Should I list my home on HomeAway? Do you want more bookings, but are afraid of losing money to websites that promise a lot and deliver a little
Should I list my home on HomeAway?
Firstly, HomeAway.com next to AirBnB, is the most popular platform for vacation rental homes. Most of the DIY owners and property managers I consult swear by it as a booking platform. Yes, you should list your vacation rental on HomeAway for maximum exposure, but here are the Pros and Cons to consider.
Pros and cons of listing on HomeAway
- Search engine exposure as HomeAway dominates keywords on all search engines. In lamens terms, if a traveler is looking on google for a place to stay, they will see HomeAway's family of brands at the top
- Time, you can make a day out of creating your listing and then set on autopilot. Aside from changing rates to meet market demand, you can update your listing as often as you would like
- Payment - customers can pay easily through the platform
- Bookings - If your property is competitive, you will see reservations
- Fees. Initial fees include either (1) paying for an annual subscription $499 USD (2) Pay Per Booking (PPB) the most expensive option where commissions start at 8%
- HomeAway Service Fee. Just as you thought you were done with fees, HomeAway double dips. Service fee is defined by HomeAway as: percentage of the total reservation amount, excluding taxes and fees. The fee ranges from 6-12%. They collect this from the guest, but they are really collecting it from your bottom line. Think of it like this, the guests budget is $2000, regardless of how they define their fees the guest only has that much to spend. More money to HomeAway equals less money for you.
- Customer service - the customer service team is not very helpful and you will find yourself on hold a lot. On top of that, they always side with the guest. That means when the guest destroys your vacation rental property, they will give you "the run around" to collect on a deposit. They also provide you 0 protection against a charge back, when a customer charges back with the credit card company to get a refund.
- Review system is guest friendly. When a guest leaves an unfair review, you cannot under any circumstance remove that negative review.
Is Homeaway worth it? Hidden cost of HomeAway
Here is what your total rental income will look like if you use HomeAway and a rental agent under the PPB (Pay Per Booking) Model:
To sum up, yes you should list on HomeAway. If you want to retain most of your rental income, I suggest you contact me for a discussion. I will personally explain your unique situation to you and offer you a free analysis. Because I love what I do, I would like for you to understand the vacation rental game as much as I do. Contact me here.