Trip Advisor - New Integrations

Austin Bob

Member
Dec 15, 2018
129
11
18
What City & State do you work in?
San Antonio
TripAdvisor for home rentals is obviously a lot smaller than Airbnb, but they're not tiny. They have nearly a million (880,000) properties available to rent. And of course their whole thing has always been that they're integrated into so many other things. They have their huge travel website that has been around for a long time. So they have ways to funnel a lot of guests off onto their rental platform.

As a host I've never had a good experience with them though and have wondered how they continue to exist. But they're not giving up!

They're now partnering with Guesty and integrating the homesharing management software into their booking system. Which is great news for hosts. Guesty, like other similar services such as smartbnb.io really helps hosts, especially those with more than a few properties and especially those who are listed on more than one site. (And hopefully anybody hosting with TripAdvisor is hosting on more than one site... because you just don't get that much business from TA).

Of the things Guesty (and Smartbnb) help hosts with probably the two-way calendar sync is the most important. Let's say you host on Airbnb, HomeAway and TripAdvisor. And let's say you have no bookings yet for next April. What happens if someone on Air books your place for April 3rd-5th and maybe an hour later (before you've had a chance to see and respond to that booking) someone else books it for April 1st-4th. Well, you're gonna have a problem. Because you're going to have to cancel one of them. And more than likely you'll cancel the one who came through the platform you get the fewest bookings from. Or you'll cancel the one that came through the platform that has the mildest penalties for cancellations. Or, maybe you're simple minded and you'll just cancel the one that was for the least amount of money.

Whatever you decide to do though, the options aren't pleasant. You're going to have to cancel one or the other (or maybe two... what if you get two additional reservations before you have to chance to mark off all the calendars)?

Guesty and Smartbnb will both sync all your calendars. The minute (or almost the minute) you get a reservation on Airbnb, these services will pretty shortly afterwards mark those dates as booked on your TA calendar as well as your HomeAway calendar. This helps prevent double bookings and will do so probably 99.9999999999% of the time. Without a service like this it's very dangerous to have Instant Booking enabled on all the platforms you're on. And while you may hate IB, you know you need it.

Without such services, if you used multiple platforms, you'd have to have a master calendar somewhere on your own computer to keep up with everything. With these services, there's no need for that since all your calendars will be updated not only automatically but pretty much instantly.

Guesty also provides a unified Inbox, a single destination for guest messages which is seamlessly synced with your listing data. That's a pretty nifty feature actually. And they offer your own branded website where you can take direct bookings with just a few mouse clicks.

One thing they offer though that I would strongly advise against using is a 24/7 guest communication service. They say they have "a dedicated team ready to offer your guests around the clock service." Which means they have people who will respond to guest messages when you can't... like while you're sleeping or otherwise away. I would NEVER use that service. Because there is no way their probably $9 an hour offshore support people could possibly come close to answering guest communications as well as I do. And as well as you do. And as well as any property owner could. And that is really, in my opinion our big selling point. Guests can get extremely personalized and personable service with us - something no one who hasn't even been to our properties could possibly do. And it's that personal service that is one of the big things guests are looking for when they do homesharing.

You can also update your listings, availability, rates and more, with one click. They'll help you manage your inventory and keep things running smoothly even when you sleep.

And by the way, you may know that HomeAway owns some of the most major homesharing sites, but did you know that TripAdvisor owns:
  • FlipKey
  • Holiday Lettings
  • Niumba
  • Vacation Home Rentals, and
  • HouseTrip
I didn't. And probably like you, I've never heard of Nimumba!
 

gigabYte

Member
Dec 7, 2018
53
8
8
What City & State do you work in?
Long Island, NY
Boston Rob... er, excuuuse me! Austin Bob... haha!

You're wrong about Guesty integrating with so many services. They're only integrated with Booking.com & Airbnb, so that's not exactly everybody, is it? You need to research what you're talking about before you start posting.

And did you know they charge TWENTY PERCENT of your bookings with Booking.com? How outrageous is that! 20%... can you imagine? Airbnb only charges us 3%. So, I don't know why in the world anyone would have anything to do with Guesty. No wonder they need to partner with TripAdvisor to get new clients.

Here's what looks like the only honest review of them on Capterra:

Pros: Automated messages are great and the multi-calendar is nice. These seem to be the only features that are completely reliable.

Cons: We naively took a recommendation from someone to use Guesty and had a hard time discovering other options out there. Do more research. There are four excellent options that are roughly 40-75% cheaper. The price for this platform is absurd.

Tools rarely work as promised. They are not a true channel manager. They only integrate with airbnb and booking.com, but they've been promising "coming soon" for several other channels forever, but doesn't look like it will happen. If you go with Booking.com through Guesty, you have to live with the 20% cut to Booking.com which didn't help us increase revenue when we already have 85% occupancy. Our only choice there was to actually reduce our revenue, so that was a non-starter.

If you're a good operator with high rates and occupancy, I don't know how this platform can do anything but stagnate your growth.

Only banks, cable companies and Guesty gets away with saying, "sorry for the inconvenience" when they're product doesn't work. In every other business is means refunds/rebates/credit/gifts.... something that tells your customer you regret you failed to meet the expectations you set. They completely ignored me on every occasion I suggested they should consider crediting us for their inability to deliver a myriad of promises.

Onboarding was such a rush job, weekly sessions promptly ending after 60 minutes. "Send us your questions". Not great onboarding. Analytics are mediocre, not powerful at all, practically non-existent.

Overall: We needed automated messaging and we needed to get out to other channels besides Airbnb. Their mobile apps are sad and ineffective for our team members, so we go some messaging automation help but no help for our team really communicating. Team members can't communicate directly with any messaging only tasking tools that didn't work according to the permission matrix Guesty published.

If you have a desire to be on the biggest channels, this is not your platform. If you need tools and accounting and other services, this is not your platform. We are actually, currently paying 60% of what we would pay for the most robust enterprise level platform that's way beyond our capability to utilize in this industry.

Maybe you start with Guesty when you have two properties, but if you're doing well they siphon an incredible amount of money out of your business. If you don't plan on growing, this might be a good solution.
Weird that almost all the other reviews are 5 stars. Looks like none of them have been exposed to any of Guesty's competitors - some of which are much better.

Here's one other very negative review even though they rated them 4 stars. (I don't see how they get 4 stars with these kinds of complaints):

Cons: features CONSTANTLY break or glitch out and support seems to disappear in moments of crisis.

Reporting is not accurate with the figures and support tells you different things on different days

WAY TOO EXPENSIVE

SUPPORT IS SLOW AND DOESN'T CARE HOW MUCH HELP/HOW BAD YOU NEED IT.
 

Austin Bob

Member
Dec 15, 2018
129
11
18
What City & State do you work in?
San Antonio
You're wrong about Guesty integrating with so many services. They're only integrated with Booking.com & Airbnb, so that's not exactly everybody, is it? You need to research what you're talking about before you start posting.
Er, excuuuuse me! But, I believe my post distinctly said that TRIPADVISOR was partnering with Guesty. Hellooo! Mr. Man with Reading Comprehension Problems. Maybe you should read & comprehend what you're replying to before you reply.

Haha!