A dedicated website is ideal to generate direct bookings and optimally present your accommodation. Your website is your business card. But today a website without a booking engine is a bit like a business card without contact information. The trend goes towards direct bookings, few guests want to deal with booking requests. The guest asks, the apartment turns out to be occupied or his reservation is canceled, and his feeling is one of frustration. With the booking engine you can now accept reservations, including payments, just like in the reservation process in the big portals. But of course, without commissions.
There are two different ways of using Smoobu to generate direct bookings.
- You already have your own website, for example from Jimdo or WordPress, and you want to integrate the Smoobu booking engine into your site.
- You build your website with Smoobu Website Builder and you want to provide your guests with the booking engine.
Both options could be useful. Maybe your page already has a good Google ranking, so it may not make sense to give up your site. Or maybe your website goes beyond the simple rental of holiday accommodation, so you prefer to use your external page. Or are you starting to look for an optimized website builder for your vacation rental? Use our kit. It’s as easy as creating an Airbnb listing.
The only difference between the external website and the Smoobu website: it is not necessary to integrate the HTML code on the Smoobu website. On the external page, however, you enter our HTML code. That’s why we started with the difference. Important: in both variants, you must first enter the prices in the ‘Prices’ tab of Smoobu, so that the booking engine works or availability is shown.
Let’s go to Smoobu, click on Settings in the main menu and then on ‘Booking tool’.
Booking engine for your website
First set the prices in Smoobu to activate the booking engine. If you don’t do this, you will see a query form with which potential guests can send you emails. But honestly, who does not want to introduce the possibility getting instant bookings?. For the Smoobu website you do not have to do anything else, the tool is ready. Let’s start with the set up.
Please note that these settings apply only and exclusively to the booking engine, NOT to the portals you have connected to Smoobu.
Give your properties a name as it should be shown to your guests.
Now it gets interesting. You can make detailed adjustments for all your properties. Basically, you can specify the settings by property or for several properties (multiple selection). So, for example, you have the opportunity to quickly enter the same cleaning fee, but differentiate the cost per additional guest.
Enter the maximum number of people and establish a photo for the booking tool.
Set the cleaning fee in euros or in your currency. You can also define the arrival days and set the number of Min. days between booking and arrival. What is this? Imagine that one of your guests is booking today. When can the guest arrive? If he can arrive today, leave the number at 0. If it is only in the morning, then the number should be 1. You can define arrival days and departure days for different seasons. For example in summer, guests can only check in / check out on Saturdays, if you want.
Long stay discounts
You want to motivate your guests to stay as long as possible. Offer them a discount for a certain duration of the reservation. In our example, guests receive a 5% discount on the entire reservation from 12 nights of stay. You can also do it gradually. For example, after 20 nights you get an 8% discount.
At this point, you can set mandatory options (for example, a tourist tax) and the corresponding values or percentages. You can also add optional items. Whether you make breakfast or offer a bicycle rental. Or coordinate guided tours of the city. Everything can be booked by your guests at the time of booking. And you can clearly define if the prices are per person, per night, per booking and per blablabla .. But look for yourself and let your imagination fly!
Additional booking engine set up
Here you define the requirements for the guest.
Choose how you want to be paid. With the invoice option, you can receive payments by transfer or cash (there is nothing else to set up). If you also want to offer payments by credit card (Stripe) and through PayPal, be sure to check the box and set them up. Read here how to set up Stripe.com (for credit card payments) and PayPal.
Integrate the booking engine in your external site (irrelevant to the Smoobu website)
All blocks (CMS) are ultimately based on HTML and CSS codes. We use HTML for integration. To integrate into your own website you have two options.
A) Link to the booking engine
You want to include a button on your page and link it to the booking tool. This opens an external page. Use the link to the booking engine and you can redirect your potential guests to another site for direct booking. Through a button, a photo or any element that you wish to link to your site for direct booking.
That looks like our client Gipfelstuermer-winterberg.de. To see the booking button “¡Buchen Sie jetzt!” (in German, “Book now”) just scroll a little down on the home page.
Going back to Smoobu, the general code is for the consultation of periods and results in the available apartments. The codes for individual properties, as the name implies, only refer to a property. If you only have one property, it might make sense to use the link to the booking engine for individual properties.
To get the link that you should integrate, click on the upper right corner ‘Preview’. The link that will appear in the URL of your browser is the one you should copy and use if you want the integration option A).
B) Direct integration in web site
If you want to seamlessly integrate the booking engine into your website without sending the guest to an external website, use the HTML code (iframe) for integration within your Homepage. Check out the website of our Hawaii Volcano Vacations user and you will understand what the general consultation of the properties and the individual reservation is like.
To integrate the booking engine even better, you can change the opacity/transparency of the background at the bottom of the booking engine page.
Wow Congratulations! You have reached the end. Now you can wait for your first reservation through your website. Tell us when you receive it! We are happy to know that our users receive direct bookings.
Finally, for your information, you should know that the standard rates and the minimum length of stays that the booking engine receives are sent centrally from the ‘Prices’ tab of the main menu.