54 Replies Latest reply: Aug 8, 2019 7:16 PM by ohst8er RSS

    Confused about "Boost" program

    shiplap Active Contributor

      I'm sorry but I'm completely in the dark about the Boost Program and I don't want to Click the link in the email for fear I will be enrolled in something I don't want.  Is this something I have to pay for in order to Boost my ranking?  So someone with a substandard listing can pay to be in a better position than one with a high ranking anyway?  So ranking metrics go out the window?

      Thank you

        • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
          feibus Senior Contributor

          What is Boost?

          Boost is a program offered to Premier Partners that gives property owners and managers the flexibility to improve where a listing shows up in search results. With Boost, power-ups are earned every time a booking is accepted on the HomeAway platform. Additional power-ups are earned after the guest completes their stay. Power-ups can then be used to improve that listing's search position when it’s needed the most, such as during off-season or for upcoming calendar availability.

           

          How do I use my power-ups?

          With the Boost program, Premier Partners can use earned power-ups to improve a listing's search position when it’s needed the most, such as during off-season or for upcoming calendar availability. To use your power-ups:

          1. Log in to your account.
          2. If you have more than one property, select the property you wish to boost.
          3. Click the MarketMaker icon in the left navigation menu.
          4. Select the date or date range you’d like to boost.
          5. Click Boost search position in the right-hand window.
          6. Select the number of power-ups you’d like to use, up to the max boost.
          7. Review your current and forecasted search position.
          8. Click Accept.
          9. Review your boost summary.
          10. Click Confirm.

          Boosted dates are reflected on your calendar in MarketMaker along with your new search position.

            • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
              hmmmm Senior Contributor

              Followed the instructions for one of the rentals till, "

              Click Boost search position in the right-hand window.  Its grey but says I have 1573 power ups available

              Not sure why its grey and is 1573 low?

               

              Very confusing...Must be me?  I am defiantly not a tech type person.  I need everything in "....... for dummies"

            • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
              shiplap Active Contributor

              Ok thank you but still don't understand "Powerups" and how you earn them. Just through accepted bookings?  And...isn't this going to skew the rankings based on current criteria? 

                • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                  feibus Senior Contributor

                  Yes, the more you book, the more you get powerups that you can apply to future searches in areas you want to help get booked.

                   

                  Doesn't change the rankings... just changes your search position.  Your ranking provides baseline data for your search position, but never actually directly related to a specific search position.

                  • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                    kssop New Member

                    When you go to use boost points, there is an acceptance button with a disclaimer link to the left of it.  When you click on the disclaimer link there is a program overview of the rules and it states that points are earned as follows:

                     

                              Upon acceptance of a booking, 20% of the total number of power-ups will be added to the partner’s account for that listing;           and upon completion of the associated stay, the remaining 80% of those power-ups will be added to the partner’s account.


                    It would be important to read through the entire disclaimer.  Also, at the end of the disclaimer is another link that takes you to other Boost program information, including FAQs.

                  • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                    moosebigd Active Contributor

                    Hopefully Erinn will combine this thread with the one I started 2 minutes before you because we are both asking similar questions about being Boosted.  Another question I have is, if you earn points from bookings, does this mean the property owner who books primarily 2 - 7 night rentals will have an advantage to receiving points compared to the property owner who has single bookings for 3 months?  I guess the managers of listings in the condo hotels will always have prime positions in the searches!

                      • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                        feibus Senior Contributor

                        The property owner who books shorter stays more often definitely has a huge advantage in the VRBO system... rankings are based on booking counts, not number of nights booked.  Reviews can only happen with every booking, so shorter stays means more opportunities for reviews.  And service fees only get paid on the booking, not on the number of nights stayed.  It's not a huge stretch to leap to the conclusion that VRBO values stays, not nights booked or really even booking revenue.

                          • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                            scottr Active Contributor

                            They value the Service Fee.  They make more money on two $1000 bookings, than a single $2000 booking, because the Service Fee percentage is higher the lower booking amount.  Another reason why they were pushing the "miin nights stay" metric, which fortunately they have dropped for now

                          • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                            homeaway_community_manager HomeAway Employee

                            Hey moosebigd,

                             

                            Unfortunately there's no way to combine the two threads.

                             

                            Erinn

                            HomeAway Community Manager

                          • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                            planthealth Active Contributor

                            How about strategies for using a Boost? Use it for those nettlesome shoulder dates that SHOULD be booking but are booking slowly or for off season when no one, me included, is booking but as a result competition is fierce?

                              • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                                scottr Active Contributor

                                You consume boost points for each day you apply.  I can see this more valuable for gaps in a calendar, than for off-season.  Off-season would require too many days - better to lower your rate.  Keep in mind that if a search includes just one day that is boosted,the search is boosted.  In my case, nearly every stay includes a Sat night stay, so I only need to boost the one day (Sat).  If your market is primarily Sat-Sat, don't waste a boost for a Sat.  Boost a Tue or Wed, as any search would likely include those days.

                              • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                                ohst8er Premier Contributor

                                I posted this on the other thread, but since this one seems to be the one getting traction, I'm posting it here and deleting the other one.

                                 

                                I got it too.  It's all sorts of messy and glitchy.  I have 2,632 power ups available.  To use it, go to MM, click on the first date you want to "boost", and then drag the box over to the last day.  First of all I'll say, there needs to be a bigger window available to drag the screen over, that's the first issue.

                                 

                                Once you do this, then click "boost search position."  Now I will tell you, the first TWO weeks I tried boost on,  I got this (see screen shot)

                                Screen Shot 2019-03-04 at 9.24.23 PM.png

                                The first date I could boost, but not the next SIX.  The CS rep I was on the phone with saw it too, and did not know why.  They are neither booked or blocked.  I tested this out on another week and got the same situation.  A 3rd and 4th week later on in the year it allowed me to boost all 7 nights.  First, however, when I went searching for another week to attempt this on, the boost search position was grayed out, leaving me with the impression that the system was only letting me go so far out.  I was not able to duplicate that issue again.

                                 

                                Here's the kicker.  When you first click to use your power ups, it shows in the screen where your current search position is for that time period.  Mine said for this particular week, 70-90.  Use power ups and move to search position 50-70.  Hit the + symbol again and go to 40-50.  Hit the + symbol again and go to 20-40.  Hit it a couple more times and go to search position 1-10.  I've now "spent" 101 powerups.  So why does it let me keep spending powerups when each time I hit it, I never grow above 1-10 in the search position?   Reminds me of the silly little blackjack app on my phone.  Do I bet 10 chips and have the dealer beat me with blackjack, or do I bet 500 chips and suffer the same fate?  hmmm... decisions decisions.

                                 

                                And, let's say we DO boost ourselves up to the 1-10 position.  Go big or go home, right?  But we have 20 listings in our area that do exactly the same.  HOW CAN WE ALL POSSIBLY BE SEARCH POSITION 1-10? All 20 of us?

                                 

                                Now, these were all just tests.  I've not actually pulled the trigger on any of these.  The first week I tested, the one that glitched, is in July.  We've never NOT booked June 1-at least mid August, so I don't think I'm gonna spend these on this week, not just yet.    The rest, it's just too early.

                                 

                                Curious to see what others experience.

                                  • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                                    feibus Senior Contributor

                                    I'm seeing the same thing: some days just don't have an "avg search position" value, and you can't boost those.

                                     

                                    And one of my homes is rated in the 50s now, so every day that I can boost is already 1-10, and you can't boost much from there anyway.

                                     

                                    I think it's an interesting idea not left in the oven long enough.

                                    • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                                      tnmountainmama Contributor

                                      It is apparently very glitchy still.  I had over 4000 power-ups, so I figured I would try it out.  It would not let me do it for most of the days I wanted to do.  I was able to successfully use 1000 power ups, but not really for the dates I wanted to use them for.   Even a week I used it for, it wouldn't let me the first several times I tried and then started working the third or fourth time. I wish it had worked for the dates I really wanted it to.  I guess I will try again later.

                                    • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                                      homeaway_community_manager HomeAway Employee

                                      Hi All,

                                       

                                      Here's some more information for all of you:

                                       

                                      Is this something I have to pay for?

                                      No, Boost is a free program.

                                       

                                      Is this only for Premier Partners?

                                      Yes, Boost is only available for Premier Partners at this time.

                                       

                                      How do you earn power-ups?

                                      Power-ups are earned at the listing level for all bookings made on HomeAway.  For each booking, a portion of the total number of power-ups are earned upon acceptance of the booking, and the remaining power-ups are earned once the traveler’s stay is complete.

                                       

                                      How many power-ups do you get per booking?

                                      Power-ups are earned based on the price of the booking. The number of power-ups allocated toward a boost is also relative to the price of the property, so there is no advantage or disadvantage to pricing your property low or high.

                                       

                                      How long does the boost last?

                                      The boost will last until you get a booking or those dates pass.

                                       

                                      What does 1-10  or 10-20 mean?

                                      Those numbers represent the range of your average search position, which indicates the most likely place in search results for your listing relative to others in your market, calculated across all traveler search results that include your listing for a given day.  For example, if your property shows an average search position of 1-10 for a given date, it means that, on average, your property appears in the first ten spots from the top in traveler search results when that date is included in the traveler’s date range.

                                       

                                      How high can I boost?

                                      To promote fairness across the marketplace, you’ll be able to boost the search position of your listing within a limited range that will enable it to stand out among competitive listings. Boost is not intended to send listings to the top of all search results in the market, or to override the qualities that are critical to travelers in searching for and selecting properties to rent. You can boost up until you reach the “max boost” limitation.

                                       

                                      Thank you all!

                                       

                                      Erinn

                                      HomeAway Community Manager

                                        • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                                          feibus Senior Contributor

                                          That's helpful.

                                          The boost will last until you get a booking or those dates pass.

                                          What I take from this is that boost might be a better deal for further-out dates where you're just not ranking well, just on a cost-value basis.  But you'll still want to focus on using them for close-in dates if you are trying to fill those, since the more bookings you get, the higher you move in the rankings, and boost is less useful if you're already highly rated.

                                           

                                          What I don't get is: what are all those dates where I can't use boost and the avg search position is "-"?

                                            • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                                              homeaway_community_manager HomeAway Employee

                                              Hi feibus,

                                               

                                              Great question!

                                               

                                              This will happen for two different reasons.  First, the dates are already booked on your calendar. Second, for larger markets, If your listing has an average search position of 1,000 or more (meaning you are not in the top 1000 listings), you will not see an average search position in the metrics for your listing, and you will not be able to boost your listing at this time. That of course will change over time as your search position moves to above 1,000 you'll see that you can boost your listing. We are aware that this is not ideal and are working on a solution for this in the future.

                                               

                                              Thank you!

                                               

                                              Erinn

                                              HomeAway Community Manager

                                                • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                                                  feibus Senior Contributor

                                                  Neither is true of my particular situation, though.

                                                   

                                                  The dates in question were not booked and there's no way I'm positioned at 1000 or higher for 5 straight days, then 10-20 for one day, then 1000 or higher for 5 days after that.  That just wouldn't make any sense.

                                                  • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                                                    floridarob Active Contributor

                                                    homeaway_community_manager wrote:

                                                     

                                                    Second, for larger markets, If your listing has an average search position of 1,000 or more (meaning you are not in the top 1000 listings), you will not see an average search position in the metrics for your listing, and you will not be able to boost your listing at this time. That of course will change over time as your search position moves to above 1,000 you'll see that you can boost your listing.

                                                     

                                                    Wait! WHAT?

                                                     

                                                    So the Boost program is entirely non-functional for me?

                                                     

                                                    As of my writing this, according to HomeAway, there are 44,031 properties in my Market. Due to a very nice 2.5 month long booking, I went through a 'dry spell' for activity on the site, and my market rank has fallen to 9331 (thanks a lot for that!).

                                                     

                                                    With a market rank of 9331, in a market of over 44,000 properties, I have a snowball's chance in... well.... you know where (but I dare not say it lest sensitive ears on the forum think I'm being rude) of EVER getting above 1000 in market rank.

                                                     

                                                    This just boggles the mind!  What is the purpose of spending all of the time and effort to create a program like this only to have it unable to function in major markets?

                                                     

                                                    After a string of unfortunate coincidences that have killed my results on the site, I could really use something like this, and went to my dashboard specifically to try to take advantage of this feature that I have been receiving emails and seeing other promotional news about. And I couldn't make it work, or figure out what to do. And in typical fashion, the help information/instructions available are fluff, with major details missing. So I had to come onto this forum and read posts for 40 minutes to finally find out two things:

                                                     

                                                    1) You can't boost a period longer than a single week. (You would think something so straightforward could be included in any instructions/info shared about the feature.)

                                                     

                                                    2) It simply doesn't (and won't) work. (And again, why don't they explain this in the instructions or 'help' information, forcing suckered owners like myself to waste time trying to track down the answers to why the feature doesn't function.)

                                                     

                                                    So... those 'partners' lucky enough to be part of the top 2% of owners on the site get an added program to 'boost' their results, while the rest of us just get to continue wallowing in the shallows.

                                                     

                                                    How terribly disappointing... and unfortunately (in some ways) not surprising.

                                                      • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                                                        feibus Senior Contributor

                                                        1. Don't try to boost a week.  Boost a day or two, the days around it seem to magically move up a little as well.  Boost weekends when people usually want to book their rental and ignore Wednesday.

                                                         

                                                        2. Yes, it works for me.  YMMV.

                                                          • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                                                            floridarob Active Contributor

                                                            Thanks, I appreciate the information, and gleaned that from my reading of this thread and others. I have huge gaps in my calendar this year, and hoped/expected on first glance that I would be able to boost a much longer period. I could use the help!

                                                             

                                                            Once upon a time, my market rank was in the top 150 or something... ridiculously high for the Orlando market. Now I feel like persona non grata.

                                                             

                                                            feibus what is your current market rank, if you don't mind sharing?

                                                              • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                                                                feibus Senior Contributor

                                                                I have two that are similar homes (with similar pricing and usually similar booking patterns)... one is ranked around 77, the other is ranked around 300.  No particular reason for the rankings (and in fact one day a year ago, they flipped their positions for no obvious reason).  That's in my "market" of about 1500 homes, about 1000 of which are inside my resort.  Anyway, one needs a little boosting here and there, the other does not so far.

                                                                  • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                                                                    floridarob Active Contributor

                                                                    feibus wrote:

                                                                     

                                                                    I have two that are similar homes (with similar pricing and usually similar booking patterns)... one is ranked around 77, the other is ranked around 300.  No particular reason for the rankings (and in fact one day a year ago, they flipped their positions for no obvious reason).  That's in my "market" of about 1500 homes, about 1000 of which are inside my resort.  Anyway, one needs a little boosting here and there, the other does not so far.

                                                                    Thank you. For some reason I thought your properties were in Windsor Hills. I have no idea why. Am I confused about that?

                                                                      • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                                                                        feibus Senior Contributor

                                                                        You are not, and they are.  999 homes in WH.

                                                                          • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                                                                            floridarob Active Contributor

                                                                            Thanks feibus

                                                                             

                                                                            Now I'm really confused. Your market is Orlando, same as me. Where do you rank in Orlando? And isn't the entire Orlando market and your rank in it what would determine whether or not you can use the Boost program? Are you able to use the boost program? Thanks for your responses, but now I'm really scratching my head...

                                                                              • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                                                                                feibus Senior Contributor

                                                                                My market is my resort, which even has it's own search destination as part of the VRBO drop-down search box.  When you have a 1000 homes that travelers view as a destination resort, that helps keep the search results from including the 50,000 other homes in the area.

                                                                                  • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                                                                                    floridarob Active Contributor

                                                                                    Thanks for your help and responses feibus.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    With respect, that doesn't make any sense, at least based on my experience. Your market ISN'T 'Orlando, FL, USA'? Isn't it part of it?

                                                                                     

                                                                                    What do you see when you click on 'understanding your market' under ranking metrics on your dashboard?

                                                                                     

                                                                                    Here's mine:

                                                                                     

                                                                                    Screen Shot 2019-03-25 at 1.36.15 PM.jpg

                                                                                      • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                                                                                        feibus Senior Contributor

                                                                                        Annotation 2019-03-25 174921.jpg

                                                                                        WH is VERY popular with travelers to the area.  49% of people who search for us are searching specifically for homes in my resort.  Just the same way as Reunion resort just down the road from me also is its own destination that you can search for on the VRBO site and is likely its own market with far fewer than 44,000 properties.  Smaller/less popular resorts or subdivisions don't get the same market segmentation.

                                                                                         

                                                                                        Be good to know which search term is #2 in the list, so we can focus on those terms somehow.

                                                                  • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                                                                    captmarkhd Senior Contributor

                                                                    Hi Erinn,

                                                                    I would love to be able to use this program BUT PPCS just told me that I have not been selected yet, that its not available to all PP? Also, my Market Maker is still listed as the BETA system? Thanks for you help!

                                                                    • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                                                                      planthealth Active Contributor

                                                                      Do the boost's expire? 1 of my 4 VRs I am ranking in search ok for my open dates but I will REALLY need all the help I can get post hurricane season (Sept/Oct) so I want to wait until Aug/Sept to fill gaps. If I "save" them will they still be available then?

                                                                       

                                                                      -Will they still be available then ONLY if I am still a PP?

                                                                    • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                                                                      hmmmm Senior Contributor

                                                                      I am so confused, as well.

                                                                      • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                                                                        mydilloncondo Contributor

                                                                        ohst8er said:

                                                                         

                                                                        "The first date I could boost, but not the next SIX.  The CS rep I was on the phone with saw it too, and did not know why.  They are neither booked or blocked.  I tested this out on another week and got the same situation."

                                                                         

                                                                        I suspect the dates you've chosen to highlight are a season where you have a minimum night requirement and/or specify a particular day to check in or check out. For example, during the summer you may require a 7-night minimum checking in on a Saturday and checking out on a Saturday.

                                                                         

                                                                        Therefore the "boost" is only applied to the day the guest can check in, since none of the other days will show up in a search, meaning if a guest is searching for a booking that begins on a Monday your listing won't be presented since a Monday check-in isn't possible.

                                                                         

                                                                        "A 3rd and 4th week later on in the year it allowed me to boost all 7 nights."


                                                                        I suspect that in THIS search your dates did not have the same minimum night requirement or check-in/check-out requirement as the first set of dates.

                                                                        • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                                                                          ohst8er Premier Contributor

                                                                          I just spent some power ups boosting a 3 day stay in May, a full week in July, and 3 different weeks in August.  I'll report back if I get any bites!

                                                                          • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                                                                            1500main Contributor

                                                                            I'm not sure this will do much of anything for me.

                                                                            My dashboard shows I am in a "market position" of 21 out of 4227.

                                                                            Specific dates shows "search ranking" at 300-500 over any specific period of time.

                                                                             

                                                                            The problem is that HA continuously lumps me in with the entire City of Chicago.

                                                                            I am not in Chicago.  I think they lump all of Cook County together for some reason.

                                                                            People that stay at my place specifically want to be in my town (Evanston. College town just north of Chicago)

                                                                             

                                                                            I have polled previous Guests about how they searched and found my property and they pretty much all stated that they found it frustrating that they had to wade through a bunch of Chicago listings to get to anything in Evanston.  Most of them actually figured out how to use the map to do that.

                                                                             

                                                                            I know that others have expressed some frustration at how Search results show places 100 miles away for some reason.

                                                                            • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                                                                              swlinphx Premier Contributor

                                                                              Why have I never heard of this new "Boost" program and how did you all learn about it?

                                                                                • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                                                                                  margaret CommunityAmbassador

                                                                                  Check your dashboard and email to see if it is being offered to you. There will be a card with a video explaining how it works. I didn't find the video very clear and once I click to go to Marketmaker to try to boost every time I tried to click the screen refreshed and the boost info disappeared. It was frustrating but later it appeared to be working better.

                                                                                • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                                                                                  georgygirl1955 Senior Contributor

                                                                                  How do we know when and how many points expire so we can plan ahead...?

                                                                                    • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                                                                                      treeguy Contributor

                                                                                      It is my understanding that currently there is no way to tell when powerups expire.  The powerups are good for one year but there appears to be no way to tell when you earned the points.

                                                                                      I suppose you could separately track the notice received when points are earned.

                                                                                        • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                                                                                          moosebigd Active Contributor

                                                                                          It seems that you should be able to do that...  assuming that you receive notification of the points earned.  When this idea was "hatched", we were told we had @250 points.  We now have 300+ points and have been notified about earning 33 points.  We have had 2 bookings since we were awarded those 33 but have not received any notification of new points.  We have no clue when these will expire.

                                                                                      • Re: Confused about "Boost" program
                                                                                        hangalen7 Contributor

                                                                                        Here is what I've learned about Boost so far.

                                                                                         

                                                                                        * It's more expensive per day to boost one day rather than several.

                                                                                        * When I boosted a Tuesday it boosted the Sunday and Monday just before without using any more Power-Ups.

                                                                                        * It's possible to add more Power-Ups and not increase your ranking. Back your Power-Ups down until they are as low as they can be with the ranking you want.

                                                                                         

                                                                                        I'm really curious about strategy. I usually book weekends and rarely book mid-week. I could boost my midweek but should I do that by boosting a single day or by booking all the days? It will boost all days of a guest's search as long as one of them falls on a Boosted date so it seems you only need to boost a Wednesday to cover most of the midweek bookings (I have a 2 night min. stay). I actually Boosted Tuesday and Thursday that seems a better strategy but is double the Power-Ups.

                                                                                         

                                                                                        I could also use my boosts to get more visibility on weekends and raise my rates. I tried both strategies on two different weeks.

                                                                                         

                                                                                        My only complaint is that I can't see which dates I've boosted. Does anyone know if that's a feature that I missed somewhere?

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