Wow, it is refreshing to be away from the uncertainty of bookings via Sykes. After a winter break we've increased returns by 25% and yet seen some good quality holiday rental bookings. Apart from a couple of days we're already booked out into the summer, and we've turned people away. We've been able to assess the guests prior to accepting their bookings. With the Sykes regime booking would come from a wide range of third party sites with virtually no checking of the guests other than that they possess a credit card. No more anonymous guests who think they can play the system.
Now we are sure that the guests have proper prior documentation and a clear route for contact in respect of the booking and any issues arising. Taking payment via credit/debit card is straight forward and not all that expensive. It card payment provider automatically links into our accounting system (Xero) giving us a clear up to date record of income.