we started in feb 2015. Our bookings, our ADR and our revenue has increased every year. We have more nights on the books for 2020 now than we ever have had Before the year starts. We are almost 100% occupied from Jan 1 thru Apr 11th, with only 2 nights vacant. This has NEVER happened. We get all but one or two of our bookings on VRBO every year. We don’t advertise or list anywhere else. I don’t like all the changes BUT, they haven’t hurt us thus far.
Last year, Vrbo was 76% of my revenue, this year it's 77% and my revenue is up, partially because the restrictions imposed by the booking platform got me to eliminate the "stay for a week and your cleaning is free" discount, which just got too hard to administer. I count by revenue instead of by bookings, since my bookings are not a fixed length and the pricing varies by season.
But that's MY market, which is dominated by Vrbo instead of ABB or another booking platform, direct bookings grew slightly because ABB totally disappeared for me this year.
VRBO/HA 19 Bookings = 106 days
AirBnB 13 Bookings = 45 days
Direct 3 Bookings = 23 days (no LTR)
Income: (gross increased 13.5% over 2018)
VRBO/HA 19 Bookings = 68 days
AirBnB 7 Bookings = 56 days
Direct 2 Bookings = 150 days (LTR off-season)
I've always been 'Vrbo first' in terms of pricing and marketing attention because of early payouts and the better DD policy.
FlipKey has died for me... I get 1-2 bookings per year.
ABB was dead for the first half of this year but has really heated up in the second half. For the year it will be only 30% of my revenue but, if this pace continues, they will be +/- 50% or more of my 2020 revenue. And it shows no signs of slowing down. I don't know why it died off or why it's come back so well but I am already a Superhost.
I am seeing a slowdown in overall bookings looking forward into 2020 but my cabin has been booked back-to-back almost all year so I am ready to give it some breathing time (and to use it myself). This is typically my slow season but I normally pick up a few Christmas/New Year's guests which I have yet to do so far. I'm not worried about it because, as most of you know, I am alway happy to go down there with Guinness the Wonder Dog to 'make repairs' (ahem).
Ah, great topic. So this is my 4bd. Note 2017 sharps drop in VRBO bookings. That is when sometime in 2016 vrbo started messing with geo locations, removed neighborhoods and put my property into a town of 500 that no tourist ever searches for instead of the commonly known "market". this can happen to anyone....
Note that "direct' and "Facebook" should be added together. I just break out Facebook leads for my own knowledge.
My revenue off, but only by about 10% -- so not terrible and within normal range of variances. If it remains down again -- well, that's not good.
What would VRBO have to do to get me exclusively back on the site? Two things:
1. Allow me to speak with people before booking. Period. I friggin' HATE taking a reservation that I feel concerned about but I don't want to hurt my response rate.
2. Change the way a bad review affects sort and restore the ability to bury a bad review. If you have 50 5-star reviews and get a 4 or 3, it kills you to have that bad review at the top. Round the averages so a 4.95 average appears with the 5s -- and let me put a bad review down a few slots rather that show it at the top of the pile.
And a comment on this. The problem is that I have no confidence that VRBO gives a hoot. I'm an old customer. I remember how it used to be. I am fast becoming the minority and the new kids in the biz know nothing other than the new way that Expedia runs the show. So we grin and bear it.