83 Replies Latest reply: Nov 6, 2013 5:54 PM by swlinphx RSS

    Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?

    Contributor

      They contacted me several times this week. Today I looked at their web site with them.  First thing I noticed was the first house supposedly listed for my city of Cape Coral said Panhandle and was no where near a beach on the map.  I told him I'd ask on this site and let him know on Monday.  I then called the phone numbers for the first two listings to see how many reservations they had received with hotelsvshomes.  The first person, was not the person named on the listing, the house was in the Panhandle - not Cape Coral. She said she didn't advertise with Hotels vs Homes.  Called the second house. This guy had never listed with hotels vs homes and what is more, he sold the house two years ago!!

       

      I don't think I am listing with them!  Just letting you know in case you get a call.  Has anyone had any reservations with Hotels vs Homes?

        • This reply has been hidden. This can happen if the message has been hidden by a moderator, or has been reported as abusive.
          • Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
            Contributor

            Your suggestions are good thank you.  I usually just say I'm not buyng advertising right now. But this place just kept calling and calling. But I'm not buying. I will probably need to check the site to be sure they are not advertising my home.

             

            Thank goodness I don't get foreign sites pestering me!!  Although I did try a Canadian site linked to travel. Not one inquiry in two years, then I got an inquiry after about 3 years- I assumed they had just dropped my listing, since I only paid for a year.  That inquiry did book for a month but at the old rate on the old listing site!

              • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                Contributor

                That's happened to me before also.  I advertised with IHA.com two years

                ago.  They wanted me to renew but I refused because I didn't get any

                bookings.  Last month they renewed me for a year for free and if I don't

                get any bookings off them I get another free year.  Come to find out I

                got six inquiries but I totally forgot to check my e-mail with them!  I

                thought it would be like other sites and it would automatically notify

                me if someone's interested.  Last week I got a booking from Argentina

                and today I got an inquiry from Belgium.  I don't know if it's through

                IHA or not because the requests came through on our website.  The

                monthly stats are interesting though.  I send out a survey after each

                person's visit so it'll be interesting to discover if I'm actually

                getting bookings from these people or not.  We've started listing

                through Trip Advisor/Flip Key.com and have gotten 7 bookings off them. 

                It paid for itself with the first booking so I'm pleased.

                 

                Sorry I'm so chatty.

                  • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                    lce0606 Contributor

                    Interesting to know that you received bookings from Flip/Key. I had tried a free trial with them and received one inquiry and no bookings.

                     

                    Between that experience and HotelsvsHomes, I have decided to stick with HomeAway and VRBO.

                      • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                        New Member

                        Hi,

                        Just wanted to let you know, I have gotten bookings with ;  It did about as well as VRBO and I dropped VRBO for poor performance and too many seemingly 'fake' inquiries. 

                        FlipKey is connected with TripAdvisor.  It is certainly not the best but one can't beat the free price.  Would I pay? not worth it. 

                • Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                  mike Contributor

                  Karen,

                   

                  I am familiar with HvsH and although their idea is interesting their execution is poor. The only way their site will deliver bookings is if they appear next to Expedia, Hotels.com, etc in the search results. If you look at their site traffic and page rankings they are non-existent so the only way they can get ranking is through PPC. That costs money and with no advertisers they likely have no money,  no money means no search rankings, no rankings means no traffic to their site and that means no bookings for you.

                   

                  Another way to check them out is do a search for HOTELS in your destination, if they appear anywhere on the results page they may have the chance to deliver a booking but its my guess they wont even show up.  

                   

                  Mike Cushing

                  President

                  Book by Owner Inc

                  800.761.0390

                  mike@bookbyowner.com | www.bookbyowner.com

                  • Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                    New Member

                    I'm glad I came across this site. I just started receving these phone calls last week.  I assume they got my info off homeaway.com.  I asked how people would even come across their site, to which they basically said they use facebook and linkedin as advertising.  We have a house on Lake Travis, which is about 30 miles north of Austin.  When he walked me through the site, I searched Austin and 1 property came up with the hotels.  But looking at that calendar they have NO bookings. I haven't thought to actually call them, but maybe I will.  Thanks for starting this post!  I always check everything out:)

                    • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                      lce0606 Contributor

                      I had seen this information after getting a call from HotelsVSHomes, but the salesperson managed to talk me into giving them a try. At the trial rate they gave, if I get one booking, it will pay for itself. However, it has now been 2 months, and I have not even had an inquiry.

                       

                      They told me their objective is to win my business away from HomeAway & VRBO. I have to say that even if I do get bookings from them (which I am now doubting), they will not win me away from HomeAway & VRBO!

                      • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                        deb.hawkinshouin Contributor

                        Thank you so much for this information on Hotel Vs Homes. They had contacted me earlier last year and I turned them down. They called me again today and this guy was really pushy. I told him I was busy and to call back later. In the meantime I looked at the website and did a search and seen where you had posted this information. I was not impressed with the website at all, things loaded very slow and there were bugs in the site. The search part did not work very well at all. He told me it was because they were having so much traffic on the site and they couldn't handle it all. I politely listened a bit to his sales pitch and then told him about this review I seen on the interent. He didn't like that one bit and hang up! Thank goodness I didn't have to listen to his hard pitch any longer.  I might have fell for his sales pitch because he was really good, and the year offer was very cheap if it wasn't for this posting. Thank you again for this information.

                          • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                            amyg Active Contributor

                            I've been contacted by Hotels vs Homes as well and I turned them down from the get-go.  I think that's got to be one of the silliest sounding names for a web site in our industry.  It sounds like you're pitting hotels against vacation homes in a boxing match. 

                              • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                New Member

                                I was putting entries from my business credit card statements to my accounting software this afternoon...trying to get things together for our accountant.  Happened across the charge from last June, 2011 for advertizing with Hotelsvshomes.com and got hopping mad all over again at the money I spent ($315.00) for a listing.  I decided to see if I could find some place online to warn other vacation home owners against them and found this thread. 

                                 

                                The salesmen talk a good talk, but HotelsvsHome's customer service is NIL; they refused to refund my money after telling me there was a money-back guarantee. I am completely unsatisfied.  I got absolutely NO benefit from my listing.

                                 

                                The salesman went on and on about how much marketing HvsH would be doing.....HA HA HA - they have done nothing as far as I can see.  My advice to anyone thinking about listing with them is:

                                 

                                DO NOT PURCHASE A LISTING WITH HOTELSVSHOMES

                                 

                                HOTELSVSHOMES is a total ripoff. I have not had even one inquiry since the listing went live in July of 2011.  In twenty years of being in this business, I have made some poor advertising decisions but this ranks up there at the top for being the worst.   

                            • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                              New Member

                              Thanks so much for everyone's posts here.  I've been contacted by Hotels vs Homes over the last couple of weeks and have another call scheduled with them on Monday to "walk through their website".  Now that I've read these comments, I'll cancel that call.   Not that I ever considered leaving HomeAway or VRBO, but I'm always looking for other listing opportunities that can perform as well as what I've found with with these sites. Obviously I won't find it with Hotels vs. Homes.  Thanks again for posting everyone....

                                • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                  lce0606 Contributor

                                  That is exactly what they did to me - "scheduled another call to walk me through their website." That call was from someone more sophisticated in selling. I didn't leave VRBO or HomeAway when I agreed to try their site. However, I have now been "live" with Hotels vs. Homes since November 2011 and I have not received even one inquiry.Congratulations on doing the research before Monday's call :-)

                                    • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                      swlinphx Premier Contributor

                                      I'm ashamed to admit that HotelsVsHomes is the one company I fell for about a year ago, and only because I liked the idea of vacation rentals appearing for those who searched for hotels.  It was ridiculous because they promised me a free renewal if no bookings in the first year.  Big deal.  It doesn't cost them anything to keep your listing on there and you're still out the money.  I actually tried to cancel within a couple days when I still had recourse because they were so slow to even get my listing up and running (there was only one other in the entire city).  He begged me to wait and that they'd have my listing up by the end of the business day.  I felt it might be good exposure with only one competitor but I went against my better judgement and never will again.  No site is worthwhile if it gets no traffic, even if it's free.

                                       

                                      From now on, we are not accepting anyone's hard sales pitch by phone from some unheard of startup company and we won't sign up for any vacation rental site unless we get a free trial first, long enough to see if it even pays off and we get any valid inquiries.  There are dozens and dozens of vacation rental sites out there that are basically worthless to advertise with.  I am open to listing with a commission site if I have to pay nothing except a small cut if and when I do get a booking and am still able to get my full asking price (they just add their cut to the original rate).  There's nothing to lose there, even though few really ever pan out.

                                        • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                          lce0606 Contributor

                                          Yes! That is exactly how it happened for me too. And I allegedly get my second year free. Supposedly I just need to call and remind them. I'll be interested to see if they take my listing down because they weren't very tech savvy. It also took several days for them to get my listing set up and then I needed to redo the whole thing myself.

                                           

                                          I chalk my experience with Hotels vs. Homes to a learning experience. They had told me they were an affiliate of Expedia and that was how they got traffic. At that point, I didn't understand how affiliate programs worked, so that sounded positive. Now I know more about affiliate programs and, in this case, means absolutely nothing for the home owner.

                                           

                                          FlipKey gave me a 90-day free trial, which I accepted. But after my experience with Hotels vs. Homes, I don't even talk with cold-callers about using their service.

                                            • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                              lce0606 Contributor

                                              Interesting!? I just went to the Hotels vs. Homes site and searched for the city where our rental home is. When I first signed up, I was the only house listed. Now there are 5 listed. Apparently they have been very busy selling advertising.

                                               

                                              My initial thought was that it is a shame that so many other people are getting suckered into their sales pitch.

                                               

                                              Then I thought that if only (Hotels vs. Homes) would dedicate as much time to making their site "visible," as they do to selling space, they might have a good product.

                                               

                                              As swlinphx wrote, the concept of competing with hotels is not bad.

                                               

                                              I figure that I'll see if I get an inquiry, or if they will delist me. Whichever comes first...

                                                • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                  swlinphx Premier Contributor

                                                  There were only two in my area when I first signed up, and now I see there are six.  However, I noticed something more disturbing.

                                                   

                                                  My rental is in Phoenix and I just noticed if one clicks on their link for the list of "Top Vacation Spots in the U.S." or "Best U.S. Cities to Visit", the city of Phoenix is misspelled "Pheonix".  Because of this, when one clicks on that link it says there are no results (because "Pheonix" is not a city).  They need to correct this ASAP as it obviously can impact visibility for us paying subscribers.  I just e-mailed them about this.  Let's see how long it takes them to respond and to rectify the issue.

                                                   

                                                  Ice0606, how did you navigate to your area?  Did you type in your city or area in the search box or did you rely on their list of cities which is not on the main page or even prominently displayed?  They don't have a map image to click on a region, state or city or even a pull-down menu.

                                                    • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                      lce0606 Contributor

                                                      Thanks for sharing that. I had a similar experience when I first signed up. If I searched for "Cape Coral, FL" (which is where our house is) the results were not accurate. When I brought it to their attention, they argued with me for awhile but eventually fixed it.

                                                       

                                                      I suspect that, since it is a Canadian company, there are things about the U.S. that they will get incorrect.

                                                       

                                                      I'll be interested in knowing how long it takes them to correct "Phoenix."

                                                       

                                                      To get to my city, I enter "Cape Coral, Florida" in the "Find Your Perfect Destination" search box. I haven't tried any other options on their site. Just looked and I couldn't find any. I just tried "Phoenix" in the search box and that gave the option of "Northern Phoenix" or "Phoenix." Clicked on "Phoenix" and got 6. Clicked on "Northern Phoenix" which returned "sorry. we have no accommodations that match your search." - So why bother having "Northern Phoenix" as an option?

                                                       

                                                      I tried to use their "Site Map," and it only shows "Coming Soon." Where do you find the list of cities?

                                                      Lynne

                                                        • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                          swlinphx Premier Contributor

                                                          Lynne, just go to any other page besides the Home page (click on FAQ's or the link at the bottom that says "Read More").  At the bottom of all their pages is a menu of links for all sorts of city lists.  Any good vacation listing site should have some sort of geographical map or drop down menu to narrow a region, instead of just relying on the user to type in a city name, because many sites define their regions and metropolitan areas a bit differently.  See if you can navigate to your geographic area in Florida without having to type it in the search box specifically, as when browsing.  After all, many travelers might not know for sure what is available in a given area or how to name the exact locale.

                                                           

                                                          You should be able to spot the "Pheonix" typo in one of those lists and dead link too (it's just a typo, not that they didn't know better because they spelled it correctly in the Phoenix listings section.  After all, they're from Canada, not Korea -- LOL).

                                                            • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                              lce0606 Contributor

                                                              Ok. Found "Pheonix" with the no accommodations return. Pretty bad!! They are listing it as a top city with no results??

                                                               

                                                              Also noticed that the cities aren't in alphabetical order, which is not especially user-friendly. But what a strange place to have all this other information. This should be part of the home page - or at least a subdivision for "renters" as opposed to "owners."

                                                               

                                                              Over-all, not as professionally designed as I would expect a website to be.

                                                               

                                                              I tried looking for geographic location. Couldn't find anything that had listings for U.S. states - just "top beaches," "top cities," "top ski," "top golf." I guess it's good for you that you are in a top city - if they ever make the correction you sent to them!!

                                                               

                                                              You know, before I signed up with them, I did some internet research and saw that the company has been around for awhile. Then went through relatively recent reorganization. So the thing that appealed to me was getting started with them near the beginning (of the reorganization.) Also, Cape Coral gets quite a few renters from Canada, so the Canadian site had appeal from that perspective also.

                                                               

                                                              I'll give them a "A" for perseverance. If they have increased listings in Cape Coral and Phoenix, I have to think they have increased them elsewhere. If they work on visibility, in awhile they might be ok. They need someone to work on their SEO (search engine optimization) and a better webmaster.

                                                               

                                                              (They need someone to be searching to see our discussions ;-) Right now, a Google search for "Hotels vs. Homes" brings up their site as #1, but this discussion forum is #2. - Not the best search results for them.

                                                                • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                  swlinphx Premier Contributor

                                                                  I totally agree.  Their website design is not very user friendly and I still don't think they're getting much traffic.  I too was somewhat falsely confident since they were an "Expedia affiliate" at the time.  I'm not even sure what that means technically, other than they get to use their name and logo on their site.

                                                                   

                                                                  Who knows, maybe the fact that this discussion thread comes up second in a Google search for "hotels vs homes" means they will see and read our issues and suggestions (or at least spell "Phoenix" right).

                                                                    • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                      New Member

                                                                      Agreed.  I'm happy to see this discussion taking place.  While their "Expedia Affiliate" status sounds impressive at first (admittedly, that's what caught my attention as well), it truly is nothing more than "Hotels vs Homes" acting as a sales agent for Expedia, in which they are able to collect a commission for any traffic (or sales) their site drives to Expedia. Some affiliates can collect commission just from a webpage "click" that takes them to the source page (Expedia) -- usually like .03 -.05 cents per click (also known as Pay-Per-Click) while most affiliates only collect from an actual sale that was generated through the affiliate's webpage.

                                                                       

                                                                      Interestingly enough, this part of the "Hotels vs Homes" business structure could perhaps be the stronger revenue generator opportunity for them, as affiliate sites can be quite lucrative -- WITH TRAFFIC.  But I've got to believe if the traffic was really there, the listed HomeOwners would also see results. 

                                                                       

                                                                      As it's been said: the model itself isn't bad, but it needs more work, some time, and LOTS more traffic to succeed.

                                                                       

                                                                      Rod

                                                                        • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                          lce0606 Contributor

                                                                          The Expedia Affiliate program is described on their site, http://www.expediaaffiliate.com/About-EAN. It is part of Expedia, helping the website developer with tools, etc. And, technically, this should help homeowners because HotelsvsHomes collects commissions if someone books through the Expedia site. However, at this point, I don't see that there is any interaction between Expedia & HotelsvsHomes. Expedia will book at discount price for last minute deals.

                                                                          HotelsvsHomes must have paid to become an affiliate so they could legally use the logo.

                                                                          I tried an Internet search with "HotelsvsHomes and Expedia" and nothing linking them came up.

                                                                          Interesting that almost every search with HotelsvsHomes turns up this discussion.

                                                                          I found a site that had rated them (their request?), and the feedback isn't very good either: http://www.woorank.com/en/www/hotelsvshomes.com

                                                                            • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                              swlinphx Premier Contributor

                                                                              Interesting.  LOL, I'll bet with all their SEO claims and other sales pitches this very thread ranks so high because they are pretty much invisible on the Web.  This discussion here may very well turn out to be their best (or worst) publicity!

                                                                                • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                  lce0606 Contributor

                                                                                  Hopefully future "suckers" for HotelsvsHomes will do the research and find our discussion thread. If not, they only have themselves to blame since I know, without a doubt, that it turns up in any search that includes "HotelsvsHomes" or "Hotels vs Homes" - second result, just after their own website.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  For interest sake, I contact the Expedia Affiliate program asking what it means, and their response was:

                                                                                   

                                                                                  "Being an Expedia Affiliate means that the site is using our "best in class" hotel database for searches. How they bring traffic in to their site is entirely up to them.

                                                                                  We do offer tools and tips to help, however, our affiliates have total control of how/if they choose to use this information.

                                                                                  As someone who advertises on their site, you may want to have a conversation with them in regards to this matter."

                                                                                   

                                                                                  Apparently once an "affiliate" pays the fee, there is no further obligation. So they have paid to have the Expedia Affiliate logo on their website, but it is essentially meaningless.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  As I said in an earlier post, this experience has been a wonderful learning opportunity for me

                                                                                    • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                      swlinphx Premier Contributor

                                                                                      On a side not, I never heard back from them regarding the e-mail I sent four days ago, whose subject line read "Important Error On Your Website" (the "Phoenix" misspelling we discussed here, which links to no search results because of it).

                                                                                        • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                          lce0606 Contributor

                                                                                          After seeing your email, I checked the website and they have made the correction. It is now spelled correctly and links to the Phoenix listings!!

                                                                                          Good job swlinphx!

                                                                                           

                                                                                          When I tried searching for more information about the company again, I found one site that indicated that there were only 2 employees. - I wonder if that is true. And, if it is, explains the lack of value to vacation rental owners.

                                                                                           

                                                                                          Bottom line is that they seem to care but just aren't very good at what they do.

                                                                                            • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                              swlinphx Premier Contributor

                                                                                              Oh wow, I guess I should've checked it again today before responding.  They never acknowledged they received my e-mail or corrected the error.


                                                                                              I am totally not surprised they have only a couple people.  The original lady who tried to sell me the pitch seemed iffy, and then when I complained nothing had been done on my listing a few days later and wanted a refund, the main gay in charge got on the phone and told me they let that female employee go as she wasn't working out well.  This is just a small upstart company of 20-somethings I think trying to cash in on vacation rental listings.  I pretty much sensed this and took a chance, but it is a lesson learned.

                                                                                                • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                                  lce0606 Contributor

                                                                                                  Sounds as if that might be their m.o. My initial contact was with a woman, Katelynn. When I had questions, the follow up was with Ryan - who then said that Katelynn was new and didn't understand everything.

                                                                                                   

                                                                                                  As we are having this discussion, I wonder if there would be value to have those of us who have tried advertising with HotelsvsHomes to contact them - as per the suggestion of the Expedia Affiliate person who responded to me - asking why we are not getting any inquiries and what they plan to do about it.

                                                                                                   

                                                                                                  We could also contact people who are now listed on their site and ask if they have gotten any inquiries, and, if not, to follow up with them also.

                                                                                                   

                                                                                                  It seems to me that if they put some effort into marketing the listings, and taking advantage of Expedia tools, rather than only selling advertising, they might end up with a product worth using.

                                                                                                    • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                                      New Member

                                                                                                      I have been with hotelsvshomes for almost a year now and have yet to receive one reservation.  I cannot remember ever receiving  an inquiry - though I don't want to categorically say that as I might have received one. 

                                                                                                       

                                                                                                      Why should we do their work for them? 

                                                                                                       

                                                                                                      Flipkey ran a special last year and I thought I'd also give them a try.  So I listed with Flipkey at about the same time last year for all three of my properties and have barely earned the advertising fees back.  I received a a big packet of information from Flipkey - looked very impressive.  It seemed they had their act together.  But after the big, warm welcome materials, nothing.

                                                                                                       

                                                                                                      I received a letter from Flipkey this week that my listings would automatically renew to the tune of over $600 in July.  I had to call them to say, NO!!!  I am trying to decide if I want to keep any of the three properties on Flipkey.  So far this year, it has just been one more place to keep my calendar up-to-date. 

                                                                                                       

                                                                                                      I have had much better results with homeaway.com for my two vacation rentals and TripAdvisor for my bed & breakfast.   

                                                                                                        • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                                          lce0606 Contributor

                                                                                                          Your point is well taken, pipedream.

                                                                                                           

                                                                                                          The main reason I would look at "helping" HotelsvsHomes is because I paid to advertise with them. It would be great to at least "break even." I still think that their idea is a good one but they, unfortunately, only understand half the picture.

                                                                                                          Yes. I gave FlipKey a try also, but didn't get the results I expected. However, I have to admit that I did get inquiries through them - unlike HotelsvsHomes. FlipKey has sent me several "please come back" emails.

                                                                                                           

                                                                                                          I thought that TripAdvisor and FlipKey were 2 pieces of the same company - similar to HomeAway & VRBO. I'm glad you are having success with them.

                                                                                                           

                                                                                                          I suspect that there must be a correlation with the geographic location. Although I get inquiries (& bookings) through both HomeAway & VRBO, I have a great return through VRBO.

                                                                                                           

                                                                                                          Thanks for your feedback.

                                                                                                          • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                                            lce0606 Contributor

                                                                                                            I just checked TripAdvisor for listing information and the blurb says:

                                                                                                            "List your property on FlipKey and it's automatically listed on tripadvisor. Enjoy a 60 day free trial. Subscriptions as low as $25.00/ month."

                                                                                                            http://www.flipkey.com/list/?utm_source=13091&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=talist

                                                                                                             

                                                                                                            So I'm not sure how you would list with TripAdvisor, but not FlipKey??

                                                                                                              • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                                                anja Senior Contributor

                                                                                                                TripAdvisor is the older "parent" company {I think this is so}.  It was always possible to have a free account on TA that only includes the property name and location {address}....but no link to personal website....and of course the traveler *reviews*.   TripAdvisor was never traditional ad listing site where an owner can upload "promotional text and photos".   The travelers add photos if they want to, when submiting their reviews.

                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                My property has had an account with TripAdvisor for many years  ...but  I have not purchased a FlipKey "advertising page", when FK was created.  My account with TA is still valid, though, and my place still appears there and I do get travel reviews posted there, as well.  I'm not a fan of TA....so I don't ask guests to post reviews there.   I encourage my guests to post their reviews on VRBO, instead.  That's where my ad investment is.

                                                                                                                  • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                                                    lce0606 Contributor

                                                                                                                    anja, thank you for explaining the "difference" between TripAdvisor & FlipKey. I think that by the time I first looked at TripAdvisor, they had already expanded to include FlipKey.

                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                    Thank you also for sharing that you focus your advertising with VRBO. I haven't actually done a comparison for return on my advertising money yet, but suspect that VRBO is slightly better than HomeAway for my geographic location.

                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                    At this point, I feel confident that I am getting what I need from only listing with HomeAway & VRBO. (But I would have liked to see HotelsvsHomes at least cover what I paid to list there.

                                                                                                                      • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                                                        anja Senior Contributor

                                                                                                                        I know what you mean!  I lost money.  Over the years, I have tried other "fee based" rental portals....wasted money!   No inquiries, even.  And, none of them ever lived up to their "guaranteed"  bookings or money back bribes.  They would just try to keep me on their portal for "free"  for another year....which is yet more nonsense when there's no traffic, anyway.   Live and learn.  I've wasted a lot of money "trying" different portals that gave me nothing in return. And, the money I wasted out numbers the higher listing price I pay now for the HA sites.

                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                        So,  I'm stickingt  HA portals  {I'm on two}  because I get inquiries + bookings.  That's all  I need.

                                                                                                                    • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                                                      New Member

                                                                                                                      I have a business listing for TripAdvisor for my bed and breakfast - not for my vacation rentals which are listed with TA's Flipkey (where'd they get that name, I wonder...???).  As I understand it, Flipkey is TripAdvisor's venue for vacation rentals  as TripAdvisor does not permit vacation rentals to be listed with their regular lodging section because it is limited to conventional hotels, B&B's and inns.

                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                      I know Flipkey must work for many but it has not been effective for me in the 11 months since I started listing with them.  I don't really want to spend another $600+ dollars to see if it works next year.  My two vacation rental properties are about as booked up as I can handle anyway just using my own website, and homeaway. 

                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                      I was not even aware of TripAdvisor's existance until about two years ago when my B&B received several TA reviews and I started getting calls for reservations based on those reviews.  After the first year and more reviews, the traffic from TA inquiries was getting to be significant enough that I decided to pay for the TA business listing to have my website link and contact info included on the TA listing.

                                                                                    • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                      New Member

                                                                                      I have a contract with them for a year and not one contact for a rental. My house is never empty and I have a wait list for renters. Hotels vs. Homes didn't give me one renter! Waste of money. When I called to tell them that they said they would extend the contract at no extra cost. Didn't do me any good. Still nothing from them.

                                                                                • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                  margaret Senior Contributor

                                                                                  I also have had numerous cals from Hotels vs Homes. I decided there web site wasn't up to par. I am surprised to hear many of you have not had bookings from FlipKey , I receive almost as much business from them as I do from Homeaway. I have been with them for almost a year and wil be renewing soon.

                                                                                    • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                      swlinphx Premier Contributor

                                                                                      Margaret, I too have gotten inquiries and a few bookings thru FlipKey, but not as much as HomeAway.  I feel they are as well organized and professional as HomeAway, but just not as big when it comes to vacation rentals only (which is all the HomeAway group handles).  I feel strongly that it benefits us (and will more and more so in the future) to be listed on a site where people may be searching for hotels or other conventional lodging originally (and not considering a vacation rental), which is the whole reason I made an exception and gave HotelsVsHomes a try.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      I had gotten a few inquiries and bookings from Rentalo.com as well over the years.  However, I have not been renewing with some of my past sites like "AlwaysOnVacation", "Villa4Vacation", "VacationRentalPeople", etc. for some time and will most likely not be renewing with HomeAway's "VacationRentals.com" either when it expires.  HomeAway is the one I get inquiries through the most, with both VRBO and FlipKey tied for second place.  Those will probably be the only three I keep, for now anyway.  I guess it truly depends on your region and demographic.

                                                                                    • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                      victor.nawrocki Contributor

                                                                                      HOTELS vs HOMES called me and I went to the discussions board - reading what is here - when they called back - like I asked them to - I told them I was not imterested.  THEY HUNG UP ON ME.  No "thank you may I ask why?"  Just HUNG UP.  I always find it funny when call center people tell you that they only take a select few owners to list - but you can hear the call bank in the background. Stay away.  Always tell callers "NO" just to see how they react and if they are professional about the rejection, continue.

                                                                                        • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                          lce0606 Contributor

                                                                                          Thanks for sharing your experience with HotelsvsHomes. I know their "hard-sell" comes with the callback, but hanging up on you???

                                                                                           

                                                                                          Selling 101 talks about how a potential cold-call customer typically says "no" three times before making the sale. And any good sales person wants feedback about "why not."

                                                                                           

                                                                                          HotelsvsHomes certainly are persistent, but this is another example of how they aren't very good.

                                                                                        • This reply has been hidden. This can happen if the message has been hidden by a moderator, or has been reported as abusive.
                                                                                        • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                          crescentbeach4u Community All-Star

                                                                                          Tinyurl.com works great!

                                                                                          • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                            susaninrehoboth Senior Contributor

                                                                                            Thankfully, I have never gotten a sales call to list my VR. If I did, I would say I'm on the Do Not Call list and hang up.

                                                                                             

                                                                                            Are others that are getting these calls on the Do Not Call list? If so, has anyone reported them?

                                                                                            Susan

                                                                                              • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                                lce0606 Contributor

                                                                                                That's a great question. I never thought of putting my number for my vacation rental on the do not call list. Since I have it published for renters to call, I assumed that anyone could use that number. Does anyone know how that works for a business number?

                                                                                                  • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                                    swlinphx Premier Contributor

                                                                                                    Yes, as a few of us mentioned in other threads about this issue, if you have either a business phone line or advertise your number on a public site you are not eligible for the Do Not Call list.  It is intended for private residences who do not do business from that number.  If you're advertising for people to contact you at that number about your vacation rental(s) then basically that is what the telemarketers are doing.  It's an unfortunate loophole.

                                                                                                     

                                                                                                    Ice0606, I'm pretty sure he would have honored my request and was obligated too, as he basically pleaded for me not to demand a refund and give it a chance.

                                                                                                • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                                  New Member

                                                                                                  I have mentioned this in another post, they SCAM SCAM and LIE. They hae not gotten me an Inquiry in over 1 year, they pocket your money and then pull the no-refund pitch when you call for help, and then they do nothing for you again. I hope noone falls into the trap they pull with "Expedia Affilliation" like I did, I called expedia about 6 months ago and they had NO IDEA who these scammers were. Proceed with Extreme caution if they are contacting you.

                                                                                                  • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                                    New Member

                                                                                                    Just got "THE CALL" as he was telling me to go to their website I found this thread and as he was blabbing away I just kept reading posts. I told him I never just give my information out to random cold callers on a first date, that I'd "go do some research" and get back to him. Well I've done my research and will not be getting back to him. Oh and he had the audacity to tell me his special price might not be available if I don't do it now. HA! Really you are a bit too desperate to be saying that with only 10 people in my area you need all the money you can get!

                                                                                                      • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                                        lce0606 Contributor

                                                                                                        Very cool!

                                                                                                         

                                                                                                        Thanks for sharing. So glad you were able to find our thread before you got talked into trying them.

                                                                                                         

                                                                                                        Hard for me to believe they are still around since they are worthless. Unfortunately, I fell for their sales pitch over a year ago and have not had one inquiry, much less a booking, from them.

                                                                                                         

                                                                                                        I have tried various sites for advertising my property and this is the only one that I have not received anything from once I signed up - not from the website owners and not from potential renters. Nothing!!

                                                                                                         

                                                                                                        The thing I fell for was when the salesperson told me they were an Expedia affiliate. At that time I didn't understand what "being an affiliate" meant and I knew that Expedia has a good market. Now I know better.

                                                                                                          • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                                            New Member

                                                                                                            I have just been getting bombarded recently by calls so I was in a supper negative mood, so I already didn't want it, then I found this and that was the last straw. This was all before I even made it to their terrible website. I always want to ask these people what makes them better than or even on par with any other site I am sure they wouldn't have an answer...

                                                                                                              • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                                                lce0606 Contributor

                                                                                                                There are certain times of year when people will get bombarded by these people. From my experience, it is a couple months before peak season for where my rental is located. This is about the time when I am assessing where to advertise for the next year.

                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                I'm not entirely sure where they find me but I suspect that it is when there are "holes" in my calendar. Then they try to convince me that "even one booking would pay for advertising with them."

                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                At this point, I'll try someone who gives me a free trial, but not if I have to pay to try. If they are as good as they claim, they should be willing to let you try them for a month or so before committing to their site.

                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                I've learned a lot since first starting to rent!

                                                                                                                • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                                                  msdebj Senior Contributor

                                                                                                                  There seem to be a lot of new "rental sites"  popping up these days. Some may be good, Who really knows? It's good to hear from other Owners.

                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                  One thing I'd advise: Check out the local Tourism (or whatever they call it where your VR is ) site. They often have a web site that offers Owners options for advertisng. It probably won't offer all the bells and whistles that an HA/VRBO, Flipkey site does, but it's worth checking into since the traffic to your home tends to be more concentrated ( less lookyloos). Diversify as much as your advertising bduget allows!

                                                                                                                  Debj   

                                                                                                              • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                                                swlinphx Premier Contributor

                                                                                                                I had posted here and other threads how Hotel vs Homes were the only ones I fell for a couple years back and stupidly gave them $150, then changed my mind before it was too late when I saw their service and response was terrible.  I called back and finally asked for my money back due to the lack of response with issues in the couple days afterward (you have three days to legally get a refund).  Stupidly, I allowed the apologetic sales guy to beg me into staying and that he'd get it all straightened out.

                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                Flash-forward to just a couple weeks ago (after I had documented my experience with them and read what a waste of time and money they were with others as well on this forum) and I get another call from a different rep who is some "head" or owner of the company now.  He actually tried to sell me before I could tell him I already paid two years back and got not one booking or even inquiry from them, and even wanted my money back then allowed myself to be convinced to stay.  Just the fact that this guy is calling an already dissatisfied customer not knowing they already had sold them a listing is bad enough (they just scout through other sites calling owners and managers cold), but I then went on to tell them the whole story.  He couldn't have been more "sorry" and surprised and said he'd get back to me on what can be done.  He said he takes this very seriously and former employees had used some hard sell tactics in the past but his "customers' satisfaction was of the utmost importance".  I told him this call means nothing now because he only contacted me obliviously to sell me a listing without knowing I was a duped customer already.  I told him it'd be great to get back to me, but that I doubted he would and that the true test is to see if I hear from him after he now knows I am a dissatified customer, as he promised.  He said he understood and I would hear by Monday at the latest, and again apologized.  I told him I wouldn't hold my breath, but okay.

                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                Two weeks later and not a word.  Wow, they really are into rubbing salt in the wound!

                                                                                                                  • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                                                    lce0606 Contributor

                                                                                                                    Wow! Thanks for sharing the update.

                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                    As I said before, it's hard to believe these guys are still in business.

                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                    Also, I wonder about the 3 days to cancel a contract. Isn't that a US regulation? This company is based in Canada and I suspect they may not have the same obligations.

                                                                                                                      • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                                                        swlinphx Premier Contributor

                                                                                                                        A transaction takes place where the customer is who submits payment (which is why you don't pay tax when buying something from a company not located in your state).  Therefore, they are obligated to follow U.S. law (or whatever law is in the customer's location).  He knew very well he would have to, otherwise he wouldn't go out of his way to beg me to reconsider.  He would just have said they don't offer refunds, period.

                                                                                                                  • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                                                    New Member

                                                                                                                    Hi.  I just set up an account with them.  So far, they have been great.  I do great with VRBO, Homeaway and Vacation Rentals.com but I wanted to tap into the European market.  Hotels vs. Homes gave me a great deal since I told them I didn't need them.  We'll see how it goes.  If I get one booking through them, it will pay for itself.  If not, I haven't lost much money.  I will keep you guys apprised.

                                                                                                                      • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                                                        New Member

                                                                                                                        I wouldn't do it, but to each his own. Best of luck, let us know when you receive a booking.

                                                                                                                          • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                                                            swlinphx Premier Contributor

                                                                                                                            Hmmmm....  Considering everyone I've spoken to has had a bad experience with them, this sounds a bit fishy.  As I said earlier, they mistakenly called me back recently to sell me a listing over a year later, at which time I told them I already had paid and got not a single inquiry in all this time much less a booking.  The rep apologized profusely and claimed that really concerned him and he'd definitely "get back to me by Monday" -- I scoffed and said "I'll believe it when I see it" since he was only calling me all this time for solicitation, not knowing I already had been a paid customer.

                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                            Needless to say he never called back (they only care about you before you pay), but the interesting part is I told him about this message board and the negative thread and experiences all had had with them.  And now suddenly a brand new registered user to this forum posts their first comment praising them.  ...Makes you wonder, eh?

                                                                                                                              • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                                                                swlinphx Premier Contributor

                                                                                                                                I might also add that it is true that listing on a site that allows hotel searches simultaneously is a great way to reach people not at first considering a vacation rental (or who end up seeing the savings when compared side-by-side like this).  Thankfully, that site exists already and has paid off tenfold.  It is called "TripAdvisor". 

                                                                                                                            • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                                                              lce0606 Contributor

                                                                                                                              ldbina, you wrote regarding Hotels vs Homes "so far they have been great."

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                              What makes them great?

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                              If I am paying for advertising, the only thing that makes a site "great" is if I get bookings.

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                              Since you have just signed up with them I doubt you have bookings.

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                              I fell for their sales pitch 2 years ago and paid for advertising. I also rationalized that just one booking would pay for itself.

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                              Two years later, I have not received an inquiry, much less a booking. Can't imagine that you will have any different results from the rest of us.

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                              But the fact that you fell for the sales pitch despite all the negative publicity explains why they are still in business.

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                              At least I can justify in my mind that the negative publicity didn't exist when I fell for it.

                                                                                                                                • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                                                                  swlinphx Premier Contributor

                                                                                                                                  Ice0606, do you think it's all a coincidence that "Idbiana" just signed up with HotelsVsHomes and is already happy and got a booking then just happened to join this HomeAway forum just now to post one post on how happy she is?  ...think about it.

                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                  BTW, today I got my very first inquiry from HotelsVsHomes in 1.5 years!  It was for March, a month we fill a year in advance and the most requested on here, also one that we would never have to advertise for to fill, LOL.

                                                                                                                                    • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                                                                      lce0606 Contributor

                                                                                                                                      swlinphx, congratulations on getting an inquiry from HotelsvsHomes. LOL. You're one inquiry ahead of me!

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      If I read the post correctly, ldbiana didn't get a booking from them, or even an inquiry, but she still thinks HotelsvsHomes is great.

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      That did strike me as fishy because any vacation home owner would only think an advertising venue was great if they received a booking. It will be interesting to see how long before s/he "gets" that booking.

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      I suspect the post was a plant.

                                                                                                                                        • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                                                                          ttaylor0 Active Contributor

                                                                                                                                          After doing hours and hours of research, and I research for a living therefore I am normally much faster than the average person, I concluded that Hotels vs Homes is not a good venue for advertising my rental.  In fact, and it is only my opinion, I cannot see how it would be a good match for anyone.  Why would potential renters  go to a Hotel site to look up a vacation home.  Just my thoughts.

                                                                                                                                            • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                                                                              swlinphx Premier Contributor

                                                                                                                                              Why would potential renters  go to a Hotel site to look up a vacation home.

                                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                                              I think the idea is they would go there for a hotel initially, then decide to compare it with vacation rentals when they saw the option; something that TripAdvisor already accomplishes beautifully.  But why go there, especially with all the hotel/travel sites that would come to mind first:  Hotels.com, Hotwire, Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, TripAdvisor, etc., etc., etc.

                                                                                                                                    • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                                                                      New Member

                                                                                                                                      We've been cold called by them a few times and the stories told in this thread sound exactly like our experience. I picked one of their pages at random and took a look at the source code behind it. Apart from some generally technically shoddy things, the worrying thing I found were multiple (hidden) links to a Payday loan company. I have asked for an explanation of this and am waiting for a reply.

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      If you want to see for yourself, I've pasted the code at https://gist.github.com/anonymous/5417662 - if you go to line 426 you'll see multiple hidden links to the pay day loan company (don't want to name them here for fear of improving their SEO by accident!). You'll have to keep scrolling to the right before you see the hidden links.

                                                                                                                                        • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                                                                          New Member

                                                                                                                                          First off, I have not had any commerical relationship with HotelsVsHomes so I have no evidence at all that they are anything other than a legitimate company. For all I know, if I were to sign up with them I would get inundated with enquiries for my property. My gut says that wouldn't be the case, but I have no hard evidence of that.

                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                          They responded to my email indicating that they suspected that the links had made their way into the listings via user posted HTML content in listings. I have chosen not to advertise with them.

                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                          Message was edited by: canmoremountaincondo (I have removed the contents of the email sent to me by Hotels vs Homes because their Confidentiality Notice prohibits me from disclosing the exact contents of the email)

                                                                                                                                        • Re: Does anyone use Hotels vs Homes?
                                                                                                                                          Contributor

                                                                                                                                          It happens in many industry as people try to list some more property that is actually nowhere and they do say just to attract more customers. You have done a good thing by enquiring about them and we all should follow these verification processes.