Built by owners, for owners.
Replies: 8 - Pages: 1 - Last Reply: Jan 31, 2019 3:57 PM by: JTVRs
JTVRs
Registered: 6/25/18
Flipkey/TripAdvisor

I was reading on another forum by HomeAway users, that they believe that FlipKey, on TripAdvisor, was no longer worth it. Not getting bookings anymore, payment issues, and a high listing cost. I have not done anything with that.

Does anybody have recent FlipKey experience that they could share? Are you still getting a reasonable number bookings from them? Any problems you've noted?

BlueMtnCabins
Registered: 6/6/16
Re: Flipkey/TripAdvisor

Ross C said:

I was reading on another forum by HomeAway users, that they believe that FlipKey, on TripAdvisor, was no longer worth it. Not getting bookings anymore, payment issues, and a high listing cost. I have not done anything with that.

Does anybody have recent FlipKey experience that they could share? Are you still getting a reasonable number bookings from them? Any problems you've noted?


I was the OP of that topic. I have not had an inquiry (3 properties) since Dec or even a single booking in probably 6-8 months if not more .
problems are abound - draconian treatment of owners (uuuuge cancellation penalty, censorship of emails), NOT releasing renter contact even if renter paid deposit (i.e you cannot send them rental agreement) and so on. But kind of moot point as THERE ARE NO INQUIRIES AND BOOKINGS anyhow.

Paul W
Registered: 6/9/09
Re: Flipkey/TripAdvisor

The PMs that have set up TA integration are getting inquiries and bookings for sure - there's a steady stream of them coming through per day/week - but it's definitely a lot less than in years past. I think their dev team killed that user base after gobbling up FlipKey and VacationHomeRentals years ago. They tried to roll those user bases into the main TA rentals and they basically just killed off what was there.

FYI - You can send a renter agreement to the guest after the fact (and custom/HTML emails directly to the guest email address) but only after they've booked. And your house rules should mention that the RA is coming. There are no problems if you do that.

BlueMtnCabins
Registered: 6/6/16
Re: Flipkey/TripAdvisor

Paul W said:


FYI - You can send a renter agreement to the guest after the fact (and custom/HTML emails directly to the guest email address) but only after they've booked. And your house rules should mention that the RA is coming. There are no problems if you do that.

I guess I did not explain it well. if you are set up as 2 payments (1st deposit, then payment), and not 100% upfront., TA does NOt release renter contact after deposit is paid. meaning you can only send rental agreement and get ID from renter AFTER they had paid balance also. That was my experience last year - I do not know if it changed as you describe.

Paul W
Registered: 6/9/09
Re: Flipkey/TripAdvisor

It must have changed, at least for the PMs that use our API integration. Even with one payment made, the contact info is shown (we have it in OR immediately) and you can email them.

JTVRs
Registered: 6/25/18
Re: Flipkey/TripAdvisor

"draconian treatment of owners"

They all seem to do that in one way or another.
...One owner says she is averaging about 5% loss on AirBnB due to their self imposed "Extenuating Circumstances" that makes the owner the free trip insurance provider.
...The opinions of HA/VRBO people about their required payment processor and chargebacks/etc.
...Booking.com with their 15% owner commission and the high rate of cancellations.
...Property Managers
...The ridiculous cancellation metrics used by some

I will be new starting in a few months, but I am going to use them all in the beginning to get rolling, with the goal of repeat/referral/direct booking eventually. But I still always plan to use them for shoulder and off seasons. I am also going to plunge into SEO, Craigslist (yea yea), blogging, working with other area businesses, etc.

I am mostly trying to understand their warts. The OTA stupidities just seems to go with the territory. If anyone ever opens up a robust, well advertised OTA that treats the owners and guests like gold, I think they will outclass the competition in time.

Paul W
Registered: 6/9/09
Re: Flipkey/TripAdvisor

Ross C said:

"draconian treatment of owners"

They all seem to do that in one way or another.

For sure. The only one that doesn't appear to completely hate owners is Booking.com, but then Booking.com's engineer team is kind of all over the map with their settings and features. In general, they tend to lean in the favor of owners and develop tools that owners need, but they have QA problems in keeping all that consistent.

VRBO, Air and TA appear to completely hate owners. Makes me wonder what would happen if owners had a "boycott the channels" and disabled their listings for like a week. If most of the inventory disappeared and VRBO and Air lost 90% of their revenue for a week, I would wonder if they would change their attitude towards owners.

JTVRs
Registered: 6/25/18
Re: Flipkey/TripAdvisor

I stayed with a new Airbnb owner in Newark last week, we went to a travel conference. I was going to recommend he use other OTAs, but then remembered that HomeAway and VRBO are only for entire homes. And he rents out about 22 rooms in several buildings.

I mean seriously, is there any point in excluding a broad category of rentals?

I have two adjacent 5 bedroom townhomes that are off the charts historically. but since there is one laundry room for the pair, I can't say there is a laundry room on HA/VRBO because that is shared! Argh.

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