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Getting to Know The Dyrt

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From paying team members to camp and test its app to offering commission-free bookings for parks, The Dyrt is marking its name in the industry through ways that can benefit both campers and campground owners.

Booking commissions tend to gobble up a significant chunk of park owners’ profits, but with The Dyrt, campground and RV park owners can increase their revenue without having to risk a cut.

Available as an app and software, The Dyrt is a top community for camping built by campers for campers. Yet, even park owners can benefit from it in many ways.

The app gets about 30 million visits annually where a different camper comes through the platform every second, The Dyrt CEO and Co-Founder Kevin Long gleefully shared during the January 19 episode of MC Fireside Chats.

What propelled The Dyrt into popularity, as per Long, was crowdsourcing and gathering the most picturesque photos, videos, and reviews of campgrounds.

The company now boasts the largest database highlighting over 40,000 public and private campgrounds—all featuring user-submitted photos, videos, reviews, and even tips. Not only does this help campers find the perfect campground, but it also benefits park owners in baring their properties to an ocean of prospective guests.

“They’re fabulous at [free] marketing,” Heather Blankenship, a park owner and regular MC Fireside Chats guest, said during the podcast. She noted that from a park owner’s standpoint, The Dyrt serves as a free marketing tool for campgrounds because of the exposure it provides to parks through user-submitted photos, videos, and reviews.

How the system works is that campers can create a listing of a campground they’re currently staying at. They can include photos and other information.

From a campground owner’s end, they can claim the listing submitted by a camper and then go through The Dyrt’s verification process.

What follows is something property owners can leverage themselves from The Dyrt. After getting verified, they can go to the back-end bookings portal to hook up bookings and secure them for no additional charge. Under the free service, campground owners can have a profile they can update and use to accept bookings, as per Long.

“We don’t charge any commission for campgrounds who do bookings for The Dyrt. It’s free for campground owners,” the CEO said. “You put your inventory on The Dyrt. It is bookable, and I am not gonna charge you,” he emphasized, comparing the camping app and software to other platforms that charge campground owners for every booking made.

The Dyrt is currently integrated with campground booking software NewBook and is teaming up with property management software ResNexus and RoverPass.

The co-founder said park owners who use those booking software companies mentioned can have real-time, instant booking availability on The Dyrt at no additional charge. Those not using any of the booking companies mentioned can claim their campground’s listing, go into the back-end bookings portal, click “request to book,” and manually work through the system.

As more and more campgrounds are reaching full occupancy, with campers looking for vacant accommodations, Long said that as business owners, operators should take advantage of the surge by raising their rates upon reaching maximum capacity.

“Get in front of a big audience, raise your rates, get to a maximum capacity,” recommended Long. 

He acknowledged that some guests might not choose to book, but it’s where platforms like The Dyrt come in handy. The app helps a lot when it comes to campground owners finding an audience to reach and distribute information regarding their availability. It then helps their park reach maximum capacity, rendering effective the cycle of raising rates, getting in front of a big audience, and getting to full capacity.

Thousands of campers use The Dyrt to help fellow campers find the perfect campground through tips and reviews. The review system uses stars to rate the campground, five stars being the highest and one being the lowest. 

As campers vary, so do their opinions. Some may happily hand out five stars, and some may give one. However, owners should not be discouraged when receiving bad reviews, said Long, saying a one-star review could actually mean more business.

He shared a story of a campground owner he met at a conference who received a one-star review. After expecting the worse, the park owner was surprised when campers started pouring in just to tell him that they thought every word in his response to the one-star review was right.

“A one-star review doesn’t necessarily mean now you’re gonna have a lost business. The response you give to it is incredibly important,” he said.

When asked about his message to campground owners, The Dyrt’s CEO and Co-Founder Kevin Long said: “It’s about distribution when you’re picking your booking software. We’re [The Dyrt] not a booking software company, [but] we work with all the booking software companies. The future of campground reservations is about having a booking software company that can distribute to lots of companies like The Dyrt, like Expedia, like bookings.com so you can get in front of more audiences.”

Apart from its rapidly growing number of users, the company with 40 team members recently bagged a hefty round of funding.

“We just closed around $11 million, which is very exciting, and we’re currently doubling the size of our company,” Long shared.

Initially based in Portland, The Dyrt had its most productive year after temporarily closing its office for three weeks. What was meant to be temporary, actually boosted the company’s sales. In what seemed to be a blink of an eye, traffic to its website exploded.

“Our entire platform of traffic doubled more than a hundred percent—our revenue tripled. And what we realized is we’re not gonna renew our office lease,” he said.

Through its community-first approach, The Dyrt has raised over 24 million dollars since its creation in 2013.

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