel & Lodging Association, found that 22% of American travelers have experienced fraudulence from online scam-sites. This figure has risen by a staggering 16% in just two years. Therefore, safeguarding customers against online fraud through partnerships with professional associations, is more imperative than ever.
Application Program Interface
From initial research to final procurement, the booking process needs to be as smooth and user-friendly as possible. API integration plays a key role in the provision of efficient, one-stop-shop booking facilities. Sophisticated APIs can facilitate improved search functions, customer loyalty schemes, swift reservation and payment options - as well as trackable customer touch points along the path to purchase. Partnering with tech companies that provide sophisticated APIs, can enable travel service providers to build far more meaningful relationships with their customers. APIs can also be used to link to other service providers and increase the inventory available, further widening your pool of prospects.
In an industry, fraught with fierce competition from independent travel operators - as well as from cross-sector global platforms, attempting to turn their hand to travel - it is time for true industry specialists to stand together and provide travelers with worldwide quality rental accommodation options.