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Sam V



Joined: 20 Nov 2009
Posts: 1610
Location: Villa in Gale, Algarve, Portugal. At home in Fetcham, Surrey, UK

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

also, don't forget that payments for online booking are taken via Yapstne who in turn add on their fees to owners.
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COYS



Joined: 06 Jun 2015
Posts: 658
Location: Greek Islands

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AndrewH wrote:
COYS wrote:
...so it appears that OLB & OP have little or no positive effect on increased enquiries and bookings. Since the market changes, these have simply tanked in our region so it would appear a pointless waste of money.

Having been on OD's OLB & OP since early days, my experience is that these have no positive effect whatsoever. In fact it is probably the reverse. The watershed came on the day last June when the travellers' service fee for subscription customers came into force and, in consequence, enquiries through them have also tanked in our region.

I am still with Owners Direct, but get virtually nothing through them - just one and she regrets not booking direct. However my OD advert. is a useful billboard and guests have searched, found and booked my property in ways that hasn't cost them a penny extra in travellers' commissions.


I like your style AndrewH!
Agreed, around the same time frame & policy change seems to have been the catalyst for widespread disillusion but on the other hand, if you can continue to make it work for you it may well be worth being that annoying fly in the OD ointment.
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The Mighty Beaver



Joined: 15 Aug 2017
Posts: 3
Location: charente

PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have recently ditched OD, as I believe numerous others have as well, after being with them for a couple of years. They are one of the most unethical organisations I have ever had the misfortune to deal with! They are not remotely interested in what is fair or working with their owners for mutual benefit - they are only interested in driving up their own profits, regardless of how it affects either their advertisers or guests. In very much the same way as Holiday Lettings changed after they were swallowed by Trip Advisor, OD's decline started almost as soon as they got into bed with Home Away. The large US company ethos of 'one size fits all' is to the fore in both organisations and they really don't care about relationship-building, which I consider to be one of the cornerstones of my business. I want to establish a rapport with my potential guests, OD wants to limit or remove any personal contact between owner and renter until they have squeezed as much out of the potential guest as they can by convincing them that they can only book using their (ODs) system!
I am now in the process of moving to smaller, niche, sites which consider their job to be simply putting the two (owner and renter) in contact and leaving them to get on with it - NOT trying to interfere with, and control, every aspect of the process as OD/HA and TA/HL want to do. Hopefully, I will soon be in a position to also ditch Holiday Lettings as well!
My advice would be to give OD as wide a berth as possible.
As an aside, this year about one third of our business has been repeat business and I would strongly recommend cultivating this market. It's much more cost-effective and has the added advantage of 'better the devil you know' familiarity. Our repeat business has steadily increased over the past seven years and this is due, at least in part, to the amount of time I spend before, during and after the holiday, building up a positive relationship with my guests. In addition to the same guests returning year after year, we are now getting new guests via personal recommendations to them from previous guests!
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AndrewH



Joined: 12 Sep 2013
Posts: 1209
Location: Kefalonia, Greece

PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

+1
Well said and welcome, Mighty Beaver. There are many on here who think the same!
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The Mighty Beaver



Joined: 15 Aug 2017
Posts: 3
Location: charente

PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your welcome, Andrew H!
I knew from personal contacts with a few other owners that the views I held regarding these large sites was not just me being paranoid, but it is reassuring to join a Forum such as this and have reinforcement that it is an even more commonly held view than I have imagined.
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petitbois



Joined: 20 Jun 2008
Posts: 313

PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

+1 Mighty Beaver - also in Charente 14yrs & looking at quitting in 2019 - ditching OD, HL, HA et al Gites.EU & a few other waste of time sites. Let me know if you find any good new sites - for the moment sticking with HFD & CN for gites one more year - have brought all our new gite business over the last 2 yrs, like you lucky with high precentage of regulars - for us 60%, with bookings for 2018 already.
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The Mighty Beaver



Joined: 15 Aug 2017
Posts: 3
Location: charente

PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Petitbois - At the moment I'm with HFD (although a little miffed that they changed the 75 crossing to a 75 OFF the cost of a crossing - a bit naughty), BFB and Holiday Tots, as well as TA/HL (for now!). BFB and Holiday Tots are a bit specialised if you're not specifically kitted out for small children - we added an enclosed Playpark with swings, slide etc. a couple of years ago and a number of other kiddie friendly items. Neither produces great numbers of bookings although HT did bring in one booking (two gites for 3 weeks in peak season), which was a nice little earner!
I decided to give Gites.co.uk a try last week - it's a bit of a pain to produce the ads (three in my case) from scratch but a lot of it can be cut and paste from existing ads. Anyway, only been live for 5 days and had my first enquiry yesterday (two weeks for next summer peak). It probably won't turn into a booking as she wants to bring two dogs (and we don't accept pets) - but at least it shows there's some traffic to the site! They currently have a free 180 day offer running so really nothing to lose other than some time setting it up! They are obviously a small operation but are very helpful and quick to respond.
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greenbarn



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 5901
Location: The Westmorland Dales, Cumbria

PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Mighty Beaver wrote:
I have recently ditched OD, as I believe numerous others have as well, after being with them for a couple of years. They are one of the most unethical organisations I have ever had the misfortune to deal with! They are not remotely interested in what is fair or working with their owners for mutual benefit - they are only interested in driving up their own profits, regardless of how it affects either their advertisers or guests. In very much the same way as Holiday Lettings changed after they were swallowed by Trip Advisor, OD's decline started almost as soon as they got into bed with Home Away. The large US company ethos of 'one size fits all' is to the fore in both organisations and they really don't care about relationship-building, which I consider to be one of the cornerstones of my business. I want to establish a rapport with my potential guests, OD wants to limit or remove any personal contact between owner and renter until they have squeezed as much out of the potential guest as they can by convincing them that they can only book using their (ODs) system!
I am now in the process of moving to smaller, niche, sites which consider their job to be simply putting the two (owner and renter) in contact and leaving them to get on with it - NOT trying to interfere with, and control, every aspect of the process as OD/HA and TA/HL want to do. Hopefully, I will soon be in a position to also ditch Holiday Lettings as well!
My advice would be to give OD as wide a berth as possible.
As an aside, this year about one third of our business has been repeat business and I would strongly recommend cultivating this market. It's much more cost-effective and has the added advantage of 'better the devil you know' familiarity. Our repeat business has steadily increased over the past seven years and this is due, at least in part, to the amount of time I spend before, during and after the holiday, building up a positive relationship with my guests. In addition to the same guests returning year after year, we are now getting new guests via personal recommendations to them from previous guests!


I could have written that! In fact, in various stages over a period of time, I quite probably have!
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chipiechoo



Joined: 28 Sep 2013
Posts: 126
Location: SW France

PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome Mighty Beaver.
Appreciate reading your comments as we also ditched OD last month, for all the reasons you have eloquently stated. Have been renting out our gite for 11 years which caters for couples only.
We have now listed with CN fully subscribed, also with HFD on Quickbook who notified us last week that the cost is going up from 29 GBP to 34 GBP next week, have therefore had to put our prices up on their site. The other site we are with is Gitelink, they have produced a couple of bookings this year. But, 90% of our bookings this year have been direct, just hoping now our profile is lower that will continue, so far nothing booked for 2018 which is slightly unusual.
Thanks for the heads up regarding Gites.co.uk, shall look into placing an advert whilst that offer exists, nothing lost.
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