Other websites like Airbnb I'm using
I’ve rented my properties on Airbnb since 2011 with great success. However, I’m also using other websites like Airbnb to fill up my calendar and get more bookings. Advertising on more vacation rental websites means more exposure for my listings which in turn turns in to more inquires, bookings and profit.
There are plenty of Airbnb-like-concepts out there and it’s all about choosing reliable vacation websites with strong brand names. Below I've made an overview of the vacation rental sites I have had the most success with.
Beside, there is a clear difference between the different vacation rental sites regarding type of guest, risk, guest satisfaction and nationalities, more about this below:
What other websites like Airbnb do I recommend?
Flipkey by Tripadvisor
Flipkey by Tripadvisor is a must join for every active vacation rental owner.
Flipkey by Tripadvisor - typical guest profiles:
- Type of guests: Mostly families with older children or elderly couples. Tourists.
- Nationalities: American, UK, Australian.
- Staying typically 2-7 days and in average longer than guests from the other vacation rental sites I’m using.
- Paying well, very few problems and complaints.
Flipkey is tied to Tripadvisor, the biggest travel site in the world with millions of users. They recently introduced a free to list option and they allow private as well as professional vacation owners to list at absolutely no cost. Like Airbnb, Flipkey has a protection program for guests and hosts.
It's fast, free and easy to get an account with Flipkey and if you're already having a listing on Airbnb it's easy to copy the content to Flipkey.
Booking.com – hotel website accepting homestays
Booking.com - typical guest profiles:
- Type of guests: Wide variety of guests: Groups of young people, families with younger or older children, groups of elderly people, solo travelers, tourists, business travelers.
- Nationalities: Any, I’ve received people from most countries worldwide. Many Asians.
- Guest feedback: Guests seem to love or hate the property, 90% of the reviews are 9 or 10 star reviews (out of 10) whereas 10% of the reviews are really bad (less than 5 out of 10).
- Often possible to charge higher prices compared to the other vacation rental sites listed on this site, but payment must be done on site (Booking.com has no system for collecting payment from the guests) and there is more risk involved (no protection)
- Guests from Booking.com often leaves the apartment dirtier as they expect it to be a hotel.
My experience with Booking.com:
After having advertised my rooms and apartments on vacation rental sites like Airbnb and Wimdu, I finally decided to sign up with booking.com. Although booking.com is one of the biggest and most famous hotel booking websites in the world, they accept small business renting only one or two units. To keep up with the strong competition from Airbnb, Flipkey, Wimdu and other vacation rental websites they have even launched theyir own homesta y section, allowing private people to advertise private rooms or flats.
But believe me, this is a whole different world of hosting. Firstly, there is no way to communicate with the guest before they book and you cannot pre-screen guests or choose what bookings to accept. This involves higher risk. Guest interaction is limited and most will just show up at the address without writing you before. For this reason I'm always calling my booking.com guests before arrival to explain them we have no reception and they need to call us when they arrive at the address. All bookings are instant, so make sure you have a calendar sync system with other vacation rental sites you’re using to avoid double bookings.
Would I recommend Airbnb hosts to advertise on booking.com as well? It depends. If you’re a full time vacation rental owner like me, booking.com will definitely give you the extra bookings you need to sell out every month and you can definitely put your prices higher. On the downside, can cannot choose your guests so placing an ad on booking.com involves a higher risk. You must also invest in a card reader or other payment system as payment from guests is not collected in advance through booking.com
The European alternative to Airbnb - wimdu
- Mostly European guests.
- Many elderly couples / groups or families with older children.
- Nationalities: Spanish, German, Dutch, Italian, French.
- Less then 10% of my bookings come from Wimdu
Another site like Airbnb I’m using is Wimdu. Wimdu calls themselves the European alternative to Airbnb and since I’m located in Europe it’s a natural choice to attract European guests, but no matter where you are located in the world you can list and travel with Wimdu as they have properties in most cities in the world. There has a wide range of houses, flats, rooms and villas and they claim to be 50% cheaper than hotels. Wimdu is based in Germany and has built a strong brand name in countries like Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
Roomorama is another platform like Airbnb with thousands of short term rentals and accommodation worldwide. I’m not getting that many bookings from Roomorama, but I think it’s worthwhile to have my properties on the site as it’s very easy to integrate the Roomorama calendar with my Airbnb calendar and I’m also using their great affiliate program.
- Elderly couples or families with older children.
- Nationalities: British and Australian.
- Most guests are overally happy with their stay, but many guests seem to have “suggestions” for improvement.
About the author:
This article is written by Jan Y Jordet. Im a passionate vacation rental owner with more than 5 years experience. I'm always trying my best to make my guests feel comfortable and I'd like to exchange experiences and tips with other hosts. I'm also a professional web analyst and SEO expert.
Follow me on twitter: @jan_jord
Do you have any questions about hosting? Contact me here: Jan Y Jordet bio contact page
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