Updated: Nov 2, 2019
Maybe some of you know what the #BookDirect movement is all about. Maybe some of you heard of it but do not really know what it is. This idea was formed about a year ago and February 7, 2018 was the first date selected to inform and educate the vacationing public about the fees surrounding vacation rentals through booking on the Expedia, HomeAway, VRBO, AirB&B platforms. So here is #BookDirect Day number 2, February 6, 2019.
Over the last few years, certain vacation home rental platforms have been changing their advertising platforms, and thereby forcing the home owners to change their way of doing business. Usually the homeowner already paid the fairly high yearly subscriptions or high percentage rates to pay for the advertisement of their vacation home rental. On top of the subscriptions, now these platforms are demanding a 6%-12% service fees of the guest. According to these platforms the reason for these fees is to help with the cost of operation of the websites, such as to secure the transactions between the guest and owner, to develop the products and services that these platforms would provide and also to provide 24/7 customer service. (So what does the owners' yearly subscription pay for now, I wonder?) This 6%-12% service fee adds $400+ to my guests' rental fees of my larger home. Several hundred dollars is a hefty addition for any.
So what can you do? So to avoid that type of fee, book directly with the property owner or management. When you find a property that looks just right for you, email and/or better yet, phone the owner or management. Speak with them, chat with them and get to know them directly over the phone or email. Check out their reviews. It is up to you to do some online detective work. Look for the property on other advertising platforms or websites to make sure the property is legitimate. This is very important and will give you a perspective from previous guests about the integrity of the property, the owner and management.
After you have done everything to find the right property for your special get-away, make your reservation directly with the owner/property management. This is called #BookDirect...Then enjoy what the property has to offer at a smaller price.