In recent years, Airbnb, HomeAway and many other listing sites have grown to become important sources of business for vacation property owners.

But whether you have just one vacation rental or a whole portfolio of properties, relying exclusively on these sites for all of your bookings is never a great idea. Don't you think?

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2 years ago

Nice post.

I think it really depends on what type of host / manager you are. It's hard to argue listing websites don't have an enormous impact on bookings these days - and for most owners they're a way to generate bookings with minimal effort - as an easy side business (camp a).

But for a select few (camp b), who are are willing to put the time & effort - they're able to generate direct bookings and not rely on listing websites. It's more import for these hosts/managers to NOT rely on listing websites as it's commonly a large source of their income.

If you're in camp a, it's important to use multiple listing websites. And if you're in camp b (like me) it's important to do the full monty 😀.

2 years ago

The "Listing Independence" noise is pretty overpowering this year and holds a lot of concern to avoid the ecomm platforms doing to VR what they have done to hotels.

We shouldn't forget there are many friction and pain points in the process of booking a rental and it's causing chaos for the OTA's as well. Their approach is to force change but micro-economics don't work in many cases and people need to talk (an advert strap line in here).

What we really need to focus on is the guest on a more public level and highlight the hidden fees and challenges and who they really book with:

Guest Service Fees

Do you know who you are booking with

2 years ago

What about SEO? Sorry, but unless you know how to drive traffic to a personal website, that option is off the table. She makes it sound like, 'Oh sure, just establish a site for your property and voila...' The premise of the article seems poorly thought out IMO.

2 years ago

So true. A few more points I can add:

A) They confuse guests. Guests think they're booking directly with the listing website. This may improve as time goes on.

B) Owners are raising their prices to accommodate the % taken by the listing website. Therefore guests end up paying much more money for a property than it's worth.. which leads to misaligned expectations and bad reviews

C) Listing websites have started to reduce guest communication, making it harder to gain repeat business and earn loyalty

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