Vacation Rental Listing Site Tips
Warning! Vacation Rental Listing Site Not Paying Hosts For Bookings! Imagine if you were out of your money for bookings that have already came and went, how would that make you feel? 9flats is taking money from travelers and not paying the hosts of the properties. That's what David Merit of Silver Lake Suite said. David is the owner of a vacation rental property near Disneyland in California. He reached out to me… Read More
  • That is terrible for owners who are already struggling with all the changes and drop in bookings from other listjng sites. And poor travelers, this is horrible!...

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  • It's called a "CLIENT TRUST ACCOUNT" and I believe booking companies should fall under that law if they are based in the United States. If they don't, we all need a coordinated effort to get that legislation passed and the Association of Realtors m...

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  • Profile photo of Teena

    Thank you SO much for letting us know! Four Seasons Lodge is signed up with many "listing sites" but no booking sites as yet. I want to be in charge of accepting payments, not the sites! Great info... ! Do you know of any great niche listing sit...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    You're welcome Teena, I have to thank David for reaching out to us and making us aware of the issue. It's been kept pretty quite. I wanted to prevent you and others from being in this situation. Do you think the signs are pointing toward bankruptcy?...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Vacations are precious - I really believe that! That's part of the reason I love what we do. So to think that someone is going to have their anticipated vacation ruined truly angers me!...

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  • Profile photo of Teena

    That's what I'm hearing in "secret" FB groups....

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airbnb homeaway racism online bookings
Get Ready - The Heat Is About To Get Hotter Did you notice HomeAway removed your phone number from your listing? I  recently noticed owner phone numbers were missing on the HomeAway website. A recent Skift article confirmed my suspicions. Here Is what they noticed; “HomeAway testing the removal of phone numbers from some listings to encourage online bookings" It seems as if the walls are closing in on those… Read More
  • I can see this gaining momentum since there is a social responsibility to fight racism. I'm not sure if this is planned or they are turning a problem (racism) into an opportunity, Interesting read Jay, I'm a bit nervous of what's coming next. Thanks ...

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  • I don't use instant booking because it's hard to keep up with the events in both of my areas and don't want to give away dates for the regular rate when you can ask much more for weeks / weekends with special events or nearby festivals going on. Ther...

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  • I believe home owners should always have the right to choose to whom they rent their home. I agree that they may make decisions based on what are now socially unacceptable criteria, but nonetheless, it is their perogative to decide with whom they wis...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Steve I understand exactly what you're saying we all have a few quirky things we do in our businesses. We should be able to operate our businesses the way we need to. For now we can... just not on their platforms. Could something like racism fuel t...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Hey Stephen thank you for commenting. That's a good point. A vacation home is a home... so in some respect we should be able to chose who we want in our home BUT a rental is also a business - does that matter? There are times when we should be abl...

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  • Guess the idea of putting up walls is popular these days! Any barrier between the people responsible for the day to day activities at a vacation home and the guests that want to stay there just isn't a sustainable model. If I can't communicate with...

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  • I'm totally agree. I had customers in the past that did horrible things to my property, I do not want to be forced to rent it again against my will. That is not discriminatory. Also why those companies want to take the control of the calendar, I want...

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  • That Is right MONOPOLY!! Is there something that we as a owners can do about it??...

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  • This is a very difficult thing. Some comments below claim that it is not discrimination to refuse rental to any renter that the owner THINKS may do damage to their property or upset the neighbours. This is actually discrimination. In business and in ...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Nicely articulated Nick!...

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  • We’ve seen instant booking causing more trouble than good business in many cases, but racism. We welcome any race at our villa rentals. In fact, when people ask us where our clients come from, our answer is always “They’re from everywhere.” ...

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tripadvisor vacation rental marketing expert villa marketers
TripAdvisor Partners With Villa Marketers  I’m finally able to share the big news with you. I’m officially TripAdvisor’s Vacation Rentals expert partner for all vacation rental marketing content. I’m extremely humbled by the honor of working with the world’s largest travel website. It’s the first time TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals has partnered with a rental marketer to help their owners and managers. It’s a privilege and the ultimate accolade to be… Read More
vacation rental independence villa marketers
How VRBO Owners Become Independent Today we’re going to look at the success of another to help ourselves become better in our vacation rental businesses. You remember Kendall & Leina, right?  They're independent owners of several properties in the Gatlinburg - Pigeon Forge Tennessee area. Their rental company is  called Closer to Heaven Cabins. Several weeks ago I shared how they were able to drive 300 inquiries directly to their… Read More
  • How many units do you offer for rental? What is your pricing structure? Would you consider your pricing high, low or moderate. How many other units are actually in your area? I notice you talk about great service and quick response and great revi...

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  • What do you think about VacaCasa? They seem to be growing rapidly and focus on customer experience and management. I've stayed at one of their managed vacation homes in Tahoe and was really impressed. They are not in Puerto Rico yet but being in...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Hey @sherwoodOR Vacasa has pros and cons. They do everything from "marketing to maintenance" the pro is, it's easy for you. The con is you're dependent on them. No different than our current situation with VRBO. Trusting in someone else completely fo...

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  • Profile photo of Kendall Luelf

    @SherwoodOR. I wanted to chime in and reiterate what Jay said regarding linking them to VRBO for booking. As tempting and easy as it may be, it will definitely affect your inquiries turning into bookings. You can setup a Paypal account for free and...

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  • @SherwoodOR, I can speak to our experience with Vacasa. We had them take over two of our properties for about 5 months. I would say their property management system was okay. We didn't do anything, completely hands off, and they charged us 25% as ...

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  • While I really enjoyed your post I'm not sure it answers the question of how to do without VRBO/Homeaway. I have stiff competition in my area as well and have been at this self-managed rental game for 15 seasons now. Fortunately, half of my renters...

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  We all know what is happening in the vacation rental industry, and we know we have to do something about it. That's why most of my recent content has been focused on helping you break away from HomeAway. Today's post will be interesting, I promise, just follow along. In order to wean off of vacation rental listing sites, we have to optimize what we have in our hands right now. We… Read More
  • Profile photo of Jay William

    #11 You have a website but no one is inquiring...

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  • Profile photo of Jason

    Jay what is bounce rate and how is that effecting our bookings thanks for helping me understand. I am not a very techy person...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Hi Marie, Bounce rate refers to the amount of people who visit your website and end up leaving (bouncing off) without clicking another link. They dont explore your site further. If your content is not clear of what you offer and quickly get people ...

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  • Jay, Do you think that is what is happening on my site? I know I need to get some better descriptions and do more SEO on my pages - I just never seem to get around to it....

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  • Jah, I like your mantra of balance. last year I drove over 17,000 visitors to my site, but no sale. I wait patiently for next article....

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Hey Darla, the truth...yes absolutely. Lots of room for improvement in that respect. That is why I wrote this post because no one is selling and every one can benefit from it. Sales has a ton to do with your conversion, you're not going to convert...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    17,000 visitors no inquires or no bookings? Thats way too many visitors without converting into actual bookings. You should look at a few things. 1, does your content sell and persuade. 2, are you using keywords? If so are they the right ones? Po...

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As promised in my last post 10 Signs You're Losing Bookings,  I'll be taking you behind the scenes by introducing you to some of the elite team members here at Villa Marketers and showing you how they can help your business! But first, here are 6 reasons why you need expert sales writers on your team. Help Your Travelers Experience Your Property By Painting Pictures One of the simplest and most transparent… Read More
  • Profile photo of Tracey

    I have to agree Jay time is and always has been my biggest challenge. I get inspired to write a blog and say to myself I'm going to write a blog but it never ends up happening. I want to do it. I know it has value to my business but still I haven't g...

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  • Profile photo of Tracey

    Jay I have been really impressed with your recent content. I like that you're telling it like it is and that you're a bit of a rebel. I’ve been following advice that almost forbids selling. After reading your blogs I can see that selling is impo...

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  • Profile photo of Jason

    Kari is indeed a content whisperer and shes extremely helpful and friendly. I have received more inquiries based on her adjustments she made to my vacation rental descriptions. I would've never wrote anything like that. Its selling for sure but y...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Selling is neccesary if you want to get the most out of your marketing and who doesn't want that, right. Josh I will be sharing examples of how to use selling techniques in writing and in other areas of contact with potential guests. None of them w...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    You're welcome! I wonder how many owners feel the same way about not having enough time and end up sort of in the same scenario you're explaining. Thanks for sharing Gary....

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Sherry thank you for testifying to these techniques and how they result in tangible results and for your kind words about the team. Owners have to employ or develop their own team if they want to develop their independence. They are doing too much o...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    OK I never do this on my blog but much like a proud dad I am so proud of this I have to share it. Read what one of our most recent customers said about some of the team you're being introduced to. "Jay, I want you to know how completely impressed I...

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  • Profile photo of Tracey

    I am not understanding the part about SEO and how does that help selling?...

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expedia buys homeaway
This just in… Well my friends, this is a big day in history. The game has changed for the vacation rental industry. I had a blog scheduled for today, but this pressing news took precedence. If you’ve been following my blogs, you know that we suspected this day would come. HomeAway has been acquired. By who? By Expedia! Expedia purchased HomeAway for an equity value of approximately $3.9 billion. Yeah… Read More
  • Profile photo of Jay William

    This is history in the making, what do you think about this huge event that will undoubtedly affect all of our businesses? I'm all ears!...

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  • My mouth is on the floor!...

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  • I say AirBnB is next. Great post Jay!...

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  • Jay William, You're so right this will change our vacation rental business like we've never experienced it before. Big Shifts= Big Profits....

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Amen Sandra! We all need to be focused on making ourselves different than "off the shelf vacation rentals" and a unique brand and offering combined with above average service is key to creating additional value for guests and rising to the top....

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  • What are the rates, what has changed?...

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  • Profile photo of Dan

    This is a very sad day for small business owners. Homeaway & VRBO fees were reasonable and provided a great deal of flexibility. I can see another Tripadvisor type scenario where they doubled my rates one year to $950 and I learned to live withou...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Dale, they're changing the game on everything. We only know what they've shared with us. They say they'll begin charging travelers a fee (6% of bookings) in adition to the fee managers and owners pay. They've also said they "may" reduce commission...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Are we being swallowed up by travel giants? Or are we officially being welcomed into the travel industry?...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Cristina, if AirBnB is next to be bought out it will likley be bought out for more than HomeAway. If they are bought out I think it would be Priceline (Booking.com) who buys AirBnB. But they might just be too expensive and could be "unacquirable" b...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    I know it's finally happened!...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    I know how you feel Dan, things can deteriorate after buy-outs. There are usually a ton of changes and a disconnect with the people who buy out the companies and their customers... but they say they may reduce commissions? What do you think about tha...

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  • What property management software can help me stay out of this mess?...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    I think many owners like yourself Maria are sorry to hear of the HomeAway purchase. It seems like everday there has been changes like you mentioned that we have had to adjust to. And truthfully its just the begining of a new chapter of changes coming...

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  • Profile photo of Stella

    I see it as Vacation rental is now mainstream. I hear that hotel chain like Marriot are looking to develop this segment too. Airbnb released a figure of 50 million booking a year with 17 millions for the summer period only. Now I don't know what's i...

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  • Thanks for this article Jay! Improve our website, work on our SEO, make a smart use of social media and improve our marketing skills seems the best way to go forward and a more urgent priority!...

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  • This is so sad, villa rental from an owner is not the same as booking a hotel room, will Exoedua realise thiis ? Interestly I hear that AIrbnb has appointed a special villa marketing manager, and according to my sources is actually listening to villa...

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  • I understand how hotels, that have multiple rooms (100s?) can get paid at checkout and have more relaxed cancelations. Most villas are only 1, and some of us already pay 10-25% to PMs, not including many other costs. How will "mom and pop" villas s...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    @Moorgatevilla I'm with you. We all need to be watching this space closley. This should be the fire that sparks the motivation to safe gaurd our businesses. Ive warned about the day coming and well... its here now. But lets not just watch anymore,...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Stella we need to be prepared because there are many big players who are now going to get in the game starting in 2016. Lets buckle our seatbelts! What do you think will happen in 2016?...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Yeah there will have to be some give for property owners for this to really work because as you said the operating costs for a villa already absorbs a good percent of rental income. But we can't count on it to work itself out, we need to focus more o...

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  • Jay I have taken as many steps as possible to distance myself from relying on the listings sites. The ones that I do use tend to be specialists to my area or offer me added extras. A case in point is the one that does my VR 360 and professional photo...

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  • Profile photo of Stella

    Jay I think that in 2016, vacation rental will mature with more booking opportunities for the owners. With that will come higher expectations from guests, which in turn will lead to the emergence of standards. I agree with you, the sucessfull vr ow...

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  • The difference with charging hotels a higher commission is volume--multiple rooms at lessor price can still generate money. Hotels (especially chains) also operate on bulk, so costs are not as high. 1 villa pays full price for services and products, ...

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  • Profile photo of Stella

    In the press, the 6% traveler fees mentionned by Jay is confirmed but when it comes to the owners' fees, it more the fees "should go down"... well how much is what we all want to know right? I have also read that the average owners' fees on VRBO is ...

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  • As a vacation rental owner and property manager that manages multiple units, we have avoided Airbnb for this specific reason. It is not reasonable for these companies to charge upwards of 15 ~ 18%. They may want to consider how this price increase t...

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  • Put on your big girl pants and hang on cause Kansas is going bye bye. Technology is growing faster everyday. Airbnb is big and Expedia buying Homeaway.com is even bigger. Kick off the dinosaur costume and adapt to the 21st century or be buried....

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Stella it was also confirmed by the CEO of Expedia that they are going to ACCELARATE the transition from subscription model to commission model. Looks like subsription models are going away... fast! Brent Belm who was the CFO of HomeAway told me th...

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  • Very uneducated reply. When they dig deep enough into owners and brokers pockets, a new venue will evolve. Technology IS evolving and that is where I see opportunity. So maybe try on your Big Girl brain....

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  • Profile photo of Stella

    I look forward to watching the interview, that will be great insight!...

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  • Profile photo of Kim Mason

    Wow who will be next?? There is nothing wrong in sites like HomeAway, Airbnb etc until the big greedy corporate suits get their dirty little hands on them and change the face of what they were designed for. Most people who advertise on these sites a...

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  • It's all about our Branding- could not agree more! I specifically like what you said: Why develop your vacation rental brand? Expedia doesn’t mean much to travelers, in the sense that Expedia is like a warehouse for rentals. There is no real brand ...

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  • Some PM companies never got into bed with VRBO/Homeaway/Flipkey et al...they are already ahead of the game as these PMs are accustomed to maintaining a brand independent of Homeaway and the like. They are very acclimated to driving traffic to their ...

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  • What happens to persons that just renewed subscriptions (at $1300 I might add) We pay both?...

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  • I see some license law violations actually - as a NJ licensed REALTOR and specialist (4th generation in family vacation rental business here at NJ Shore) I have obvious concerns as a Brokerage but also for both property owners and consumers put in ha...

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how to write vacation rental descriptions
Vacation Rental Description | Tips For Better Ads When you first getting into advertising a vacation rental it's a common tendency to overload and clutter the marketing message with too much info. Advertisers (that's you) are usually consumed by the idea of telling the potential customer everything they can about their vacation rental, their services, offers, etc. You've run into those web pages so overcrowded with information its like hitting a brick… Read More
  • Yep, guilty of this. I checked my listings and I'm lumping up the attractions. This is an easy fix but I can see the difference it is significant in the presentation. Thanks for sharing this....

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29 FREE & CHEAP TOOLS TO DEVELOP YOUR INDEPENDENCE AND BRING IN BOOKINGS!

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29 FREE & CHEAP TOOLS TO DEVELOP YOUR INDEPENDENCE AND BRING IN BOOKINGS!

FREE DOWNLOAD - GET THE BREAKAWAY KIT NOW - ($49 VALUE)

Don’t worry! We don’t spam :)