Wednesday, June 14, 2006

RDFO Review Posted

I have completed the reviews of RDFO and posted on Compare Owner Holiday Rentals .

As mentioned previously, RDFO is not a traditional Vacation Rental by Owner site, but acts as a search engine. By registering your personal site (or listing on another vacation rental site) with RDFO, your property shows us in searches on the RDFO site.

The other unusual characteristic of RDFO is the referral network. Basically, this provides a facility for allowing you to give ( and hopefully receive) rental enquiries and bookings to ( and from) other vacation rentals owners. When a vacation owner receives a rental enquiry for a week that is already booked, they can pass this on to other vacation rental owners in the network.

I was thinking about whether this would work in practice while writing the review : I often pass on booking enquiries for my property on the French Riviera to other vacation rental owners , but seem to get few ( if any) referrals from them. It could be that I simply receive more "over-bookings" than other owners, or it could be that my altruism is not being returned in kind!

Anyway, although the RDFO system seems to operate on an "honour" basis, feedback from owners who have used it is positive. Maybe there are a more altruistic bunch than my friends ( or maybe the enquiries are spread more evenly).

I asked RDFO is they considered implementing some sort of comission system to provide incentives to share bookings, but they indicated that would add complications ... and besides, right now it is working, so why mess with it ?

RDFO indicate they have a patent pending on their referral network, although I know similar schemes have used in the past, so how defensible the patent is remains to be seen.

However, I certainly wish them well.

As always, comments are welcome.



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