The vacation rental market has changed drastically over the last ten years. When we purchased our first condo, we were able to advertise on sites such as VRBO and Home Away and pay an annual subscription fee for our listing to show up. We loved this, as we paid the fee and our renters could book with us with no additional costs. Within the last few years, Expedia purchased both of these companies for a huge sum. That’s when the changes started happening. Now, we still pay a fee to advertise, but they also charge every renter a “service fee” that can range up to 15%. Prior to this, Airbnb was introduced to the marketplace. They were hugely successful even though they charge both the host and renter a fee for using their site, and Expedia decided to fall into their footsteps. We do advertise on these sites because people still use them, although the word is getting out that there are other ways to book a vacation rental without the large fees.
Over the last year or two, some new booking sites have emerged which allow the renter to book directly with the owner with no additional costs. We have chosen to advertise with sites such as ECBYO.com and Floridarentalbyowners.com so that renters coming from those platforms did not have to pay these fees. We also allow people to contact us directly in order to cut costs.
In addition to the saved expense, it is also nice to book directly because you can form a relationship with the owner of the vacation rental. A large percentage of our bookings comes from repeat renters. We take pride in this, as we strive to make you part of our family and want you to experience the best vacation possible. So, if you choose to book with us- feel free to contact me directly at email@example.com or text or call 205-966-6213. We would rather you use that extra money to enjoy your stay- go to dinner at a nice restaurant, take a rafting trip, charter a boat- the possibilities are endless!