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Owners Direct
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Jonathan



Joined: 14 Aug 2014
Posts: 77
Location: Warwickshire

PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 5:52 pm    Post subject: Owners Direct Reply with quote

Help/advice needed. We are in the UK. Bookings are down despite joining Airbnb and Holiday Letting two years ago. I was considering Owners Direct as another source but I am struggling.

Their Web site seems hard to set up a listing and I can't seem to find out:

How they accept bookings (direct or via us).
How they make/take payments (their commission seems to be 10% - much higher than other sites.
How to preview my listing.

Are they worth bothering with? We advertise on a number of UK sites, which serve us well but would like more bookings. Is booking.com worth looking at as an alternative? I don't want automatic bookings as we do are own changeovers and I want some control over arrival/departure dates.

Many thanks

Jonathan
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sylvainbg



Joined: 24 Jan 2017
Posts: 66
Location: Örebro

PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Booking.com is automatic booking.
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Jonathan



Joined: 14 Aug 2014
Posts: 77
Location: Warwickshire

PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sylvainbg wrote:
Booking.com is automatic booking.


Thanks. I don't think it would work for us.

Jonathan
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newtimber



Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 1591
Location: Brighton

PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have to enable online booking with OD now - and they charge you an annual subscription and a booking fee and the guests a 10% service fee (could be higher or lower depends on what they feel like). So it's not worthwhile.

I think you'd be better off spending time and money on your own website - you need more and better photos and have an availability calendar that you see in the browser rather than having to download and view in a spreadsheet program.
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Jonathan



Joined: 14 Aug 2014
Posts: 77
Location: Warwickshire

PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

newtimber wrote:
You have to enable online booking with OD now - and they charge you an annual subscription and a booking fee and the guests a 10% service fee (could be higher or lower depends on what they feel like). So it's not worthwhile.

I think you'd be better off spending time and money on your own website - you need more and better photos and have an availability calendar that you see in the browser rather than having to download and view in a spreadsheet program.
Thank you


Jonathan
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Mouse



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 7167
Location: Balearics

PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm with OD on subscription. This means I have control over bookings and my guests don't pay commission. However this costs £499

If you go on commission where you don't pay anything then your guests pay a booking fee. It is supposed to be capped....and can be anything from 4-8%.

It is confusing.

Mouse
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ianh100



Joined: 10 Jan 2013
Posts: 514
Location: Sherborne Dorset

PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mouse, how have you avoided the service charge for guests? Do you only take direct payment?

We pay a subscription but our guests still get hit for an 8% or more "service charge". I find an increasing number who look on OD or HL and then find our website and book direct. We don't try and direct them that way, I think the customer is just getting wise.

We have seen a significant change this year with low bookings in May and June but better bookings later. We are assuming that the late Easter has been the cause. We have 2 bed and 3 bed properties ( the 3 bed was new last spring). The 3 bed has been booked up much earlier, we assume due less availability of larger properties.
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Lualua



Joined: 28 Aug 2016
Posts: 5
Location: West Sussex

PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We endured months of pressure throughout 2016 from OD/HA to enable direct booking and declined, as others have done as we also like control over dates and timings of arrival. We decided not to pay the exorbitant annual charge for those who do not enable this. We made to decision to let the 'membership' lapse and go with other sites, and started to receive increasingly desperate phone calls from OD/HA. When I persisted in refusing to pay an annual fee and complained that since we had declined to enable online payment our listing had completely disappeared and was unfindable, even before the annual sub had lapsed, they suggested a commission-only deal. No annual fee but an 8% (I think) commission, albeit with online payments through their site after initial contact with me to confirm etc.

The listing is reasonably prominant and we have had 1 guest since March and now 1 scammer (Alex Murphy from Colorado Springs) but otherwise very few enquiries. Big price rise for guests as OD/HA now charge them too. Not surprisingly they don't advertise our website so I don't think searchers can find it and contact us direct.

Sorry for length of this....
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Mouse



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 7167
Location: Balearics

PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ianh100 wrote:
Hi Mouse, how have you avoided the service charge for guests? Do you only take direct payment?

We pay a subscription but our guests still get hit for an 8% or more "service charge". I find an increasing number who look on OD or HL and then find our website and book direct. We don't try and direct them that way, I think the customer is just getting wise.

We have seen a significant change this year with low bookings in May and June but better bookings later. We are assuming that the late Easter has been the cause. We have 2 bed and 3 bed properties ( the 3 bed was new last spring). The 3 bed has been booked up much earlier, we assume due less availability of larger properties.


Gosh! I thought subscription saved guests the commission no matter how they Booked! I do only take payment direct...no online bookings or online payments.
That is really annoying that they get a huge commission on top of a huge subscription if you have online bookings! I'm shocked.

Mousie
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Giraffe



Joined: 26 Jun 2016
Posts: 382
Location: Cornwall, England

PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am on subscription with OD. I take the bookings and payments myself, no online bookings nor online payments for OD. I know it's expensive, but it gives me complete control and flexibility on my bookings and payments, and no surcharges for customers. Currently I have around 50% of my bookings via OD.

This week I've had one enquiry for next summer, but at a silly quoted price created by OD as I have not yet set up my 2018 calendar. Good reminder to get this done - I didn't realise people book so far ahead
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ianh100



Joined: 10 Jan 2013
Posts: 514
Location: Sherborne Dorset

PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the issue here is taking online bookings and online payments. Once you have accepted online bookings you can't move back and they will apply the service charge.

I find that many people like the comfort of paying by card, if they want to do that direct we have to use Paypal.

Our OD bookings seem to be down a lot since the service charge came in. I think them charging this fee after we have paid a hefty subscription is quite unfair.
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Sam V



Joined: 20 Nov 2009
Posts: 1625
Location: Villa in Gale, Algarve, Portugal. At home in Fetcham, Surrey, UK

PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ianh100 wrote:
I think the issue here is taking online bookings and online payments. Once you have accepted online bookings you can't move back and they will apply the service charge.

I find that many people like the comfort of paying by card, if they want to do that direct we have to use Paypal.

Our OD bookings seem to be down a lot since the service charge came in. I think them charging this fee after we have paid a hefty subscription is quite unfair.


Instead of using PayPal you can easily set up a Stripe/Wave account for credit card payments.
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COYS



Joined: 06 Jun 2015
Posts: 746
Location: Greek Islands

PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Giraffe wrote:
I am on subscription with OD. I take the bookings and payments myself, no online bookings nor online payments for OD. I know it's expensive, but it gives me complete control and flexibility on my bookings and payments, and no surcharges for customers. Currently I have around 50% of my bookings via OD.

+1
If you have to use them, best use them to your own advantage.
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newtimber



Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 1591
Location: Brighton

PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think all new subscriptions and renewed ones now have to have online booking and the service fee applied. OD have changed their terms and conditions.
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Mouse



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 7167
Location: Balearics

PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

newtimber wrote:
I think all new subscriptions and renewed ones now have to have online booking and the service fee applied. OD have changed their terms and conditions.


From when newtimber? I renewed end of Jan and had no problem with keeping to subscription without online anything.

Mouse
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