Book with a vacation home owner & not Online Travel Agencies
No Unnecessary Service Fees
“Jane” has a condo to rent out to travelers. She lists it on an online vacation rental website such as Vrbo, Flipkey/Tripadvisor or Airbnb (OTA for online travel company). In place of growing her own internet site or social media pages, she is now paying fees on every reservation to the OTA. Accordingly, the OTA will charge her customers a percent of the rent otherwise known as a “service fee”. Often, those “fees” are non-refundable/ non- negotiable and goes the OTA’s overhead.
How frustrating! Rather than looking on the big sites, find a rental owner, like Lake Edge Property, who has their own booking website and social media pages. There is no middleman when you deal direct that you must pay unnecessary fees to.
“Jane” must also agree she will use the OTA’s payment processing system for all reservations. Because of that, the OTA will charge her customers a percent of the rental calling it a “service fee”. For this reason, she adjust her price to cover expenses incurred from the OTA. The result is the fees charged to the vacation owner makes the total Rental Rate quote higher than someone who books their unit themselves. Under those circumstances, potential guest may not book the condo and start their vacation search over.
How upsetting! When you book directly with Lake Edge Property, you have the best rate available. For the simple reason that we set our own rates. That being said, we don’t pay a processing fee to a 3rd party. Most importantly, our rates affordable and negotiable.
Communication between the guest and the owner
“Fred” wants to book a vacation condo. First, he wants to bring a boat. Second, he needs information on the lake and local marinas. Finally, he would like to know what a “service fee” being charged is. “Fred” looks on the OTA site for the owner’s contact info however there is none. Because of that, the only option is to send a message through the OTA.
“How close is the nearest marina, do they rent boat slips and can you explain what the ‘service fee’ is ”
Because “Jane” lives in the local area, she knows a marina that will meet the needs of her guest. Next, she is able to explain the “service fee”. However, she does not know the potential guest’ s phone number or email much less his last name because the OTA hides it from her. Being that, she can only respond to his questions through the OTA’s system. When Fred gets Jane’s response, this is what he sees:
“You can get more info about the marina and boat slip rental fees at their website: XXXXXXXX. The phone number to the marina is XXXXXXX.”
Sadly, the OTA system blocks out any and all identifying information to prevent direct communication between owner and guest. Be as it may, virtually all booking websites, HIDE from the rental owner all guest contact information, phone numbers and emails, until booking is complete or complete payment is made. Hence, when you or the guest, have questions or need to make changes, communication is very difficult. When you book with Lake Edge Property, you have open communication with us thru phone, text or email. We want you to be able to contact us with questions so we can meet all your vacation needs.
You have a choice
In conclusion, the above example is very real. Online Travel Agency’s make it difficult to communicate with your customer. Because of the fees they charge the condo owners, there is an increase to the cost of your stay making your vacation more expensive. When you book direct with Lake Edge Property, you have assurance that you are receiving the best communication and price available. With this in mind, Lake Edge Property owns our booking site, does not charge unnecessary fees, and we love communicating with our guest. Remember, we are here to help you have an amazing vacation!!!