10 Replies Latest reply: Jul 13, 2019 9:36 PM by vrdoctor RSS

    Put your best price forward

    amanda_ha HomeAway Employee


      Many travelers say price is the most important factor in booking decisions. Read about how you can stay competitive with your pricing or visit the Discovery Hub page here:

      Seeing a long list of fees in your price quote could deter travelers from your listing.

      • Avoid having more than 2-3 fees.
      • Build in common fees, such as electricity and admin fees, to your advertised base rate so travelers experience less “sticker shock” at the final quote.

      Seasonal rates
      Maximize bookings by adjusting your rates during periods when demand is high or low in your market.

      • Earn more by adding customized rates for peak travel times in your market or special rates for holidays and events.
      • Use MarketMaker to identify opportunities where it makes sense to adjust your rate so you can generate more bookings.

      Refundable damage deposit
      You need peace of mind when it comes to potential damage in your vacation home. However, a refundable damage deposit is another upfront fee for travelers.

      • Build an additional amount into your nightly rate instead of using a refundable damage deposit. This helps eliminate the perception of an extra fee. You can use those additional funds in case of damage at any point.
      • Avoid setting a refundable damage deposit that is more than double your nightly rate.
      • Offer property damage protection. It’s a low-cost option for travelers and it can protect against accidental damages.

      Encourage travelers to book by providing weekly or monthly discounts.

      • Provide an incentive for travelers to book longer stays.
      • Reduce the hassle of managing turnover for shorter stays.
      • Guarantee your revenue for a longer period.
        • Re: Put your best price forward
          ashevillelookout Senior Contributor

          Build an additional amount into your nightly rate instead of using a refundable damage deposit. This helps eliminate the perception of an extra fee.


            • Re: Put your best price forward
              margaret CommunityAmbassador

              Building the DD into the rate is not a good suggestion. The DD gives the guest skin in the game. It is refundable so cost the guest nothing as long as they don't damage the home. It also increase the service fee if the DD is built into the rate. This idea is not good for owners and not good for guests. They need to rethink this, it is bad advice.

              • Re: Put your best price forward
                vrdoctor Senior Contributor

                This is what is leading to the increasing number of cities banning Short Term Rentals outright.  Instant book and no security deposit a surefire way to tick off all of your fulltime neighbors and get the city council interested in taxing you out of existence, or simply banning your vacation home.

              • Re: Put your best price forward
                feibus Senior Contributor
                • Provide an incentive for travelers to book longer stays.

                No way.  The rest of the Vrbo platform provides disincentives for longer stays, so why should I offer an incentive to guests for those??

                • Re: Put your best price forward
                  green_mango Active Contributor

                  Argh, I just can't with this nonsense advice - it's hard to keep nightly prices competitive and also build damage deposits into rates & require PDP instead of deposit when it actually costs more for guests in the long run.  ...and don't even get me started on how guests don't like more than 2-3 fees.  You know the biggest one they don't like?  SERVICE FEE. 


                  The tips on the seasonal rates and discounts are good, but the longer the stay the higher the service fee and my guests are catching onto the extra fee and trying to avoid it.

                  • Re: Put your best price forward
                    koko Contributor

                    A damage deposit of twice the nightly rate might - in a lot of cases - not even replace a set of sheets or pay for the carpet cleaner to get a nasty stain out.

                    I do not believe this to be sound business advice.

                    Offering property damage protection was mentioned in another thread as being a joke. It also adds yet another fee to the list which is adding to the sticker shock. As an example, when the nightly rate is $120 and we are talking two nights the premium would add almost 50% to that amount. I do not believe that people would be willing to do that.

                    If collecting DD the they have to be substantial enough to cover accidental damage and refundable - building them into the base rate is benefiting HA but no one else. It prices the property out of the market and rips off the guests.

                    In my state stays longer than 30 days are no longer short term rentals and therefore a no no. As pointed out already it also reduces the review count, cleaning has to be done in between and where does it reduce the hassle? It might be a bigger one....

                    It would be nice to be able to cap the number of days a guest can book. Right now it is only "longer stays" unless I overlooked that somewhere.

                    • Re: Put your best price forward
                      db.meyer Senior Contributor

                      Hello Amanda.  You wrote "Many travelers say price is the most important factor in booking decisions."  How do you/HA consider the addition of your (up to $499+) service fee in the traveler price equation?  Rather than always suggesting that owners reduce their price, fees, etc., what consideration are you/HA giving to "reducing" rather than "increasing" your service fee per booking?  As a traveler, I find it quite outrageous to be required to pay up to a $499 "service fee" to HA each time I were to rent a home from an "owner".  I personally avoid renting through Vrbo, et al, and do my best to book direct with the owner to avoid the ridiculous OTA "Service Fee", and therefore reduce the "price" to rent that home.

                      • Re: Put your best price forward
                        wildiris Active Contributor

                        I know that it's against Community Rules to post the same response in more than one thread, so I won't repeat what I wrote here.  I started a thread several days ago on the section of Amanda's topic regarding damage deposits.  Here's a link to that thread:  A Detailed Look at HomeAway's Advice to Owners Regarding Damage Deposits.

                        • Re: Put your best price forward
                          bonesxxx Active Contributor

                          I purchased the land and built the cabin.

                          I assume all the risk and liability.

                          I rent it to someone for a little extra $ and charge a fee commensurate with my market and my level of finishes.


                          ENTER THE LEECHES AND PARASITES:


                          Vrbo Service Fee

                          Yapstone Processing Fee

                          Yearly SignNow Subscription

                          Vrbo annual subscription

                          State Sales Tax

                          County tax

                          County Transient Lodging Tax

                          County Property Tax

                          CBiz STR Rental Insurance


                          I do EVERYTHING that requires any DOING and I'm lucky if I have enough money in the end to buy a case of beer (which I need to counter the stress of all my booking platforms telling me my home would rent more if I charged less)


                          End Rant

                            • Re: Put your best price forward
                              sunnycs CommunityAmbassador

                              I literally had to laugh...   and cry at the same time.  I'm right there with you, plus the city has a hand out in my locale.  My husband (a CPA), says that we could sell the vacation rental and make as much by investing the proceeds as we make renting it.  Well-suited rant bonesxxx

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