This summer Owners Direct are making some big changes that are going to have an impact on the way in which property listings are displayed and the amount that owners are paying for their listings.
How is Owners Direct changing?
From July 11th 2016 Owners Direct are going to be phasing out their multi level subscription offerings. This is good news for many property owners who may only be on the basic package so therefore struggle to compete in search positioning. Instead of choosing a subscription level property owners will pay a flat rate for their listing and their search positioning will completely depend on the relevancy of the search. Best match listings will also favour properties that have online booking functionality on their website.
Owners Direct (Home Away group) are retiring the following services that up until July had a direct effect on listing positions: Tiered packages (Gold, Silver etc.), country upgrades and special offers.
By July 2017 there will be just two options for property owners signing up to Owners Direct:
Pay per listing: This will be a flat fee of £249 per year (or £199 for 6 months)
Pay per booking: No upfront fee, instead you'll pay 8% commission on each booking, this is taken out of the booking value.
This applies across all 25 HomeAway sites.
Owners Direct are going to be charging a service fee to all travellers who book or pay through the Owners Direct checkout process. This will be applied to all bookings taken via Owners Direct and will be 4.98-7.98% dependant on booking value.
What does this mean to me?
These changes are going to affect all property owners on Owners Direct so we thought we would do our best to summarise the advantages and disadvantages.
The best match listings are going to be good news for property owners meaning that they no longer have to pay over the odds to appear on the first page of listings but instead they will be shown for relevant searches. We believe Owners Direct are still going to promote listings who use the pay per booking model above annual subscription listings. however if you do online bookings via your own website and update your Owners Direct calendar via iCal you will 'best match' above those who don't.
In conclusion we believe that the annual subscription of £249 for 25 country website package seems to be good value for money but will depend somewhat on how aggressive the 'Best Match' algorithm boosts the pay per booking listings. The pay per booking model is expensive (and penalises owners with the service fee). This option is very expensive for owners who run their own booking engine.
You can find out more about the changes Owners Direct are making on their website.
Take control of your bookings
You can escape the fees by taking control of your bookings via your SCRUMPY website. With SCRUMPY you take bookings directly meaning both you and customer pay no fees, this could mean you'll see up to 16% more money from your bookings. You can still list your property with Owners Direct and utilise their flat fee subscription model and by synchronizing your calendar to Owners Direct via our iCal feeds you won't need to maintain your availability on Owners Direct.
If you would like to discuss this with us or are interested in signing up to SCRUMPY please to not hesitate to contact us!