IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING CHANGES IN THE VACATION RENTAL MARKET THAT WILL EFFECT YOU

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FOR PROPERTY OWNERS.
Open letter to owners of rental properties in Exuma

The purpose of this letter is to make you aware of changes that are happening in the Vacation Rental market, how those changes will effect the market, and therefore effect your bottom line, and what we collectively can do to negate these changes.

Currently there are 165 rental properties on Homeaway.com (owners of VRBO and others). There are 82 rental properties on Tripadvisor.com(owner of Flipkey).

These being the major vacation rental websites that most of us use, with Airbnb a distant third. Expedia recently took over the Homeaway group and announced that at the end of 2016 they will change their marketing policy. Then owners will still pay a once a year fee to be included on Homeaway's website and then they add a booking fee to your rates, that the inquirer will have to pay, then to add insult to injury, they will hold your money until after the guests arrive.

In future, inclusion on their website will still cost an annual fee. But you will not be provided with contact details on any inquiries for your property. Instead all correspondence will be through Homeaway until such time as a booking is confirmed. You will not know the inquirers contact details and you will not be able to send your contact info, your website or Facebook details to the inquirer.
When the inquirer decides to book, Homeaway will charge: the guest a percentage OVER AND ABOVE the fee you advertise and HOLD THE ENTIRE BOOKING FEE until after the date of arrival. Then you will receive your booking fee LESS a commission.

How will this effect you?
Well you will receive less than your advertised rental fee.
Your guest will pay more for the vacation (and probably have to pay it ALL when booking).
You will not see any money until the guest arrives.
Because advertising on their website is free, more owners will be encouraged to advertise.

SO: you get less. The guest pays more. No funds in advance. More competition.

What can we do about it?
We collectively could build and promote our own rental vacation website where all inquiries go direct to the property owner (or appointed manager)...(as I had started to do as a free service on this website)
If you feel that we collectively should take control of our own rental destiny then please contact me and I will respond to you in due course with details of all responses.
Please let me know the contact e mail address of other owners of rental properties in Exuma, and I will send them a copy of the above letter.

Thank you for your time.

P.S. I stress that I am not interested in earning any remuneration for anything resulting from this idea. I believe it can work for the collective good of all rental property owners in Exuma and therefore benefit tourism in Exuma.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts. please contact me at exumadolphin@yahoo.com