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Vacation rental marketing guy Alan Egan  By Alan Egan

Homeaway Throw Your Featured Listings Into BIN

Homeaway have just announced that they are scrapping their above the fold “featured listing” option as part of their subscription packages.

[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The featured properties area will instead show, wait for it…

pay per booking listings (10% commission) and online booking-enabled properties (BIN).[/pullquote]

 So, in other words,

if you are paying for any subscription from classic to platinum,

your property will now be displayed UNDER, free to list, commission based properties.

These are the Super Bowl Adverts of the site and they will be favouring pay per booking listings.

All this from a company that “value their subscribers”.
They just seem to be valuing them less and less.

Here’s the change in Homeaway’s words…

 

We’re writing to let you know about an update to our Featured Listing offering, which is currently part of your annual subscription.

Listings that best match travelers’ search criteria AND meet their expectations about online booking are more likely to lead to bookings, so we’re changing the way we determine which listings appear in the Featured Listing area. We’re no longer including Featured Listing placement in annual subscriptions purchased or renewed after November 12th, 2015. For a limited time, short-term Featured Listing placements will continue to be available for purchase separately, though they will not be automatically included in subscription packages.

As a valued customer, we want you to know that the subscription package you have purchased—including any remaining Featured Listing placement—will not be affected by this change until your current annual subscription end date. Upon renewal, your subscription will not automatically include Featured Listing placement.

From November 12th onwards, your online booking-enabled subscription and pay-per-booking listings will be eligible for free inclusion in the Featured Listing area when they best match travelers’ search criteria. Following your next renewal, make sure you have online booking to be eligible for inclusion in this rotation free of charge.

 

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How does this change affect you? What are your thoughts?

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5 thoughts on “Homeaway Throw Your Featured Listings Into BIN

  1. Part of their strategy to force everyone into BIN and pay per booking… Sharples said it clear a bout a year ago and they’re sticking to their promise.
    No better timing for spreading more and more the ‘alternative’ way of regaining control of your own VR business by going a different route.
    That’s what you, and I and other 10 ackonwledge professionals in the industry will be sharing at the Vacation Rental World Summit online, just in two weeks.
    You, I, Richard Vaughton, Eric Mason, Vince Perez, Rod Fitts, Andrew McConnell, Sébastien Grosjean, Heather Bayer, Kirk Biglione, Tyann Marcink, Mike Bayer, Martin Picard and a few more will show ways to ensure our VR business won’t suffer the coming changes.
    If you’d like to give yourself a chance, register for VRWS2015, while we’re still running the Early Bird 50% discount on online attendance (ends tomorrow)

    http://vacationrentalworldsummit.com/

  2. Redington Lake says:

    We have 5 properties and it is apparent that VRBO and Flipkey have moved to take a bite out of their loyal subscribers profits. Some of us prefer to use their listing services and run our own businesses. Others choose to turn everything over to VRBO paying huge fees. I will continue to look for other options as the “gates slowly close”

  3. Jude99 says:

    Was with Owners Direct for five years, very satisfactory and got lots of bookings…. but then they joined with Home and Away, changed the whole web page, upped their prices enormously, showed too much information so that less enquiries were made so my bookings dropped off completely.  Personally I like to have direct contact with prospective visitors, as in the past it has proved very valuable.  Have now left Owners Direct completely, they also charge more to have your ad highlighted which in my opinion is totally unfair. Unlike some holiday property owners  I  have just one small holiday flat so not making a fortune!  Loyalty as mentioned in Redington Lake’s comment does not come into it it seems!

  4. Alan Egan says:

    Jude99

    So true Jude. I was listing with Owners Direct years ago befroe the takeover of Homeaway. Listings were just rotated so you worked your way up and down the list. At least this was a fair system. I’m not sure how they display ads now but you are not the only owner who’s unhappy with the results. More owners will vote with their feet and leave as no one likes to feel that the system is unfair.

  5. Alan Egan says:

    Redington Lake

    Hello Redington Lake,

    It’s pretty much happening across all of the platforms. They will continue to squeeze the stone until it bleeds. I’m not sure that this is as bad as it seems though as these companies aren’t catering for either owners or guests (they are only making busines decisions that increase the bottom line) – This in turn opens a door for owners that are smart enough to feed their potential guests needs.

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