Villa Rental By Owners-Villa Kali & Villa Bois Joli St. Barts

Posted by on Mar 17, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

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I’ve been advertising with VRBO/HomeAway since 2011. In December of 2015, Expedia purchased HomeAway/VRBO and proceeded to roll out a 4-10% service fee that clients now have to pay. This of course is in addition to the yearly fees that Owners are already paying. Owners will be penalized if they don’t “encourage” their clients to use the “Book it Button.” They do this by pushing your ad further down the page so people won’t see it. Of course it does not help that management companies have now been allowed on VRBO (Villa Rental By Owners). St. Barths is one of the worse offenders. There are 1618 villas for St. Barths and the majority are run by management companies. The site actually had 1940 houses for rent in January. When the fees went into place that number went down.

I am frustrated by the fees, but also the fact that they are scaring clients into using their “book it button.” They tell people that they can’t guarantee a villa is legitimate unless they use their “book it button.” I know there have been incidents out there where people were duped by fictitious ads, however, I would think it is more responsible to check out a customer before putting them on your site.

I’ve been in the Travel/Tourism & Event Planning field most of my life. I’ve inspected hotels, villas and lots of venues over those years. Nothing gives me more pleasure then sharing that information with my clients. I wish HomeAway/VRBO would provide that service for their clients.

So what does one do at the end of the day? Research! If you have already stayed at the villa that you want to visit again, book it directly with the Owner. If you have no clue where to stay ask your friends who have visited the same location. They might know the perfect hideaway for your escape. Last but not least, check out local Management companies. They typically charge a service fee but at least they inspect the villas they represent.

If you are in the market for a one bedroom villa in Vitet, St. Barts check out Villa Kali here and Villa Bois Joli here or contact me at edie@villakali.com  or 1-340-643-2277.

**Website for Villa Bois Joli will be up soon!**