What is VacationSoup? It seems related to OR.
But it also seems odd to give it major focus on this page (top right) when it seems so minor:
I am 100 miles from Philly and New York - with a huge number of VRs all around. And the 8 "nearby accommodations" are all 100-300 miles away.
I certainly wouldn't pay $200 a year to be on a place that seems to be devoid of listings, when I can do Houfy for free.
It is initiative by Alan Egan. Interesting concept maybe (including creation of content that is supposed to drive organic traffic) but not for me. Like you, I won;t spend $200 just to work some more to drive traffic to THEIR site.
The problem with a little site is that SEO wont get them on the first page dominated by the OTAs, so hard to get noticed. And if they cannot get me there, I would prefer to spend $200 in the offseason -Facebook ads or TripAdvisor to drum up a little extra traffic.
VacationSoup is a combo -- site builder tutorial videos to build your own site in WordPress, and then a cross linked blog sharing system. If you want to build your own site in WordPress and need help with that, it's not a bad way to go. If you want a quickly set up and easily editable site, our hosted website is a lot simpler. Our site can't do every single advanced thing WordPress can, but it does it's one job of being a vacation rental site very well.
Everyone should have a website for their vacation rental in my opinion -- it's great for marketing to repeat guests, and as a place to send leads you already have. Its not going to show up on the first page of Google except for very specific search terms because there's so much competition. But even without search having that personal location for guests is very beneficial.
I tried WP and hated it. I am somewhat of IT person but it was anything but easy (site created by someone and I was just trying to edit and maintain it). I am much more happy with sitelio hybrid type site - it has templates and drag and drop, yet allows customization like inserting scripts, seo etc.