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Listing Owners Product Updates

Introducing KOALA’s New & Improved Search Feature

Our latest improvements will make it easier for vacationers to find and book your listings.

Peter J. Frank - May 12, 2022

We’ve recently revealed a few enhancements to the way search works on our website, part of our ongoing efforts to make it easier for vacationers to find — and book — your listings.

With prices so inflated these days, travelers are very motivated by price — so much that they’ll happily change their dates to score a great deal. We call this the “opportunity-led mindset,” and we’re adapting the KOALA website to appeal to it. We’re doing that by making it easier for travelers to uncover great deals and by showing them additional results that are close to the dates they entered.

Our recent updates are in line with changes that other big travel companies are making to site navigation. Airbnb, for one, just announced a major change to its search function, which focuses on categories (beach, treehouse, design, etc) and surfaces listings consumers might not have found with the old search engine. It reflects the same flexible mindset that we’re catering to.

To truly succeed as a platform built for timeshare, we need to embrace the natural flow of timeshare inventory, which — let’s face it — can be counterintuitive to a vacationer accustomed to an everyday hotel site. Those generally let guests check in and check out any date and length of stay they want. On a timeshare rental site, the dates a vacationer searches for may not be an exact match for the dates of any available listings. The good news is that timeshare rentals on KOALA remain incredibly popular with vacationers — because they’re deals that travelers can’t find anywhere else!

We’ll continue to refine these changes, measure their impact on bookings, and make tweaks accordingly. Of course, we would love to hear your thoughts — please send them to feedback@go-koala.com

Here’s a summary of what we’ve updated on KOALA.

New Home Page Tiles

We’ve added more Vacation Inspiration tiles on the home page to highlight great deals and other unbeatable travel opportunities. This is ideal for vacationers who want to browse listings without any specific dates in mind. It’s also a good way for us to surface listings that have flexible cancellation policies, last-minute dates, or very competitive prices — all features that vacationers are looking for.

Vacation Inspiration tiles highlight great deals.

“I’m Flexible” Search

Our research has found that most KOALA vacationers are somewhat flexible about their dates, but have difficulty identifying listings that were close to the dates they’d entered. Now, when a user clicks on the “When?” section of the search bar, they can choose between two options: “I’m Flexible,” which allows them to search for listings in any given month(s), and the more traditional calendar picker. This will surface more of your listings to travelers who may be looking at a wide range of possible trip dates and should result in more bookings. (The search-by-month functionality was always there, we’ve just made it easier to find and use.)

“Close Matches”

Previously, if a vacationer searched for specific dates, we would show them results for the dates they requested as well as slightly different. But it wasn’t immediately clear how appealing those options were. Now, we identify both exact and “close matches” — which are sometimes priced lower. The results are indicated by different color tags on both the search results and the map. We distinguish between exact and close matches on the resort page as well.

Travelers are willing to be flexible for the right deal, so highlighting more of your listings this way should lead to more bookings.

Search results now show both exact and close matches.

Resort pages also surface close matches for flexible travelers.

So, did we do a good job? Any other changes you’d like to see? Let us know!


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