Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Flipkey Trial

Flipkey, owned by Tripadvisor, began offering a 60 day trial a few months ago and I decided to sign up with my 2 bedroom holiday apartment in Nice, France.

So far, over the course of two month, I have recieved 21 enquiries, one of which turned into a booking, which I think is pretty good for a free trial! (Some of the enquiries were for dates I already had booked: because I wanted to gauge the level of enquiries, I did not keep my calendar fully up to date.)

Flipkey is one of the larger vacation rentals sites, with more than 100,000 properties listed and it comes with most of the features you would expect of such a site.

Sign up with Flipkey is fairly easy: I mostly just cut and paste information from my listings on other vacation rental sites. Also, there is a dashboard for managing your property listing and enquiries.

As you would expect from a site owned by Tripadvisor, there is an emphasis on soliciting guest reviews. Because mine is a new listing, I have not yet collected any guest reviews, but there is compelling evidence that vacation rental properties with more guest reviews get more enquiries.

Flipkey also provides badges that you can put on your own website, indicating that your property's guest review count and average rating by Flipkey. (Of course, this is also a good way for Flipkey is build links from your own site to theirs!)

Many sites allow you to pay for "Special Offers", such as limited time discounts or free nights. Interestingly, Flipkey provides this facility for free and these special offers are then highlighted on your listing. I just discovered this feature and posted a special offer today: it will be interesting to see if this generates a specific response.

A full listing on Flipkey costs $299.99 (that really $300!) per annum, which is not cheap. However, my experience so far is that would indicate that it could be good value. My recommendation would be to avail of the free trial, see how it works for you and then decide at the end of the trial period.

(Tripadvisor also owns HolidayLettings .)

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