This is going to be a rave review about a new platform from the International Association of Villa Rental Agents (IAVRA), just to get you prepared. This new subscriber based database and tool set is a near perfect B2B conduit between travel agents etc. and Villa rental agents across the globe. The service not only makes searching, selecting, and renting villas efficient, but a bit of an aesthetically charged user experience on both ends of the exchange.
Kevin May, over at Tnooz, posted their standard TLabs form info on this service the other day. Somehow, given the crisp look, feel, and usefulness of this product (not to criticize Kevin tho) – a cursory form fill seems far less than what such a service deserves. IAVRA is clean as a whistle, simple to use, deep, and best of all intuitively beautiful. I know this sounds a bit salesman-like on my part, but we ain’t working for them yet. On that note, if you get the chance to explore, you’ll quickly see anyone in the marketing game would love to be on this team. Let me show you.
Ready, Set, Superb!
Let’s start by pointing out this service takes no commissions. Can I say that again? This refined and highly integrated service is pure subscription based, allowing both ends of the villa rental segment to regain their margins. Herein is the next generation of business platform genius folks, lost margins have tumbled the world’s economy into chaos already. Hotel owners, airlines, the world of business has been money crunched into zero profitability.
Enter business people like the ones behind IAVRA – John-Christian Moquette and his team have done their developmental homework here. A flat subscription buys you and your company into a luxuriant suite from which to connect clients with the best accomodations in the world – and via custom brochures churned out as in the sceens below.
As you can see, the developers have paid very close attention to detail, and to cutting edge website design principles too. One thing I have hammered developers and startups to pieces over is overlooking the importance of letting visitors “preview” people, places, and things via rich media. So many overlook the opportunity and the importance of aesthetics as a vital user experience item. Moquette, and his team, clearly have not underestimated. Moquette had this to add about rich media and upcoming feature sets:
“We are always aiming to improve the functionality of the site and add new exciting features. In terms of rich media, one potential feature we will be adding is the possibility for video tours of the properties we feature. The implementation of this feature will of course depend on whether such videos are readily available from our villa agent subscribers.
Another idea which we are looking to implement next year is an IAVRA app for Ipads and smartphones. This would allow travel agents the possibility of doing detailed searches while in client meetings. They would then be able to show their clients the brochures of the villas to satisfy their requirements. They could also respond to villa enquiries when on the go instead of having to wait until their back in the office. Villa companies could use the app to update the availabilities and respond to direct client inquiries.”
The text, images, number of images, floor plans, and the interface that supports them in this database is incomparable, really. The villa in the screenshot above, Finca Bennassar, is not only described by super copywriters (and I should know), but illustrated in a no nonsense, yet beautifully presented manner – no less than 25 images and the floorplan reveal every corner of this wonderful property. The only thing missing, and I am picky, are some humanoids. Best of all? The brochure offer Argophilia Travel and all our contact details in professional form – I can print this out, with others, and create a hard copy presentation if need be.
Search: The Key Value Proposition
I used to be the guru of cutting edge search, did you know that? As an evangelist of some of the most advanced Internet search technologies ever dreamed up, one thing I can tell the reader (that he or she already knows) is; ease of use, speed, and revevence are the keys to any good search function – it may not be hakia’s AI, but it is superb. Yes, you guessed it, the tech gurus at IAVRA either went full rocket scientist or John-Christian forked over a bundle to get the villa search function on this site to be this slick.
I remember when Powerset came out with their organizational matrix – a new way of making search more relevent by orgainizing the ways (variables) in which we searched. Microsoft bascially paid $100 plus million for this aspect – unfortunately Google semantic aspect were already superior, but IAVRA has this organization – and the search is instantaneous. The image below shows a bit of the flexibility, result organization, and added features of IAVRA search. I wanted to find villas in Costa Rica and BOOM!
123 You’re In the Villa Rental Business – Worldwide
Price, description, amenities, availability, parking, whether or not the cats outside the windows meow loudly at night or not (just kidding) – the IAVRA listings are as near perfect as I have ever seen. Did I say that? The coolest thing about this service to me (and maybe I am in kid mode) is that I can select one of these Costa Rica villas, and print out a branded Argophilia Travel brochure of the place. It’s like some sort of magic, though I know it is really manually added by professionals – the service screens all users and suppliers rigidly. This is a very good thing – think about it.
Our very own Casa de Frutas luxury Costa Rica villa! 4000 square feet, 3 bedrooms, a walk to one of the nicest beaches in Central America, cleaner, butler, chef, and 1 other staff, all for the low low price of $4500 bucks for next month even. You see my point I hope. Access, monetization at both ends of the time savings – commission spectrum, transparency & elevated standards – the list goes on. Below you can see the profile dashboard – again, neat, slick, and logical.
Why am I raving about it so? It’s super clean and simple, there’s no down side to this platform I can find. The only negative I have is that there’s a bug in the availability calendar in Chrome? Aside this? Well, let’s just say I’ll be using it. I had very little time to drill farther into the service actually, but we will revisit this superb service once we have had a chance to talk with the developers more, and to get some user feedback. For now, I am just glad there are people out their creating still. Super job people.
We leave you with the IAVRA video explaining their service. The reader can hook up with the company via the links above, or via their Twitter aspect (which I used) – they are super nice and wired tightly.