Daily Archives: May 26, 2011

May 26th, 2011

What’s up with Timeshares? Acceptable Properties on FlipKey and How We Make the Distinction

Let's not squabble over timesharesThere’s more to vacation rentals than single family rent-by-owner houses, cabins and cottages. Over the past couple years, FlipKey has been growing rapidly and we have adapted our listing specifications to accept a larger variety of properties, simply because there are so many great vacation rental experiences to choose from. Given the range of listing applications we receive, from intimate B&Bs to properties with many cottages for rent, we sometimes have to step back and ask, “what actually counts as a vacation rental?” In recent months we have begun accepting some more diverse properties. Not only has our inventory grown, but we have also opened up the opportunities for these properties to get high quality bookings from FlipKey and TripAdvisor travelers. Overall, expanding the range of options on FlipKey has been a great success.

But opening the door to new property types has also brought us many questions from homeowners regarding whether their rentals are suitable for listing on FlipKey. If someone comes to us with a 20-room hotel, or a one-week timeshare unit, we still have to turn them away because those types of properties cannot fairly be described as vacation rentals.

Since we get these types of questions so often, I wanted to address the specific guidelines we have in place, and explain the reasoning behind these limitations. This information will help future owners when considering FlipKey as an advertising medium for their property.

Timeshares

Timeshares must be available for at least 6 weeks in one calendar year to qualify as a vacation rental, though consecutive weeks are not mandatory. This policy is a regulation put in place to make it worthwhile for you, the homeowner, to take advantage of FlipKey. If you only advertise a property for one week out of the entire year, then listing on FlipKey would probably not be beneficial for you. If you are listing instead for 6 weeks of the year, then that’s 6 opportunities we have to secure a booking for you and 6 times the amount of money that you can earn from placing your listing. While this policy is sometimes a frustration for timeshare owners who can’t get to their unit at the appointed time, we promise, we do it for you.

Hotels and Resorts

We do not list hotels or resorts on our website because there are plenty of hotel-focused websites out there already. TripAdvisor excels at hotel listings, so we leave hotels to the experts there and list only properties that we at FlipKey know best – vacation rentals. Listing hotels requires attention to an entirely different set of details than vacation rentals because the experiences are worlds apart. Vacation rentals offer all the comforts of home, and as such a much more intimate experience for the traveler. We like to focus on that experience, and provide travelers with access to the best vacation rental accommodations possible.

Bed and Breakfasts

Bed and Breakfasts are a new feature on our website, and one we’re really excited about. We now accept B&B’s that have 8 rooms or less because these establishments maintain the intimate experience that our travelers value. In an 8-room B&B, your stay feels more like home and less like a hotel with hundreds of guests. The B&B experience features the comfort of home, along with other amenities like home-cooked breakfast or afternoon tea, which you can’t get with all vacation rentals. Adding B&B’s gives travelers more options when choosing a place to stay.

Still have a question about suitable accommodations? Please don’t hesitate to let us know.

Categorized as: Advice for Owners and Managers, FlipKey News & Updates Read more →