No words needed
Ha ha another one!
Thanks for the post Alan, I noticed you didn't include a link to the property. VRBO will probably take it down but before they do I took the liberty of adding a link for other people to see it live, hope you don't mind.
See the property live (if it's still there): www.vrbo.com/619896
Online booking platforms are still a new sharing-economy concept and it isn't clear exactly how much these platforms can charge whilst still delivering a good value to guests and owners. What services do we expect and what are we willing to pay before we walk away?
With Airbnb, VRBO, Homeaway and a whole range of sales, local and niche platforms, it's currently a competitive marketplace for booking platforms. With greater competition, it would be natural to think that these services would become cheaper for guests and owners. This is especially true considering how rapidly the vacation rental industry is growing.
Throw in the fact that automation of booking processes means operating these platforms “should” be cheaper to run, it is surprising that guests are getting hit with an increase in fees. That said, if VRBO is spending the money to increase advertising, improve customer service, and improve the platform, it be could a good thing for homeowners and guests in the future. It may be too early to judge VRBO and their new fees, time will tell.
The people who have seen a massive drop in enquiries/bookings (as many have seen) are clearly looking elsewhere. They are blaming too many properties, deranking as they are not obeying the rules on Book Now. There is a massive amount of annoyance from traditional guest users of VRBO that they have to pay extra fees and this is feeding through the system.
HomeAway will automate more and more and reduce personal contact, hence saving costs and the more troubesome, less transactionally agreeable owners will slip away. Unless their site traffic increases subtantially and new customers who accept fees start appearing these owners will continue to look elsewhere and try and find other routes to market.
Very often local sites or niche ones do very well (we use both).
What alternative will you go to? Do you think you can keep your occupancy and rates as high with other channels?
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