Just wondered if anyone was on homestay and what you think? my biggest gripe is the amount they take off the top, but also that if the guest cancels, homestay get all the deposit and the host nothing. have you set up your own way of taking a security deposit from guests? if i can, i try and steer them towards airbnb so I get less money taken off and it feels more secure payment wise with a bit more protection but homestay is cheaper for the guest so they may not want to do that.
Homestay and VRBO are one and the same company, I think…or at least they’re in cohoots. I hate VRBO and if you follow some of my posts, you’ll find out why. There are some real problems: the guests are cheap–I am constantly being asked for discounts–or they try to book a year in advance, thinking there’s some discount involved with that too (I only book 6 months in advance and I get negative comments from potential guests because of it). They are also more “entitled.” There are a lot of tire-kickers and complainers on VRBO and, I think that what all the new competition means–with Expedia and Booking.com etc., is that hosts will have less opportunity to review guests, which is really not good for us. My worst guests have been from VRBO and I couldn’t review them. That means they get to go and make some other host miserable the next time and I have no way of warning anyone. It also means that shitty guests on Airbnb can go on to these competitor sites and get to act badly yet again.
The review process is hard on hosts, I know, but at least with Airbnb it’s two way…the worst is if it’s only one way and jerky guests get to ruin your business. Who needs it?
yes, that’s true. what is VRBO? have not heard of that before. and expedia are doing this now too?
VRBO = Vacation Rental By Owner (also Homeaway.com) and just join forces with others)
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at means they get to go and make some other host miserable the next time and I have no way of warning anyone
Lol. Also, as I mentioned elsewhere, VRBO users are facing some big changes this year. They are going to start charging guests a fee February 1 and are quickly moving to control the money by removing your ability to communicate directly with the guest. Longtime users have found themselves plunging in the search rankings, and apparently this will become even more pronounced if you don’t use instant book. It’s turning from a site where you advertise your listing into one that becomes a transactional one. It’s clear they are watching Air, and since they’ve been sold to the Expdia, they are wanting to ramp up their profit margins. Beware! (Like you need another forum , LOL, check out the home way forum for some interesting conversations. Air might have its downsides but I think it will come out smelling like a rose in the vacation rental game. :))
That’s the way I feel Kona. I mean, Air’s not perfect, but they do have a great formula and despite the problems I encounter occasionally, I still prefer them.
Also, Booking.com is selling shares of our profit to sellers who get us to sign up. That is just nuts. So just because some guy makes a phone call and convinces me that Booking.com is a good idea, he gets a share of my future profits? I think we hosts are going to have to be careful in the future.
It’s just occurred to me too that by Expedia taking a bigger cut, more pressure is put on hosts. For example, the only extra fee I get (usually, I do have a sixth person fee which rarely gets used) is the cleaning fee. The fee taken by Air is fairly minimal, usually less than $10 if it is my more modest rental. But the higher the price, the higher the expectation, no? So the pressure is being downloaded to hosts.
I just looked at my Air statement for the year… They made only $563 off my bookings. That’s a reasonable amount to fork over to them, considering they found the bookings and they gave me really good customer service on a couple of stinkers. Yay Air.
I find working with AirBnB outstanding, when one considers the trickiness , in today’s world mind you, of matching total strangers together in such personal arrangements. Looked another way, imagine NOT having an AirBnB today.
I’ve been using Homestay for a while now. While they do take 15% I’ve had a really good experience with the guests so far. I get the guests to send me the remainder via PayPal the week before they arrive which has worked well for me. I find it more interactive than Airbnb, lots more questions about the area, what to see & do etc.
I have been on VRBO/HomeAway for almost as long as Airbnb (4 years) and while I am not a big fan, I find that guests from that VRBO/HomeAway tend to be willing to pay MORE than guests from Airbnb. They are usually older, in my experience. My Airbnb people tend to be - almost to a man - “creatives” from Brooklyn. But the platform is clunky and the payment system painful. I have my own gripes with Airbnb, that’s for sure, but I still prefer it.
I’ve been on homestay for several months, and I got zero activity. not even an inquiry. I used the “find guest” tool and when I contact a guest, and match their budget, I never get a response.
With HomeAway/VRBO, I was under the impression that it is primarily for those who rent out additional properties, and not rooms in their primary residence (you can correct me if I’m wrong)
Has anybody had luck with Wimdu?
Kasage, how is your living room now? How are your kitchen smells, haha.
Just to answer, I have had luck on Wimdu. Do not expect any level of sophistication whatsoever… They can’t collect a security deposit for you, but will get the cleaning. They are based in Germany and their customer service is weak.
HOWEVER… I like them because they always send me quiet solo travelers. I’ve had great guests through them. I’ve just received a booking for my low season and the guest booked at high season rates for 17 days. I’m thrilled. Another solo traveler.
wow, i’ve never heard of any of these. guess i’m still just a rookie to this whole thing
Everything is good with my house now, it’s been 2 months since that Chinese family left. Setting a maximum stay helps too!
Well, with this recent guest I had…that kind of guest I would be able to handle long-term…a solo traveler, he was out all day. He would sleep in late, and I left for work before he got up, and he would come back late at night, like around 11:00 p.m. On weekends he slept in till late morning and would quickly be out the door. We had very brief interaction due to his schedule. If I had a guest like that for 2 months, it would have been more manageable. he just stayed for 10 days.
I just had one booking through Wimdu, which was last summer, when a family from Belgium just stayed for a night. At that time my listing with wimdu was still fairly new. Since then I got nothing…except one inquiry, and it turned out this person violated wimdu’s T.O.S. I took new photos with a digital camera and got my listing optimized to 100%. Yes, I see wimdu is based in Europe, it is sort of like a “European AirBnB”
Yes, and apparently, they were around before Air. I have had some German guests who told me they never had heard of Air before. Also… I could be wrong, but I don’t think Wimdu charges a host fee!
Check out Vacationstayz.com they do not charge any fees and it is free.