Customize your experience by selecting your role:
Owner, Property Manager, or Traveler
I am receiving 20-30 inquiries every week but am only coverting 1-2%. Is any one else seeing a ton of inquiries but no bookings? One of my properties is completely booked until September but the other 2 are still fairly open with not even 1/2 being booked. I will admit some of them are for days already booked this summer but....my conversion rates are normally much better than this.
I think I had a record number of inquiries for last April, but ended with less than half the month booked. very strange.
I have noticed this year that I am missing on more of my inquiries even though we went back to 2008-2009 pricing after coming through the oil spill last year. My theory on this are 2 things: First, there are a number of owners in our area that were not able to file claims since they are working under the table and not reporting income to IRS and not paying lodging taxes. Thus, to make up for the loss of income in 2010 they are taking any business they can get to try to recover. They are undercutting the market. The 2nd is the more longer term problem. Many properties were foreclosed on and presenting real bargains for cash buyers. Many of these properties now can be rented lower than their comparable units and still break even or make money. Our area is seeing a large return of visitors but they are finding rental bargains. My take has been to wait it out. Don't cave and lower my prices any farther. Let all the cheaper units be swallowed up and the supply/demand will work itself out.
As kind of an opposite take on this subject, I am seeing far fewer inquiries -- and this has been since March. This month is the worst. Our rental property is in the Caribbean and right now I am booked till late August. None the less, I normally have four times as many inquiries as I am getting right now. I am not alone in this for my area as I've discussed this with other nearby owners. We are unsure if it is high gas prices, high airfare or other.
Any one else having the same problem? Or are US rental properties benefitted from this slowdown of ours?
i have seen 25 inquiries for Mem weekend and no one booking, even the last minute people. And way too many people wanting only one night. Are people shopping around?
We are at the beach so we have people begging us for the dates. I have flipped a number of inquiries to friends. And I don't get the 1 night thing. Not many condo owners take anything less than 3 nights due to cleaning fees. Where is your property? If at the beach here at Gulf Shores I'd be glad to send you any inquiries I get for this weekend.
We are brand new vacation rental owners in Hawaii. Thank you so much for your post as I have had 11-12 inquiries in the past week + with only 1 confirmed 3 day stay. I was amazed at so many inquiries with so few bookings (so far). I guess karma as long term previous renters of vacation homes, I would send out 3-5 inquiries and only book one. I would book one though! Glad to hear that others are seeing the same thing.
We are seeing different behavior for different rentals. We have 3 properties, one is down 30 nights from this time last year, and the other two have doubled last year's bookings. I see more shoppers and increased inquiries, with the newer (to us) properties but they are still booking. Also, I see we have advance bookings for the larger and more expensive property and last minute, almost spontaneous bookings for the suite. I'm not displeased with the way this year is shaping up.
I have had increased inquiries but decreased bookings. I am even quoting less than my posted rates when the group is less than 4 people. It's like people are really bargain hunting. I was fully booked by early spring for the summer and then have had recent cancellations due to job losses. People waiting this late in the year to book for summer are looking for really big discounts and I just won't give them. I am getting a lot of inquiries so I know the renters are out there but I just wonder how low they want you to go with your rates. Because my house has three bedrooms and is at the beach I think it is worth at least double what a normal hotel room would cost. I will leave my house vacant and let friends stay in it for free at last minute rather than discount my rates to bargain basement. I have put too much money and time into my homes to open them up to bargain hunters. It sounds like other people are discounting though for us to get so many inquiries without the confirmed bookings that we are used to. We are located on the Mississippi coast and I have noticed a lot more vacation homes becoming available this year. It is possible this is taking away some of our business. Luckily I am not in this for the profit, I am just trying to offset our costs until the day we retire to our vacation home permanently.
We have 3 places in Gulf Shores but even though the city is fully booked this summer we have seen that most owners were taking less money this year to make up for the loss of business last year. We have been renting at 2007 & 2008 rates and that stings but it is what we had to do. The other reality is that there are a lot of foreclosures that were bought up and put into the rental pool with lower comparable rates. This affects your rates and my rates when there are so many more rental properties out there. We have resisted in every case of giving in to bargain hunters. We are with you about this. It is an absolute truth that the biggest bargain hunters are the ones who treat the homes the worst. There just seems to be an attitude of putting the owners on the defense when trying to get you to take less. Of course, the harder you push me the less I want you so I don't worry about them. There are too many wonderful renters who know when they have found what they are looking for at a price that fits their budget. These folks always are the ones who treat our condos with respect.
So it is now one year later since this discussion started, and things are certainly much worse. I have few bookings this year than last, and last fewer than year before and so on. I think that the number of properties offered has grown to such a number (good for homeaway, but not the home owner), that rentals have become far more diluted. Last year there were over 300 homes I competed with and this year over 600 homes. We offer more, we offer better, have not raised rates in three years and LESS BOOKINGS.
I have been using VRBO since 2006 to advertise our high quality bed and breakfast in France. Since December of 2011 although enquiries have not declined bookings have, I have not increased prices, I have not changed terms and conditions and I answer mails immediately.
My conclusion following investigation is that VRBO no longer represents good value for money for my type of property and it appears that others renters have reached the same conclusion. I have paid to list an exclusive property with VRBO I do not expect cheaper accommodation to be offered as an alternative almost on the same page. I feel as if my business has been used to promote others and that is not what I signed up and paid for, I feel that VRBO has betrayed my trust.
Although this may lead to cheaper accommodation for travellers it is a positive menace to my business. I believe that it will eventually lead to an impoverishment in standards and promote mediocrity across a business which is already in thrall to standard chains of budget hotels. I will not be renewing my subscription to this website again.