Five reasons why you should book with us?
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WITH THE OWNER
AN INDUSTRY PROBLEM
We had great intentions when we first started to share our vacation properties. Life was initially simple. You pay a fee and get a property listing. Pay more for more photos and more prominence.
Then the listing sites consolidated into one large entity. They began to hide owner contact information, inhibiting direct communication by controlling communication only through their systems. In an effort to maintain direct communication, some owners found creative ways to display their phone number or email address in the property listing.
How did the listing companies respond? They threatened and punished property owners. They either buried (demoted) their listing or removed them altogether.
In an all out effort to control all aspects of the vacation rental industry, they now want to control payment, which is just a way to charge fees for little or no additional value. Read on...
Do you know about Houfy?
What are these intermediaries?
How much do they take?
Houfy.com (www.houfy.com) is a free-market site allowing you to search for vacation properties and engage with owners directly. When you book a stay in a place like ours, we would rather that you didn't have to book through an intermediary who adds a $ubstantial amount to the price. If you book direct, it's simply better and you pay less!
They are the search sites like OwnersDirect, HomeAway, VRBO.com, Expedia and many others. Originally they only charged the owner for advertising. Now they try to handle the bookings and charge the guests too.
Online travel agency (OTA's) or listing sites add as much as 10%* to the cost. They also charge the owner for advertising! - They claim that the average is 6% but this doesn't stand up to examination. They do charge a lower percentage on the higher value stays but there are comparatively few of those. For most bookings, the charge is 9% with VAT added on top.
Is it safe?
Direct booking is at least as safe as booking and paying through an intermediary. In fact, it takes the weakest link out of the chain before you start. It's a win-win. We use the same merchant and payment gateway as HomeAway. Don't let them fool you into believing their system is somehow safer.