HomeAway are pushing owners & managers to remove their property names from listings in order to reduce “leakage”. We discuss why this idea is preposterous and how it doesn’t apply to similar industries. Here’s why you should promote your name and not become a faceless “no name brand”.
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A 10 minute read about the vacation rental industry’s latest acquisitions (Airbnb, HomeAway, Expedia, Accor) and what this means for owners & managers.
It’s some while since we posted on the industry at large as we have been busy crowdfunding and launching new partnerships. After a period of quiet, the sector has woken up again with some interesting news.
Whilst researching the rental press recently I was struck by how the large corporations hold the “Sword of Damocles” over other much smaller company’s development and success. In fact they probably have no idea many exist and are almost irrelevant.
These corporations day to day decisions can impact hard working entrepreneurs in disastrous ways in the moment of a single press release or a simple technical change.
This is never more true than with Airbnb in the rental world. Over the last few years there has been a number of startups based on the explosive growth of this $30bn company!
For 3 years now we have been predicting the slide from listing subscriptions to “instant book” and from customer loyalty to complete indifference.
We have been right on every count.
A collection of honest, candid & funny remarks about OTA’s (online travel agencies) by vacation rental owners & managers -You won’t want to miss this!
OTA = Online Travel Agency (Such as Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO, Owners Direct, Booking.com etc).
A few months ago we released the results of our extremely popular OTA survey (Part One: What Owners & Managers Really Think About OTA’s).
We had well over 500 responses which pointed to a common discontent towards OTA’s. 90% of comments relate to:
- The OTA’s greed: Increased commissions & guest service fees (up to 40% in some cases)
- Increasing loss of business control
- Reducing & blocking direct communication with guests
- Overall lack of respect for the business at grass roots level
There were so many comments we decided to release them as the “second part” of this two-part series.
Please note: This makes up about 25% of the total comments! I’ve correct a few spelling mistakes & grammatical errors, so they read better. If you’d like to read the entire raw list, please email me for the .csv file (all participants will remain anonymous).
About 6 months ago we announced our crowdfunding goals, to raise money to support owners & managers with technology (websites, payments, booking management, automated marketing & more).
Well, after amazing support and an extremely busy 6 months for Rentivo, we’ve had the chance to launch the campaign on Crowdcube.
We want owners, managers & partners to have the chance to invest, so you & other likeminded people can own & shape the future of Rentivo; not corporate angels & VC’s. Here’s our pitch:
The industry is changing
The vacation rental ecosystem has been disrupted and is moving rapidly to a walled garden, online travel agents (OTA’s), such as Airbnb, HomeAway & VRBO, are using a transaction model supported by substantial investments that dominate search engines and consumer brand awareness.
These changes have increased guest costs (up to 10%), reduced owner and manager income (up to 40%) and allowed data appropriation with mediated communication, diluting direct opportunity. The changes have increased workload substantially, they’re hard to integrate technically and have reduced business opportunity across many destinations for both owners and managers.
Why are we raising money?
Our mission has been to enhance and simplify the lives of managers and owners, through development of SaaS (software as a service) tools. This is founded on the belief that an owner or manager is our primary customer and THE most important link and foundation of the rental chain.
We’ve turned down offers from global investors because it’s important to us that our customers and subscribers can own and shape the platform.
We are focused on owner & manager success and are structuring the investment around you. Our direction will NOT be dictated by corporate investors but by you.
Funds will be used to increase customer support, develop and enhance more asset focused services only and scale the business.
With Rentivo, we have the chance to build something that will impact millions of vacation rental professionals and change the industry for the better.
And you have a chance to be part of that, helping shape the direction of Rentivo as it evolves.
What are the benefits of investing?
Apart from owning a share of Rentivo, a growing company that’s self-funded & debt free, you’ll have access to our amazing rewards, including:
- Up to 10% off selected vacation rentals
- High-value SEO link & free t-shirt
- Early access to future products
- 10% – 25% lifetime discount on all products
- Join online team & product discussions
- Meet the team
How do I invest?
Investing is relatively simple. Visit our Crowdcube pitch page and sign up for a free account & enter the amount you’d like to invest. Finally, you’ll need to answer a few simple questions and leave your card information.
Please note, no payments are taken until after the funding target is reached. Also, Rentivo is EIS registered, meaning you can invest up to £1m in any tax year and receive 30% tax relief!
How do I invest if I live in the U.S, Canada or Japan?
Unfortunately, for legal reasons, people who only have an address in the U.S, Canada or Japan can’t immediately invest.
If you have another address outside these countries, you can still invest through the platform using your alternative address.
On October, 29th and 30th, meet some of the Rentivo team at the Vacation Rental World Summit (VRWS)in Barcelona, Spain.
The first terrestrial version, previously having been a successful on-line global event, participants are coming in person from almost 50 different countries and promises to be the start of something great!
With some key OTA staff attending (Airbnb, Booking.com) and agreeing to be panelists, it promises to be a great opportunity to see how the big and the small see the markets and if there is middle ground in this changing eco-system.
Sub -Titled: “People seldom do what they believe in. They do what is convenient and then repent!” we felt Bob Dylan may have hit on something!
This presentation is short forerunner to a panel discussion with the complete panel formed from Airbnb, Booking.com, Original Cottages and Klik.villas.
Covering the news from 2016, the noise, the challenges, the friction and the future, we are looking forward to a bright and open discussion on how owners and managers will create or modify their own strategies.
DAY 1, 29th October: Time: 15.45 – 16.30
A 5min read about the increasing guest confusion because they don’t know who they’re booking with.
How many times have you blithely clicked through and just agreed to terms and conditions on any e-commerce site? You know when you get to this stage of a process, whether it’s buying a bar of soap or making a holiday booking, this most important option is left to the last page.
Below is a comment left by a manager on our previous blog post (The Results Are In – What Owners & Managers Really Think About OTA’s). They’ve decided to leave OTA’s all together and have kindly given us permission to use their comment as an entirely new blog post.