#BookDirect is trending now, with guest education an important part of the conversation between Vacation Rental owners, managers & their guests!
#BookDirect can help you save money!
A lot of people don’t know that that listing sites such as Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway and TripAdvisor can add hundreds of dollars of fees to your rate!
When you book direct, you are in direct contact with us:
We all want planning a holiday to be as much fun as can be – not stressful! When you are booking a stay at a vacation rental, peace of mind is important. If you want to know about rental car companies, local taxis, nearby restaurants and takeaways, the best beach bar, is there a pool, or will you be RIGHT ON the beach, by booking direct you can find these important things out and get the answers to important questions before you commit to booking.
UPDATE September 2019:
We have recently learned that some listing sites also charge a change fee should you need to add a night (or more!) to your stay. In addition to this, one one platform tried to charge two different guests guests of our several hundred dollars extra, as when they ‘changed’ their booking by adding an additional night, the platform also didn’t recognise that the extra nights were part of a stay 7 nights or longer. This meant that they were charged full price for the extra nights, which are generally 10% off when part of a longer stay. Luckily, we noticed the problem right away, but please keep this in mind should you use a listing platform.
The best price isn’t on the listing sites:
Unlike hotels, most listing sites (such as on Airbnb, Expedia, VRBO.com, HomeAway, TripAdvisor, and FlipKey) don’t have the best price shown for travelers. In fact, you can save hundreds of dollars by booking direct.
You can see our rates and availability on our site:
This is a lot easier then plugging in different dates to guess how you might fit in around other bookings. Also, we keep all three accommodation calendars on the same page, so it you are travelling with a larger group and need mulitple units, you can view all vacant periods together in one place! This makes it easier to take advantage of flight sales, too! Always check with us before you book flights to be sure of availability! Travel to Grenada Tips
We won’t pressure you for add-ons you don’t need or want:
Some listing sites push you to use their payment platform or insurance, or charge you booking fees. They are already charging the owner a hefty amount, and the owner has no control over what you are being charged by the sites. Whilst owners may (strongly) suggest travel insurance, etc, they aren’t usually profiting from it themselves – unless they happen to get a small thank you or affiliate fee from a link on their site, which is usually a few dollars – not hundreds! Not long ago, Homeaway/VRBO (owned by Expedia) started charging a 4% to 10% traveller fee to YOU, the guest. It is quoted as ‘not to exceed 499 US” which is an awful lot considering they may be making a similar figure from the owner, and this may be on top of the listing fee! The owner has no control over this, and has not requested this from you, the traveller.
Some listing sites penalise owners for not accepting their calendars or instant-booking or payment platform:
We’ve found that guests appreciate a chat-then-book relationship in order to provide the best possible service, and struggled with some of the payment platforms and added costs for these, which can create stress for our guests and increased fees for both parties. By trying to build a direct relationship with guests, we are shown much lower down the rankings on listing pages, had our calendars and rates hidden by listing sites, and had to pay additional fees for their payment platforms, all on top of listing fees.
We have intimate knowledge about our local area:
We can direct you the best rental property for your needs and send you to the best activities, restaurants, and area service providers. We’ve even told potential people when we aren’t the best choice for them, as we want every visitor to Grenada to have the absolutely perfect holiday!
If you have special requests, we can help:
Looking for guidance for your family’s special needs or help with activities for the whole group? A manager or owner can work with you directly to help with any of your individual needs and give you confidence you are staying in the right place for your family before you commit to a booking. Listing sites have never visited our area, our property, in person. They are charging a lot to provide little more than an aggregate referral program with no intimate or in-depth knowledge of the investment in accommodation you are making in your holiday choices. Click here to read a blog post about staying at Moonfish!
We often have seasonal or last minute special offers:
You can be assured that you are getting the best price possible for your trip when you Book Direct! With local events in mind, to shoulder season rates, or booking multiple accommodation for larger parties. If we have a vacancy and you are coming soon, you may find a discount is happily offered! Check out our Special Offers Page – and don’t forget to #BookDirect!
The above is guided by suggestions and text from Amy Hinote at VRMINTEL as part of their guest education efforts in the Vacation Rental Industry.
As of this week (February 2018) we are being forced into the Homeaway/VRBO online booking platform. We have stalled as long as we could, almost 2 years! We know our bookings will increase which is great, but we will lose some of the communication options that our guests have enjoyed.
UPDATE September 2019:
Our bookings from the Homeaway/VRBO/Expedia platform has dropped dramatically. Perhaps guests are getting fed up with the extra charges, constant pop ups, and pushy emails trying to get them to opt-in to additional services like bundled travel insurance. Travellers DO need insurance, but it’s always best to do your homework and get the best deal and most appropriate coverage for your needs!
Please note that changes to Homeaway/VRBO family of sites (Owned by Expedia) are rumoured to start charging Vacation Rental Owners a fee should they accept a booking from guests who have enquired first through the listing site. Yes, even if you have ended up booking direct! Owners could be charged up to 10% ifyou had used the same email address and name to enquire their property on a listing platform. Please be sure that you have not enquired through a listing site first, or discuss this with the owner before booking. We’ll still be very happy to have you come stay either way, don’t worry!