As I mentioned in my last post, client Terralsole has been renting their Villa Terralsole and Studio Fonte Lattaia on Airbnb for the last few years with great success. Currently, they are booked from now until the end of September, and, they have a five-star rating. While they are enjoying their success through Airbnb, they wanted to be able to rent the places through their website to avoid the costly commission fees.
Since their wine store and wine clubs are built with WooCommerce, I first went looking for a Woo booking plugin. I found Bookly, installed it, set everything up and though I was well on my way. Wrong! Immediately after everything was set up, it dawned on me that I have potentially created a double booking nightmare for my client. So began my search for a plugin that would allow me to import their Airbnb calendar, and, still be able to make reservations through their website.
One plugin I found was free. Great, we all love free. The only problem, it had the following warning “Using this plugin violates Airbnb’s Terms and Conditions.” Ran from that one. Several I found wanted a commission fee. Since this is what we were trying to get away from, none of them was an option. I found one on CodeCanyon, that had 212 sales, but nobody was answering the questions that were being posted both by buyers and prospective buyers. Ran from that one also. One company advertised their plugin was “the solution” for syncing Airbnb calendars. After installing the plugin and getting everything setup, no matter what I did I couldn’t get it to work. I submitted a support ticket and received an answer back stating that feature was not yet available.
Finally, I found Checkfront. By using Checkfront and Checkfront WordPress Booking Plugin, and a channel management plugin called My Allocator, I achieved my goal. Neither Checkfront nor My Allocator takes a percentage of the rental fee. Both charge flat monthly fees. Checkfront’s is $49.00 and My Allocator is $25.00. If you purchase for the entire year, both will give you two months free. Total cost to my client for the first year $650.00.
I will say the My Allocator channel management plugin is not very intuitive. They do have a great support ticket system though. The longest I had to wait for an answer was fifteen minutes. Checkfront also works on a support ticket system and their answer time was also within a fifteen to twenty–minute time period.
In my opinion, if you are trying to combine Airbnb, Expedia, etc., the Checkfront and My Allocator combination plugin system is by far the best solution out there. If anyone has any questions or needs assistance in setting either of these two plugins up, please feel free to contact me.