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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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)
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