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Grading Vacation Rentals on the Curve

By Wm. May
Published: 10/01/16 Topics: AirBnB, Vacation Rental Association, Vacation Rentals Comments: -

A long time AirBnB host with multiple properties all with 4.5 or higher average ratings, recently complained that he received an online warning from AirBnB that his listings might be delisted if the average goes below a grade of 4.

Research has showed that average ratings on AirBnB are a full one start higher than the number of stars for homes on HomeAway.com.

Could this mean that only the better homes are listed on AirBnB? A random view of homes in most areas show even a wider variety of rentals than on other vacation rental listing sites.

Another factor is that AirBnB lists individual rooms or guest suites within a home, and these are uncommon on HomeAway websites. A constant reading of AirBnB forums such as AirHostsForum.com, reveals that the horror stories of in-house rentals can be even more rancorous with hosts and guests often very unhappy with each other.

There are rooms that stink, and guests that are stinkers. There are places that would make most guests gag - a trailer in someone's back yard? A Tee Pee with no bathroom handy? A sleeping bag under a tree?

In most U.S. High Schools, teachers often grade students on what is called "The Curve." This is a philosophy that posits not all students perform the same. Some study diligently, some do not. Some have greater native intelligence and some do not. Therefore, the grades within a given set of students should be spread often in a graph looking something like this.

A = 10%

B = 20%

C = 50%

D = 20%

F = 10%

** The actual percentages can vary by teacher, but the generate proportions are similar.

Most teachers never understand that a usual class size of 20 to 30 students is not a wide enough sample to allow the curve to be valid within that class. But the concept does seem to applicable to other matrixes.

50% of hotels are adequate (and not luxury)

50% of drives obey the speed limit

50% of employees do adequate work.

50% of diners leave an appropriate tip.

Most teachers also never admit that the success of students is greatly dependent on the teacher. Some instructors explain things very well, some offer extra help, some are expert motivators. But we have all had teachers who were lazy, rude, or bad communicators.

So how come, AirBnB seems to think that 100% of its guests must get a grade of A or A minus?

If their goal is to drive up quality and guest relations, that is a wonderful idea. But if their goal is a scaling system on which guests can determine the quality of a home, then they have it all wrong.

More likely, AirBnB's warnings to the hosts of homes is intended to fool guests into thinking that every home is a luxury place, every destinations is truly unique and bookings on AirBnB will insure a perfect vacation. And all of that is simply to increase bookings and line AirBnB's pockets.

Any intelligent person knows that it can rain at the beach, be crappy snow at a ski resort and that a home may not be as big as you dreamed even if you got a bargain price. A better solution would be to truly rate homes with an overall system that better informs guests of the variety of homes, quality, location, size and other factors.

And that would result in homes being graded on the curve.

Wm. May
Vacation Rental Association
10/01/16

San Clemente CA Moton for Vacation Rental Moratorium

By Jeff Bosson
Published: 01/02/16 Topics: Comments: -

Contrary to advice from tourism officials and the vacation rental industry, January 5, 2016 San Clement City Council will vote on a moratorium on vacation rentals in the city.. Read more

Chim Chimney! What to Know on Chimney Sweeping

By William May
Published: 01/01/16 Topics: Vacation Rentals Comments: -

It’s that time of year to curl up around a warm fire - New Years has just happened, the weathers getting a little chilly, maybe there’s a light dusting of snow on the lawn. You open the flue, light your kindling, and wait for the romantic crackling to start. But then you start wondering: when was the last time you got the chimney swept?! Read more

Vacation Rental Restoration

By William May
Published: 12/28/15 Topics: Insurance, Property Management, Vacation Rentals Comments: -

Vacation rental homes are susceptible to the same problems as full-time residences. Sometimes pipes break, basements flood and even smoke or fire damage can happen. Read more

LED Light Bulbs for Vacation Rentals

By Ron Lee
Published: 12/22/15 Topics: Comments: -

After traveling from near and far, guests are excited to throw open the front door and rush expectantly into the vacation rental home of their dreams. They expect everything to work perfectly and burned out light bulbs can be enough to wreck their entire vacation. Read more

The Genius Truck Mechanic

By William May
Published: 11/11/15 Topics: Boats, Self Improvement Comments: -

Wisdom can come from a professor, a teacher a mentor and sometimes from a truck mechanic. Learn how to focus and concentrate. And maybe how not to collaborate. Read more

Expedia to buy Homeaway

By Ronald Lee
Published: 11/05/15 Topics: Advertising, AirBnB, Vacation Rentals Comments: -

There’s always a bigger fish. Serial purchaser Homeaway has itself been acquired by Seattle based Expedia. Read more

Best Halloween Advertising. Cheapest too.

By William May
Published: 10/31/15 Topics: Advertising, Marketing Comments: -

Many experts will rattle your brain with every kind of advertising and marketing. But the restaurant - Two Doors Down - exceeds them all with their latest Halloween advertising idea. It may not be what you expect. Boo. Read more

Most Professional Photographers Are Not

By William May
Published: 10/22/15 Topics: Comments: -

New technology has created three photography skill levels - Amateur, Professional and HDR Pro. Nothing but the top level of High Dynamic Range photos are good enough for business that want to stand out on the web, in print and achieve the greatest possible sales. Is your photographer at the top level? Read more

Vacation Rental Insurance for Condo Owners

By April Klazema
Published: 10/12/15 Topics: Insurance, Property Management, Vacation Rentals Comments: -

Say you own a condo in Florida that you have been visiting every spring break for ten years now. Next spring, you have a different trip planned and won't be able to make it down to the condo at all. However, the condo is in an area that is a hot tourist destination during the winter and spring months. If you aren't going to be using it, you figure someone else would pay good money to rent it out for a few weeks. Who knows? You might even be able to finance most of your other trip just by renting out your condo to other Florida tourists! Read more

Leisure Link Says Bad Photos a Deadly Sin

By Noel Poage
Published: 09/25/15 Topics: Channel Managers, Photography Comments: -

A long time technology provider to lodging properties recently published the seven sins of distribution> Perhaps the most striking is how dramatically bad photo produce bad booking results. Here is how to avoid the problem. Read more

How Much Vacation Rental Insurance Do You Need?

By April Klazema
Published: 09/01/15 Topics: Insurance, Property Management, Vacation Rentals Comments: -

When you are looking to buy vacation rental insurance coverage for the first time, you will likely have a laundry list of different questions that you want answered. Here are the answers. Read more

What Goes Around Comes Around for AirBnB

By Ron Lee
Published: 08/22/15 Topics: Advertising, AirBnB Comments: -

Perhaps today's lodging usurpers like Expedia, Priceline, Homeaway and AirBnB could learn a thing or two from the advertising history of major newspapers. Being big and successful does not portend continued success when advertisers are treated poorly. Read more

Do I Need to Get Special Insurance for My Condo or Vacation Home?

By April Klazema
Published: 08/01/15 Topics: Insurance, Property Management, Vacation Rentals Comments: -

If you rent out your property to vacationers or other tenants when you are not using it, then it cannot be protected under a homeowner's policy. If you are accepting money to allow someone to stay at your vacation home, learn heard about the insurance you must have. Read more

Special Insurance for My Condo or Vacation Home?

By April Klazema
Published: 07/01/15 Topics: Insurance, Property Management, Vacation Rentals Comments: -

If the purpose of the vacation home is for personal use only, then a homeowner's insurance policy will be sufficient to cover the property. But if you rent your home to guests on a nightly, or week basis that insurance is insufficient. Read more

BookingSync.com is right about photography

By Noel Poage
Published: 07/01/15 Topics: Comments: -

We have to hand a prize to Sébastien Grosjean, CEO of BookingSync a vacation rental software and channel management company. In his recent video posts he covers the basics of shooting photography. But how about HDR? Read more

The Vacation Rental Property Insurance Difference

By April Klazema
Published: 06/01/15 Topics: Insurance, Property Management, Vacation Rentals Comments: -

Most insurance companies will offer a specific vacation rental insurance policy that you can purchase to protect your rental properties. A vacation rental property may look like a home, but in the eyes of an insurance company, it's a business. Read more

Cell Phone Photos Are Not Just Fine

By William May
Published: 06/01/15 Topics: Comments: -

Would you think that major vacation rental websites would know photos are the number one method to attract more guests, more bookings and higher rates? So how come some think taking snaps on a cell phone is good enough. When good enough never is. Read more

Creepy Vacation Rental Videos

By Wm. May
Published: 05/27/15 Topics: Marketing, Vacation Rentals, Videos Comments: -

Videos are now being used as background graphics for many websites including for vacation rental advertising that depict guests inside homes in seemingly innocent moments like lounging bed or playing with their children. But does it cross the line? Read more

Drones Will One Day Be Old News

By William May
Published: 05/01/15 Topics: Hotels, Photography Comments: -

Hoteliers are all anxious to get aerial photos of their properties from drones. Good idea and we do them. Here is why they would be better off to invest I High Dynamic Range (HDR) Photos instead. Read more

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