By the end of January 2017, all phone numbers will be removed from HomeAway listings.
What do you think of this change?
They're seriously missing something here... For some reason they want us to accept every guest like a hotel. My home is not a hotel. How are we meant to screen guests now?
You may want to try other shared accommodation marketplaces/platforms that give this option.
I agree that this is one more step towards HomeAway becoming just like AirBnB. Almost no guests contact me initially by phone. I can only recall one or perhaps two who have done so. I don't think removing my phone number from my listing will have an effect on my inquiries. What I really dread is if (when?) HomeAway stops providing me with the inquirer's phone number. I use the inquirer's phone number in conducting an Internet background search and I also respond to many inquiries by phone rather than email.
Its a really interesting article in that it follows Rentivo predictions exactly [https://www.rentivo.com/blog/2017-homeaway-predictions/]
I'm not entirely sure the word "antiquated managers" is correct in the article as all the managers I know see the phone ringing and conversions are better than browsing and emailing, plus the guest is happier as they pay less.
Many are working hard to grow and be direct marketeers and this means acquistions. Some companies now challenge OTA's such as Wyndham. Curated controlled and with marketing power and asset management.
The problem is leakage of course and this can't be managed by machines, so the phone is dead, long live the email audit bots!
I don't know any manager who would consider they are being rewarded by Expedia for following their rules, much like any hotel who considers booking.com a great deal. It is purely the OTA's time and as the French market shows, they will see a decrease in growth by 2020. I booked a hotel last week, saved 15% off booking.com prices, the enduring love of the hotel staff and extra sausages for breakfast!
In rentals expect an increase in their presence for sure, (excess inventory means easier bookings) but this is a forced hand for owners and managers through corporate acquisition and limited selection of marketing channels, its not by choice.
The hotel trend has been emulated in VR for a while but how long before the current face-off spreads over to rentals.
Removing the telephone numbers from people who have paid for listings in mid contract or offering an advertising system where you can only communicate with moderation is not ethical for sure. But its in the T&C's.
We all used to draw parallels with traditional advertising. Here's my product, here's my contact details, give me a ring, pop around and come in, fax or email, we'd love to meet you. Those days are not actually, its gone just a pause. The internet has a way of disrupting disruption.
Everyone needs to start getting smart on referrals and direct opportunities. Use these sites sparingly, but bide some time and don't despair.
They have made their decisions and they will all see some major issues and future challenges, we have absolutely no doubt. Trust is earned over years and lost in a heartbeat!
One more step to becoming a faceless business, branded by the company guests book through 😡
faceless brainless bully brand - aka artificial intelligence ...?
Reading this article underlines the reason why we have just set up link. I don't want to spam on here, but we felt SO STRONGLY about what's going on with VRBO/Homeaway that we were forced to invest our own money to start up an alternative and fair listing site.
Wonderful. I looked at the link, and it looks great. However..... (you just knew there would be one of these...)
How will potential guests find you, so that they find us? I will be doing my own marketing, and drive them to you. But like it or not, VRBO/HomeAway out markets me five ways from Sunday. They bring guests to me.
The problem with switching to other services like yours is this, and is well known to VRBO. They for the moment hold the cards.
That said, the removal of the guests email and phone number may just be the straw that broke my camel's back.
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