VRBO is certainly a channel Hosts should be on. But clearly there is a world of difference from the company built from the Air ground-up in room/home rental, and VRBO a recent acquisition addition to Expedia Group, with nearly a dozen other top brands.
There is a big clue that VRBO will never meet the satisfactory support and growth needs of Hosts. I started this understanding when my host city, highly regulated Los Angeles, made a mistake on one of our properties 366-day regulation certificate renewals, that caused all the OTA’s to delist momentarily as Los Angeles runs on Granicus Municipal STR software and is integrated to the OTA’s.
The Air company fixed it in Hours with one call, as did others, But VRBO is on week 8, call 16, support escalation 4. This is a property that did $130K last year with VRBO and we are a Premier Host.
This is one glaring example of many that VRBO is a big black hole… arguably to be expected and possibly never to be better because Expedia can never achieve the technological platform required to support hosts for today let alone the rapidly approaching future.
It’s safe to say that that Host process automation is high on our lists today. And VRBO which dropped its API (Application Program Interface) a standard bare-minimum tool of software today, is missing and un-planned at VRBO.
I’m hoping to hear from others Hosts and perhaps industry PMS and OTA players and VRBO themselves… Does automation make the difference in customer support?
Just because you had the experience that “Airbnb fixed it within hours” doesn’t mean that is their general operating procedure.
Hosts in Toronto have been having Airbnb suspend their listings and cancel all their bookings claiming they don’t have valid licenses, when they do. This is apparently the result of the City of Toronto licensing dept. formatting addresses in a slightly different way than Airbnb does, yet Airbnb has done nothing to address this and continues to ignore hosts’ desperate pleas. It’s been going on for 2 months now.
A bit different animals. Airbnb is 3x larger than VRBO and allows ‘partial home’ in their hosts unlike VRBO who only allows ‘entire properties’.
I suspect though that the ‘shared room’ and spaces today may be causing the bulk of high-maintenance resources (except for the ‘party’ issue) and maybe is a progressively smaller slice in their host pie with each year. The day it’s ‘cost’ exceeds their return, they may get out of it.
Can you explain what you mean by the “shared room” listings causing the bulk of high-maintenance resources? I have a private room homeshare and I have never sought Airbnb’s involvement for any guest issue since I started hosting in 2016. I’ve occasionally contacted them for tech issues, or a policy clarification, but almost all hosts do that at some point.
Seems to me that the entire place listings with off-site hosts experience far more issues that hosts contact Airbnb about besides parties. Sneaking in extra guests, sneaking in pets, causing damages, leaving a huge mess behind, none of which happens in shared home listings, or so rarely that it wouldn’t account for any significant use of CS time.
That’s you but I have been on many conversations with CS people, they get depressed when they discuss ‘private room share’. And not getting better since the whole culture has become so touchy before Covid 19. Imagine after it.
Well, there are places in the world where I would not ever have a homeshare listing, because they seem to attract guests who are just looking for a cheap place to stay and have no idea what proper homeshare behavior is. Or the guests just hang around the house 24/7.
I live in a touristy beach town, my guests come to enjoy themselves. They don’t arrive with bad energy, they aren’t homeless, they don’t just hang around the house all day. They might get beached out after a few days and decide to stay home reading, writing, or drawing, or going for a walk up the river, but they don’t monopolize my time, or get in the way.
No one books my room to just hang out all day watching TV, playing video games, or for a Tinder hook-up. Plus I only host 1 guest at a time, which I really like. Most solo travelers, in my experience, are interesting and cool people who are self-sufficient, and undemanding. I’ve met many wonderful people by hosting, some with fascinating life stories.
i also, for some reason, seem to get quite a few guests who have been going through some difficult things in their lives. One guy told me he was in the midst of a nasty child custody battle with his ex, one woman had just had a painful break-up with her boyfriend, two separate guests had had their mothers die only a month previous. They come to relax and put that stuff out of their minds or get a fresh viewpoint on it, so they are in a mellow mood and come to have a good time, not complain about things in my home or make a nuisance of themselves.
I could see that the solo route is different. Also the special journeys. It is more like a retreat where the human behavior is not aggressive and loud, but subdued.
why is it a forum ALL hosts should be on? @darrylhen
@darrylhen You must be unaware that hosting consists of more than renting out entire homes. VRBO does not list shared home listings, so we can’t “all” use them.