37 Replies Latest reply: Apr 6, 2019 12:32 AM by stwenge RSS

    Is your listing a  hidden treasure?

    ohst8er Premier Contributor

      No?  Well, neither is mine, but apparently some of my competitors are.

       

      In fact, when I did a search of my area with no filters and no dates, 44 of the FIRST 75 came up as...

       

      Screen Shot 2019-02-17 at 3.33.02 PM.png

      Hidden?  Well, not sure how hidden you are when you are on PAGE 1 of an area with many hundreds of listings....  But wait, there's more...

       

      I almost posted this but went back and looked at one more thing, which is when I realized you could hover over those words and THIS popped up...

       

      Screen Shot 2019-02-17 at 3.34.52 PM.png

      This is the kind of sentence a 4th grade teacher would get her red pen out for and write in the margins, "This sentence is very vague, Billy, and doesn't do anything to help support your argument.  Please provide more descriptive detail.  What do you mean when you say 'isn't available just anywhere?'  In the future, please expand and provide more detail."  1/2 credit. 

        • Re: Is your listing a  hidden treasure?
          arhoton Contributor

          I saw the same thing on my competitors but instead of Hidden Treasure it was "Private Collection" .  I am not sure what this label is, how it gets there and what exactly it means however it does seem to imply something else special about the property.  I asked the same question the other day on this forum but did not get a response.

           

          Can someone from Home Away please advise?

          • Re: Is your listing a  hidden treasure?
            ohst8er Premier Contributor

            Here's some reviews you can find on a few  of these delightful "hidden treasures,"  again, page 1 of searches... .. ones that IMHO should STAY hidden....

             

            The kitchen is in need of an update. Also no overhead light in one bedroom and slow running drain in the hall bath.


            The vacation rental was very dirty.

            I was very unhappy with the location.

            I was very dissatisfied with the condition of the vacation rental.

            The furniture is very old and out of date and very stained. The refrigerator has rust stains on the side that are visible to people and is old. The kitchen is old and not in the best of shape. The bedding and mattresses are old and out of date. The carpet is disgusting! Its to far from the beach

            There was a missing bathroom door knob, which was replaced. However, the popcorn ceiling was falling down in one of the bedrooms onto a window. This window, and roof, leaked for the rest of the 4 days onto the bed


            Only complaints of the unit --the pillows are in much need of replacement-just awful-we flew in so we did not bring pillows. One of the lamps in the living room does not work. The entry door probably needs replacing,almost seemed like someone had tried prying it open at some time--we did use the top bolt.

            Bedroom stand fan did not work.

            There was hardly any cooking utensils and very minimal pans. I felt the condo needed major updating with carpet and the stone around the bar was rather tacky and made the condo seem dark. The light over kitchen table never worked. I sent a picture of the curtain rod which was hanging down upon our arrival but never heard anything.

            • Re: Is your listing a  hidden treasure?
              arhoton Contributor

              How is it determined if it is only listed on HA/VRBO sites?  Seems they are using the same verbiage for multiple labels.  In my area, I see "Private Collection"

                • Re: Is your listing a  hidden treasure?
                  margaret CommunityAmbassador

                  I google image searched a couple of the properties in my area and they were only showing up on HA sites. I am just taking a guess at what could have lead to the label. I will try to check a few more to see if I get the same result.

                  • Re: Is your listing a  hidden treasure?
                    margaret CommunityAmbassador

                    I have checked 10 properties with the Private Collection label. All are showing listing on HA owned sites only. I don't know of this is what is triggering the PC label but it is coincidental to say the least. I also think the wording of the label would make sense if these properties can only be booked through HA sites.

                      • Re: Is your listing a  hidden treasure?
                        wildiris Active Contributor

                        That would make sense but it's not how HomeAway is using it.  My listing has it and I list in several places and have my own website.  In doing some more investigating, I discovered that HomeAway now has a filter for "Rare Find!"

                        • Re: Is your listing a  hidden treasure?
                          wildiris Active Contributor

                          Margaret - as you're now seeing "Private Collection" and not "Rare Find" - can you check and see if there's a filter for "Private Collection?"  When I looked I saw a filter for "Rare Find" but not "Private Collection."  I think it's an A/B test and they are trying to determine which label gets more attention.  Each label, whether it's "Hidden Treasure," "Private Collection," or "Rare Find" has the same vague explanation that "this property isn't available just anywhere and other guests have had great experiences here."

                      • Re: Is your listing a  hidden treasure?
                        wildiris Active Contributor

                        I think it's an A/B test.  I looked and found listings with "Rare Find" as Margaret described but not "Private Collection" or "Hidden Treasure."  What's in a name?  "Private Collection," "Hidden Treasure," "Rare Find" - by any other name would still smell as gimmicky.  

                         

                        There doesn't seem to be rhyme nor reason to the label.  Most "Rare Find" listings are also Premier Partners - but not all.  I also saw Premier Partner listings that didn't have the "Rare Find" badge.  Most of the listings with the "Rare Find" also have the message "Great find!  This property is usually booked" - but not all.  To make things more confusing and illogical, I searched without dates and these listings were in Florida and were booked solid for the next couple of months, but had tons of availability in the summer.

                         

                        Go figure.

                          • Re: Is your listing a  hidden treasure?
                            moosebigd Active Contributor

                            Our listing is with VRBO and we are in the Myrtle Beach area.  We are a PP with IB (almost sounds like something we should be taking an antibiotic for?) and still struggling to get inquiries/bookings on a calendar with ample availability.  56 reviews, of which 54 are 5 stars and 2 are 4 stars.  For approximately the past week, we were a "Hidden Treasure"... this afternoon we were still a "Hidden Treasure"... now we are nothing.  That is on Chrome.  However, we are now a "Rare Find" on Edge.  Chrome had 40 listings per page for the last few weeks; today they are showing only 20.  Edge is showing 20 per page as well.  Our listing position and Metric Rank has been slowly slipping downward since we became a PP/IB.

                             

                            When the "Hidden Treasure" first appeared on our listing, my first impression was "Tacky". 

                             

                            I've said this before and I'll say this again...  This is a service we are paying for and we deserve to be informed of changes, especially direct changes to our listings.  I suppose HA/VRBO can insert changes that can be substantiated by fact.  But I feel that we have the right to approve what they deem advertising strategy when in my mind it is just a cheap gimmick.

                            .

                            • Re: Is your listing a  hidden treasure?
                              mauimakani Contributor

                              I am really not sure what HA's purpose is. I do hear feedback from guests that there are so many options in our market, it is overwhelming for some people who are first time visitors.

                               

                              I looked at units in my complex only and for 37 listings the following was returned:

                               

                              32 of 37 had Great Find! This property is usually booked.

                              12 of 37 had Hidden Treasure tag

                              24 of 37 are PP

                               

                              Not sure if those numbers would extrapolate Island-wide, but my results doesn't really provide any helpful insight to help travelers make a more educated decision more quickly. It seems like more noise that travelers would tune out if the majority of listings carry it. Maybe it could work in other markets...

                            • Re: Is your listing a  hidden treasure?
                              calicalling Active Contributor

                              I looked at mine because of the discussion here yesterday. Noticed that even tho 5/6 of my properties are listed as #1 of 2000+ in every ranking metric and they consistently have the tag "great find usually booked" they are not VRBO designated 'Hidden Treasures."

                               

                              Hidden Treasures in my town include properties operated by some of the biggest property management companies operating in Mammoth. They have the poor reviews to prove it. (not terrible ... 4.4-4.5 range). Others are owner-operated and one of the OO untis has T&C violating branding for their condo placed as a watermark on their photos.  HA! Not too much of a hidden treasure if they are advertising their branding on photos.

                              • Re: Is your listing a  hidden treasure?
                                homeaway_community_manager HomeAway Employee

                                Hi All,

                                 

                                Thank you so much for your feedback on the A/B test, it has been shared with the teams performing the test.

                                 

                                We are always testing and learning around new features on the website with the goal of delivering bookings and value to owners and property managers. Anytime a new thing is introduced, it is heavily tested to make sure we’re learning, optimizing and improving.

                                 

                                Thank you again.

                                 

                                Erinn

                                HomeAway Community Manager

                                • Re: Is your listing a  hidden treasure?
                                  thaxterlane Premier Contributor

                                  This would appear to be a test to determine which descriptors draw interest from visitors to the site.  And, what type of interest.  I'd speculate there are many data points to be drawn . . .

                                   

                                  I don't think it's anything more than a marketing question . . .  would a traveler be more likely to have interest in, and reserve, a "hidden treasure", "rare find", or "private collection" property?

                                   

                                  Someone's thinking cap is a bit askew, perhaps? 

                                   

                                  Interesting testing.

                                  • Re: Is your listing a  hidden treasure?
                                    moosebigd Active Contributor

                                    I have found the REAL answer to your question about Hidden Treasure!!!  The treasures are BED BUGS!!!  One of the 40 Hidden Treasure listings in our region of 220, has a review that complains about the guest being bitten by bed bugs.  Perhaps the marketing team should consider removing this banner!

                                    • Re: Is your listing a  hidden treasure?
                                      u0999 Premier Contributor

                                      I am guessing 2 of mine are even without such label.. judging by lack of activity on them

                                      • Re: Is your listing a  hidden treasure?
                                        ashevillelookout Senior Contributor

                                        My little cabin is a rare find!  How special is that?