1 Feb 2021
Feb. 3 is #BookDirect Day!
Offering the benefits of instant booking and a large range of accommodation types, large third-party online travel agencies (OTAs), like VRBO, Airbnb, Expedia, Booking.com (and the list goes on) have grown in popularity in recent years.
Are those benefits worth the additional 5 to 20% in hidden fees you’ll pay?!?
Beyond hidden fees, there are notable disadvantages to booking your accommodation through an OTA. For one, you don't receive that locally curated, boots-on-the-ground service and insider experience that booking with a vacation rental or property management company, like Margaret Rudd & Associates (MRA) offers.
Top Reasons to Book Direct on Your Oak Island Trip
1. Flexible & Transparent Pricing
Many OTAs offer all-inclusive pricing to cover the base rent, charges incurred for cleaning the property, linen rentals, and pet fees. For some homes, there is no option to add trip insurance or travel insurance to cover unforeseen cancellations or interruptions due to sickness or evacuation.
By booking directly with MRA, travelers have the flexibility to opt-out of certain costs to lower the overall price of their vacations or to choose a property that includes the amenities in the cost of rent. Bringing your own linens and cleaning the property yourself allows you to avoid those additional fees with some Oak Island vacation rentals in MRA’s market. While our administrative reservation fee exists, it remains a standard amount for every home whereas OTAs can charge a percentage based upon the home’s pricing structure. Even further, many properties listed on OTA sites are also managed by a property management/rental agency so you end up paying the OTA service fee as well as a management fee.
Guests booking directly may also benefit from seasonal promotions and savings, or last-minute booking specials offered by owners, an advantage that may not be readily available with an OTA.
2. Local Expertise
When booking directly with a local rental agency like MRA, you receive quality information from those who live, work and play in the area where you’ll be vacationing. The intimate knowledge those representatives have can make all the difference when it comes to your overall vacation experience.
Our staff can not only suggest homes to suit your needs but they will listen to your preferences and match you to a property they feel will make your stay exceptional. You will find yourself better equipped for your getaway when you know exactly what activities and events are available to your family, the best restaurants to meet your dietary needs, the unique shops, and exactly what service providers may work well for your family during your stay. (For example, our reservation specialists can offer first-hand knowledge when it comes to the differences between an East Beach and a Caswell Beach stay.)
3. Convenient & Personalized Reservations
In addition to flexible pricing options, booking directly with a rental agency offers the convenience of one-on-one contact even before you make a booking commitment. Our reservation specialists are in the office 7 days per week to assist during every stage of the process - from an initial rental search and securing the perfect property to managing expectations during your vacation and at departure. We go even further by offering guests the option of holding and/or pre-reserving the same property for the same time frame the following year.
4. Onsite Property Management & Peace of Mind
Managing expectations during your stay are often overlooked as a meaningful advantage of staying with a vacation rental agency. Owners who rent their privately owned property are often located in another state and rely on local service providers and assistance when it comes to maintenance or housekeeping issues. if you arrive at a MRA property to find a maintenance or housekeeping issue (or if you experience any during your stay), our staff is here to work toward a resolution for said issue in the quickest way possible...even after standard business hours.
#BookDirect and save on your Oak Island experience...not just your accommodations.
How to Book Direct with MRA
Booking your Oak Island vacation directly with MRA is easy. We offer hundreds of Oak Island (East and West Beach), Caswell Beach, and Southport vacation rentals, including beachfront rentals, pet-friendly rentals, and rentals with pools. Start by perusing our expansive online listings or call us at (800) 486.5441.