Stayz, Australia’s largest holiday home rental site, has eliminated its combined listing/booking fees and moved to a flat 10% commission on all homes booked, creating a kerfuffle among some property owners who are threatening to shift all their business to Airbnb.
Now owned by Expedia, Stayz had previously charged a $164 annual listing fee plus $15.90 for each night booked.
Both those charges have been eliminated and replaced by the 10% commission, a move which is way way overdue and still well under the market average for Online Travel Agents of 15%.
But the issue is Airbnb. The site has enormous momentum with rapid sales growth and market penetration.
Crucially, it has also reversed traditional commission structure, charging owners just 3% while the tenant pays another 6% to 12% in “guest service fees.
This structure is something Stayz had considered but didn’t proceed with, preferring an industry standard owner-pays structure.
Predictably many owners are upset, contacting mainstream media to vent their frustrations.
However, the fact is they’ve got it pretty good compared with hoteliers forced to pay OTAs 15% on all bookings, while threats to distribute only through Airbnb ring hollow.
The fact is properties have to be on multiple platforms to increase visibility and sales.
“I can’t see any alternative but to switch to the Stayz pay-per-stay commission for the moment, but am looking forward to the time when I can cancel and rely just on Airbnb,” one owner told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Rely on Airbnb.
There’s an interesting statement – the maxim “never put all your eggs in one basket” springs to mind.