Tuesday, June 06, 2006


I recently came across an ususual vacation rental by owner site called RDFO ( www.rdfo.com) . Actually, they had read my article on Consolidation in Vacation Rental by Owner sites and contacted me, because they agreed with the basic premise that vacation rentals sites will need to find a way of differentiating themselves in an increasingly competitive marketplace for vacation rentals.

RDFO basically operates as a search engine and is particularly attractive for those vacation rental owners who have their own site. Basically, when you register with RDFO, your personal site shows up in their searches, allowing you to leverage their web presence, but maintain your own individual site design and layout. Your availability calendar also shows up in the search results, so that renters can quickly see if you have a vacancy for the required time.

RDFO also has a patent pending on it's use of a referral network. Basically, this allows you to share enquiries with other owners. I need to do more research to investigate, but the principle is that you can refer bookings to other owners for periods you are already booked, and vice versa. ( I need to check how owners are incented to reciprocate, as many owners can jealously guard their enquiries.)

Besides registered properties ( it costs $80 per year but you can find an attractive Special Offer on the COHR site), RDFO also lists thousands of other non-registered properties. My asumption is that, over time, they will try to move to a higher percentage of registered owners, but for now, the extra results benefit renters by providing more choice.

I have added RDFO to Compare Owner Holiday Rentals and intend to write a review of their site in the next week or so : it's nice to find an ususual offering in the vacation rentals marketplace.



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