Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Free Vacation Rental Listings Sites

Free vacation rental listings sites come in various forms.

I have noticed an increase in the number of vacation rental sites offering extended free trials or free listings in the past few months. Most of these are new sites that need to build up the number of vacation rental homes advertised on their site, and they offer anywhere from 6 months to 3 years free. Once established with a strong pool of potential renters visiting each day, the intent is to begin charging vacation rental owners for their listings.

Some examples of this type of site are villaholidayhomes.com and www.tenant.com , though there are many others.

I wonder if any research has been done to see how many of these sites successfully move from free trials to paid listings ? This is a area I plan to research later this year, so let me know if you have any information or thoughts on this subject.

On the other hand, some of the established vacation rental sites continue to offer free trial listings. This is a "try before you buy" model, with the intent being that you should be sufficiently impressed by the level of enquiries and bookings for your vacation home that you will go ahead and pay for a listing at the end of the trial period. Trial periods are usually between 1 and 3 months.

Some examples of these type of vacation rental sites are Homelidays and VacationHomeRentals .

However, there are also some sites that offer permanently free vacation rental listings. These are funded either by advertising ( e.g. Google ads) or offer the opportunity to upgrade your free listing to a paid listing.

Examples of these sites include VacationRentals411 ( which allows you to bid for position on their search results ) and holidaylease.com .

Finally, there are also sites which offer free classified listings. The most famous of these is Craigslist, although US FreeAds Vacation Rentals Classifieds is another popular example.

With all of these free options, why would anyone pay for their vacation rental home to be listed on a vacation rentals site ? The answer lies in the fact that most free vacation rental sites will generate fewer enquiries and bookings than the paid sites. However, it's still worth listing your vacation rental home on several of these free vacation rental sites : after all, what do you have to lose ?

For a list of some of the better free vacation rentals sites, visit Vacation Rental by Owner Forum and sign up for the free Vacation Rental by Owner Newsletter

Regards,

Kevin

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