Thursday, October 30, 2014

Homeaway adds Listing Quality Rating

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Homeaway has recently added a Listing Quality Rating to vacation rentals listed on its website. Listings with a higher score will receive preferential ratings in search results.

Elements that are included in the calculation include:

  1. Reviews of your vacation rental
  2. Average response time and your response rate to enquiries
  3. The number of photos in your listing
  4. Calendar updates
  5. Whether you have verified your property's location
  6. Whether you have quotable rates for all time periods
  7. Use of Homeaway's Online Booking and Homeaway payments

Most of these make sense: Homeaway wants to give preference to owners that are actively using the Homeaway listing site for managing their bookings. In particular, Homeaway wants to avoid prospective renters sending queries to listings that are dormant or non-responsive.

However, including the use of Homeaway's Online Booking and Payments system is perhaps a little controversial. Certain owners may not want to be tied to paying additional charges to Homeaway for these services and it seems a little harsh to penalise them in the search listings for opting out of these services.

Nevertheless, the quality scorecard does give owners some clear ways to increase visibility on Homeaway, so my advice is to take advantage by ensuring your rating is as high as possible, particularly by responding quickly to enquiries, keeping your calendar up to date and making sure you have complete pricing and photos.

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