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SimplyOwners.Net a new rental listing site?
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Nemo



Joined: 14 Aug 2008
Posts: 7032
Location: Norfolk

PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nigel Goodwin wrote:
I will soon be setting up a facebook page for ownerholidays.

My current thinking is that it would be open to view for anybody, but the only people allowed to post would be registered members of ownerholidays. Not sure if facebook can do that.

A page can only be posted on by the admin team and you wouldn't want every owner to be an admin.

Many of us have found groups to be the best way forward and I'm an admin on the dog friendly group Rosie mentioned earlier. It's grown from a few thousand members to 45,000 within a couple of years with a tiny admin team.

You can make a group admin approved posts only, so that the admin would approve each post before it goes live, but it depends on how big the admin team is and how frequently they are around to let the posts through. Each post would need to include its owner ID I guess. This would probably hamper the speed with which it grew but would keep control. Either that or allow anyone to post, and simply delete all the non compliant ones.
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Nigel Goodwin



Joined: 04 Apr 2013
Posts: 679
Location: Newquay Cornwall

PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nemo, thanks for the advice, the main thing is that i wouldn't want owners to advertise their properties for free without paying their dues to the main website, which itself goes towards the marketing budget. I guess there are other totally free facebook sites (with no marketing budget).
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Oldhacker



Joined: 18 May 2016
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting thread. When HA/OD dropped the traveller service fee bombshell I looked into setting up an alternative. I went through the idea with a website / internet whizz of a friend who developed and maintains a leading residential property lettings website.

His view was that the best way to achieve critical mass would be to strip content (ie property listings) from other sites. Apparently it is commonplace these days and it not really that different to what meta listing sites or even search engines such as Google do.

My view was more of a collaborative, co-operative venture with the masses of owners let down by OD/HA driving the process of listing their properties (initially for free) on a new site and actively encouraging the owners to do the same. The ripple in the pond effect. Then I found Nigel Goodwin was doing just this with Owner Holidays so decided to support his efforts instead of replicating.

The thing is it does need owners to do more than just whinge about OD/HA and realise that the alternative they want can only be built up if they put in some effort. I have seen hundreds of owners berating OD / HA online and wishing there was an alternative. What they need to be doing is listing their properties on an alternative such as Owner Holidays and actively getting other owners to do the same. The attitude that there is no point taking time to set up a free listing on a site which currently has low visibility is daft. These initiatives can only succeed if owners turn their anger into positive action to support an alternative to OD.
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Quiterio



Joined: 30 Dec 2015
Posts: 66
Location: Cadiz Province, Spain

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oldhacker wrote:

The thing is it does need owners to do more than just whinge about OD/HA and realise that the alternative they want can only be built up if they put in some effort. I have seen hundreds of owners berating OD / HA online and wishing there was an alternative. What they need to be doing is listing their properties on an alternative such as Owner Holidays and actively getting other owners to do the same. The attitude that there is no point taking time to set up a free listing on a site which currently has low visibility is daft. These initiatives can only succeed if owners turn their anger into positive action to support an alternative to OD.


Couldn't agree with you more, and how good it would be if we would all:

a) list on Owner Holidays (what's to lose?)
b) tell everyone that's where we advertise
c) try and get the ripple effect to work via our facebook pages

Word does actually get round very quickly between owners, owners' agents and the guests.
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Nemo



Joined: 14 Aug 2008
Posts: 7032
Location: Norfolk

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oldhacker wrote:
I have seen hundreds of owners berating OD / HA online and wishing there was an alternative. What they need to be doing is listing their properties on an alternative such as Owner Holidays and actively getting other owners to do the same. The attitude that there is no point taking time to set up a free listing on a site which currently has low visibility is daft. These initiatives can only succeed if owners turn their anger into positive action to support an alternative to OD.

I would add one proviso to that. As we know, there are a lot of sites out there, so you can waste an awful lot of time listing places that simply never get seen. That's not great use of an owners time either. Listing on a site such as Nigel's, where hopefully owners are actively supporting each other and have the ability to get it out on social media etc is fine. What is less acceptable to many is when brand new sites such as Simply Owners ask for nearly £300 upfront to list. Most people would baulk at that as it's such a large sum of many people's marketing budget.
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russellt



Joined: 09 Dec 2014
Posts: 350
Location: Ivybridge, Devon, UK

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nemo wrote:
Simply Owners ask for nearly £300 upfront


Jeez!

Was wondering about their pricing. Given where the data allegedly came from, how can they warrant that?
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Nigel Goodwin



Joined: 04 Apr 2013
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Location: Newquay Cornwall

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It does take time to build, and it does take some effort for owners to put their properties up. I am hoping to have API's and agreements so that I can extract data, if the owners express a wish, from other systems, but these kinds of API's and agreements are not done in a day.

For example, SuperControl stores more or less all the information used by HA, so there is no reason why there shouldn't be a similar (but better) interface to ownerholidays, and then you have an efficient and ethical route to growing properties - all SuperControl users who have an HA interface just need to give permission and I will suck it into OH.

It would be nice if there was an industry standard interface, but that is never going to happen, apart from iCals. So then it becomes a question of which vendors want to collaborate with me.

There are a lot of small agencies, as well as owners, who want a higher profile. It is then an issue of seeking out which ones are worth making the effort, and have the right attitude.

Lots of slow fermenting going on.
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FelicityA



Joined: 05 Nov 2010
Posts: 2805
Location: Cotswolds

PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nigel Goodwin wrote:


There are a lot of small agencies, as well as owners, who want a higher profile. It is then an issue of seeking out which ones are worth making the effort, and have the right attitude.

Lots of slow fermenting going on.


Yikes, Nigel. Have I completely got the wrong end of the stick on the premise of your site? I thought it was going to be for owners only ( as both OD and VRBO were originally, of course - the clue being in their names) and no agencies, whether big or small. Your words above seem to be saying something different?
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casasantoestevo



Joined: 06 Nov 2006
Posts: 4004
Location: O Saviñao, Galicia

PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
and it not really that different to what meta listing sites or even search engines such as Google do.

Interested in how they came to that conclusion.
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russellt



Joined: 09 Dec 2014
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Location: Ivybridge, Devon, UK

PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nemo wrote:
you can waste an awful lot of time listing places that simply never get seen.


On re-reading this thread, I wonder if we, as owners, are beginning to expect/demand too much:

    a start-up which is free for some indeterminate time(i'll pay some time down the line.... and not too much.)

    a start-up which is not beholden to investors/profit motive for immediate return on investment.

    a start-up which is ethical and grows organically(no nicking data).

    a start-up with API/web services built-in(which saves me the hassle of having to upload profile data multiple times)

Nice, but pretty unrealistic for a genuine start-up.
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zebedee



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 862
Location: yorkshire dales

PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:



There are a lot of small agencies, as well as owners, who want a higher profile. It is then an issue of seeking out which ones are worth making the effort, and have the right attitude.

Lots of slow fermenting going on.


From what I have seen on sites that allow agencies to advertise, the agency properties swamp the site and independent owners get lost down the pages of properties that come up on the searches.
Sad Sad Sad
Or alternatively, the agencies can afford to pay for such a huge advert that any prospective guest will just click though on the links

Would this not take away the original aim of the site?

Was just about to post this when I decided to check back to Nigel's original post, where he says "for owners and small or medium sized agencies"..... Now how is small and medium sized defined???? There are some agencies which would be considered possibl y medium sized eg Yorkshire Cottages but they are all part of a bigger conglomeration of regional agencies which were set up by one person with (I am pretty sure) the same call centre taking calls for all of them, so in effect, a large agency.
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Nigel Goodwin



Joined: 04 Apr 2013
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Location: Newquay Cornwall

PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FelicityA wrote:
and no agencies, whether big or small.


[I see some other comments posted while I was writing this, so there seems to be interest in the topic]

The way I see it, lots of owners use specialist agencies. There are hundreds if not thousands of these agencies worldwide. Maybe some aren't agencies at all, but just some kind of cooperation. Some of them may be free. They may be exclusive or non-exclusive. Let's say 'dog friendly cottages in the Cotswolds'. Or 'city apartments in Edinburgh'. Or 'luxury exotic holidays tailor made for the healthy and wealthy in far away places'. Or 'ski chalets in the Rockies'.

Now, rather than to get those owners to advertise one by one, it is much better to have an agreement with that site so that, with permission, the adverts can then appear on ownerholidays, and the owners don't have to put in much effort.

Likewise all the individual owners using a management system.

I myself use an agency, Natural Retreats, as well as advertising on TA and HA. My agreement with NR is non-exclusive, they just get a commission. They have around 1000 properties worldwide. i also have my own web site, of course, and I use SuperControl.

Do I refuse these? What is the downside to accepting them? Am I not just another channel? How could I, in practice, refuse them, they could load properties one by one anyway.

Put it another way - anybody advertising on ownerholidays is almost certainly also advertising elsewhere. Non-exclusivity works both ways.

But, the critical thing is I make a level playing field, each property via an agency has to pay similar amounts as individual owners. So if an individual owner pays £50 p.a. per property, then an agency with 1000 properties pays £50,000 p.a. to load them all. OK, maybe a small discount of 10%, but we are not talking big discounts.

We are not talking about Sykes. We are not talking about HomeToGo.

Then this revenue can be used for the advertising budget to the benefit of all.

Same with any shareholding. Maybe upper limits (1% ?) for any individual owner or agency?

I am very open to rethinking this, indeed welcome criticism and feedback, all properties loaded so far are individual owners, I have not entered into any agreements with any agencies, but neither have I shut the door on anybody. However, if we wait for individual owners to load one by one, it may be a very long time before 100,000 properties is reached, which is some kind of realistic lower limit for viability, so a way of accelerating or bootstrapping the process is needed.

Ideas? [we seem to be going way off the original topic.....]

Maybe the company board needs to meet and discuss - OK, we have just met and discussed, we are in complete disagreement and disarray Laughing

LMH seems to be a quasi board for the moment.

ps. 'bootstrapping' is a word from my day job, it means using a seed to make something grow, in a recursive manner. Viral is another word - a viral process is a bootstrapping process, it self-creates.
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Nigel Goodwin



Joined: 04 Apr 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

russellt wrote:

Nice, but pretty unrealistic for a genuine start-up.


Maybe I am an idealist, but you have summarised quite well what I am trying to achieve. But I definitely have a commercial hat on too, so there needs to be some balance.

I have mentioned elsewhere the 'long tail'. My start up costs are very low, I didn't pay anybody for the web site. It is just my own time. So I don't have the burden of debts, I didn't need investment to start.

I think I need to start changing 'I' to 'We', and talk about my 'team of lawyers' Laughing Maybe the 'We' is LMHers, or in particular a small group from here who provided early advice.
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Nigel Goodwin



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

zebedee wrote:

Or alternatively, the agencies can afford to pay for such a huge advert that any prospective guest will just click though on the links


Maybe there should be a 'no adverts' policy ?

The swamping effect is avoided by correct pricing for agencies. Is any agency going to pay £50 p.a. for every property in their portfolio?

Equally, I don't think there should be an all or nothing policy. If 1000 agencies each place 10 properties, that is fine.

Level playing field.

Eventually individual owners may start thinking they don't need the agency.

But....what about all those individual owners who use agencies to do bookings? ownerholidays doesn't do bookings, so needs to link to the agency web sites anyway ?
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russellt



Joined: 09 Dec 2014
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Location: Ivybridge, Devon, UK

PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

....and, a start-up which doesn't deal with larger agencies.

Sheeesh!

Nigel Goodwin wrote:
But I definitely have a commercial hat on too, so there needs to be some balance.


Correct. That's my point, Nigel. We are in danger of expecting too much from innovators like you. More power to you for trying.
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