There are other options out there to list your vacation home rental. Here is our choice and why we are moving.
As we had mentioned in another post Hunter’s Friend Resort decided to start listing all of our vacation homes for rent with Vacation.Rentals as we felt they were the best alternative to VRBO, FlipKey and AirBNB.
There were many reasons for this but the most glaring was extreme cost vs. low performance. While there is a certain risk to leaving VRBO, we also knew staying with them would mean even more finances flying out the door for us.
There are some definite advantages to listing with VRBO.
- 20 years the industry leader and is so widely recognized that people use it as an neologism now, simply saying they seen the property on “Verbo”
- They are pretty dominant in the SEO market
- They are owned by some of the largest marketing giants on the planet.
- They have a great website.
At this point the reader would have to wonder “Why should I leave VRBO?” (Or AirBNB – FlipKey for that matter) and it would be a valid question. The answer simply came down to finances. The travelers AND owners are now being squeezed to give more both in the way of finances and ownership of their listings.
3 years ago, matching up vacation travelers with homeowners was pretty straightforward and simple. The traveler would search where they wanted to go, how many people they were traveling with, their dates of arrival and departure and press go. A results list was returned to the traveler where they could refine their search based on location, price etc. The process is pretty standard across the spectrum as it is very similar in functionality to eBay, Craigslist, Loopnet, etc. Search, find, inquire.
Then it all came crashing down. Expedia bought out VRBO and began to change their pricing structure to a way that left many homeowners angry and aggravated with their way of doing business. It was as if Expedia was telling them that they really didn’t know how to run their business and from here on out they would show them how to do it the Expedia way (and at a bumped up price)
Frustrations with VRBO – AirBNB – FlipKey
The frustrations really began to boil over in late 2016, early 2017 when the policies went into effect, which led us to begin searching for alternative solutions as well.
To be sure there were several other offerings out there, but the thing that set Vacation Rentals apart from the competition was it the fact that it was created by actual property owners who had worked in the industry and knew what it was the customer was searching for. They emphasized ease of use, fast returns on searches and great interfaces for their users. But the best part of all and the thing that sets Vacation Rentals apart from the competition is it’s ridiculously low pricing for each property listed. making it just about the cheapest peer to peer offering out there, with maybe the exception of Craigslist. (More to that later)
A catchy URL that hits immediately with the search engines and it has relevant domains tied to it.
Vacation Rentals is literally HTTPS://VACATION.RENTALS There is no dot com, dot net, dot biz – nothing. It is the new generation of gTLDs and they will become more standardized as the years continue on. gTLDs began rolling out in 2015 and some of them have really taken off. Short – easy to remember – easier to say and relevant to what the site is about. In this case, the website is directly involved with homeowners listing their home for vacation rentals.
Throw in the fact that Vacation Rentals is tied to Land.Rentals (For landowners who want to lease out their land to hunters and sportsmen alike) RVPark.Rentals (RV Park owners listing their available spaces for lease to the RV industry) and finally the best affiliate link of them all Boat.Rentals (All sites will be live by the end of 2019. At the time of this writing, only Vacation.Rentals is live and operating)
The combination of all these sites working together to push each other up in the search rankings will only benefit the homeowners who register a membership with them.
An incredible price for value
The site offers virtually every feature you would expect for listing your vacation property. Seasonal rate calendars, interactive media gallery, direct communication between owner and vacationer, and much more. There are no service fees, no commissions, nothing.
If price is the only factor why not list on Craigslist?
For sure Craigslist is a great source of information and everyone on the planet uses it but it has its own drawbacks. To start, every listing on Craigslist expires after 45 days which means you have to relist without fail or risk losing reservations. Craigslist has no listing calendar whatsoever. No way to block out dates, set seasonal rates, nothing. Imagine having a home for rent listed on Craigslist and people are looking for somewhere to go over the 4th of July. Your e-mail and phone would blow up with the inquiries. Non stop people mentioning that they had seen your ad on Craigslist and wanted to know if it was still available to rent. With Vacation Rentals, you block out the dates with a simple 2 click process and save. It is literally that simple and will keep you from wasting valuable time. Another drawback to Craigslist is the unknown. Before we would ever think of renting from someone on Craigslist (and we haven’t) we would want to vet the property extensively. There are endless stories of people who have been scammed on Craigslist. Vacation Rentals inspects each and every listing before allowing it to publish.
For us, the choice is easy. List with a site that saves you (and us) money or continue to be a slave to the grind. We have broken from from our dot com addiction.