A company called Red Awning has dumped over 300 Airbnb listings on my island, Kiawah Island, SC. Well, it’s not actually MY island…lol, but anyway. Last time I checked there were about 15 Abnb listings vs. around 700 on HomeAway/VRBO. Customer service says, “yes, property managers are allowed to list”. My point is Red Awning is a listing agent, they have nothing to do with “property management”. I contacted a few of the owners involved. They are listed on Wyndham (which does cross list on HomeAway), had never heard of Red Awning, and they had not been informed about this. So in the unlikely event that they actually get a booking, their guests will be paying 3 service fees. And best of all. All the NEW listings have pushed me to page 17 on Airbnb… so unless travelers use dates and filters, it’s unlikely that I will get any bookings either.
Airbnb dumped over 300 in my area also. They also have defaulted to only showing “instant book” properties if the guest is searching to arrive within 7 days. Many of my guests book within 2 days of arrival but I don’t show. Guess who does show? The Best Western hotel over 40 minutes away.
VRBO/Homeaway dumped over 100 additional properties into a 285 rental market. And over 75 properties into a 13 property rental market. The search parameters are just getting larger and larger. All these sites care about it getting the traveler to book so the sites can earn their non-refundable booking fee.
They do not care if the guest understands house rules, if they didn’t notice they are not even in the area they originally searched for, don’t care if the guest understands the cancellation policies. They would prefer the owner to take the heat with a negative review, and have the guest book a place based on impulse.
I have been going back and forth with airbnb how my listing doesn’t show for certain dates and does for others. glitch is more on the app but hubby did a search for our own nieberhood and no listing showed up. These extra sites are just adding to the problem.
I hear you Carmen. I found out they are A/B testing in my area the “instant book” default for within 7 day arrivals. Not sure if you are also listed on VRBO, Flipkey, etc. but it is all about getting any traveler…and I mean any traveler to enter in their credit card and click submit.
What these sites did is get owners dependent on them and loving the money rolling in. Those who do not begin working on their own websites will eventually be left behind. The sites can at any time change the rules, search parameters, hide your listing in order to throw your neighbor a bone with their empty calendar. Airbnb can increase the rates at any time.
Posters on Homeaway forum were blindsided because they had full calendars booked for years. Now some are selling their vacation rentals because the rules were changed. Each site wants to take 15% of your revenue. Airbnb can say the traveler is paying 12%. No…you are really paying the 12% because the guest was willing to pay 12% for the total cost of accommodation. People are already protected when they use their credit card. So they are just throwing money at Airbnb.
I am looking at doing my own website as well because I can see where this is going.
We have had this exact problem in SF, we are not even in the top 20 pages of search results. Year over Year listings in SF have doubled, because of Air trying to get more hosts to sign up so they can make $$. It sucks, but that’s business. Since SF is our primary home (for now) we aren’t willing to lower our price or take shorter bookings, so we will just wait for the guests who book because our listing stood out to them.
…and then of course get a 3 star for value
Over 1000 listings! The bottom has just fallen out of the business lately! How are people supposed to find you in the midst of 1000 plus listings!