Report: Airbnb Hosts Building Their Own Direct Booking Websites

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When a business operates on someone else’s platform or website, they must play by that company’s rules and regulations. Some businesses that operate on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social networking platforms have realized the limitations and regulations can impact the growth of their business and sometimes cause it to shut down altogether. It may be easier to set up and operate a business on an existing platform, but having to operate in accordance with the platform’s rules can have consequences.

Now, according to a report on CNBC, some Airbnb and other home rental hosts are facing similar concerns on home rental booking platforms:

An excerpt from the article:

“Short-term rental hosts are banding together and launching their own direct-booking websites in an effort to diversify their business after years of mounting frustration with Airbnb and other short-term rental providers.”

When moving off of a platform like Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway, or other booking platform, these hosts will likely need their own domain names for websites. I think geographic keyword domain names make the most sense for this type of booking domain name. For instance, domain names like NantucketRentals.com or StoweSkiHome.com make sense for home owners who want to market their local rentals based on geographic area rather than creating a separate brand name.

Now that prospective home renters have more experience renting homes instead of booking hotels, operating a third party website offering direct bookings might make more sense.

For the last few years, we have spent more time in rentals booked via VRBO, Airbnb, and private real estate companies than we have in hotels. I am more comfortable booking rental homes via platform or real estate agency because of their backing and guarantees though. I would imagine some home owners will operate their own websites to drive traffic and have a rental management firm handle contracts and general management.

For what it is worth, about 10 years ago, I hand registered 10+/- geographic + keyword vacation destination domain names hoping to capture the attention of a homeowner who rents out their home. I did not sell a single domain name. I don’t think I even received an inquiry on any of the domain names. In fact, I opted to not renew quite a few of them over the years. Perhaps it is time to revisit those domain names. A big caveat, of course, is the pandemic will likely cause a massive decrease in travel for quite some time, so it could be a long term hold for those types of domain names as investments.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Best time to fly and take a vacation now….clean planes less crowded and cheap deals.
    Very bless to live in a big big beautiful USA,lots of people will be driving as time goes by.
    Can’t wait to drive to Point Barrow Alaska and back to key west .

  2. Great post Elliot! Thank you.
    Hopefully some of those domains will become a good deal for you in the future!

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