Airbnb has marketed itself as the best place to book a spare room or apartment. The reality, however, is that most listings on Airbnb, Vrbo, HomeAway and other sites are actually managed by professional vacation rental management companies. These companies work with homeowners, real estate developers, and other types of investors to maintain and list up to 1000s of short-term rentals across sites like Airbnb & Vrbo.
When booking a short-term rental, the most important factor that influences the quality of your stay is the management company. These companies are responsible for maintenance, cleaning, customer service, amenities, and just about every aspect of your travel experience. Yet, most bookers have no idea that they are staying with a professional property manager and think that they “booked an Airbnb.”
Finding and booking direct with the vacation rental manager has a lot of advantages. Here are our top 7 reasons why you should book direct.
3rd party websites like Airbnb, Vrbo, HomeAway, and booking.com charge commissions and fees that get passed on to you the booker. These can be as high as 15%-20% of the original nightly rate. Even if fees are not listed on these sites, they are often built into the price so you are paying them anyways. Booking direct on a property manager’s website ensures you aren’t paying any middleman and are getting access to the best rates.
Booking direct puts you in contact with whoever is managing vacation rentals in the area you are looking to travel. Contact them prior to selecting a home or condo, and you can get personalized advice on the best home to book based on your needs.
Property managers will appreciate the effort you put in to contact them directly. Don’t be shy to ask for special pricing. You are probably already getting a lower price than on a 3rd party site.
Property managers don’t always list all of their properties on 3rd party sites or the listings may be out-of-date. For instance, many property managers don’t list on Airbnb because of they types of guests it can attract. Contacting property managers directly ensures you get the pick of their best properties.
Property managers live in the cities where they have listings. Ask for their favorite activites and places for a true local experience.
Protect yourself from fraudulent or inaccurate listings. Professional property managers have built up books of business over years and rely on high repeat traffic to grow their business. This reputation is how they get homeowners to trust them with their properties, so you know they will work in a professional and reputable manner.
With professional guest support, cleaning, and maintenance staff, you can rest assured that every time you book with a professional manager you are going to get a high-quality experience. Let them know you want to come back, and they will often extend a special deal for their repeat guests.