One of the oldest and largest travel websites is TripAadvisor.com. They are presently positioning themselves to take over the number one spot presently held by homeaway.com. for vacation rental listings. Their new vacation rentals listing site is Flipkey.com.
We were approached by Flipkey in February of 2010 to list our vacation rental with them for a 60 days free trial listing. This was an opportunity to get more exposure with what I thought to be one of the best travel related sites. We were contacted by Flipkey again at the end of our 60 days with instruction on how to pay and keep our listing. I wrote back and expressed that we had not received any viable inquiries because we did receive two inquiries but none of them had phone numbers. We do not count inquiries without phone numbers as serious or true inquiries because anyone could be sending them in. They came back with an extended sixty days and then we finally received several more inquiries with phone numbers and booked one of them. We continued to get inquiries and soon realized that most of our inquiries were coming from Flipkey.
I started to research them and realized that not only was my listing on Flipkey but they had also added a vacation rentals tab to TripAdvisor.com and were also showing our listing and we were receiving inquiries from TripAdvisor.com also.
They do something very unique in that once someone inquiries about a property they also offer up other options to send the inquiry to. This is great because if someone inquires about another rental in the same area they offer up our rental asking if they want the inquiry to come to us also.
VRBO and Homeaway have gotten bad raps for the way they handle the testimonials site allowing the owner to pick and choice which ones are posted, Flipkey has a process in place which we also like as they allow us to select who we want to ask for a testimonial and they post it once received.
Another great feature is that they allow you to post as many pictures as you which at no addtional charge.
With their ten million plus visitors to their websites I think these guys are poised to take the number one spot for vacation rental listing site in just a few more months or by 2013.
What this means to all property owners is that they are the site to list with so run do not walk over to the site and get your property listed for the ten million plus visitors they have to offer.
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Al & Nelida Rios
Villas de COSTA MAR