Having a website that represents your business – is a must-have thing nowadays. Furthermore, if we are talking about rental property business, website – is something that can drastically change your business for the better. You may wonder why it is so and below are listed reasons which will for sure persuade you to create a website for rental properties, if you still don’t have it.
- You engage more audience to your business
- People can effortlessly check all information via the internet, instead of calling directly and paying for the call
- Properties you possess can be displayed beautifully and show some attractive places around
- By writing eloquent descriptions, people will more likely to book the room directly
- If you offer extra services, you can add them to rooms, villas, houses so that people can book them as well and you make additional profit
This list can be carried on, but a picture is worth a thousand words, so let’s dive deeper into the process of launching a website itself and we will give you a few options to choose from.
Choosing a Template
As soon as you have made your mind and know that the website for your rental business is needed, there are a few ways that you can follow. Now we will try to shed some light on each of them and gather some facts so that you decide which variant is better for you.
First of all, let me clarify one very important thing, the driving force of any rental property website is the hotel booking engine, which “is responsible for all functionality”. What does it mean?
With nice hotel booking management system you can:
- receive and confirm online reservations quickly
- enable automatic confirmation
- monitor your calendars at any time and forget about paper journals
- provide guests with detailed information as for properties, discounts, prices, surroundings, and more
- easily integrate with payment gateways for secured payments
- set various rates
and off course many more useful features.
But where to find the one plugin that will comprise all of the above and will exclude the usage of additional third-party plugins to be flawless?
Currently, on the market, there are many plugins with great descriptions but do they correspond to your expectations in reality? This is something you do not know for sure, as a result, you will spend money and may end up disappointed. To avoid this, we have compared many WordPress booking plugins and have chosen the most feature-rich and affordable plugin for you – Hotel Booking Plugin by MotoPress.
This reservation plugin for WordPress is said to be one of the best on the market and this is not an empty statement. The functionality is indeed very good and is more than any average WordPress booking plugin. For example, displaying properties on different OTAs and also on your website simultaneously, you shouldn’t be afraid of overbookings, as Hotel Booking system performs synchronization across all OTAs, which support iCal.
Now, when we know how important the hotel booking plugin is, we can proceed to the next steps – to the templates.
There are two main options – either to choose a website template and a hotel booking plugin separately or to get a WordPress theme with an integrated hotel booking management system. Let’s look at both of them in more detail.
Separate Template and Plugin
Arcadia Theme is a great example of an uncluttered and very balanced theme that is pretty much a universal solution for any type of rental properties – either a resort, a hotel, hostel, B & B with such design any properties will be nicely displayed.
Here you can also get detailed information about amenities, what’s included for free and any additional services.
But as soon as you start booking the room, you are to fill in your personal data where you describe personal wishes and then wait for the reply. Unfortunately, no payments can be made online through the website and there is no 100% guarantee that the room is confirmed.
Mammoth Theme is another great theme for displaying various accommodations with its unique section of room details. But all information on website is displayed in an unusual way (not in a list or grid, as it is by the majority of themes).
But to have a full-fledged website you have to empower these themes with booking plugin as well since guests can only send you a letter request.
And now a bit of numbers: the cost of the theme is 125$.
The cost of an average hotel booking plugin you find on the Internet is approximately 180%, so without complicated mathematics, we get 300$ – this is a cost of a website (without hosting, domain).
If this sum (that isn’t that big) is fine for you, you may start building a hotel website right now without spending much time. The lack of an online payment system can be also good for some purposes, when you, for example, want to get better contact with visitors and perform a call.
In case you want to discover more options as for website building, keep reading.
Plugin Integrated into Theme
The second variant is to find a hotel template with an already integrated booking management system. A good example of it may be Luviana hotel booking template which comes bundled with hotel booking plugin (mentioned at the beginning).
The neat and accurate design creates a holistic effect on the whole theme. Colors are rather calm and cozy, layouts are harmonious – add your properties information and your website is ready.
When clients try to book a room, they see all the advantages of the hotel reservation system plugin, namely they can choose the rate, additional services, payment method and at the end receive a confirmation letter with all booking details. You can also send emails concerning partial payment, for this is used Hotel Booking Payment Request. Rather cool, isn’t it?
Price: cost of Luviana for a single website at the moment of writing this post is $59 (booking plugin is included to this price as well)
How to Build a Hotel Website with Hotel Booking Plugin?
Let’s have a closer look at all the steps of building a website that will be an identical reflection of your property!
As a booking engine in this article, we use a Hotel Booking Plugin by MotoPress and Luviana theme (which has this plugin integrated for free). So, we are customizing the theme and at the same time give detailed instructions on how to build a complete booking website.
Note, This Hotel Booking plugin is compatible with any WordPress theme and the algorithm won’t be changed despite the theme you use.
Start with setting Seasons
Go to Accommodation ->Season. Here you can create your custom seasons and rates depending on any time frame you find appropriate. It can be summer, holidays, New Year, Christmas, etc.
Display extra Services
Here any types of additional services can be added – spa, babysitting, romantic dinner at the seaside, etc. Display them at any part of the page, before booking confirmation or list them after amenities description. Specify the price, details, enable discussions and comments, so that other people can decide whether this is worth trying or not.
Add Accommodation Types
Edit existing ones or create your accommodation easily in clicks.
Add the number of adults, children, accommodation size. Specify a view from the window and bed size.
Right here specify services available for this accommodation type and they will be shown while conducting a booking.
If you go to Attributes, you can add additional info as for bookings, by specifying the location, type of room, view, etc. This creates a more advanced search for your guests and they simply choose the desired attribute and receive the most suitable result.
Create a new attribute, add it to the accommodation types, go to Appearance -> Widgets, write your attribute and save the changes.
Add as many search availability fields as you wish – they are unlimited.
This is how the search result is shown to the visitors.
It is possible to set different pricing for each accommodation type depending on the season, days of stay, time of the year, part of the week, etc.
Go to Accommodation -> Rates -> Add new
You need to know that each rate should be created separately for every accommodation. You cannot apply one rate to all rooms as a bulk action (create identical ones for every type of accommodations).
The main settings concerning bookings, emails (both admin and customer) and payments are adjusted in the Settings tab.
Here you can select pages, manage booking confirmation and cancellation options as well as search options.
To specify currency, check-in and check-out time, bed types, enable coupons to go to the Misc section.
Enable calendars synchronization across external OTAs.
In the Admin and Customer Emails, Tabs change the body of the letter, use possible tags.
Change subject, header and add media to your letter so that it looks unique.
Set payment details as for the sum (full amount or deposit), gateways, pending payment time and more other functions.
Great is that there is a choice for customers to define by what procedure they pay you money. Hotel Booking plugin provides a wide range of methods as for payment – by cash on arrival (you specify all details over the telephone or emails if it is comfortable for you both), partial payment (deposit) and full payment. Various payment gateways enable these options, namely PayPal, 2Checkout, Stripe, Braintree, Beanstream/Bambora.
To have even more possible gateways to make UX as comfortable as possible, you may go to Hotel Booking WooCommerce Payments Addon, where more options as for conducting payments are listed.
Create Coupons and Seasonal Discounts
Use this option to provide your clients with a pleasant surprise. This is also a nice chance to create promo campaigns for your business. Each coupon can be used per accommodation per day or accommodation per stay.
Use this handy feature to avoid overbooking on your website.
How does it work? When you display accommodations not only on your website but on external websites like Airbnb, Booking.com to increase the number of bookings, it is hard to manually check and control whether each accommodation type is reserved correctly and there is no duplicate reservation from another platform.
The feature of calendars synchronization does it for you. The only thing you need to pay attention to is to know whether OTA websites support iCalendar and then simply copy the needed link and set the time frame in which you want synchronization to be conducted (starting with every 15 minutes, which becomes possible with the latest update 3.7.0).
Add Booking Rules
With this option you can set rules as for bookings: set min and max days depending on the season, number of people or accommodation. Some bookings can be also blocked and then guests won’t be able to book them.
Create own fees and taxes and specify the details in the admin panel in Bookings ->Taxes and Fees
All bookings (direct and synchronized) will be always shown to you in Bookings -> Calendar.
One more great feature is that as soon as reservation and payment are confirmed online, visitors are instantly redirected to the Reservation received a page with all booking and payment details.
By following all the steps described in this article, you won’t face any problems with creating a website for your rental business. This algorithm can be conducted with any template since Hotel Booking plugin works both smoothly and flawlessly with all WordPress themes which makes it a universal solution.
Rich functionality, responsive design, tons of customization options, smart management system – this is what stands behind a successful hotel website and this is what can be achieved easily with the right tools in hands.
Have you ever tested the Demo of Hotel Booking plugin? Has it fulfilled your expectations? Share your thoughts or ask questions (providing you have them) below in the comments section.