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I have had a free Flip Key account for 1 1/2 years for properties I have in the Adirondacks, NY and have only received a handful of inquiries and one booking. I know someone who has property in FL and she gets numerous bookings through them...it really depends on where your properties are located. Most of my rentals come from HomeAway.
We've used FlipKey for a couple of years and get some bookings from it, but nothing like what we get from VRBO. Results likely vary from area to area. If we are able to get some bookings we feel we would not otherwise get then it is worth it to us.
Side note: curious as to how jbarbara321 was able to get a FREE FlipKey listing?? We pay for ours.
RA, MBA, Ko Olina Resident
Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers
"Another day in the life...the Hawaii Life!"
I believe the reason Flip Key has given me 2 free years of advertising is because they are trying to get people from my area to advertise with them. My properties are located in the Adirondack mountains in NY. Last year, my properties were the only ones from my area and I received a couple of inquiries and no bookings. This year, I have received more inquiries and 2 bookings. They now have numerous houses from different towns in the Adirondacks so I am sure my free ride is over ^_^
It seems FlipKey is now trying to play both games by taking advertising money from owners and then also offering free listings. This has given rise to a number of guest commission based sites duplicating your paid listing and putting it on FlipKey. I have sent a email asking for an explaination but all they did was remove the bogus listing and not give an explaination as to why they are allowing this. I could not access the listing on my own property the other service put up.
We get 5% of our bookings from Flipkey. I don't like having all my advertising with one company (Homeaway owning the other three) so we will keep it. We have our own web site now but we are not getting much traffic other than reserved guests or inquiries I send there to get more information.
I think Housetrip is picking up now... And now they have joined hands with trip adviser which is a good news..
Guess I was correct about HA. They`re only concern is earning money and they hardly look as a company who looks from the clients point of view.
Im from Sri Lanka and there are not properties from Sri Lanka in HA website so far. So I asked them to give me a free trail atleast for 02 months since im taking a risk of listing a property where no one has listed from my country. isnt it a big risk factor for me ?? it is............ but sadly HA didnt even bothered to respond for my suggestion. DISSAPOINTED.
Flipkey and Housetrip gonna grab the HA mkt share, if they dont satisfy the property owners.
I have a rental/property management company in the Bahamas on Harbour Island www.harbourislandrealty.com we have about 100 homes on the islandthat we rent. I am just joining Flip Key now to to add exposure to our listings. It is interesting hearing other peoples opinion of them.
FlipKey is owned by TripAdvisor. As TA has grown rapidly in popularity over the past 2 years, so has FlipKey. My company manages over 500+ vacation rentals in North Myrtle Beach & Myrtle Beach - we use FlipKey as a supplemental lead source.
We've seen more leads come from FlipKey than VRBO & HomeAway put together (sorry ).
What I like about FlipKey is that Google scrapes the reviews you receive from guests who've rented with you via FlipKey, and includes it in your Google Local page. These additional reviews added to your G+ page can be seen as an added "trust signal" to potential clients who are doing their due dilligence with you/your company.
FlipKey is great! I have a great account manager who works with me, returns calls and email messages and corrects errors when they occur. They are just about the polar opposite of VRBO/HA.
We have 13 properties listed in Flipkey and received 38 inquiries and 5 bookings in Q3/2012. In comparison we have listed 8 properties in Homeaway (fewo.de, the German subsidiary) and have received 15 bookings for the same period. My impresson is that FlipKey is mainly targetting the English speaking market, whereas our properties in Homeaway are listed in 3-4 languages, thereby targetting our main market, Europe.
We run about 50% Homeaway, 40% VRBO and 15% FlipKey reservations. But the FlipKey customers are the high season/high rental customers so it pays! My biggest complaint about FlipKey is that I keep getting reviews from renters who never stayed in my unit (against their policy), and have to ask FlipKey to delete them - which to their credit they have done. You are not allowed to view reviews before they are posted so its a real catch 22, and your ranking is based on reviews, so don't like that system at all.
I've had 27 inquiries from Flipkey/Trip Advisor so far this year, since January with 7 confirmed reservations. VRBO, I have had 92 inquiries this year to date with more than half confirmed into reservations. HA is even worse than FK and TA. Sometimes I wonder if FlipKey is worth it. I have had guests state to me that they have submitted a review and I never see it appear? I offer an incentive to our guests for submitting a review so when I have a guest tell me that they did, then I don't see it...well something is up with FK and TA! I can sometimes go for weeks without an inquiry with FK...so not too sure they are worth it. I guess the only reason I have stuck with them is I was awarded Vacation Rental of the Year for 2011, 2012 hasn't come out yet, to my knowledge...so I use that award and badge that they sent me in my marketing material on VRBO, Facebook, etc. and I believe it has given me more credibility with potential guests.
I have advertised with flipkey.com from the beginning. It was a slow start but in the past two years my inquiries have increased significantly so that now I get about 30% of my inquires through them. I like several aspects of flipkey: 1) Someone always answers the phone and helps me with an issue, unlike homeaway. 2) the review process is much more user friendly. I do not use their automated review from their site since you cannot personalize it; instead I write a personalized email and include the review link. Renters don't have to "sign in" so I get MANY more reviews than I do from homeaway. 3) you can add as many photos as you like; 4) flipkey is now linked to tripadvisor so your listing shows on tripadvisor; I think this has resulted in many more inquiries; and 5. It is less expensive than homeaway.
i joined flipkey because they called and offered me a free listing and to pay a percent of my bookings. well..........since i've had zero bookings on flipkey, it's been really free haha. i have to say, i've had inquiries, but no takers. i am fairly booked up for the summer with homeaway although i can't say this is a stellar year (maine - mt. desert island) and past years, we've been booked to the max. but that's another issue (it's gone from 51 listings to 152 listings!!! - competition!!!)
what i don't like about flipkey is the third party involved in everything, although of course they are! that's what i gave up for the percentage booking fee. you are not directly involved with the guest nor do you have any information on them when they inquire. so it's a bit impersonal, almost anonymous. i like to interact somewhat with my guests and sometimes i even google their names just to get an idea. i'm not sure i'll list again with FK.
when FK first started, we listed with them and it was a very successful site. we listed with both HA and FK, then the next year, it was all about HA again. so we skipped it for a couple of years and then FK called with the offer, so i took them up on it. meh, not so great, in my opinion.
I agree that having FlipKey in the middle of all communications with inquiries is far from ideal. And I'm not keen on the way they hold payments until the guest has checked in. I'm going to stick with the commission plan this year, but probably change next year. FWIW, I wrote an article called "Should you get a free listing on FlipKey" where I discuss these limitations of the commission based plan.