While being on more platforms isn't everything, we do try to have a wide breadth of platforms to ensure we're maximizing our presence, our listings and our profits!

"Wait... Why is more not more?"

Allow me to explain! Airbnb is the absolute power-house, completely changing the rental ecosystem all across the world and definitely in the Poconos. As of this writing, Airbnb is 70% of our overall bookings and we find this to be consistent with most other rental homes. So you definitely want to be there. Then there's VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner) who is a very large plater in the space and makes up about 25% of our bookings. After that... there's the loooooong tail.

Since Airbnb's emergence, a lot of other platforms have joined the space (everyone wants a cut!) and its super crowded. There's the hotels with their own platforms. Then there's the women's only platform. Then there's the last-minute platform. Then there's the Gen Z platform... I think you get the picture.

And all these platforms operate independent of one another, so if you have 1 home you're managing on 20 different platforms then there's 20 listings you're managing! And it doesn't mean your're 20x more successful, since almost all the bookings are coming from Airbnb and VRBO.

To use a specific example, we used to be listed on Booking.com. It's a big name, you've probably heard of it, but we saw very little success on their platform. We got a few bookings, but these were dates that would have booked anyways on Airbnb or VRBO, so it doesn't make the pie bigger but instead just gives Booking.com a slide.

So we're looking for opportunities where the pie gets BIGGER


And not just giving a sliver to a new partner (see purple below)...


"So if more isn't more, which platforms are you on and how do you make that decision?"

Here are our current partners and some of the logic behind that decision

Airbnb - as mentioned previously, they're the biggest player in the space, have a huge market share, are very host-friendly and are actively moving the industry forward. Pretty close to an absolute no-brainer here.

VRBO - clear and obvious #2 largest player in the space. The pie absolutely is bigger with them being a partner and they integrate very nicely with our property management software , lessening the workload to manage the additional listings.

Direct Booking Site - this is excluding the middle man and facilitating the bookings ourselves on --> https://book.poconorentals.com . This allows us to offer our homes at a discounted rate (no middle-man) and allow for a better repeat-renter experience. This is also natively provided within our property management software, so the additional workload is quite low.

PoconoMountains.org - we are also listed here which clicks through to our direct booking site. While we don't get a lot of bookings here (and can only show our company, not individual listings) it doesn't cost us much time and there may be a way to further increase our presence.

BnbFinder.com - this is a company who was historically a Bed and Breakfast only website that has since pivoted into a more mainstream Airbnb competitor space. Since they are "new" in this pivot, they're looking homes to list and approached us by giving us one free year to use their platform. Furthermore, the listings click through to our Direct Booking site so we don't have to manage the listings. While the upside remains to be seen, there's no real downside to this trial run.

WhimStay - they specialize in "last minute" stays, specifically stays that are coming up in 21 days or less. For this, we discount the stay marginally to help incentivise bookings. We are very much in a trial run here as well, and our continues partnership will be dependent on the "pie getting bigger" as well as the clientele of guests this site attracts (typically last-minute bookings are not the best guests).

The other larger sites that we are not on (yet) are...

Booking.com - as mentioned, they don't perform well, fees are high and their platform is a complete bear (no pun intended!) to work with. We will continue to reevaluate this opportunity but at this point the cost is higher than the benefit.

Google Vacation Rentals - ahhh, the google! They have made it clear they are trying to enter the STR space and at this point in time you have to be integrated with a channel partner of their and cannot directly list on their site. Hostaway (our property management software) is working on this integration and should be coming in early