14 Replies Latest reply: Feb 22, 2019 11:11 AM by hmmmm RSS

    Just noticed a large increase in service fees from Homeaway!

    johnz Contributor

      07B8E255-EC0C-449E-B2D4-302972E75C90.jpegi noticed that Homeaway increased the service fee on my summer weeks from 7% to 9,5% in the last week. Last year, it was 6% for the same weeks. That is an outrageous increase in the fees. I was afraid this would happen, but I wasn’t expecting it so quickly. Seriously, a $468 service fee?

       

      Edit: it gets worse, when I increase the number of guests to more than 4 the fee goes over 10%. It maxes out at $499F5F884E5-835F-4747-A4BE-03C8F0003E48.jpeg

        • Re: Just noticed a large increase in service fees from Homeaway!
          feibus Senior Contributor

          On a $5000 booking, that doesn't seem so out of line to me.

           

          The fee is self-correcting... either the home books and they collect the fee or it doesn't and they don't and the algorithm is supposed to take that into consideration.

           

          And unless it's the real reason you're not booking, worrying/complaining about it is a total waste of time.  It's there and isn't going away.

           

          Sales tax in my area is 13.5%.  No one complains about that or tries to ask me how they can get around it.  Just a perspective.

            • Re: Just noticed a large increase in service fees from Homeaway!
              johnz Contributor

              For the same week and rate on my other condo, a couple of weeks ago, someone paid a $345 service fee compared to $499 now.

               

              I noticed that my bookings started to slow down recently. Its time for me to reactivate my listings on a few other sites.

                • Re: Just noticed a large increase in service fees from Homeaway!
                  feibus Senior Contributor

                  YES to your second sentence.  I learned this in my business: marketing people never tell you to shut down your advertising because you're too busy.  It's something I have to internalize when I'm stressed about being too busy.  It can dry up tomorrow, so you keep the funnel as full as possible.

                   

                  As for the change... that's because we're starting to see more demand for summer, so they're riding that wave.  The thing is: your competition has the same issue or they're marketing elsewhere, so you're not really at a disadvantage because of the fee... provided the guest is too lazy to look for a different platform for booking their vacation.

                    • Re: Just noticed a large increase in service fees from Homeaway!
                      timthek Active Contributor

                      Feibus is right. If guests are shopping on HA or ABB, they are getting hit with fees on every listing they look at. I wouldn't worry about the fees honestly. I'm surprised at how many people just pay it and also how many people have been fear mongered into believing that they are only safe if they book through a big website. Bottom line, either people will pay it or they won't and they will look elsewhere. Just make sure they can find you elsewhere with NO FEES for those who haven't drank the "service fee guarantee" kool-aid.

                      • Re: Just noticed a large increase in service fees from Homeaway!
                        johnz Contributor

                        My primary competition is property management companies that are very easy to find on google. Save $499 by googling the property management company’s name. It takes someone who is more tech savvy to find an owner’s contact info.  Many of the property managers in my area have no morals.. they constantly post fake reviews!

                         

                        They shoukd force property managers to use an employees name Instead of the company name!

                          • Re: Just noticed a large increase in service fees from Homeaway!
                            feibus Senior Contributor

                            And in the same vein, there are people who just like renting from owners because of more personalized service.

                             

                            There are small hotels and Marriott.  Easier to find Marriott, often more fun to stay in the small hotels.  It's competition that you just have to find a way around.

                             

                            If I'm spending $6000 just on the place, and really $500 bothers me after I spent all that time trying to find a place I really liked (which is debatable, given all the other costs involved in a vacation), I'm going to find a way to find that person without that $500 charge.  It's your job to make your messages consistent enough that you can be found in a Google search for key unique phrases that can be found in any of your listings on any platform or listing site.

                      • Re: Just noticed a large increase in service fees from Homeaway!
                        hmmmm Senior Contributor

                        My daughter says who works in a large tech company in SF.

                        The world has changed Mom, no one cares about service as much as the bottom dollars.
                        And the old model which you provide, is being replaced with something that will not feel good to you or people like you who actually care about the experience you provide and to your community as a member.

                        It was shocking but that is what I am seeing too.  I see it all around our society and in our present politics.
                        Sad so very sad for me.

                      • Re: Just noticed a large increase in service fees from Homeaway!
                        green_mango Active Contributor

                        Yep, it's a bummer - on the upside, I've had an increase in guests finding my website outside of VRBO where there are no service/booking fees - some guests are starting to get a little smarter about figuring out that they can get the same experience for a lower price by booking direct. 

                        • Re: Just noticed a large increase in service fees from Homeaway!
                          dinamight Contributor

                          10% is outrageous. The result will be the more people will just contact the owners directly, but then again those owners will sink in the rankings.

                           

                          If you want some real fun, try to find your property on Expedia and see how much they get charged then. For me they added an extra $60 a day on top of the service fee.

                          • Re: Just noticed a large increase in service fees from Homeaway!
                            hermes902 New Member

                            The market votes with its feet. I received this from a client returning for the 4th consecutive season:

                             

                            "The ridiculous service fee could be a deal killer.  It is double what they charged last year which, in turn, was double what they charged the previous year.  $457 is totally unacceptable.  What, exactly, are they doing to justify this charge?"

                             

                            To retain one of my best clients, I'm paying the increase in the fee. I know from experience that Homeaway will do nothing to reversea policy once set.

                             

                            In what other business is it acceptable (or wise) to DOUBLE fees annually with no explanation and no benefit to the client?

                             

                            I wondered why many of the homeowners who listed through Homeaway were not listing with them this year. I now have the answer.