Monthly Archives for February 2022

What Happened to Instant Quotes?

TRAVEL - February 28, 2022

Have you noticed when you book a hotel or look at airline tickets they have different rates for each day and if you check back tomorrow, the rate may be different than it was today? This is known as “dynamic pricing” and has been quite common in the travel industry for many years. Recently, this technology became available to vacation rental owners as well.

At this time, approximately 75% of our listings display a rate table and about 25% are using dynamic pricing. Because the rates change frequently, we are not able to show the current rates on our website. When that happens, you will see a message on our quote calculator to contact the owner for a quote. Most owners will display an overall range for their rates where the higher end is for peak (summer or high demand periods such as festivals) and the lower end is for winter or off-season rates.

In the future, we hope to integrate with those services to bring you more accurate pricing. In the meantime, please submit an inquiry to the owner for a quote. If you do not hear back from the owner within a reasonable time frame, please contact us and we will follow up with the owner to make sure they received your request.

The Alabama Gulf Coast in particular is in very high demand for the summer months. Holding out for a “last minute deal” usually backfires – prices tend to go up (way up!), not down, for last minute openings in June and July. If you are on a budget and your dates are flexible, we have great weather and good rates from mid-April to mid-May and the prices start going down again in mid-August. September is a terrific time to visit – the weather is still warm enough to enjoy the pool and it’s less crowded.

And remember, you are already saving up to 20% just by avoiding those high booking fees and site commissions charged by those “big sites” – your vacation dollar goes farther on AlaVHR! Each listing is individually owned and operated. All owners on AlaVHR are verified. Please contact the owners directly through the website for more information or to book. Good luck and have a wonderful vacation!

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AlaVHR – 2021 Year in Review

OWNER RESOURCES, TESTIMONIALS - February 28, 2022

Another wild ride

Nothing about the past two years has been “normal” for the vacation rental business. Hurricane Sally beat us up pretty badly – recovery efforts took months and for some areas, they were hoping to reopen by Labor Day last year. Owning a vacation rental is not for the faint of heart and yet we saw record sales as new owners poured in. 2021 was a record year for real estate and we said goodbye to many veteran owners and made friends with the “newbies” coming into this business.

Website traffic and inquiries are all UP UP UP! Travelers are getting wise to those ridiculous booking fees and commissions charged by the “big sites” – and owners are getting fed up with all the rules being imposed on them.

  • Website Traffic up – nearly 2,000,000 Page Views in 2021
  • Inquiries up – over 16,000 Inquiries in 2021
  • Listings up 12% – We now have over 430 Active Listings – we are the LARGEST “no booking fee” website serving Alabama. We have TWICE as many Alabama Listings as our nearest competitor.
  • We sent out over 600,000 emails in 2021 and our email database has grown 25% to over 20,000 traveler emails.
  • We have over 21,000 followers on Social Media, including an extremely active Owner Support Group that is open to anyone who owns or manages a vacation rental in Alabama.

While we are growing, our competition is shrinking. What sets us apart? We pride ourselves in giving exceptional customer service, routinely going above and beyond. We have helped many new owners learn the ropes to set them up for success in this business. We continue to focus primarily on supporting individual owners and small scale property managers. We guarantee that your listing will be seen, not buried under major property management companies or hotels.

We truly believe that this will be an amazing year for our AlaVHR family – and when you join AlaVHR, it really is like being part of the family. Most importantly, we want to thank every owner who treats US like family and continues to put their faith in us. We will continue to work very hard for you in 2022!

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Coming Soon – AlaVHR Owner App!

Uncategorized - February 22, 2022

Never miss an inquiry for your vacation rental with the AlaVHR Owner App! Get instant notifications on your device, update your calendar, respond to reviews and more. It’s never been easier to manage your listings on Alabama Vacation Home Rentals. And remember – there are no added booking fees or site commissions when you advertise on AlaVHR.

  • Instant notifications for inquiries, booking requests and reviews
  • Quickly scan your inquiries to make sure you have responded to each one
  • Review and respond to reviews
  • Manage your calendar
  • Edit your listing and MORE!

Please contact us to report any issues, suggestions or bugs.



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February is #BookDirect Month on AlaVHR

TRAVEL, TRAVEL TIPS - February 5, 2022

February is Book Direct Month

In case you missed it, February 2 was International Book Direct Day!!!! Here at AlaVHR, we celebrate #BookDirect Day everyday, but we thought we would take #BookDirect Day a step farther and celebrate the entire month of February!

What exactly is #BookDirect Day?

The “book direct” movement started about four years ago when the “big sites” like VRBO and AirBnB started charging ridiculous fees to travelers and hosts to advertise on their websites. These fees are now 20-25% of the total that the guest ultimately pays for their vacation. #BookDirect Day was created to educate travelers why they should book direct and how to do it safely.

When you “book direct,” you are going directly to the owner or property manager and cutting out the middle man. At AlaVHR, we connect you directly with owners and property managers with NO ADDED booking fees and NO site commissions! Owners pay us a small annual fee, and you, the guest, pay the owner directly. Super Simple and Super SAFE because we verify every owner that lists on our site.

You will see a lot of posts on social media or digital classifieds where someone is offering to let you book directly with them – be very careful! Scammers are real and all too common. It’s very easy for them to pretend to own a vacation rental and scam you out of a down payment or worse, the entire payment for a vacation. We hear stories of families traveling 8-12 hours only to find they have no place to stay! Don’t let that happen to you – learn the signs (check out our short video with real life examples here) and be sure to check AlaVHR.com first!

If you ever have questions about booking with one of our owners, Contact Us and we will be happy to look at it with you to verify you are communicating with the verified owner.

Besides saving money and not getting scammed, there are many other reasons to #BookDirect:

  • Direct communication between owners and guests. Do you have any special needs or concerns? Speed up your selection process by going straight to the source.
  • Local Expertise – Our owners know the area and can offer tips on where to eat or things to do. At AlaVHR, you can also call us directly for information about your next stay.
  • Best rates – You are automatically saving up to 20% off those “big sites” – the average family saves over $400 – yikes!! Think of all the FUN your family could have with that extra money!
  • Supporting local small businesses

So go ahead, #BookDirect with one of our Verified Owners on AlaVHR.com – you will be glad you did!

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