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Meet the Company taking on Airbnb—news article


#1

Forbes Article about PLUM

Sharing—interesting read

Targeting the top 1% of Airbnb rentals (my condo will not be invited…)


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#2

Well that’s interesting!

It seems like they went after the same niche that Airbnb did with PLUS but didn’t completely foul up the execution of it. :rofl:

I’m waiting for the next startup that goes after Air’s original home-sharing niche while Air is off trying to be Expedia. I’m not fancy enough to be in the 1%


#3

Looks like high margin and low volume. They’re hardly “taking on Airbnb”. Maybe they’ll expand to lower-end listings, but there’s no indication of that.


#4

That’s exciting. I would love to take the Plum Test and see where I can improve my listing and myself as a host. That could be very useful for the community to have a higher standard to appeal to.


#5

I’m in line behind you! I’m afraid it’s not going to come along though because it’s not profitable.


#6

May be Houfy. Com? I checked the listings in my area and the number has increased. With their recent announcement they intend to continue to not charge host of guest fees, when guests figure out they can save 8% to 20% in fees, I’m thinking guests will be drawn to it.

I like that Houfy syncs pricing & the calendar & displays mybAirbnb reviews.


#7

LOVE Houfy.com. I think they have the best chance of gaining traction…it’s like water…flows to the path of least resistance and consumers don’t want to pay fees.


#8

The disruptor is going to be Houfy. And it will be free to list your property forever.


#9

My experience with Houfy was last night.

I checked them for a whole home listing. For my search parameters which are admittedly narrow (6 people 24-31 July) there were 3 homes in Boston. Three…in a city the size of Boston. They started the concept the same year I started Airbnb and they have fewer than 3500 listings worldwide. Whatever, #bookdirect and save fees if you can find anywhere to stay.

Okay, so I log in and send a request to the guy with the 3 listings in Boston. It’s been 22 hours and I have no reply to my simple question. I guess I could have hit the book button and f**ked around with my credit card options but I’d like to know if my dates are available. They are available on Houfy but not on VRBO or on his website. I’m assuming not available so I’ve picked another property and now I get to wait 24 hours to see if I’m “approved.” (VRBO)

I completely get why Airbnb is an industry leader. Give me Airbnb instant book any day. The only reason I didn’t use it for this trip is because this owner had trouble with it (or claims she did) because Airbnb didn’t respect blocked days. We have reports of that here so seems legit.


#10

The Houfy site says that the plan is to eventually charge. From the website:

“Pricing: We have no idea yet… Our number 1 priority is to create a great website/product first. Maybe in 2020-2021: $10 per month/per listing.”

Maybe for the first 5000 or 50,000 it will be free forever but eventually the founders will expect to recoup the 100s of thousands of dollars they have dumped into it so far.


#11

This is the latest announcement that was created after the date of the document you are viewing. The owner is in the process of “cleaning up” old info and updating it but is busy with other things that take priority. Here you go:


#12

That’s great. I hope that “free forever” thing works out.


#13

I’ll also add this: Houfy 2014 to present: 3500 listings worldwide. Airbnb in their first 5 years…uh yeah. I have nothing against Houfy really. Best of luck to all of you. But to think it will be the next big thing and compete with Airbnb, Booking, VRBO, etc is far fetched. It will have to be monetized, he’s not going to keep throwing $50,000 a year into the void.


#14

This is exactly why soon non-updated listings will be hidden from the site. Some people imported their listings but then never synced calendars or manually updated, entered rates, etc. Many owners who try to book through the OTAs complain about how other owners do not not keep their listings updated especially on VRBO. Those listings won’t remain on Houfy.

Houfy’s “concept” may have been born in 2014; however, the vacation rental side of Houfy wasn’t even being tested with a few people until 2016. And it still is in the testing and development phase. Pricing sync and API for those who manage many properties is still coming. Blockchain will likely be implemented later. Electronic signature and other payment options are still coming. Houfy isn’t a script site that many other companies have purchased and started to market to people to list.

Houfy is first and foremost a social site. Lodging, real estate, etc. are just other aspects of Houfy.

Houfy is not out marketing to gain listings. For the most part in 2017 and 2018 it was word of mouth in the “Say No to VRBO fees” facebook group where the members were focusing on listing site independence and angry at VRBO.

And no one said that Houfy wouldn’t be monetized in some form. I am not privvy to that info. But listing your property on Houfy will be free.


#15

Not sure why you are so negative when it sounds like neither Houfy nor Airbnb met the terms of your search. Either way, I like options and so I’m hoping Houfy does continue to grow – and survive. It’s not an either/or for me – choice is what we should have and what the consumer should have. That’s #winning.


#16

I’m not sure why you are so positive. At least I offered personal experience as well as some actual numbers. You only offer your thoughts and prayers.

Truth is, I’m quite neutral on it. Yes, I tried to use it for a whole house listing and with only 4 listings and an unresponsive host, I’m done with it for now as a guest. As a host, it doesn’t fit for my business so I’m not listing on it. For someone so negative I was certainly willing to give it a chance.


#17

I have a guest w/ me now from Homestay.com. She a professor from India here for a conference and very nice (made awesome chicken curry last night!) (I returned the favor by making her kulfi [cardamom ice cream] tonight and sharing my recipe with her.)

I don’t know any of Homestay’s stats or market share or anything like that.


#18

I think I saw Houfy mentioned in another thread, but this was the first time I checked it out. The “Pricing at Houfy” page along with this one sums it up :

There are two messages:

This means they’ll eventually start charging host and/or guest service fees. This isn’t a possibility, it’s the only possibility. There’s no other revenue source for a VR/STR platform. The problem I see is that they’re not being up-front about it and saying things like “we’re still in beta… we’re still developing the site…”. If they’ve been working at this since 2014 and don’t know what they plan to do, they’re either lying or doomed. And with such a low budget and only 2 employees, you can bet they’re cutting corners (think data security). Approach with caution.


#19

Thanks for the warning to approach with caution…lol. Sigh…

There are other ways to monetize a site without charging owners commissions and travelers booking fees. I do not know of the various options there will be in the future if someone chooses to pay for extra services. But I do know that listing on the site will be free forever. Facebook is free to use but they make money in various ways.

And if you read above what I said…The “concept” of Houfy began in 2014. Vacation rentals is one aspect of the site and was only being tested with a handful of people in 2016. I won’t rehash the rest. You can read for yourself.

The owner of Houfy doesn’t cut corners like you are assuming. They have tight security. Obviously you are not in the Say Yes to Houfy group or you would already know all of this.

List if you want or not. People should be worried if they are solely relying on ABB for their income and they rely on this income. I’m not directing this to you at all. I have no idea where you list, etc. But Houfy is another opportunity for those unhappy with the OTAs. It’s only going to get worse and ABB has made it clear they are coming after 20% just like they get from hosts who offer “experiences.”


#20

Well that’s a loaded phrase! Really, that is unnecessary.


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