Home Archives 2008 April 22

Daily Archives: Apr 22, 2008

FlipKey’s mission is simple – help increase the presence of vacation rentals as a mainstream lodging option. At FlipKey we have managed our own vacation rentals and we have stayed, as guests, in other’s vacation homes. Our intimacy with the product is acute and we are confident that, in most circumstances, the vacation rental experience is superior to alternative lodging options.

The problem is that vacationers demand ‘predictability’. When consumers plan a trip with a hotel stay there is no pre-booking anxiety. Consumers are confident that there is staff on site for check-in, a standard TV with basic cable in the room, clean towels and a phone that with a press of the “0” button connects them with the front desk if there are any problems. Inherently, the vacation rental experience is not afforded the same consistency and predictability.

Prospective guests want to know:
– Is the home as nice as the advertisement claims?
– How do I get my keys?
– What happens if something goes wrong?
– Is there a deposit? How much is it? How do I get it back?
– Who manages the home?

Vacation rentals are a unique product with a unique consumer process. The industry’s uniqueness is it’s strength and advantage. The missing piece of the equation is the voices of past vacation rental guests singing the praises of not only the vacation rental experience, but of the specific company and home they stayed in. If consumers want predictability, then lets provide them with the most powerful resource we can offer – “honest words and reviews from our past guests”.

Third party guest reviews (via TripAdvisor) have been cited to increase hotel conversion rates by 100% (click here for more info). If a hotel can yield higher occupancy from reviews of its simple and predictable product, imagine what trusted reviews can do for vacation rentals!

FlipKey has begun to offer the vacation rental industry the power of transparency and the increased consumer confidence that comes with it. By offering the first advanced guest review platform specific to the industry, FlipKey is helping vacation rental managers collect robust guest reviews from verified guests and helping future travelers discover the vacation rental experience.

FlipKey is a relatively new service, but in the 30 days since opening our doors, a number of the industry’s leading management companies have begun using our free guest review and management tools. See some examples below:

Wondering where a great vacation rental is available in the Disney, Orlando area? Read the reviews collected by these Orlando/Kissimmee based vacation rental management companies:
All-Star Vacation Homes
(Orlando, FL)
Escape 2 Florida Homes (Orlando, FL)
Imagine Vacation Homes (Orlando, FL)

Planning to get a few families together for some golf and seaside fun in Myrtle Beach, SC? See what guests (including me) had to say about specific homes managed by Surfside Realty:
Surfside Realty (Myrtle Beach, SC)

Ski season may be over, but homes are already being reserved for the fall foliage in Franconia, NH. Read some of the reviews from the vacationers who have stayed in the large family homes managed by Franconia Vacation Rentals:
Franconia Vacation Rentals (Franconia, NH)

Looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Boston and enjoy some rest and relaxation by the beach? Cape Cod is your spot for beaches, golf, shopping, whale watching, deep sea fishing and more. Take a look at what past guests had to say about Cape Cod vacation homes:
Cape Cod Rentals (East Orleans, MA)

Ever been to Northern Michigan? Holiday Vacation Rentals in Harbor Springs manages wonderful places to stay while visiting one of the most beautiful resort towns in America. Miles of Lake Michigan beaches have been called the “Riviera of the Midwest”. Check their homes with guest reviews here:
Holiday Vacation Rentals (Harbor Springs, MI)

Carolina Mornings not only boasts reviews from pasts guests, the owners of the properties have been involved as well. What better way to understand exactly what a property offers than hearing directly from the owner?
Carolina Mornings (Asheville, NC)

This is only the beginning of how powerful verified guest reviews will be for the vacation rental industry. By offering tools for collecting, managing and distributing guest reviews online, FlipKey is here to help educate consumers on the incredible experience of a vacation home rental. If you are a property manager looking to get started leveraging guest reviews with Flipkey, apply for the FlipKey verified program here.