It's a movement generated in the USA around 2014/2015 to create awareness about Direct bookings.
A Direct Booking is when the Guest (you) books an accommodation directly with the Host (us), it being an individual owner or a Property Manager (like us) instead of going to AirBnb, Booking.com or VRBO among many more portals.
One because it's cheaper, the majority of portals display prices that are 20 to 40% higher than the accommodation's website.
Why? Because they have to fund their huge marketing expenditures and pay the CEOs bonuses.
Two because you have a direct contact with the person that is going to host you, being able to call and message to ask any question you may have and sneak in a special request, especially if it's a specially occasion like birthday, an anniversary or your honeymoon, you'll want someone to make it extra special.
Three because you get extras: early check in and late check out when possible, when not we will keep the bags behind reception for you, easy to amend or change your dates if plans changes, super fast fibre optic WiFi.
It should really be a no brainer, BUT, before booking direct and sending money somewhere to someone, you have to make sure you host is genuine, and not end up like tens of families that turn up to us with a swanky piece of paper only to find out that they have been scammed. Not only they have no accommodation waiting for them to start their well deserved holiday, but also they're out of pocket to pay for another apartment.
How do I make sure the Host is genuine?
Simple and easy
One, you can do your accommodation research on the portals, once you found what you're looking for check the host profile and see if they look ok: how many reviews and how long they have had the listing live for
Two, run a search on Google, Facebook, Instagram of the name of the host or the accommodation and make sure they all look the same, in other words, their online presence is consistent.
Have a look at their post and comments, see if they have enough following and reviews.
And eventually you'll find an email, a website with a review plug, a WhatsApp Business number with a catalog that will give you a signal of trust and added piece of mind to proceed with that direct booking.
All the pictures, email, fonts, color and information have to be cohesive, they have to look professional, the website has to have a booking engine, address, copyright and software information on the foot of every page.
Still not convinced? Email or WhatsApp us with your choice of accommodation and we'll review it for you. But then you'll have to buy us a drink when you come to Marbella next!
BOOKING DIRECT is also a very sustainable activity, as you'll be supporting small local business, like small B&Bs, boutique hotels and holiday rentals.
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