News Archives | Villa Marketers
hurricane matthew storm florida vacation rental
A Big Storm Is Coming I’ve centered my life around the vacation rental capital of the world, Orlando Florida. I did it because this is where it all goes down in the vacation rental industry first. I do love it here! But Florida is known for more than its world-class theme parks and white sand beaches. We’re also known for being in the middle of a hurricane highway at least that's what… Read More
  • Hi Jay, I hope to see your next newsletter soon. It'll mean you're safe and up and running again. Take care of yourself and your family, Saskia...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Saskia, I wanted to thank you for your concern during the hurricane. A big thank you!...

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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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I’m sharing a powerful must read article today but it's not on my website. I’m going to share someone else's website today (Read on). I’m now working with yet another industry leader. These folks are well-known for creating great content and for helping small hotel and accommodation owners with their businesses.  So when they asked me if I’d be interested in a content collaboration, centered around helping their large following… Read More
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
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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property management marketing giveaway
Are you ready for round 2 of the Vacation Rental Expert Panel?   I'm excited to announce the second winner of our vacation rental expert panel review. If you didn't catch the first vacation rental makeover show, be sure to check it out. If you haven't yet entered for your chance to get free help from 3 vacation rental experts, enter your property here. Last Vacation Rental Marketing Show In… Read More
  • Thank you for choosing my rentals. Look forward to each and every suggestion!...

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  • Thank you for choosing my rentals. Look forward to each and every suggestion!...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    You're welcome Wendy and I hope our tips will help your vacation rental business reach new heights!...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    You're welcome Wendy and I hope our tips will help your vacation rental business reach new heights!...

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expedia-homeaway-partnership
Will The Homeaway Expedia Partnership Cost You More?   Have you heard about the Homeaway Expedia partnership? Could you soon be paying more for your HomeAway bookings and subscriptions? In November of 2013, Homeaway announced an epic partnership with the travel giant, Expedia. Less than a year later, the market- shattering partnership between Homeaway & Expedia has formed.   It is beginning to take its true form, as it reshapes… Read More
  • My listing with HomeAway has dropped in placement and I've seen a noticeable decline in rentals. I've been considering dropping the listing all together. Their prices are increasing but the inquiries aren't! Frustrating...

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  • Profile photo of Larry Meyer

    I do not like HomeAway's attempt to force us to automatically except on-line bookings. This is not Hotels.com. I have no security service. I have a multimillion dollar oceanfront vacation rental, not a hotel room. I am not about to turn over the k...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Hi Larry, welcome..What an amazing property you've got, I wish I was there now! You bring up a good point about security, wonder if others feel the same. Google Adwords is not a "marketing plan" its just a component, which many of our owners don't e...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Did you turn on the booking module?...

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  • No Jay. we use our own reservation system. I've spent time setting up my system and I don't want to use theirs. ...

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  • Profile photo of Larry Meyer

    Thanks so much, and yes I did look at some of your suggestions (ie. using longer search words) But the point is, using the normal search words, (people do not use a long trail of search words nomally) I do not see anything except big companies on ...

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  • Great piece. I recommend trying to promote on different portals like Tripping.com. They have an option to promote your listing if you are already on HomeAway, Flipkey or others. See it here: http://www.tripping.com/how-it-works/rentals/premium-placem...

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  • Another problem is also with "Instant Quote" it's always wrong! I have a 3 bedroom villa in Caribbean willing to rent to 2 persons, then different price for each extra bedroom DOUBLE OCCUPANCY like hotels do. VRBO doesn't allow double occupancy, n...

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  • Try airbnb.com.They kept me in guests through last winter, my first time renting. Not continuously, but enough that I could pay the utilities. I DO get bookings from Flipkey though. They are usually larger parties, primarily Summer season guests, and...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    I completely understand... I have been wondering if HomeAway is working toward dominating the booking software market as they're doing with the listings. Especially since they've acquired the Glad To Have You App and now forcing owners to use their b...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Hi Blamona, thats interesting...HomeAway is sending guests emails as if it were you? I too have ran into the pricing problem, several of our clients operates the same way. They charge a certain nightly rate for 2 guests and then more per person, its...

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  • Yes, our guests see emails coming as Blamona.hospitality@Homeaway.com for example, so the guests think they're coming from us owners. It asks them to download the Hospitality app-- then they get spammed to death. (welcome letters? Review requests bef...

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  • Profile photo of Sherry

    Blamona, my husband and I were just talking about the problem with the quote. We are in the Caribbean too and have the exact problem. He has spoken to Homeaway about this for years and nothing. We paid all that money for the platinum package and have...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    The Co Founder of HomeAway said this in one of my Linkedin Groups. Do you agree.... Please let your voices be heard.... they're listening! "Jay, this is rampant speculation hiding as "objective'" blogging. You should really do direct research in...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    This is my response to HomeAway Co-Founder Carl Shepherd Carl.... You're avoiding the question, which further confirms at least in my mind that owners and managers should be prepared to pay more to advertise on HomeAway and that is what this post is...

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  • I have to say, Jay, that the best rate schedule I've seen out here is Flipkeys'! While I'm not overly fond of them, they DO have a very comprehensive rate schedule in place that takes in just about everything we Owners/Property Managers would want to...

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  • I have said it on other forums and blogs - Homeaway wants too many of my bucks to gain exposure in a very competitive market (my home is in Florida) - there is no way I am going to be paying anything like that sort of money to get bookings from them...

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  • I actually got a customer rep who understood what I meant about it, because he had 3 same examples with owners in Costa Rica for the same that day--he admitted he was as frustrated as I, and was sending to whomever sets this up and asked me to do the...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    This is the response I received from Carl Sheperd, Co Founder and Chief Strategy and Development Officer at HomeAway, Inc. : "Jay, Jay, Jay. When did you stop beating your wife? That's a joke, but that's the type of "questions" you're asking her. Yo...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    My reply to HomeAway Co-founder, Carl Sheperd: "WOW! I'm very suprised Carl that a professional like yourself would say such an inapropriate thing. Domestic violence is not a joke! Its not funny! The question was will owners soon be paying more f...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    It sounds like Flipkey has listened to what their customers need. Susan do you mind sharing why you're not so fond of them? I hope Dwellable is very succesful, we could use a mix up in the market....

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  • Okay. Flipkey. Their support system leaves a lot to be desired. For instance, I needed support one evening with an inquiring Guest and, guess what? They were closed. That's correct, closed. ??? Apparently their support team is only available during "...

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  • This is for Carl Shepherd. I am advertising on VRBO and HA for several years an luxury apartment in Brussels. We were among the first tu get BIN. We received a booking for two men arriving 48 hours later. They answering their emails not phone calls. ...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Thank you for sharing your expereince here. I want this to be a place where owners like yourself can speak freely without censorhip or worry of someone shaming you for having an opion they may not agree with. So thank you for being courageous to spea...

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  • Profile photo of Larry Meyer

    I am not understanding MoorgateVilla's claim of a $2,500 HomeAway listing fee. they start at $349. And while I disagree with Carl Shepherd's claim that they (Homeaway) are the cheapest listing service ( they are not), they DO come out the cheapest ...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    That is one bizarre story Maurice. Sorry that happened to you. I agree with you, that if you are going to get in between the deal you should be there when there is an issue, especially in cases when the "middle man" makes money on the deal....

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Thanks for sharing Susan!...

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  • Indeed. Well they didn't make money on that (beside my subscription) since nobody has been paid. I lost money on that, since one of them didn't return a key and so I had to change the lock. This is an issue that is getting more and more disturbing si...

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  • Just found this thread... I think that's almost certainly true. HomeAway have recently brought in Two-factor authentication. Apart from the fact that half the time it doesn't work, and assumes that everyone takes their phone with them when they tra...

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  • Jay, I'm not sure you can answer this...or no one knows right now...Will this effect the software that homeaway provides for VRMs - like Escapia?...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Hey Adam, yeah tough to say with certainty. I will keep probing for you.They did announce today that subscriptions will be faded out. So no telling, what else will too. Follow the discussiom here www.villamarketers.com/expedia-buys-homeaway...

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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 :)