Summary of Listings Sites Survey Results
NeedMoreRentals has carried out one of the largest independent surveys of holiday/vacation rental home owners and managers relating to their use of listings sites.
‘Listings Sites – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly’ was designed to discover what hosts really think about using listing sites/booking portals to market their rental properties to prospective guests.
The survey took place in April and May 2014. Results do not reflect the views or opinion of anyone at NeedMoreRentals.com.
Survey responses and property locations
- 684 respondents in 47 countries/locations (13 unnamed Caribbean and Latin American countries).
- The 10 leading property locations were US, Spain, UK, France, Italy, Portugal, Canada, Greece, Unnamed Caribbean & Thailand.
Which listing sites are used by the survey respondents?
- A total of 102 listings sites were noted by survey respondents for marketing their properties.
- The leading sites by overall numbers were HomeAway.com, VRBO, Airbnb, FlipKey, HolidayLettings, Booking.com, OwnersDirect, HomeAwayUK and HouseTrip.
Which listings sites produce the most leads?
- The most productive sites for enquiries and bookings were HomeAway, VRBO, FlipKey, Airbnb, HolidayLettings, Booking.com, OwnersDirect, Homelidays, Spain-Holiday, Abritel and CraigsList.
Which listings sites are not recommended?
- The sites least likely to be recommended are AlwaysOnVacation, HomeAway, Airbnb, SunnyRentals, FlipKey, CraigsList, OwnersDirect, HolidayLettings, VacationHomeRentals and VRBO.
- Reasons are widespread but include aggressive sales calls, no enquiries or bookings, guest booking fees, hidden guest details and inflexible cancellation policies.
On which sites do advertisers not complete listings and why?
- The leading sites for incomplete listings are Airbnb, HomeAway, OnlyApartments, Booking.com, HouseTrip and Wimdu.
- The main reasons for unfinished listings are that they are time-consuming, can be complicated, they’re not free, they do not integrate with an owners calendar and there is no help to list multiple properties.
What are the biggest concerns about listings sites?
- The most common concerns owners and managers have with listings sites are spiralling cost, lack of enquiries, hidden guest details, payment not being received until after the guests’ arrival and the listing process being too time-consuming.
Which listings sites provide the best levels of customer service?
- The best listings sites for customer service were listed as HomeAway, VRBO, Airbnb, FlipKey, HolidayLettings, Booking.com, OwnerDirect, OwnersDirect and Spain-Holiday.
- The main reasons noted by respondents included quick response time, helpful trouble-shooting, being easily contactable and friendly manner.
Which listings sites provide the worst levels of customer service?
- The worst listings sites for customer service were listed as HomeAway, FlipKey, HolidayLettings, Airbnb, VRBO, AlwaysOnVacation, Wimdu, 9Flats, CraigsList and Roomorama
- The main reasons noted by respondents included slow response time, sending standardised emails, being difficult to reach and hiding a customer service phone number.
Which listings sites’ mobile apps are being used?
- The leading mobile apps currently used by survey respondents were Airbnb, HolidayLettings, HomeAway, FlipKey, VRBO and HouseTrip.
- 343 respondents (majority) do not use any mobile apps due to confusion, frustration with login and perceived limitations.
What features need to be changed on listings sites?
- Over 70 different suggestions were given by respondents
- The most common responses were introducing customisable pricing, making guest details visible, removing the ‘Book it Now’ feature, adding a link to a personal website, synchronising calendars, making cancellation policies flexible and adding guest reviews.
While respondents were very forthcoming with answers relating to productive listings sites and those with good levels of customer service, they were most vocal in their opposition to the way that many of the biggest sites now operate.
Words and phrases attributed to them included ‘arrogant’, ‘bullies’, ‘controlling’, ‘deceitful’, ‘greedy’, ‘aggressive’, ‘unwilling to listen’ and ‘too expensive’. Very few respondents reported complete satisifaction with their use of listings sites.
The overriding opinion is that the most prominent companies are not concerned with the burgeoning requirements of rental owners and managers but are more interested in making a profit and keeping control in an increasingly congested market place.
Due to the large response to this survey and extent of individual comment and opinion there was simply too much information to be included here. We have therefore summarised the most remarkable findings of this study.
If you would like to request any specific information about any of our results contact us on info(at)needmorerentals.com.
We will not share any direct comments or contact details of survey respondents however we can provide more in-depth detail about results relating to a specific website, country or owner/manager demographic.