Vacation Rental owners have speculated for some time that this would be rolling out and it finally has. AirBnB is the first but VRBO/HomeAway and all the others WILL follow. AirBnB is starting off tentatively and just to some but they will get the kinks out and make this new policy across the board as will all the other big OTAs (Online Travel Agencies).
As it stands, travelers can currently recognize and attribute higher costs to the big boy OTAs and they want to hide that fact as best they can.
This will leave the little guys looking like greedy owners who price gouge and want exorbitant rates.
When this whole thing first began back on that fateful day in February of 2016, I said then and there that the true ultimate goal is to break the vacation rental industry and do it so that it appears to be legitimate business decisions that did it thereby no government oversight or repercussions. I still think that's true. The small time VR owner simply won't be able to absorb all the overhead and expenses, etc., etc., etc. and stay in business. They'll have to price their VRs so that they aren't within a reasonable cost option for most folks and people will simply return to using hotels as their main lodging for travels.
Big luxury homes and specialty houses will continue to do just fine on the OTAs but the small lofts, single family homes, condos, etc., etc. that accommodate up to four or five people, won't be able to keep this up and will start falling by the wayside. It's a shame but this is a business now in decline generally.
There are some sites that are trying desperately to create owner to renter connections WITHOUT service fees and I'm there on a few of them. Please support these sites as this is the only way the little Mom and Pop vacation rentals will be able to survive. Book your next vacation on them or list your vacation rental on them. Here's links to two: Houfy: https://houfy.com and Vacation.Rentals: https://vacation.rentals .
PLEASE REMEMBER, BOTH GLENN HOUSE VR AND GARCIA HOUSE VR HAVE LEFT THE GREEDY OTAS AND DO NOT INCORPORATE OR CHARGE ANY SERVICE FEES HIDDEN OR OTHERWISE!!!
Here's what AirBnB sent out today to select property managers:
Well the one year anniversary since leaving VRBO / HomeAway has come and gone for Garcia House and it's been about six months since we let our subscription with Glenn House expire.
So far, so good. Not great. Okay. Good. We did have bookings found thru VRBO in 2018 and while Glenn House was occupied most of the year, Garcia House did have a lower occupancy rate. That was partly due to fact that I didn't have it available while we did some renovations and upgrades and then I closed it off for bookings again while we needed it for personal reasons but it wasn't too bad.
Until Houfy and Vacation.Rentals start providing leads for us (and some of the other sites we're now on), I'm going to concentrate on extended stay bookings for traveling nurses and professionals. I've got to admit, I much prefer a lower income over high turnover. If I wasn't the "cleaning service" and/or I charged for that, I might feel differently but I do it and pass on the savings.
We are lucky in the regard that both our places weren't high-end luxury homes and were already in the budget-friendly category. I look forward to hosting more travel nurses (and others!) in 2019!
Happy New Year!
The very best side benefit of running both Garcia House and Glenn House is the delightful people that I have crossed paths with that I wouldn't ordinarily have. All VR's operate differently and in many instances owner, operators, managers never even meet those that stay at their homes but that's not the case for me. I know our Guests don't come to visit me and I stay our of their hair but each and every one is greeted and I try to provide supplemental information tailored to what info about them I've learned. Sometimes, circumstances also lend themselves to a friendship forming with some and it carries on long after their departure.
One gal I hit it off especially well with was a Travel Nurse that came to say with us at Garcia House last year at this time. She hailed from South Carolina and had never been farther west than Houston but something was telling her that Tucson was where she needed to go. She described it as feeling like it was destiny for her to come here.
It sure appears her inner guide directed her correctly as yesterday we attended her wedding. I clearly remember that first date they had and how very quickly she was smitten with him. Obviously, he was just as taken with her as almost instantaneously they became very serious and she moved into his new place soon thereafter while he wrapped up his job in another state. It wasn't long after that we knew a marriage was coming and it was wonderful to be included in their happy day yesterday.
Best wishes to the happy couple!!!
It's the very first annual Houfy Day! #houfy
I have great hopes for this start-up website and its founder, Thijs Aaftink, and his colleague, Swapnil Chavan. I know they listen and they are doing their utmost to make this a successful new listing site for vacation rentals.
There's very little hope that any new start-up site can possibly compete with the "BIG boys" of travel and vacation rentals. There are certainly some valid arguments to that too BUT I am an optimist and I believe enough people will get fed up with the out and out greed and deception the "big boys" and once they recognize it as a traveler or can't take it anymore as a VR owner, the little sites will begin making more and more headway.
I have a lot of hopes for three of these sites of which Houfy.com is a part of those three.houfy.com
Best wishes Houfy, current and future Houfyites (or are we Houfians?? :-) ), Thijs and Swapnil on our very first Houfy day! May there be many, many more to come!!
BTW: Here's a link to Glenn House on Houfy: https://www.houfy.com/2012
Fran -- Operator and Co-Owner of Glenn House Vacation Rental in Tucson, AZ