Is The Online Booking Fight Over?

By June 12, 2017 Blogging

The instant booking model is the one that everyone prefers, with the exception of a few. In a Skift article, Andrew McConnell from Rented.com called those few “the minority.”

He stated it’s an illusion that people are in revolt against online booking. Here are his exact words:

“You get a very vocal minority [objecting to instant booking], which gives the sense that everyone is in revolt,” says Andrew McConnell. “In reality, inertia is a powerful force — people are already tied into the major platforms — and that is where the rental demand is. Plus, consumers prefer it, and they are the real customers after all.” (Skift)

I thought that was a very interesting comment, and I wonder if it’s really true. I wonder because nearly all owners and managers I speak with each week express the same frustrations.

Are we the minority?

Is Andrew wrong or is he telling us the hard truth of our reality?

The reason instant booking for vacation rentals is building momentum in the marketplace is because it’s what travelers want. This is what we keep hearing.

Travelers don’t want to wait for a possible approval of their reservation.

Travelers want instant gratification–they want instant bookings.

In the day of same-day deliveries, instant downloads, and expected website load speeds of under two seconds, there is definitely truth to people not wanting to wait.

We wonder if travelers are willing to continue paying considerably more money for booking online with HomeAway and VRBO, and if they really care that much.

Which brings us to our next question: Is online booking worth the service fee of up to 10%? And is the fee sustainable if other alternative booking platforms become available?

I’ve heard owners and managers express their complaints that there is no additional value added to the transaction for such a substantial fee, but does it even matter?

With messages like the one we’re hearing from vacation rental executives like Andrew, it can make us feel like the battle for bookable properties is over. We question whether it’s best to stop resisting and submit to their new rules and fees.

Are most owners and managers “all talk” when it comes to listing site independence? Do they just complain about online booking fees or have they unified themselves and made steps to improve the industry?

Do owners and managers support change and new opportunities? Do they believe it isn’t probable to create change, and therefore do not support new alternative platforms like they should?

Have the majority of owners and property managers already given into the traveler booking fees Expedia imposed? Have you?

I’d love to start a truthful discussion of where we are halfway through 2017. Please share your comments and thoughts.

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