When it comes to the frustrating, constantly changing terms and rules of the large listing sites, as an independent holiday home owner, you have a choice:

Put up and shut up OR do something about it!

There are so many messages going around about what the big listing sites are doing.  About how horrible it is for hosts, how they’re squeezing us out of the market, raising our costs and how they don’t care for us.

You have a choice to be with these big guys. There’s a particular gripe at the moment about Airbnb changing their cancellation policy so guests can cancel at last minute and even half way through their stay with you . Then Airbnb will refund the guest and hosts will lose out.

That’s dreadful for the host, absolutely horrible.   It’s not the way we should be treated.

But at the end of the day you have a choice. A choice whether you do business with these big listing sites or not!

They are running a business. You are just a tiny fish in their big sea. They have shareholders to please and directors to pay. Their business model can change on a whim, to run their business however they want it to be run.

There’s no point whingeing about it. Do something about it.

Like what?

You need to take steps ( small steps) but just keep taking them everyday to go out and get those bookings yourself. And then next time you hear a complaint or niggle about the large listing sites, like me, you’ll be able to say “oh well” and shrug your shoulders, as it has nothing to do with you.  How good would that feel! They can go do whatever they like, your business will not be affected. You’ll feel so smug!

Of course I do care for owners who are impacted by negative changes and charges being imposed by the large listing sites.  But more importantly I want owners to move away from them. If every unhappy host left Airbnb, Airbnb wouldn’t have a business. But instead hosts choose to  moan and complain and do nothing about it.  That frustrates me.

If you don’t like it then move away.  And rather than jumping into bed with someone else who is probably equally less suitable as a bed partner put time and energy and effort into taking your own bookings.

Start by getting a website of your own that you just love and you can’t wait to drive traffic to. You’re so proud of it you want to shout about it and sing about it from the rooftops. Start thinking about what key phrases guests will be typing into a Google search – the longer the better for us individual owners and optimise your website against these key word phrases so you get found.

Take to social media and start talking about your holiday rental and about your area, promoting what people can do on holiday with you.

Join a smaller, niche listing site where as an owner you can display your contact details and a link to your website. So from the very start you are in control of the host/guest relationship.

What better way to take back control of your business and maximise your profit per booking as you’ll have no listing site fee to pay.

Karen