14 Replies Latest reply: Dec 5, 2018 8:27 PM by edapostle RSS

    No inquiries since September 27th

    leap12 Contributor

      We have been on VRBO for five years.  We have great reviews and many other vacation rentals in my area are selling so the competition is less.  I am wondering if anyone else has experienced a decrease in inquiries?  I am in southern Florida so this should be the peak season.  I do not remember there being a time especailly during peak season when I have gone that long without even an inquiry?

        • Re: No inquiries since September 27th
          ohst8er Senior Contributor

          I went back and checked and we've had 2 inquiries since Sept, neither booked, and 4 IB's since Sept.  Two of the IB's were over Thanksgiving and Christmas, which were the same as the two inquiries.  The other two were August and May next year.

           

          But ours is not a great measuring stick, Fall bookings always fall off.  November/December are my least favorite months, we are typically empty to almost empty, and our bookings are pretty much non existent.  January will be the true test.  We usually go like gangbusters  starting 1st of January till we sell out, spring thru mid Sept. 

          • Re: No inquiries since September 27th
            twomoreyears Senior Contributor

            Are you pretty much full already? The belief of many on the forum is that HA pushes you down in the order shown if you have a lot of bookings already, particularly if those bookings are from some other source or are your personal blocked dates.

             

            Ohst8er makes a good point, too, about inquiries vs instant bookings (IB).  I've noticed a trend over the past few years of fewer inquiries, but our bookings aren't being impacted (we are on IB, too).

             

            But - if you want to share your listing, I'm sure there are a few forum members that would be happy to check to be sure it's being shown.  There always seems to be the isolated incident of a bug and someone's listing isn't being shown until the owner calls CS.

            • Re: No inquiries since September 27th
              leap12 Contributor

              Thank you we are booked for February and a week in March but this is when I get the bulk of my inquiries.  I do not do the IB because of all the rules with our license in Florida.  It is a hassle to qualify them after they have made the reservation.  Although my listing lists what is and is not allowed people do not always read them.  It just seems odd I have never gone this long without an inquiry.  Even in the summer when we are not busy I get inquiries. 

              • Re: No inquiries since September 27th
                ohst8er Senior Contributor

                leap12, to what twomoreyears  said, there could be an underlying reason why your inquiries have dropped.  Do post your listing number and also your location so we can take a look at it for you.   We've helped trouble shoot for a few people, and sometimes there are some things that aren't readily apparent to YOU. 


                Some time ago, when Best Match started, the number of inquiries dropped significantly.  It was a bit much to embrace at first, but (and I can only speak for my own listing), the number of bookings went UP even though the number of inquiries went down.   That's a good thing in my book. 

                 

                IB?  I said not just no but Heck no to doing IB.  Till I did it, and I'm glad I did.  It's not for everyone of course, it doesn't work for every situation, but it does for ours.  If I am understanding cancellations correctly, if you have all your house rules in place and a guest doesn't meet them, even though they have clicked a button saying they AGREE with them, you are no longer penalized for cancelling them.  Atleast that's my understanding.   And, agreed to what mtnmama3740 mentioned.  IB is the wave of the future (probably the wave of the NOW), and if your competitors are using it and you are not, it will not help your ranking status. 

                • Re: No inquiries since September 27th
                  moosebigd Contributor

                  We listed our Myrtle Beach condo with VRBO in 2015.  Just accepted becoming a PP (we were invited but declined when the program was initiated) and have 55, 5* reviews...  so our place isn't that much of a dump!  We like to think we have played by all the rules VRBO has set.  Last year we had more than 70 inquiries.  This year we have had less than 25... only one booking since Labor Day for a week in July.  We have people staying December, January and February.  We have some time blocked for personal use.  Hardly a full calendar!

                    • Re: No inquiries since September 27th
                      margaret CommunityAmbassador

                      I agree it is not a full calendar but Dec, Jan & Feb are are fully booked so you do have a full calendar for the next several months. Spring and summer should start filling up over the next few months so hopefully you will be seeing more action soon. My repeats and direct bookings still reserve much farther in advance but over the past couple of years I have notices bookings from the OTAs come in later than they did in the past.

                    • Re: No inquiries since September 27th
                      khs Contributor

                      Yes! I proposed this question to this platform a month ago. You might want to follow that thread as some good tips posted.

                      Spoke with 2 PP consultants and they had very little advice. I will not do IB. My bookings are in pretty good shape for both my properties but makes me very uncomfortable when no inquires come in. Truth is, in many ways, HA/VRBO is more and more in control of our business and this is what is disconcerting. LSI is the goal.

                       

                      What is the current experience with inquires way down? in Managing bookings

                      Kalli Holmes Sorensen asked1 month ago

                      I've used VRBO successfully on several of my properties for nearly 15 years. This is the first time ever that I've not received a single inquiry in nearly 2 month from VRBO.

                      I've spoken with my premier partner about this and she basically praised me telling me how great my listing was. The one suggestion she gave me was to try a new thumbnail she selected. It failed and my page views dropped even more. Is this a growing trend others are experiencing as well? Or am I seriously out of touch on how to play with their rankings?

                       

                      • Re: No inquiries since September 27th
                        georgygirl1955 Senior Contributor

                        I believe there is too much competition now.

                        Everybody, including their mother, uncle and brother have jumped into the STR / VR business, and many at stupid low rates.

                        There are not enough travelers to fill our spaces anymore.

                        The competition is stiff. Only the cream of the crop will stay fully booked.

                        Lowest rates + best product will be the only ones to succeed eventually.

                        .... and then go out of biz because they wont sustain on rock bottom rates.

                        My  thoughts.....

                          • Re: No inquiries since September 27th
                            scottr Active Contributor

                            "too much competition" - That's the conclusion I've come to also.  I see properties with rates way below what I would consider market rates.   Mostly we only book peak seasons now.  We won't drop our rates low enough to book off or shoulder seasons.   Until occupancy rates go over about 60%, I know we aren't likely to book.  

                          • Re: No inquiries since September 27th
                            u0999 Premier Contributor

                            I did not have an inquiry on my listing since Nov 9, and the inquiries prior to that were low ball tire kickers. I have IB too. Beautiful new and available property.  For some reason does not show as "good for families" even though I have it in description and all the appropriate boxes checked. So you are not alone.  all the bookings I am getting now are direct or Airbnb.