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VRBO.com Improves Vacation Rental Search Functionality

Kudos to vrbo.com for finally improving their search functionality.  Now, we as rental guests can now search by date.

But you wouldn’t know it as they decided it was more important to put a press release out telling the world how they (homeaway) is going to be advertising during the super bowl (how does that benefit ME?… THE GUEST) instead of telling their end users how their site is easier to use… go figure!  Man am I glad I’m not in the corporate world!  (If they did put a press release on this I will stand corrected, but I couldn’t find it anywhere.)

Instead of typing you through it, I’ve posted a video at www.vacation-rental-info.com which walks through the basic functionality.

Bottom line… THANK YOU VRBO!  You just saved your guests a ton of time and in the end, money.

Make some trails!

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One Response to “ VRBO Improves Vacation Rental Search Functionality ”

  1. Lisa
    February 21, 2011 at 7:45 am

    Disappointed isn’t exactly the correct wording here, if you are a VRBO homeowner, then please read the below community comments on the new No-Opt-Out Reviews policy, spearheaded by Carl G. Shepard, CEO of VRBO and Homeaway.

    Sent through massive online email to all homeowners was the following message, “We want to make you aware of changes to our traveler reviews policy that will impact your listing XXXX. Starting March 15, 2011, all VRBO listings will display traveler reviews and it will no longer be possible for listings to be “opted out” of traveler reviews. This also means that all previous reviews and guestbook entries, if you have them, will reappear on your listing.”

    Previously, a property owner could chose to “opt-out” of receiving reviews (good and bad) if they felt a negative review had been received that would unfairly damage their ability to rent the property.

    However, on March 15, 2011, all reviews will be returned in black and white for all to see.

    “..from the trends studied on other sites the benefits far outweigh the risks and that very few jump ship.. though that if a significant number left HomeAway and VRBO that it might affect him and that the decision to reinstate opt out might be put into place at that time.”

    Shepard’s rationale for removing the “opt out” of reviews option is that apparently the Wall Street Journal and other publications as well as his shareholders have been pressuring him to remove it.

    Their reasoning is that the share price of companies that support complete transparency is going up much faster than the share price for HomeAway or VRBO that currently allows the “opt out” option. In regards to this comment, it would appear then that this recent change is all about money.

    Many owners renting out their second homes are people working other jobs, sometimes many other jobs, to make ends meet so that they can have the luxury of owning a second home. The rental income is often a necessary component of being able to own the home. The owner often does not have the time or energy to solicit positive reviews, which leaves the review process open to destroy a listing with one negative review.

    Owners don’t feel that unverified reviews should have unlimited ability to take away their right to attempt to earn income from their property. Owners pay for and are granted the right to post their own copy to their webpage and therefore should have complete control of its content along with the liabilities associated with what they post.

    An owner should not assume liability for a third party post that may not be correct.

    Carl G. Shepard, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy and Development Officer, of VRBO and Homeaway, has made it clear to all homeowners, they will be removing the no reviews “opt-out” option this March 15, 2011, and all homeowners will see all previous past reviews reappear, both negative and positive, onto their listings.

    Shepard mentioned, in passing, any owner who is not happy with his policies can go elsewhere to advertise. VRBO will be prorating their listings.

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