Customize your experience by selecting your role:
Owner, Property Manager, or Traveler
I had a listing on Villa4Vacation for 3 years. They sent me very few inquiries....and zero bookings. I foolishly kept renewing to "give it another try". That's my experience with it.
I'm with you anja. Had considered different sites, but despite all my "differences of opinion" with HA/VRBO, I get 95% of my business through VRBO. I've nearly booked my entire spring and summer, and am now getting my fall vacation inquiries. I will be renewing when my expiration hits. I've tried rentalspot.com; scenicrentals.com and flipkey because these sites had free trial periods or free/almost free annual charges. I've received ZERO inquiries. I think it depends on VR location, your targeted group, etc. "Free" advertising rates mean nothing if you don't get any business from the site!!
If you are already booked through the summer, and now booking fall (as am I, as well as having the holidays booked) why is there an issue for you? The point is to get your property filled. I really don't see the competition as an issue.
I am also thinking that the auto responses we are seeing are a genuine mistake. Not anything to get upset about.
???....jane300, not sure of your point - it isn't an "issue" for me. I was merely making a follow up remark to anja's commentary of villa4vacation giving her no rentals. All I stated was that I had tried other websites that hadn't worked for me. Re: kaycasa, I'm not "upset". That probably sounded harsher than it was meant - For some reason, my mail is full of automated responses all the same thing, however I've taken care of that by removing e-mail notification.
I am an owner and I do not mind competition from a property mamager or realtor. I had a property manager previously. I found out that the property manager had one ad for approx 50 owners. All the inquiries went through the property manager's home first, than to the other owners. What a sweet deal for the property manager/owner. One ad for 50 rentals. But when times are good, the property manager had a great staff. Next thing you know, the office personnel start to drop off. What happened? The one ad does not draw enough interest for 50 other homes. Not enough rentals were coming in, my rental was getting no business. I left the property manager. Other owners appear to have left,too. This is where they lose and the owners are the ones cheated. BUT just think if the property manager had 50 ads for 50 homes?Homeaway and VRBO can get you alot of inquiries. But if guests see that it is one listing for 50, alot of them get turned off. Travelers tell me that they hate seeing a home for rent and then are switched to another. Every owner needs to demand a homeaway or vrbo listing for their property managed home. It is not saving a realtor or property manager money by having one ad. You make the ad money back in one week anyway. So if the realtors and property managers have only one or two ads for all their properties, just watch as they will not succeed. This opinion is for homeowners. Some multi rent condos and villas can do this and make it work because all the units look the same or their is one manager for the whole building.
That's interesting - This is exactly what we found when we went looking into property managers. One manager informed us that "your cabin may not be the one that is featured in the listing"(not our pictures, etc), which made use feel uncomfortable, as I felt as though there was a bit of a "pyramid scheme" going on. There was no way to monitor who would be next in the "feeding line". Needless to say, we didn't go with them and decided to brave this ourselves. Only time will tell.
Just to come in on the side of Honest and Integrity driven property managers...I have less than 5 units that I manage for one owner. The owner pays the VRBO fees on each unit. I manage the listing, set the rates, collect the $ (which goes directly into the owners account), make sure the guests are happy and ensure that the units are kept cleaned and well maintained. I also keep up with what the competition is charging and work up a quarterly P&L statement for the owner. My fee is considered modest for this area, I keep a 75% plus occupancy rate and my units are very well maintained. I work for the owner, and am happy to have just one owner, but am not averse to growing my business. However...I am not the property owners lackey, and I only work with owners that I feel I can form a good partnership with. There are a lot of horror stories in the business...on both sides. Not every property manager is bad.
You'll be fine-- and yes, you can do this on your own! ( and think of the money you'll save!)
Best of luck!
The situation I'm dealing with is VRBO is allowing my complex rental pool agency, which is basically a hotel, have one ad for approximately 120-140 units that they managed. Anyone can reply to their one ad and have available any one of their units. I have complained to VRBO and been acknowledged of their (the complex) wrongfully placing the ad.
The complex has changed their wording slightly, but they still have three types of properties - oceanfront, oceanview and beach front listed. Plus pictures of their front office and staff. All for the same price that I paid for my one unit. They have not removed the ad as they should.
I have noticed, since that ad, that most of my iquiries now come from HomeAway vs VRBO. Before that ad it was the other way around.
You can check it out for Casa del Mar, Galveston Texas and see if you can locate the bogus ad. It's ridiculous. I will not renew with VRBO.
VRBO has totally not abided by there own rules.
Is there some reason you can't give us the listing number? Searching through the listings is fairly time consuming.
Kay, I too have a Galveston island rental home ( #295832), and I really suggest you check out Flipkey. I've been getting the majority of my "closings" of rental from them.
Yes, I think you're referring to the property mangement company that begins's with "Ry__".
They do seem to have a lot of things locked up, when it comes to advertising on the Island. (for a long time they were the Only company advertising on Galveston.com's website, but that's recently changed). I really hate the bait & switch that happens, and am always looking for ways to make it stop.
Maybe try making it clear in your ad that your place is owned and operated by YOU, and you alone. Maybe that would help.
I can see how this can be a potential problem to us all. However, in reality it is our responsibility as property owners to ensure our property is rented. I have been in sales for 15+ years and if there is one thing I learned is I can't blame anyone else if I don't achieve my sales goals. The same thing applies to our properties. If we don't achieve our yearly rental income goals we can't blame anyone else. We need to understand Homeaway purchased all the top vacation rental websites in the industry to help them with revenue when they decided to become a public company. They are now governed by revenue so you can see why they are probably soliciting realtors and property owners now. I just think it is important we don't limit our listings to only VRBO when there are other websites out there like http://www.FVRA.com, cyberrentals, Airbnb and others we can use. The more we can get our properties to be seen on Google the better chance we will have to rent it. Let's remember, our property revenues are only as good as our efforts we put into renting them.
exactly, i couldnt agree more. there are a lot of new sites that are going mainstream where a homeowner should be listed that don't cost a dime to find new leads. homeowners that self manage should take a page out of property management companies play book and be listed on multiple sites. Pro managers use wholesalers to increase revenue and bookings and homeonwers should do the same thing. Don't complain about one site not bringing traffic and increase your chances of bookings. You can use sites like airbnb, roomorama, or mountaintravelcompany.