Stayz Introduces Booking Pre-Approvals (well almost)

Reply & pre-approve button to generate the payment request.     This generates a screen showing a summary of the pre-approval request:     Owners can check the details are correct or if they wish to make alterations they can navigate to the previous screen to make changes. Next the owner can enter a message to the guest. This is where I got really excited…expecting to be able to populate this field automatically such as is the case with the online payment confirmation email. But alas…there was no such functionality.     But where there’s a will there’s a way, so I created a new enquiry template just for this field – that way I could simply copy and paste the text in. This would eliminate having to send a separate message to the guest.     Alas…my plans were foiled again when I pasted my beautifully crafted text into the message to guest field only to find…     A character count maximum of 500…ARGH! The other issue is that when the email is sent to the prospective guest it appears as a “Payment Request”.  This is really confusing for the guest, as they don’t understand why they’ve been sent a payment request when all they asked for was a quote to stay.  If the email said that they’d been “pre-approved to stay” it would have made more sense. So it’s a case of “close but no cigar” for Stayz on this one. We can only hope that further functionality is in the pipeline. Confused? Why not book a 15 min discovery session and we’ll help to demystify Stayz for you. Cheers, Craig Reid, CEO Profitable Holiday Homes Stayz Booking Confirmation Text is back! A few years back when Stayz introduced online payments they also added some really useful functionality within the Email templates section:     When a guest paid the online payment request the confirmation email would automatically be populated with the text from the template. This was a real improvement for owners as there was no need to generate a separate email with instructions. That was until Stayz made changes to introduce their Booking Request functionality which broke it…thereby returning us to the dark ages of having to not only approve a booking request but to navigate to our templates then generate a separate email with instructions. As an efficiency nerd I lost way too much sleep over this backward step. Having mentioned this improvement to Stayz Director James Cassidy in person a year ago I was delighted when I saw that the text is now pre-populated…only to realise that the dreaded 500 character limit is in place. Whilst I can understand the need to be succinct, 500 characters is not enough to convey check-in instructions to a guest  (even for people like me who have hyperlinks to PDFs in the cloud). So if you think you can tell your guests everything they need to know in under 500 characters, give the “Payment Received (Online Payments)” template a crack! For now I’ll still be sending them a separate email. Sigh. Need help with Stayz? Why not book a 15 min discovery session and we’ll show you how. Cheers, Craig Reid, CEO Professional Holiday Homes  ]]>

Stayz Priority Listings to End August 2017

st of the month you’ll have been shocked to see that you couldn’t purchase a priority listing for August 2017. After a swift phone call to the Stayz Sydney team we can confirm that priority listings will no longer be offered from August 2017. Yes, that’s right-this is the end of priority listings for good.     Yes it really is gone… From August onward there will also be significant changes to the way property rankings will be calculated:

  • Payment points will no longer be a part of the ranking calculation
  • Rank will be calculated based on only conversion rate and listing quality
  • Conversion rate will play the most significant part of the ranking algorithm
We estimate that if listing quality maintains the same proportion of rank boost score as it did previously (prior to scores being hidden by the new dashboard) then it will play an insignificant part of the ranking calculation. However, Stayz will be keen to promote it as an important factor in order to continue to encourage owners to improve the quality of their listings. What does seem somewhat harder to swallow for properties that historically have had extensive bookings is that a new property could quickly overtake them in the rankings with only a few bookings at a high conversion rate. It would seem somewhat harsh that Stayz’s best customers could find themselves knocked down the rankings even though they are out booking newer properties 10 or 20 times over. The Stayz staff member was unable to comment on this as they had not been provided with extensive details as to whether there was any criteria to prevent this occurring. Certainly, for a new customer, there is greater opportunity to establish a higher level of income more quickly than previously. Once the new rankings are in place it’s unlikely that rankings will move significantly if owner behaviour remains consistent. Only a radical change in behaviour is likely to result in significantly increased conversion rates. Stayz is peddling these changes as a way to improve the quality of listings displayed to guests – the theory being that higher converting properties are higher quality properties. I’m not sure this is necessarily the case. Under-priced properties also convert at high rates. One thing is for sure – the stability of income that priority listings provided is over. Owners will now face a competitive future where a poor conversion rate will see them spiral down the rankings and revenue dwindle. It’s a bold move by Stayz and suggests that they are starting to feel the pinch of Airbnb’s growing presence. Whilst this may result in a fairer system for all Stayz owners it is baffling as to why Stayz didn’t proactively notify customers of the change instead of letting them find out the hard way. If you are concerned as to how this will affect your listing? Contact us to find out how we can help you achieve conversion rates that will keep you at the top of the rankings before it’s too late…]]>