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We've been "vacation rental" owners since 1995, we started our business when very few people in our area were doing this.The early companies provided a nice format for listing your rentals, the person inquiring could communicate directly with us, we weren't required to pay a fee for each booking AND a yearly (overpriced) fee to list our rentals and we, the vacation rental owners, were in charge of our business.

As the business has grown and prospered over the last 15 - 20 years many of the companies like HomeAway/VRBO, TripAdvisor, Airbnb and Booking.com have entered into the picture and have literally pushed the rental owners aside in their efforts to control, manipulate and "own" this business...literally take it away from the owners. HomeAway created a 4-tier listing agreement where you can choose the exposure level you want to pay for, these prices go all the way up to $1600 if you choose to add VRBO and VacationRentals to your listing level. The big "lie" here is that no matter which level you choose, your property is buried among the 866 other vacation rnetals listed on their site (for the Nashville, TN area). There's no guarantee that the price you paid for your rental to show up when a potential customer is searcing for a place, UNLESS they are very knowledgable and saavy about how these sites work.

Greed is a powerful motivator and it's obvious these companies have no morals and care very little about the hard-working people who provide rentals for travelers. Many travelers prefer a privately owned place to stay instead of one of the big chain hotels or motels. TripAdvisor & Airbnb have taken "control" to a new level, by hiding the inquirer's email address and phone number until you've agreed to the booking. They even penalize you if you take what they consider "too long" to respond to an inquiry (regardless if it came in at 3 AM while you're sleeping).

I absolutely loathe these companies for what they're doing to the rental owners and the way they are monopolizing the vacation rental businesses.

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I couldn't agree more, Expedia isn't going to find success in cramming the VHRental silo into the hotel silo. The models, the customer expectations, etc are completely different, even if there is crossover and the customer sometimes utilized both hotels and private homes. Wake up Expedia?

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