Hotel Accommodations can be expensive, especially when you are planning a long stay or you need more than one room. A solution that could reduce the cost of your trip accommodations can be remedied by renting a home, condo, or staying at bed and breakfast. These options provide a much more relaxing atmosphere and also cost less than hotels.
HomeAway.com is a site that connects renters to property managers and individuals looking to rent out their home. There are many postings with a number of places to stay. In fact, they have over 735,000 paid vacation rentals and home listings throughout 168 countries. The cost and timeframes are also included to assist people in narrowing down their options.
HomeAway has different subscriptions for those who are listing rentals. The Bronze subscription includes 24 photos, past renter reviews, an availability calendar, and a map; this options costs $449/yr. The next level up is the Silver subscription which includes all of the features in the Bronze level plus 1 month in their Featured Listing rotation, the cost is $599 /yr. The featured Listing rotation allows you to get more exposure for your rental because it is posted at the top of your area’s search results page.
Two of the higher level packages are Gold and Platinum; these both include all of the benefits of the Bronze subscription. The Gold subscription also gives you 6 months of rotation within the Featured Listing section; this option costs $749 /yr. The Platinum is the highest level of all of the subscriptions and the best aspect of this option is the full year of being part of their Featured Listings. Platinum subscribers’ listings are listed in the highest ranking spots on the first page of listings that renters see; this package costs $999/yr.
Paying for a subscription by credit card is one way to take part in the automatic renewal program; the subscription you have originally purchased is renewed at the period end date. If a subscription was purchased by check or another form of payment it will not be automatically renewed.
Once a traveler has sent an inquiry using the form on the property listing page, the phone number for the owner/manager will then display on that page. Speak with them directly to find out more about the rental and to verify the owner’s identity before submitting payment. Most rentals can only be paid for by wire transfer because credit cards or PayPal-type payment systems only protect the purchaser and sellers incur high fees for such transactions.
During your phone call with the owner, ask them for contact information of previous guests and contact them to see what their experience was like. Also conduct a background check on the seller. If you are inquiring about a rental in a foreign country, ask the owner how many times they visit the property. If they hardly go there, they can’t possibly know the condition of their rental and may be unaware of problems or issues that have taken place since their last visit.
This site has had a number of safety issues; on more than one occasion hackers have entered into property owner listing and posed to be them in order to collect payment for a rental. HomeAway does not have the necessary safety measures in place to protect the renters or owners. Another negative component of this site is the high priced listing subscriptions. Research other options before posting or renting on this site, due diligence is a must.
1 ‘HomeAway.com’ Review
I am an owner who has been listing several properties with Homeaway and VRBO since 2009. We have now stopped due to several problems and do not recommend going through them for renting out your property or renting a property from others.
We paid for a gold subscription level (899 dollars) instead of the classic at 399 dollars. The results in page views and inquiries were exactly the same, a fact even confirmed by their customer care team! They are refusing to refund us for the excess paid for a service they have not rendered.
We have had much better results using other companies to advertise.
Also, we have had clients contact us after having booked a fake apartment through their system. They were never refunded. The first client which came to us with this was back in 2011, and obviously this is still happening.