Hello all! I hope everyone is having a nice holiday rest.
Going over my rentals for the season, it struck me that the major listing services (like AirBnB, VRBO, HomeAway, etc) are getting way too comfortable after having near control of the market for so long. Guests pay more, while Hosts receive less, because these services all insist on taking a sizable cut of the action. Service fees, booking fees, commissions, whatever name they use, everyone seems to be charging some sort of middle-man fee that causes a serious discrepancy between the costs Guests pay and the money Hosts receive.
I’m posting here to try and get some feedback on an idea I’ve had kicking around for a while to try and solve the problem.
Basically, I’m aiming to establish a listing service that only charges an annual listing fee to the Host. No per-transaction cuts, no interference in communication, no games with mystery fees. Hosting a website is expensive, but not NEARLY so expensive as to warrant the kind of fees that are currently being charged.
To help guide me, I’d like to have a discussion on what problems you have with existing listing services, how you might imagine resolving them, what it might take to convince you to try a new service, and what features from existing services you feel are “must-haves” for any new service you’d consider using. In other words, I want to know how to best design your dream listing service.
I know that’s kind of a big subject, and I have a lot of ideas of my own, but I’d to hear other people’s before I get going. Thanks!