In the last 5 or 6 years, we have noticed a huge change in bookings made through booking .com, VRBO, a million other 3rd party sites and Airbnb Wasaga Beach instead of direct bookings. In fact, it has got so popular now that instead of someone saying, “hey, let’s rent a Wasaga Beach hotel room,” they say “let’s rent an airbnb in Wasaga Beach when we go there.” Similar to when we ask for a direct booking in Wasaga at the actual property owner’s site or using Airbnb Wasaga Beach?
Before we start, I will tell you what these booking sites are. They are companies who have found a category of business that did not advertise well. They use their knowledge of website building and aggressive advertising to advertise better than the owners of rental properties. These listing sites each spend $50,000 – $100,000 per month in our area to try to get you to book through them. The bottom line is that they are just a 3rd party. A middleman. It is not all bad though.
As owners ourselves, truthfully, we like one way more than the other. This is because we have the inside information though. In this article, we show you the positives and negatives.
Positives of Booking Direct With Owner
The Lowest Price
With our pricing and almost every other owner’s pricing, it’s lower when you book direct. There are no commissions when you book direct. For example, booking. com charges 15%. That works out to a lot of money. You the customer end up paying that indirectly. For a truly $1000 booking, you are paying $1150 instead when you book through them. You have just paid some of their advertising bill. We use the 3rd party sites, but our direct pricing is always lower.
You get to speak with the actual staff or owner directly. You have their contact info right up front. If there is an issue, you can speak directly with the business. The 3rd party sites often use overseas call centres and it is a headache dealing with them. Something else we have found is that direct sites are more descriptive and give the customer more information.
The Information is Much Better From Direct
3rd party sites use templates that the property owners fill out. There are some categories that they don’t include. For example, we list through one of the 3rd party sites that do not let us give our full information. We cannot give specific information for each cottage. The information just gets grouped together.
One of our biggest difficulties in this business is guests arriving with different expectations. The 3rd party sites have switched photos or gave deceiving pricing. It makes us look bad! A couple times we have had guests arrive and ask where the pool was. They said this because they saw a pool when they booked on a 3rd party site. We don’t have pools at our locations and have never tried to advertise that. Things like this have caused customers and us a lot of frustration.
Faster Booking Process
All you do is (1) call or email, (2) give info, (3) pay down payment and you are booked!
Less Policies and Small Print to Read Through
Booking direct with owners has clearer guidelines and rules. There are no hidden fees, hidden small print, or pages and pages of policies. It is usually one page or less of rules/policies.
Accept More Types of Payment
Us for example, can accept cash, etransfer, and credit card.
Positives of Booking With Airbnb Wasaga Beach
More Cottage, Hotel, and Private House Options
First off, not everyone can list their house on airbnb Wasaga Beach. Wasaga has rules against most of them, so the options will not include many private houses. The 3rd party sites a grouping of many hotel rooms, motel rooms, and cottages in Wasaga Beach. This is very easy for customers to search through many options and compare easily.
In other towns and cities that allow airbnb for private houses, there are more benefits. They have a variety of amenities and lower pricing than a hotel. Again, this is not the case in Wasaga Beach. Wasaga is very comparable across the options. There are a rare few private houses to rent, but they have special commercial zoning. They have to have a licence. Also, Wasaga Beach allows bed and breakfasts, but with a maximum of 3 bedrooms, no oven, and a live-in owner/helper/worker. Bed and breakfasts have to have a licence too.
They Always Accept Credit Card
Some smaller and old fashioned operators are not set up to accept credit cards. Most are set up in Wasaga Beach though.
They have big budgets with high end programmers and web specialists working on their websites every day. Their goal is to make it as inviting to you as possible.
3rd party listing sites help new users choose by encouraging everyone to review. This is often very helpful for finding a quality rental. Although, we have found that reviews on these sites are not always honest. After all, it’s still hard to trust.