Ministry of Villas is the quintessential sales channel for luxury villa owners in Asia. We inspire travellers who would normally book a hotel to experience a villa instead – adding a new dimension to their holiday. Our competitive edge comes from the knowledge, experience and passion we have for finding guests their perfect villa.
Welcome Villa Owners
We launched Ministry of Villas in 2013 after encountering multiple disappointments searching for villas while on holiday ourselves. We learned the hard way how challenging it can be to find the right property.
Ministry of Villas has since grown to become one of the leading villa specialists in Asia. We are a full-service partner: we help customers find their perfect villa, collect payment, arrange airport transfers and assist with other travel arrangements.
Work With Us
Listing your villa with Ministry of Villas is easy and free of charge. We can prepare contracts for property management companies, villa resorts and individual villas owners, after which point your property profile(s) will be developed by Ministry of Villas’ marketing team and introduced to our 3+ million customers, social media audience, affiliates and partners. Obviously, there is much more to villa marketing than that, so please contact us to schedule a time to discuss everything in detail.
Alastair has been at the forefront of the tech industry since the late 90’s and developed Ministry of Villas’ platform, as well as introduced cutting-edge technology to villa owners and property managers.
Sara has 20+ years of hotel management and hospitality experience and runs the company, leading the villa industry’s most experienced team with first-hand knowledge of thousands of villas around the world.
We pride ourselves on inspecting every villa and we only work with property managers of utmost credibility.
The explosion of private accommodation listings online has resulted in a glut of inventory with an overwhelming number of sub-standard properties. We personally inspect every villa and only accept properties that are professionally managed, maintained and meet ‘Ministry Approved’ standards.
We believe it’s the little things that make staying in a villa so special and we provide 5-star service to customers.
The sharing economy and OTA’s often leave guests stranded at airports, as taxi drivers don’t know where villas are located. We have chauffeurs and a concierge team on the ground to deliver door-to-door service, as well as villa specialists with first-hand knowledge to help customers every step of the way.
Rate Parity Promise
We connect with channel managers to ensure customers receive the best prices and accurate availability.
Villa owners are asked to use automated software to provide the best available price (rate parity) and accurate availability with a promise that if a genuine lower price is advertised for the same dates, services and inclusions, they will match it. Respectively, we promise not to undercut our partners’ direct rates.
Ministry of Villas is the official villa partner for Mastercard Priceless Cities in Bali, Japan and Thailand. We inspire 280 million cardholders to go beyond the ordinary to tap into the priceless possibilities awaiting their villa holiday.
Ministry of Villas reaches 3 million people per month from 100 countries worldwide via direct marketing and a network of affiliates and partners.
Our focus is the Asia-Pacific region as this is the epicentre of global growth – both in terms of tourism development (supply) and future travellers (demand). Ministry of Villas has offices in Singapore (head office), India, Indonesia, Japan and Australia (co-founders home) and we work with partners to provide ground services in the other countries we operate, including: Cambodia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Maldives, New Zealand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vanuatu and Vietnam.
Ministry of Villas is recognised as one of Asia’s leading luxury travel brands across a range of social media.
Unlike OTA’s which do very little to inspire customers (they essentially process bookings and do nothing to attract new business) Ministry of Villas is in the marketing business: we promote our partners’ brands and promote the villas on our platform by name.
We do not charge our partners for inclusion in any of our marketing activities – we generate our return on investment solely with commission earned helping customers find their perfect villa. Naturally, we insist that Ministry of Villas has rate parity at all times, otherwise our marketing efforts will be in vain.
Please reach out to our marketing team whenever you would like our support and we’ll give your property a push – we are more than willing to help!
Rate parity is the practice of maintaining consistent prices for all properties across all sales channels, regardless of commission. This means that the rates that Ministry of Villas quote to customers are the same as those on every other sales channel, including your own website.
When a sales channel successfully confirm a booking the inexperienced villa manager tends to think they are making less profit after deducting commission… however they fail to ask themselves the salient question: “How much would it cost for that new booking if we were promoting the the villa directly, without the sales channel?”
Marketing costs money and paying commission is a marginal cost; direct marketing is a fixed cost. Experienced villa managers engage in both – they minimise risk by paying commission to sales channels and agree to maintain rate parity to maximise marginal profit on direct marketing activities.
In short, rate parity is a logical concept rooted in behavioural economics. Please watch the video below for a deeper understanding.
WHY PRICE PARITY IS IMPORTANT
This is the single most important aspect of your business. Understanding the logic presented in this video and mastering a multi-channel sales strategy is critical to long-term success.
Many people blindly follow instructions given to them by 3rd parties who do not have their best interests in mind. Don’t let anyone who does not have a firm grasp of logic manage your sales channels… or answer emails from Nigerian princes on your behalf.
Connecting to Ministry of Villas’ platform with real-time rates and availability is absolutely essential. It makes it easy for customers to see when villas are available and it generates more bookings for your villa.
Ministry of Villas connects with the world’s leading channel management software providers to display real-time rates and availability. Channel management software allows villa owners and property managers to distribute and synchronise inventory across multiple sales channels (e.g. Airbnb, Agoda, Booking, Expedia, TripAdvisor) from one account.
When researching which channel manager is most suitable for your business, you must first check that they employ an XML connection as opposed to an iCal connection. An iCal connection is a one-way connection (meaning it does not accept bookings from channels and automatically update the others); it only updates calendar availability; it does not update rates; and it only updates sales channels every few hours. For these reasons Ministry of Villas does not accept iCal connections.
An XML connection is a two-way connection (meaning it does accept bookings from channels and automatically update the others); it updates both calendar availability and rates; and it updates Ministry of Villas and other sales channels every 1.5 < 3 seconds. This is the industry standard and a requirement for connecting to Ministry of Villas’ platform.
After confirming the channel manager employs an XML connection, you must then consider quality of their performance and the impact this will have on your sales channels. If it does not meet minimum technical performance benchmarks on the major OTA’s your listings will fall like a lead balloon. Look for ‘Preferred Global Supplier’ for Booking.com on the software provider’s website – this is the best indicator that the software provider is achieving the required minimum technical performance benchmarks.
Next, evaluate the value of the sales channels that the software provider connects with, besides the big OTA’s and Airbnb. American-made channel managers (e.g. RateGain, Rentals United) tend to connect with the largest range of American sales channels; European-made channel managers (e.g. TravelClick, Beds24) tend to connect with the largest European sales channels; Asia/Pacific channel managers (e.g. SiteMinder, Resonline, STAAH) tend to connect with the largest range of Asia/Pacific sales channels. Ask yourself the question: “where are my customers?”
The final step is to select a channel manager that works for your team! Interfaces and functionality vary considerably, so it’s worthwhile asking for a product demonstration before signing up to a lengthy contract.
WHY USE A CHANNEL MANAGER
If you don’t already use a channel manager, Ministry of Villas will provide you with a free version of Resonline to update Ministry of Villas free of charge, or a free trial for three months to learn how channel managers work.
Resonline was established in 2003: the first two-way channel manager in the Asia/Pacific region. It allows you to synchronise rates and availability across hundreds of channels including: Agoda, Booking.com, Ctrip, Expedia, Airbnb, FlipKey, TripAdvisor, Mr & Mrs Smith and Ministry of Villas. Resonline is used by more than 3,000 villa owners, villa resorts and property managers in 30+ countries and is a Preferred Global Supplier for Booking.com and trusted partner of Ministry of Villas.
HOW TO UPDATE RATES & AVAILABILITY USING RESONLINE
When competing with thousands of other villas, apartments, hotels and resorts the little things make a big difference. When arranging a professional photo shoot of your villa, take time to arrange everything as if you were preparing to welcome guests. Your photos should give customers an accurate impression of your villa.
Seven basic tips for taking high-quality photos of your villa:
1. Shoot in soft light: plus open all curtains and turn on every light to brighten your space. It makes a big difference.
2. Resolution matters: ask the photographer for high resolution images that are at least 1024 x 683px. When in doubt, bigger is better.
3. Take photos in landscape: our photo galleries are displayed in landscape format, portrait (vertical) photos won’t be included.
4. Take photos of every area: villas are vast spaces and we need to help guests understand what it’s like in every space, inside and outside.
5. Avoid close-ups: we won’t use photos of flower arrangements or tile patterns etc.
6. Highlight unique features: what makes your villa special? If you have a fireplace, cinema room or treehouse, please capture it.
7. Showcase accessibility: seeing how many stairs lead to the pool (for example) can help customers with elderly parents / limited mobility.
WHY IMAGES & VIDEO ARE IMPORTANT
Frequently Asked Questions
How do we set up the profile on Ministry of Villas?
We will email you the agreement and property information form for you to complete and return to us. The profile on Ministry of Villas website is set up by our team. We require high-res images and videos (if available) via Dropbox from you. Keep in mind the images do need to be professionally taken and we require images of all rooms and of the outdoor areas for the villa to be considered for our site.
Live rates and availability
Ministry of Villas has real-time booking technology to allow customers the convenience of searching, reserving and paying for villa rental all in one place. Our live rates and availability is an essential element for the booking process, making it easy for anyone to see when villas are available. Our search tool not only improves efficiency, it helps produce more revenue and increase bookings for your villa. Booking a luxury villa travel is effectively as simple as booking a hotel on one of the giant travel sites such as booking.com, Mr & Mrs Smith, Airbnb and Tripadvisor. But we offer start-to-finish guest services that make your life easy.
How do we connect our channel manager to you?
We will email you through the details (including the password) to connect to our platform. We email through a confirmation with the clients details once the booking has been processed. Our staff will email you as well to confirm any bookings that come through our system to double check availability and request an invoice.
What if I don’t have a channel manager?
If you don’t have a channel manager, don’t worry. Ministry of Villas will supply one for free to connect to us. We are the licensed suppliers of Resonline. Our software was launched in Australia in 2003; it connects >3,000 properties across >30 countries to >5,000 websites. If you would like to connect to other channels other than Ministry of Villas, you can for an additional monthly fee. You can see the channels Resonline connects to here. We offer great rates for management companies too and can even offer a free trial.
Can your system connect with a PMS?
Yes! If you have a Property Management System (PMS), or Central Reservation System (CRS) and would like to add seamless two way connection then that’s great.
How does the guest pay?
The customer pays Ministry of Villas a 50% deposit at the time of booking. After receiving payment from the guest Ministry of Villas will pay 50% of total owing to you (total booking less commission) within 7 days of the booking and the remaining 50% no later than 60 days before the guests’ arrival date. In the event that a booking is made within 60 days Ministry of Villas will pay you 100% of the total owing (total booking less commission) at the time of booking.
How do you advertise the villas?
We have an extensive network of websites, social media reach, affiliates and partners who will promote your villa(s).
Ministry of Villas is passionate about delivering exceptional service. We believe it’s the little things that make commercial relationships develop into strong partnerships.
We would be delighted to schedule a call to discuss the opportunity of working together in more detail. Please let us know your contact details and your preferred day and time and one of our team will get in contact with you.