(Yes, You Read Correctly!)


A few days ago, Sandra Mandalia from Arkvilla posted a note about the following VRBO listing within my good friend Alan Egan’s Bookings Plus 4G community.

Needless to say, the VRBO mentioned listing was taken down shortly after, given its content. But it’s good to know what’s happening to some unlucky owners and what you can do to prevent this from happening to your business in the future.

“Blood-Sucking VRBO/Expedia Causes Owner To Call It Quits”

Here’s what the owner of VRBO Listing #237375 wrote on her listing after years of being in business successfully:

Why Are We Showing You This?

Since the advent of “Best Match” and the HomeAway acquisition by Expedia, the VR industry has been taken by storm. Thousands of successful property owners have seen their ‘success’ dramatically drop overnight and have shared their discontent virtually all over the internet.

HomeAway and VRBO consumer rating as well as their appeal followed through – and how couldn’t it – and all this turmoil is home to some dramatic change in our industry over the next couple of years.

Lisa Ha Smith from the Lark@OBX said it beautifully as part of her biggest takeaway after watching the Vacation Rental World Summit‘s first edition in 2014: “people in this industry WILL NOT survive if they can’t adapt“.

That’s is a simple, sad truth. And adapting means working harder on all those aspects of marketing your property that many owners have not fully taken into account.

Not What You’d Call A Happy Ending…

While we may like it or not, every successful entrepreneur has gone through the ‘wearing all hats’ phase. And if you haven’t, chances are you’re wondering why your enquiries and bookings have gone down while some of your peers keep being fully booked.

Bookings by Channel for our properties

Bookings by Channel for our properties

They’re probably:

  1. Diversifying their offer by advertising on multiple channels, targeting new niches, refining their products, inventing new ways to address their market.
  2. Investing in their own online presence, by mean of building their own brand, improving their outstanding website, nurturing their past, current and future guests to build an everlasting memorable holiday experience.
  3. Wearing way more hats than you’d normally wish, and learning how to use Social Media, how to use new technology tools, educating themselves on what’s trending, going to industry conferences, joining communities and all sorts of things that keep them busy way more than the time we used to spend managing our rentals just a few years ago.

But We Don’t Have Time For All This?

Sadly, you can’t afford to say you don’t have time for all this.

The good old times are unfortunately gone. And there’s not much of a chance to see them coming back.

Because the VR industry is changing so rapidly, the internet is changing at a higher pace and we find ourselves faced with a lot more factors that weren’t simply there years ago, we need to constantly improve to even stay afloat.

And for this very simple reason, there will be a big shift in the near future that will see many formerly successful VR business collapse in favor of a growing number of agile VR businesses that will learn to excel and will base their success on their ability to master the art of providing an outstanding service at all levels.

What Do You Do To Contrast These Moves?

The story above warns most owners on acting towards regaining control rather than blaming failure on those marketplaces you relied on.

What are you doing to contrast this trend since the advent of “Best Match”, more restrictive regulations, bans, and increasing influence from the Big Boys into your daily routine business?

Share a concrete action you took in the comment box below.

We’d be happy to discuss them and compile a quick, instant action plan to rescue your VR.

Vacation Rental World Summit 2016 – On its 3rd edition, VRWS comes to life in a physical place! For the first time ever, Vacation Rental World Summit will be held in Barcelona, Spain on October 29-30, 2016. View more info here.

Free Giveaway

I’m happy to share the presentation on Effective Web Design I gave at VRWS2015. If you haven’t watched it already, you’ll see how you can turn your site ‘sticky’ and get more direct bookings as well. Simply click below, to get the Video and the PDF in your mailbox.