Well ... we're back on this portal and we aren't happy about this step.
Because it can be quite challenging to create a new branding without being known to the market, we constantly think over our past and current listings. The previous owners already successfully advertised the home thru HomeAway. Since we took over, however, we got like 2 or 3 bookings thru this portal. The listing itself costs around USD 400 plus our guests have to pay service fees of several USD 100. So we were convinced that it'll be wise to not extend the subscription. We're still convinced and now even more.
Our current listing can be found here: https://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p2746396
So here's what happened. We stopped our listing in Februar. Before that we subscribed with new portals like FloridaRentals.com, Booking.com and Tourist-Paradise.com and observed no remarkable increase in inquiries or bookings. In fact most bookings came thru our website or Facebook but we knew that some vacationers appreciate the service of HomeAway even though they have to pay a fee. So after long we decided to give HomeAway a second try. We found that our listing doesn't appear on any search because there are so many vacation rentals in Cape Coral and HomeAway does only display 300 search results. So unless you select certain search criteria you'll not find us there. We tried reaching out to the customer service so many times, you have to type in 'free Wi-Fi' in the title to make your listing appear when the filter "free Internet' is set. We applied all these silly text-based changes to make our listing searchable for all those possible criteria but we never made it to the Top 300 search results. Imagine: as a website user you can select filters to limit the search results checking some attributes, however, the owner has to capture such attributes in the description of his property. So any typo or missed keyword will result in filtering out your property even though the chosen attribute is fulfilled by the property. So the customer service told us one just needs to set the right filters and focus on the map but there was no further, valueable advice. Nobody finds us and customer service doesn't care about. They took the subscription fee and it cost us so much time to finally convince us that this is no good value by any mean and we'll not give it another try unless they can prove dramatic improvement and a fair promotion of all listed properties.
So what is the consequence? We'll most likely disappear from this portal ... again!