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I agree with what everyone has said. And I think the problems really started when H&A took over VRBO. They have turned us into used cars salesmen. It's not about just advertising your property anymore. I just got an e-mail that they are changing the ranking system. In the past it was based on the number of photos. Now everyone gets 16 photos plus other things included with their annual subscription. The difference is now the subscription rate is based on levels. The higher your level, the higher you are ranked in the listing. And the only difference between the different subscription levels is how much you are willing to pay. So unless you are willing to put out the money, you will lose visibility. To be honest, I have not compared the costs to what I am paying now, or what the subscription level is of others advertising in my area. They do throw a bone to those who have been advertising on VRBO for a long time. When subscription levels are equal, rankings are determined by length of time on VRBO. Bottom line, though, is HA/VRBO are trying to squeeze every last nickel out of us. Very disappointed.
Just noticed in the e-mail that I will migrate to Level 1 (the highest) due to my 16 photos and longevity with VRBO. But doing the math, it will cost an additional $60 or a 9.5% increase over last year. Not happy about that.
Thanks for the input on the new tier subscription for VRBO. I just got their
email today with the same note of migrating me to level one due to longevity.
My question is how long will we be at Level 1. Nowhere on the email did I find
a pricing structure on the levels. Did I miss something? I guessed we would be
getting it after the Jan 5th starting date. This whole this is disgusting me.
Definitely need to research some other advertising possibilities as I can not
afford to keep Homeaway and VRBO, maybe not even be able to affort to keep one.
My contract is up in April so hopefully I will have a plan by then.
I have not received an email...about a new system starting January 5th. I'm wondering why? My property listing account with VRBO began in 2001....I presently pay for 16 photos and am at the top of the list in my area for doing so. I wonder why I have not been notified of any changes. And, I am concerned about the next price level for me.
I know this is a pipe dream, but in an ideal world all of us owners would simply refuse to purchase any additional photos. This would keep the playing field level, keep all of our costs down and send a clear message to VRBO / HomeAway.
As a one-bedroom property owner I can't afford any more pictures anyway without incurring an overall loss, so that's my plan.
The sad this is that they aren't even going to give us the option to purchase
additional photos. We will all get 16 now with the new tiered system. But in
order to keep exactly what I have now (I do have the 16 photos) we will have to
pay way more. I think that VRBO & Homeaway will be shocked at the amount of
customers they are going to lose in the upcoming year. People with just one
cabin like us will not be able to afford $600.00 per website to advertise. I am
checking out other options. Good luck to you.
Oh... I guess I'll need to wait until I get the notification e-mail. I'm not entirely clear on how the new system works. I logged on to VRBO site and it still looks like status-quo ($299 for a listing plus one million dollars per additional photo).
I just received the email this morning on VRBO's new "tiered subscription
plan". It is to be starting Jan 5. Perhaps just the people that they put in the
Level 1 (top tier) received the emails. They did not include a complete pricing
structure in the email but did show an example of pricing levels. It appeared
to me that to remain at a level one you will be paying approx. $600.00 a year.
But they will give everyone rights to use 16 photos and have a video at $349.00
per year. To get anywhere up on the rating scale of where your ad will be seen
you will pay additional monies. I will try to send you a link to the email.
What a crock!
Thanks very much for the forwarded message; now I get it.
This is very interesting to me and I’ll admit to being conflicted.
I have always contended that VRBO / HA should not charge for photos or thumbnails or posting of videos or inclusion of maps. Those should be basic items available to all listings. It seems, on this point, they have finally listened.
I welcome the ability for a small one-bedroom property like mine to finally be able to have these basic elements without having to pay the “photo extortion tax”.
On the other hand, VRBO has found a way to charge me an additional $50 to get what should have been included in any basic web ad. Additionally, I will still be unable to afford any $29.99 bumps to my subscription level so there’s no guarantee that the additional $$ for a basic listing will have any payback whatsoever.
What VRBO should do is enhance their search so that properties that best meet guest travel criteria bubble to the top. Forget all of this subscription and “pay-per-placement” nonsense. Again in the ideal world, we’d all simply refuse to pay for the additional subscription levels and just let the guests decide what is best for their travel needs.
Hello, Could someone send us a copy of the new tiered rate structure? We currently have 16 photos, and have been listed for several years, but we have heard nothing at all about this change, other than what we are reading on this community forum. Many thanks! CabinLady
I would be happy to forward the email I received from VRBO today regarding the
tiered schedule rates if you send me your email address. My address is
According to my e-mail, "All 12 month subscriptions renewing on or after January 5, 2012 will renew at the new base rate of $349 and $29.99 for each additional subscription level. As I mentioned earlier, I currently have 16 photos and the e-mail stated that I would migrate to Subscription Level 1 (which is the highest). So I read that to mean that my new rate will be the base level $349 plus 11-level upgrades to level 1 (i.e. 11 x $29.99) for a grand total of $678.89. That's $60 more than I paid this year. Again, I am not happy about that.
Regarding the comment that once a person clicks on the "submit" button to send an inquiry concerning your property, they get an acknowledgement screen of the inquiry being sent plus a list of other properties to check out, this is true. Some of these other properties are direct competitors, others are not. And so, the price range varies. This could be why over the last few years, I have had many more inquiries looking for deals instead of just accepting my normal rates. And some of these demands have been quite ridiculous. This is all great for the renter, but sucks for the homeowners. I will certainly be reevaluating my subscription before renewal time.
I'm not very happy either. I bought my pictures and paid the high price so I could be at the top. I've been #2 for three years now.
Someone came long who origianally didn't want to pay the high price to be listed at the top. Because they listed before me had a lower number.
So now they decide to pay the higher cost and they get ahead of me because of their number! NOT FAIR VRBO!!!!!
There is nothing left for me to do to get ahead and there are quite a few others with lower numbers that can potentially get ahead of me.
I have been with VRBO for many years. Even when I had only 5 pictures I was doing very well at renting my properties. Yes they have gone up in price but with that said they are allowing 16 pictures, a video, and a map which will help me out a lot. I have read your comments all the comments for quite sometime and a big difference in some of our rentals is where our properties are located. My happen to be in a very tourist town. Out of every VRBO inquiry I get at least 95% bookings. I am also on flipkey and I have noticed a little more inquires coming in then the past years but I do get far more from VRBO. I did have trouble getting someone to call me back. But I think if it is a complaint they may never call you back. Especially if it is a whining complaint. Mine was for a renewal. But then I had to call them last week and they called me back within the hour. Who knows what there problem is. All I know that's cooperate for you. And you either have to play the game or find somewhere else to play. As for me I am doing very well this year with early bookings for summer. The one thing I noticed if you don't contact them in a reasonable time a lot of people will look for something else, just as we would do. Potential guests do not want to wait they want to know ASAP so they can make plans. So good luck to all of you and I hope you find the right place for your properties.
I signed my Captiva Florida property up with VRBO this past November. Initially I was please with the responses that I was getting, however the responses have dropped off somewhat and this is the time of season when they should have picked up...dramatically. It seems to correlate with the change in the tier system and VRBO bringing on a big corporate rental company on the island that I have my property on. Seems that VRBO doesn't really care to work with the individual single property owners anymore.
I, too, have noticed a decrease in inquiry and rental activity and I'm thinking right about now is "prime time" for summer rentals. I'm not sure if it's a new VRBO structure thing, an overall economy thing?
Travel is a luxury item and sadly many luxury items suffer during recessive periods. Everything I have read indicate this economic slow down is world wide. One of the first things people cut back on during these times are vacations. All inclusive's, plane fares, hotels and vacations rental properties are all suffering around the globe. Quite honestly I am pleasantly surprised at the number of people who are still booking my vacation property in lieu of these times. Admittedly the bookings are not as strong or plentiful as 4 years ago, but neither is the economy.
In defense of HA and VRBO I salute them for creating a venue for me to make the kind of money I am able to on their websites. Yes, they have increases, they are a business as all of us are in here and we are all in business for one reason...to make money! I would never for one moment place "blame" on them for any decrease in business. The way I see it, they want us their clients to succeed so they will continue to profit.
Successful business is about "change" and "growth" and sometimes that is difficult to both implement and accept.
Very well said! I completely agree with you and thanks for your input.
determination, VRBO changed what I had signed up for. Things were going fine for the 1st two months, then they changed our agreement. That in itself angers me. Then they start to invite large corporations to advertise their properties on the website ahead of mine because they have so many properties. They get better placement because of their large corporation buying power? That is when the iquiries came to a trickle. As of right now, I will not renew. Who knows what they will change on me next. The good reputation of VRBO will dwindle as they become advertisers for large corporations, hotels and resorts. I wish them well in their endevour, but I think travelers can find those types of places elsewhere. VRBO was not originally intended to be that type of advertising organization.