44 Replies Latest reply: Nov 17, 2019 9:57 PM by georgygirl1955 RSS

    Vrbo shuffles at the top

    feibus Senior Contributor

      https://skift.com/2019/11/13/vrbo-shuffles-leadership-as-latest-expedia-group-reorganization-moves-take-shape/

       

      I recommend a town hall with owners and PMs for the new leadership to explain where the service goes from here.

        • Re: Vrbo shuffles at the top
          wildiris Active Contributor

          Thanks for the link.  With all of the problems and glitches that Vrbo programming has had over the past year or so, I am amazed that Expedia is transferring John Kim laterally to become president of the Platform & Marketplaces unit. The article states that Kim "will lead efforts in artificial intelligence, user experience, and marketplaces."  Evidently, Expedia management is unaware of all of the problems that have developed in these areas at Vrbo under Mr. Kim's leadership.

            • Re: Vrbo shuffles at the top
              calicalling Active Contributor

              Not sure about "E management is unaware ... "

               

              JK keynoted with a presentation on AI at the Summit.. was followed by other leadership who dug deeper into on-going efforts to exploit AI at VRBO and across Expedia Corp.

               

              Sounded to me like its a corporation-wide North Star type aim/pursuit.

            • Re: Vrbo shuffles at the top
              georgygirl1955 Senior Contributor

              I am astounded that they allowed the Summit to go forward without giving the audience the courtesy of information. I think it speaks tons as to who the client is...and it is the guest, but not the "partner".  The Partners had the wool pulled over their eyes.

              • Re: Vrbo shuffles at the top
                mauimakani Contributor

                Thanks feibus for sharing the link, once again it takes Owners to share information with other Owners. Should we take bets on when we will get an email blast announcing this?


                From the article...


                Kim led Vrbo’s transition from a largely subscription business toward a digital business where many management companies and hosts pay commissions per booking instead of an annual fee.


                Commissions per booking instead of an annual fee? Any hosts here not paying an annual fee in addition to commissions per booking?


                Edited: Corrected below. I was reading commission as service fee.

                  • Re: Vrbo shuffles at the top
                    twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                    I am PPB (pay per booking) only. I moved to it when my bookings dropped so dramatically with vrbo, which saddens me. My location is just becoming an attraction area in addition to Springfield and Branson, but who knows whether that will increase my vrbo business or not. Too many properties have come on-line that want to charge peanuts, allow for 12 people in a 2 bedroom place, etc. etc. It is hard for guests to distinguish between the quality home and a home with sleeping space and not much more. Well, I digress, I am sad to see more changes at vrbo as I am still waiting for someone to contact me about an issue that I brought to CS attention a few weeks ago.

                    • Re: Vrbo shuffles at the top
                      floridagirl19 Contributor

                      I am on subscription and as far as I can tell - I am still paying per booking and so is my guest. I get a service fee added to my side along with the credit card processing fee - so yeah - subscription is NOT INSTEAD OF PAYING PER BOOKING OR VICE VERSA

                        • Re: Vrbo shuffles at the top
                          mauimakani Contributor

                          Correction to my above post: I was reading commissions as service fee, my error. So it is annual fee instead or commission for Owners.

                           

                          Does anyone know the numbers breakdown between Hosts (annual fee),  PPB (5%), and PM listings? Was it a transition led by Kim to commission model or a choice made by Owners who made the business decision to switch to PPB due to booking numbers dropping on the Vrbo platform. I think that this decision is made by the Owner based on their numbers, no?

                          • Re: Vrbo shuffles at the top
                            margaret CommunityAmbassador

                            floridagirl19 

                            floridagirl19 wrote:

                             

                            I am on subscription and as far as I can tell - I am still paying per booking and so is my guest. I get a service fee added to my side along with the credit card processing fee - so yeah - subscription is NOT INSTEAD OF PAYING PER BOOKING OR VICE VERSA

                            Are you saying you are paying commission and subscription?
                            Under the subscription plan, you should be paying your yearly sub fee plus 3% CC processing.
                            Under PPB plan, it is 5% commission per booking plus 3% CC processing.

                              • Re: Vrbo shuffles at the top
                                floridagirl19 Contributor

                                @margaret - you are correct - I am mistaken. The fee that is listed on the payment breakdown is the TRAVELER FEE.  So I am in fact only paying the credit card processing fee. I have not yet noticed if I am still paying the processing fee for them to pay the taxes on my behalf with the new payment processor but that was a real irritation too when Yapstone was doing that because we were submitting our own taxes for free after paying Hotspot for a few years and now VRBO was forcing me to once again pay to "process" my tax payment.  Hoping that is not the case with the new payment processor but I am not optimistic...

                                  • Re: Vrbo shuffles at the top
                                    feibus Senior Contributor

                                    The merchant paying the CC fee on sales tax is ALWAYS the case, whether you're a Vrbo owner or The Gap.

                                      • Re: Vrbo shuffles at the top
                                        floridagirl19 Contributor

                                        We were submitting our own taxes to state and county FOR FREE with no processing charges with direct debit from our business checking account - so no - there are not always fees with paying taxes.

                                         

                                        We setup a very nice in house system for calculating the taxes due every month and the reporting was going just fine and then VRBO decided to do that for us - which is fine - but DON'T FREAKING CHARGE ME TO DO IT.  Airbnb does not charge me to "pay my guest taxes on my behalf" - and VRBO should not do that either.

                                         

                                        We had to adjust our taxable revenue reporting to now exclude VRBO from that number - each time we get a curve ball thrown at us we have to adjust and adapt and to tell you the truth it is getting very tiresome to have our "partners" do these things. 

                                         

                                        Now we have a new headache - how to track money due to us since our system is setup to assume that a person who has booked HAS ALREADY PAID THE FIRST PAYMENT IF TWO PAYMENTS ARE DUE.  Now with VRBO holding our money - the first payment is not paid and we have no easy way to track that it is still due - I have had to resort to setting up calendar reminders and even though a guest is reserved, I have to set their "due" date for the first payment to 24 hours after check in so I can make sure that the payment is made by VRBO when it is due.

                                         

                                        I really hope the new payment processor also gets their act together with the payment emails. Currently it just gives the number they ended up paying you with no itemization - so we are forced to figure out what part of the payment is processing fees.   *grumble*

                                      • Re: Vrbo shuffles at the top
                                        margaret CommunityAmbassador

                                        feibus  is correct, you will pay CC processing on the entire amount charged to the guests.

                                          • Re: Vrbo shuffles at the top
                                            floridagirl19 Contributor

                                            Actually - we are charged the entire CC processing fee for the guest payment AND WE ARE ALSO CHARGED AGAIN TO PROCESS THE TAX PAYMENT WHICH IS DOUBLE CHARGING IN MY BOOK.

                                             

                                            Like I said in another post - I don't yet know for sure if the new payment processor is doing this since the payment emails are completely devoid of any details.....

                                              • Re: Vrbo shuffles at the top
                                                wildiris Active Contributor

                                                floridagirl19 wrote:

                                                 

                                                Actually - we are charged the entire CC processing fee for the guest payment AND WE ARE ALSO CHARGED AGAIN TO PROCESS THE TAX PAYMENT WHICH IS DOUBLE CHARGING IN MY BOOK.

                                                Could you please explain where you see a charge for Vrbo to remit the sales tax to your state?  I am not being charged for this and Vrbo remits the sales tax to my state.  (They have to - the state requires them to do this).

                                                 

                                                The credit card processor charges a credit card fee on the full amount of what a guest pays - for whatever reason the guest pays it - including the sales tax.  When I paid the sales tax to the state myself, I paid the credit card fee on the full amount of the guest's payment, including the sales tax.  I then remitted the sales tax to the state using an ACH payment.  The only difference now is that Vrbo is remitting the sales tax to the state.  It isn't charging me a fee to make the remittance.

                                                  • Re: Vrbo shuffles at the top
                                                    floridagirl19 Contributor

                                                    I have attached a payment breakdown image (guest last name removed) from this past July.  The processor was Yapstone. The total payout to me was $973.  The CC 3% fee on that amount was $29.19

                                                     

                                                    The tax paid by the guest and remitted by VRBO for this booking was $116.76 and they charged me 3% to "process" this payment as well - however they did not charge me twice as I assumed previously - because the tax payment was not part of the total amount paid to me above - it is handled separately.  I still do not like to pay a processing fee for that which I paid without any fee previously.

                                                    The second 3% fee on the tax remittance portion is $3.50.  See attachedVRBO_twofees.jpg

                                                      • Re: Vrbo shuffles at the top
                                                        margaret CommunityAmbassador

                                                        So it is broken out but not charged twice, that makes more sense. The tax has always been charged on the CC processing fee, contacting Yapstone about it would be a waste of time

                                                          • Re: Vrbo shuffles at the top
                                                            twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                                                            Margaret is correct. I was complaining about this situation to someone else for accounting purposes. They also (on my report anyway) break out the sales tax for each item as in rent, cleaning fee, pet fee, and additional guest fees. So, instead of just showing it all as one sales tax it  is broken down by item.

                                                             

                                                            I Personally will be glad when VRBO takes over sales tax for the state of Missouri. It appears that I am one of the few states that wasn’t included.  Missouri does not make me keep track of the ABB properties for their benefit (as in paperwork). So, I only have to keep it for the accountant. If VRBO did the same thing. The only thing I would have to worry about is direct reservations.

                                                      • Re: Vrbo shuffles at the top
                                                        feibus Senior Contributor

                                                        No matter how much you use ALL CAPS to emphasize how annoyed you are... we still don't have any idea what you're talking about.  I'm only charged 3% on the full guest payment less the service fee, the sales tax on that isn't my responsibility in my state.  I remit to the county my portion of the sales taxes (state is handled by Vrbo).  I don't get charged again by anyone to do that.  No idea why you think you are, but ALL CAPS isn't helping you convey that information.

                                                        • Re: Vrbo shuffles at the top
                                                          margaret CommunityAmbassador

                                                          Like wildiris and feibus I think you are either mistaken about being charged again or something is wrong

                                                          . I am charged a CC processing fee on the full payment and nothing more.

                                                            • Re: Vrbo shuffles at the top
                                                              floridagirl19 Contributor

                                                              *Updated*   It turns out the second CC fee is also for the guest payment part but the taxes are now separated out from the rent and fees paid to me.

                                                                • Re: Vrbo shuffles at the top
                                                                  floridagirl19 Contributor

                                                                  OK so I think I was confused about what the second 3% charge was and now I can say I was mistaken about them charging me 3% to *remit* the taxes to the county and state. It is actually the 3% for processing the guest credit card payment but they are now split out into two separate line items. It is *very* confusing (is my use of asterisks satisfactory with everyone for emphasis or should I use BOLD letters????)

                                                                   

                                                                  So - VRBO is not charging me or anyone else double processing fees and I am now straightened out on that nuance.

                                                                   

                                                                  I do really wish I could more often have the guest pay with an electronic check however because I'd like not to pay any processing fee.  I realize most people probably want to pay with a credit card but if there was a way to have my default be electronic check with option to pay with credit card I'd love to hear how to do that....

                                                  • Re: Vrbo shuffles at the top
                                                    floridagirl19 Contributor

                                                    Interesting - that it was around about 2016 that we started getting screwed and pressured and threatened and all of that - I guess at the root of all that nonsense was this John Kim hmmm?

                                                      • Re: Vrbo shuffles at the top
                                                        scottr Active Contributor

                                                        After Expedia acquired HomeAway at the end of 2015, Expedia put John Kim in place to accelerate the transition to a transaction model.  It wasn't his idea, but he was tasked with the implementation.  All of technical problems can be attributed to Mr. Kim, but the strategy was laid out a the time of the acquisition

                                                      • Re: Vrbo shuffles at the top
                                                        feibus Senior Contributor

                                                        More...

                                                         

                                                        Expedia Group’s vacation rental business Vrbo plans to reposition itself as a family travel site that would offer vacation rentals, resorts, and other features facilitating family vacations.

                                                        The unit’s new general manager Jeff Hurst told Skift Thursday that the move has been in the works behind the scenes for some time.

                                                        Hurst, who was interviewed on the sidelines of the Expedia Explore ’19 conference in Las Vegas, said he sees the move as a differentiator in a crowded short-term rental marketplace, and one that has almost limitless opportunity. There’s no “ceiling that I’m worried about,” Hurst said.

                                                        He said a resort stay might sometimes make more sense than vacation rentals for some families visiting theme park destinations

                                                        Vrbo also plans to increase its merchandising of resort-style amenities such as chefs and daily cleaning services, for example, Hurst said.

                                                        Would Vrbo introduce flights or car rentals for family travelers? Hurst made no promises, but noted that Vrbo has in the past offered flights and car rentals along the way during the booking process.

                                                        Despite the changes, which he offered no timeline for implementation, Hurst said there is no rebranding in the works for Vrbo, which used to be known as VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owners), and replaced HomeAway as the unit’s lead brand.

                                                        https://skift.com/2019/11/14/expedias-vrbo-to-reposition-itself-beyond-vacation-rentals-as-a-family-travel-business/

                                                        In search of profits, they've lost their way.

                                                        • Re: Vrbo shuffles at the top
                                                          u0999 Premier Contributor

                                                          "the order of the factors does not alter the product".