Many guests use VRBO and Airbnb in order to make their Red River reservations, but do you know how much they charge you for this service?
VRBO charges you between 6% and 15% of the rental amount while Airbnb charges 14% but can be as high as 20%. That's a lot for simply using their web site. Now some small lodging hosts may not have a website and use these online booking services exclusively and there may not be any other way to book, so in that case it may be your only option.
Most management companies and many single property operators do have their own websites or at least a phone number you can call to reserve your vacation property and that could save you and them a bunch of money. So how much can you save? Here's some quick math.
Average nightly rate for 3 nights:
Most of the year about $250 for 3 nights = $750 x VRBO/AIRBNB Fee = $75 to $150 in additional fees.
Christmas (higher rates) $600 for 3 nights = $1,800 x VRBO/AIRBNB Fee = $108 to $360 in additional fees.
If you are booking more expensive properties the fees are obviously going to go up from there.
Do yourself and your host a favor, find the property you want to book then do a Google search to see if you can find a way to book direct, if you can, you just saved yourself a bunch of money that you can use to buy even more goods and services in Red River which in turn helps our town to grow and improve.
- Rob Swan