4 Jan 2018
Have you been online recently and been overwhelmed by the vacation rentals websites? Choosing the best site to search and knowing who you are communicating with can be confusing. Due to larger advertising budgets, companies like VRBO, Airbnb and Flipkey will dominate the top of the page. Look a little further down the page and you will find companies like ours. Rendezvous Mountain Rentals is a professional, local company that offers accurate listings and competitive pricing. You will also find we offer a level of personalized service an online travel agent (OTA) cannot. Plus, booking direct will cost you less in the long run!
The managing of vacation homes is a hospitality and guest service business. OTAs often downplay the importance of the professional rental management company's role throughout the rental experience. We have all read the sad reviews of guests arriving to find their rental property not as advertised. Or how about when issues arise and there is no one to assist them? Working with a local management company reduces those unknown risks.
Currently, rapid consolidation of OTAs is occurring as larger companies seek to maintain dominance and grow revenues, most recently evidenced with Expedia’s acquisition of Homeaway/VRBO. OTAs may be finding themselves in a competitive struggle for consumer loyalty, which will drive more consolidation in the distribution industry and create less choice for the consumer.
OTAs may be conditioning shoppers to look for a better deal elsewhere. Price is a major factor in a guest’s final decision, as many believe a better deal may be found elsewhere and continue shopping. Ironically, many OTAs are now charging guests for service fees that go directly to the OTA’s bottom line, while providing little or no additional service to the guests. Many consumers do not realize that working with a local property manager will provide a better overall experience and they will receive the best rate when they book directly. OTAs shift demand from one market or property to another, capturing a middleman fee in the process. This raises costs to the rental property managers. These costs are then passed to the property owner and, ultimately, to the consumer in the form of higher rental rates. As OTAs grow in dominance in online searches, they bring significant additional costs to the rental guests that use them.
Finding and booking a property for a vacation rental property is more complicated than renting a hotel room or rental car online. Each area and property is unique, so a higher level of personal service is required. If the vacation rental industry becomes reduced to the process of only booking a property through a third-party OTA, professional vacation rental management companies will become less relevant, providing a disservice to guests, property owners and the small businesses providing the services.
Professional rental management companies are in the customer relationship and care business. A booking is just one part of the multitude of management skills necessary to ensure satisfied guests will return year in and year out. Travelers are seeking rest and relaxation, new experiences, rejuvenation and the creation of fond memories. While a well-cared-for property is very important, professional rental managers understand the need to exceed guest expectations by providing a high level of personalized services to complete the vacation experience. That is what we strive for at Rendezvous Mountain Rentals and hope it is evident when you book directly and stay with us.