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Here is the wording of a request I sent to Homeaway (and modified slightly to ask for an icon with VRBO) asking for a screening tool to separate owners and realtors/property managers. Please feel free to cut and paste (as well as to elaborate) to send to Homeaway or VRBO yourself. If you do send it, leave a posting here so we can track the number of requests and push for action.
On the Homeaway Community, there is a very active discussion of the problems owners are faced with as realtors flood Homeaway with their listings. A solution gaining support which is fair to all would be to add a screen to the left side of the location page to allow visitors to seek out owner managed properties. Many prefer to deal with owners so this would help them in their search. To those who do not care, the screen would be skipped. People deserve to know if they are being led to a realtor in their search, particularly if they are seeking to avoid them.
Owners deserve a chance to have a level playing field with realtors who devote fulltime staff to maintaining their listings and have their own websites as well.
To repeat, the suggestion is to add a screen to the left side of the location page to allow visitors to seek out owner managed properties.
I look forward to your specific reply and implementation.
The problem is VRBO doesnt care what the actual owners think. All they care about are the fees.
Its a shame that they have such a cavalier attitude towards their customers. Allowing realtors and management companies to do this cuts at the very core of why vacation rentors use this site in the first place.
vrbo = Vacation Rentals By OWNERS!
I'm a property Manager AND and vacation rental owner. I only list a couple of the rentals that I own on VRBO which then leads them to my management sight. I can't see any problem with VRBO listing us mangers as just that - so the potential guest knows who they are dealing with, either a private owner or a managment company.
Other posters have said that managers jump to the top of the list, but that has not been my experience, but then again I don't have dozens of listings on this sight.
I say go for it - there is plenty of business for us all.
I agree -- there is plenty of business out there, plus there is a difference between the level of service you usually get from owners as opposed to management companies. However, some (small) management companies provide stellar service, and thrive on doing that -- and guaranteeing a high standard of appointments. Heck, I found a place in Florence a while back on VRBO, rented by http://italyperfect.com/ -- the location, level of ammenities, guide books & maps furnished in the unit, as well as the "point person" who was available via cell in a very timely manner when we did have questions, was unreal. Of course, we paid dearly for it, but it was worth every penny.
Normally I don't seek out those kinds of places, but clearly their place and level of service made me a walking advertisement.
There's enough of a market for all of us. I'd ask VRBO to no only give us those filters (owner vs management company) but also filters that allow us to select multiple things at the same time: # of beds / bedrooms, pet friendly, etc. etc. Sometimes it's too much to read through all of the listings!...
I'm glad we're kind of into the 21-st century with the date filters. Now if only owners could keep their calendars updated... ;-)
Yes ! This is excellent and it's a good start. I hope we can all voice this opinion and ask for a home-owner-friendly site. The realtors and rental agents have all the money we don't to advertise. This would be a first step, but only a first step. The best thing for us would be to have only home owners on this site, in my opinion. Let's all begin to write to homeaway about ths issue and hope they'll hear our voices collectively. Thanks for beginning this discussion.
Thanks! I reiterated what you said on your note and sent it onto homeaway as a suggestion as well. I think everyone who is interested in this issue should begin to brainstorm about ways in which we can see a change made to benefit everyone. Thanks again.
Anyone have a phone number to call headquarters about this issue?
I found the number 512-590-8327. The lady who answered was polite but obviously tired of the calls and had a standard response. The response was that the owners were advertising themselves and referring calls to the management company. I pointed out that although this may be the case in some instances, I believe that from the number listings going to a single realtor in my area, I felt that the realtors themselves were doing the listing. She said curtly that there was nothing they could do about it and she was grateful for the call.
So my take on this is that untill the number of calls and complaints from true owners become a problem that they have no intension of making any attempt to at changing things.
Right on. Vacation Rentals By OWNER I am glad to see that there are some home owners out there that stand up to VRBO. I have found that there is a an overall since of arrogance they VRBO has to we the home owners. Unless they are taking your payment then they are nice.
To all who are interested, I received a reply from VRBO about an icon. The response is clearly unfavorable. If you want change, you will need to puch for it. I do thin that if enough people make the request, then VRBO will reconsider. The answer i got is:
We appreciate your concern; however, please be reassured that VRBO is still predominantly a for-rent-by-owner website.
Over time we have found that it is difficult to determine which ads are offered purely by management companies and which are not, and it is quite often not clear cut. That being said, having additional listings from property managers gives travelers more choices, which in turn increases overall inquiries to all properties. Therefore, we allow property managers to list on VRBO.com. We believe that property managers and for-rent-by-owner property owners do exist well together in the VRBO marketplace.
We try to cater to "by owner" properties, and about 85% of our ads are, but this varies in different markets. We believe that many renters prefer "by owner" because not only does it give them a great price because the owners may have lower overheads, but there is also the owners' knowledge of the property and location. On the other hand, property owners also have the ability to offer the little touches that make "by owner" properties extra special. While travelers may enjoy dealing with for-rent-by-owner properties, they still much prefer the wider choice of listings that is offered when property managers are allowed on the site.
We include a notice in the footer on our site indicating that not all properties are "by owner." Our home page <
> states, "Specializing in BY OWNER vacation rentals, homes, condos, cabins, villas and apartments. ALSO privately owned properties offered through rental agencies and management companies."
Thanks for taking the time to send us your thoughts. We really appreciate your feedback.
I will certainly pass your comments on to our management team.
Support Desk Lead
VRBO.com Customer Support
You are not likely to get VRBO or Homeaway to walk away from business or do anything to hurt a business prospect that probably spends more than you do. However, at least on VRBO you have the Owner's profile section. Here is your opportunity to make it clear that you own and are managing your own property and who you are. This allows a potential renter to at least see that you are not some impersonal management company.
I absolutely and whole heartedly AGREE!!! As a property manger, I see that management companies use VRBO and Home away for advertising and do not keep up the calendar and even leave a listing current that is no longer under their company as an advertising listing. Something should be made available for the renter to know that they are talking to an management company vs a true owner who has the benefits of a cheaper rental and a better cared for property. Possibly too, that they see that the property has not had a current calendar in "x" ammount of time and therefore VRBO doesn't endorse that listing. I enjoy the benefits of VRBO and their affiliates but it isn't a level playing field. It is meant for the owners and it has been exploited by the property managers!!!!! I am a property manager and I have my own personal cabin listed on VRBO.....NOT WITH A MANAGEMENT COMPANY.......see, I know the game!!!
I am in the Great Smoky Mountains and we are inundated with property managers not usually realtors, but the realtors use the property managers and skew numbers greatly!!!) who are vicious and blood thirsty for listings and they exploit any available means to advertise. Why not have a confirmation call, property ownership can be validated via property maps...... And I have found that there is an up and coming website called itravel that is new to the area and they are willing to make deals to get properties on. Just saying, I am tired of competing with property managers and their unethical tactics. Please keep this post alive and let VRBO know that we want to keep our listings, we are happy but we have to have a level playing field. NO MORE PROPERTY MANAGERS OR REALTORS!!!!!!!!!!!! How the hell would I be able to fund 1 K a month into Pay-per-clicks like the management companies do (usually much more than that, at least 10k). This is why I have chosen VRBO and Homeaway, they can unite all the individual owners and we all can benefit, but not when outside commercial interests are involved.
What does VRBO stand for..... Vacation Rentals (BY OWNER)!!!!!!! In North Myrtle Beach, Realtors that can't compete with he popularity of VR...BYOWNER, have flooded the advertising with rentals where they don't keep up with calendars and they aren't the owners of! Absoulutely flooded! What happened to the Idea when I joined this place....where was the couple from that owned it....CO or somewhere? It was a place for owners to advertise. HomeAway bought the network and it's going downhill fast. I'm looking for the next great Website that is for owners only....no property managers, no Realtors. They've flooded the ad market in the Grand Strand so much that it just is not fair. Too many ads to customers to find you. Be like America, HomeAway, and get your money while you can. Hogs get ATE!!!! Please change the name of VRBO to Vacation Rentals By Anyone. It make me sick! I've also been a member at Vacation Rentals.com for a while too....which HomeAway bought out......it's flooded too but at least the name does not say BY OWNER.
Someone start a great "FOR OWNER ONLY" website or 2 and I'll join to the max and dump these turkeys. Let the Realtors have HomeAway, Vacation Rentals By Owner and Vacation Rentals.com. I'm still renting well too and own another property in Hatteras, NC. The Realtors there are just catching on. I'm sick of it and my places rent.