26 Replies Latest reply: Jan 16, 2019 2:18 PM by u0999 RSS

    Does this bother anyone but me?

    hmmmm Senior Contributor

      For those of us who work 7 days a week, at this job renting our properties, greeting people, fixing problems and doing the accounting, this bothers me.

      It feel scolded and not helpful.  I don't care nor want to see this.  It does not make a difference to my style of working and renting.

      In a competitive world such as ours, we already feel the pressure to book.  I want travelers to look around and then come back to me, only if its the right fit.

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        • Re: Does this bother anyone but me?
          ohst8er Premier Contributor

          It's not helpful, and sometimes, it's just plain wrong.  Last week I got an IB for June.  When I logged in to the site I also had one of these little nuggets, brand new.  EXACT SAME WEEK, exact same number of adults, exact same number of kids.  Seems like too big a coincidence to me, and I know I'm not the only one who has posted same. 


          I've said many times before, the marketplace feed has the "potential" to be a really good resource, but unfortunately it's just something I have kept on ignore for a very long time.

          • Re: Does this bother anyone but me?
            feibus Senior Contributor

            Very unhelpful.  Short of an inquiry, I don't really care what the lurkers do.  If they're interested enough to inquire, I'm interested enough to know what happened to them when they didn't book.

            • Re: Does this bother anyone but me?
              kiheiretreat Contributor

              Not at all helpful to me either, I always felt that I was in the minority so I am glad to see I am not alone. I have left thoughtful feedback on most of these but feel like they are not read. Usually, it is for a unit that I do not feel is a competitor (studio or 2 bdrm, amenities, locations, etc.).

              • Re: Does this bother anyone but me?
                greggt Senior Contributor

                It's childish and very unprofessional in my opinion, who ever came up with this....well, they would not even last in a grammar school it is so insulting!

                • Re: Does this bother anyone but me?
                  lakensea Contributor

                  Just another reason why I only go to the website when necessary.  It's kind of like a teacher telling a student how much smarter another student is - over and over.

                  • Re: Does this bother anyone but me?
                    green_mango Active Contributor

                    I don't mind seeing the listing a potential guest ended up booking - I like to be familiar with the competition. 


                    I do NOT like being told I LOST - all these metrics and winning/losing take the focus away from the goal which is a quality experience for guest & host. 

                    • Re: Does this bother anyone but me?
                      ashevillelookout Senior Contributor

                      My feedback on this was that it was juvenile and insulting to be told that I lost a booking.  I don't mind knowing that someone looked at my property and booked another, because I can make a determination from what they booked as to how my property was not a good fit for this guest.  I also think that it is rude to tell me that my competitor will increase in ranking.  Well, DUH


                      I do like to know what the trend is in my area; are the places being booked much cheaper?  Fewer amenities?  all of them have foosball?    I would also like to know what the traveler who books with me looked at before booking with me.  What attracted them?  My location? My price?  My view?  As near as I can tell, the fact that I have a hot tub and accept pets helps tremendously.


                      But being smacked with "You lost" is rude.  Jut tell me that the traveler who looked at my property booked another.  I will take it from there.

                      • Re: Does this bother anyone but me?
                        twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                        I Agree that it has no value to me. If I am paying too much attention to my competition, I am not paying enough attention to taking care of my own property. I think if we want to see what the competition is doing we are quite capable of looking ourselves when that time seems right.


                        When I use my iPad or iPhone it is the first thing that pops up and it is annoying to have to push hide to get to any other information that might be of value. Maybe they could have an opt out button for that part of the feed? This might be advantageous for a new owner, I can’t answer that so I don’t think we should just say it has to go, but again an opt out would be wonderful for those of us that are not interested in seeing it.

                        • Re: Does this bother anyone but me?
                          twomoreyears Senior Contributor

                          I've got mixed feelings. While I like to keep track of the properties that get booked instead of mine, I certainly don't like the way it is presented.  We've told them that since the first prototype was shown.  I suspect they use the word "lost" on purpose to make you feel bad about it and do something about it (after all, don't we all want to "win"?).


                          What I would like is the opportunity to see where someone booked after they INQUIRE with me.  I know our competition is not just the VR across the road - it's other Caribbean islands.  But I can't put all those properties in my competitive set - it would take days to do that even if I wanted to.


                          So - if everyone does not like the word "lost", what phrase should they use?  Remember, it's a heading and has to be short. 

                          • Re: Does this bother anyone but me?
                            hill5185 CommunityAmbassador

                            I actually don't mind the sentiment "Win" / "Loss" it's simple and clear and leaves the decision of whether I actually lost up to me. Data is king and having the opportunity to view comparisons keeps me up to date with properties in my area or perhaps "out of my area". I don't let the language distract from the data.


                            It's interesting to see the properties travelers have researched prior to booking. Recently had an IB where the traveler viewed 30+ properties. Of course we only see "10" but it's fun to deep dive and gain insight into what the traveler rejected and might be looking for. Great for conversation and honing in on providing an exceptional guest experience.


                            Truth, it's frustrating to "lose" to my own property. I have a "lock out" so it's one house two listings. Many times they just decided they didn't need the additional space for the cost. Of course this gives me an opportunity to up sell after the booking.

                            • Re: Does this bother anyone but me?
                              calicalling Active Contributor

                              I know I'm in the minority, but I appreciate seeing who I am competing against.


                              For me, it's not an issue of information (the more the better) but I think the issue is word choice.


                              Not sure who writes the emails and other promotions that go out, but the ones targeted at owners often seem to be needlessly abrasive.

                                • Re: Does this bother anyone but me?
                                  ohst8er Premier Contributor

                                  I don't mind seeing whom I'm competing against, but I'm about 99.9% sure that MY last LOST BOOKING, actually did book with me, AND NOT the listing I was told it booked with. 


                                  EDITED FOR CLARITY. 

                                  • Re: Does this bother anyone but me?
                                    twomoreyears Senior Contributor

                                    calicalling - you are not alone, I feel the same way.  It's the word choice, but I suspect it is deliberate.  I always feel the urge to drop my price so I get booked instead of the other property when I see I "lose" a booking to another property.  Even when it's to a property that I have taken a deliberate pricing approach to ignore (they are 60% of the price we are and only get 10% more bookings and get the "jam them in" crowd), my heart says "drop the price! you lost!".  Fortunately, my head wins.


                                    It's because these "cards" when they were showing properties outside of my competitive set that I realized I had to sell our island, not just our house.  And I watch to see if there is a trend on who is up-and-coming as a competitor. 


                                    It also allowed me to breathe a sigh of relief when a bargain-hunter booked another property besides outs.  She contacted me about three weeks before check in date and asked for a 20% discount.  I refused.  Turns out she was probably going to use my discount against a neighbor, because she ended up booking a property that lists for almost twice the price we do!  She was looking to get a bargain, and those guests frequently are the worst.

                                  • Re: Does this bother anyone but me?
                                    lisarenee New Member

                                    This bugs me as well. I'd like to see where they booked. How can I improve or compare if I'm not given that information? Was it that the restaurant they like is closer? Or the like a South facing view over a East facing view? Was it a lower or higher floor? Was it a better rate? If they can tell me that I lost, they can tell me what I lost to.

                                    I can't change my view or my location, but I can make changes to my rate if I feel it's necessary. When I see this it frustrates me and sends me down a rabbit hole of comparisons and random clicks to other properties. Ugh. If VRBO wants to help me by giving me this information, complete the loop and help me.

                                    Being called a "loser" - is that necessary?

                                      • Re: Does this bother anyone but me?
                                        kiheiretreat Contributor

                                        lisarenee has summed up the issue for me. What value does stating the fact that I lost a booking provide for the vacation property owner? With no supporting data, like the unit who "won" the booking, what have the "losers" learned? When you win a booking, it lists the other properties that the guest looked at. Valuable insight for owners who care to delve deeper into analytics. Much like the what recently booked in your location.


                                        There is nothing to gain from this "loser" metric and I question if there will always be something to learn with a lost booking. There are some things that I won't or can't compete with.


                                        Some guests:


                                        • look for the lowest price; I won't compete on price
                                        • may need a ground floor; we are on the second floor in a 2 story building and our property doesn't have elevators
                                        • want a bathtub; I have a walk-in shower


                                        Someone recently inquired whether I had the Golf Channel? I don't; did he book with someone who did. Or just maybe someone doesn't book my condo because I have a vessel sink in my bathroom


                                        Our Island has 5155 properties currently listed on HA, we are all going to regularly lose a booking. I don't lose sleep over this as we have a desirable location and renovated unit, fair pricing and are invested in our guests enjoying their time spent in our condo and our destination.


                                        As mentioned by twobitrentals earlier, maybe this may be slightly beneficial for new owners.

                                      • Re: Does this bother anyone but me?
                                        homeaway_community_manager HomeAway Employee

                                        Hi hmmmm and all,


                                        Thank you for the feedback, we've shared it with the dashboard team.



                                        HomeAway Community Manager

                                        • Re: Does this bother anyone but me?
                                          mvphawaiicondo Contributor

                                          Call me odd man out (I've been called worse) but it doesn't bother me at all.  I like to see who has beat me out.  I can usually guess it's because they are cheaper than me.  But here's the thing, I don't want to be first booked.  (subject for another thread) When I am first booked, I know that the people booking with me aren't cheapskates, they appreciate what they are getting from me (an ocean view along with other perks).  My place is priced higher than the others.  The cheap ones go first then mine becomes the cheap one somewhere down the line.  My place is priced at $175.  Many are priced at $125 and a few at $250 and above.  I let all of the $125's go first and then mine becomes the cheapest.  I'm not worried about waiting. 


                                          I have a brand new competitor.  It is a beautiful unit.  It's only a 2 bedroom whereas mine has 3 bedrooms but it sleeps as many as mine does.  It's gorgeous.  I keep getting messages that they have beat me out.  They charge $125 a night to my $175.  I had someone inquire with me for a 21 day stay.  I was bummed to lose the booking but when I figured out that I lost to THEM, it all made sense.  The guests asked me if I would give them a discount and rent to them for $125 per night.  I declined the discount.  I lost the booking.  I didn't know it at the time but it makes sense now.  Am I sorry that I did not give them a discount and lost the booking.  Absolutely not. 


                                          I'm sure there are many times that my competitors have received the same message "you lost a potential booking worth..." and my picture is on the upper right.  They've probably clicked on me plenty of times to figure out what I am doing better than them.  Perhaps it makes them up their game.  In turn they get the next booking and I up my game and so on and so on and so on.  Everyone gets better, we all win including VRBO. 

                                            • Re: Does this bother anyone but me?
                                              calicalling Active Contributor

                                              It would be more helpful if the data were complete.


                                              Mine just says "lost" a booking -- in my case this is usually to one of the few single-family homes that can be rented nightly, or even another of my own listings.. Can't really change anything to compete with a single family homes....


                                              Data that I would find helpful would be actual dates of the stay, or even true price information. All I get is an average cost per night of my property vs theirs and a total "lost" booking amount.


                                              There aren't dates listed for my 'lost' booking -- which is critical info. Were the dates even available on my calendar? On the example below, Dec 26 is the booking date, I think, not the date of stay.... Dec 26, 2018 was booked for months prior to this card showing on my feed.


                                              I totally agree that competitors are getting and reading these notices as well and "upping their game", because several of them have cut and pasted portions of my description copy into their listings with only slight changes.


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                                                • Re: Does this bother anyone but me?
                                                  mvphawaiicondo Contributor

                                                  That's interesting because I ALWAYS get the dates of the lost booking.  Here are two examples.  BTW they are both lost to that same "new guy on the block".  It is a beautiful condo and it has made me relook at my pics and change them up.  I have edited the lighting and even rearranged the order.  I have added pics of the plates in my cupboards as this guy did to show that mine are really neat like his are etc.  I have added more pics of my ocean view because he does not have one and I want people to realize what they are not getting with him/her.  So this person has made me UP my strategy.  But then again he's $50 cheaper than me.  My strategy is now to get people to realize what $50 a night more, buys them.  "Compare them to help understand why" is the key phrase.  It may not help, but it may.  It's really hard for us to see our own places from the eyes of the guest sometimes.  At times I think we are too close to our own rentals.  I think it's important that we keep looking at ourselves and keep trying to improve because the competition is getting stiffer and stiffer out there.  This metric has helped me improve. 

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                                              • Re: Does this bother anyone but me?
                                                u0999 Premier Contributor

                                                quit looking at this long time ago as properties I've lost to are rarely direct comparison. I.e My 4 bd would 'lose" to some 1-2 bd. which tells me they were not intending to book a 4bd to begin with and were just window-shopping.